You may recognize the slogan above from bumper stickers on cars or it may remind you of news reports, corporate-backed slogans, or the president himself, inferring that Obama is a candidate for "hope" and "change" with an ingredient of peace. This is beyond cynical deceit and should not be taken seriously by any competent human being.
In an article from the Business World Online entitled "Peace, Justice, and Obama" they state that "Obama . . . symbolizes the hope of ‘giving peace a chance.’" Since the Business World Online can be looked at as competent, this must just be cynical deceit.
You don’t have to be an investigative journalist or even do much research in order to prove that Obama is not a man concerned with peace. He has continuously stated that Afghanistan and Pakistan are the major fronts in the "war on terrorism." Just this sentence alone can dissect quite a bit of the president’s disregard for peace. For example, he agrees with the illogical Bush argument that there exists a war on terrorism. No competent analyst takes this seriously, for obvious reasons. If there was actual concern about terrorism in the world, the United States would inevitably run into a mirror, looking right back at itself as the biggest culprit for terrorism in the world today. Staying within the United States‘ framework of terrorism, which consists of blaming everyone except the US and its allies for committing terrorist acts, Obama still falls short. His repeated support for increasing the occupation in Afghanistan by roughly 30,000 troops is as criminal as Bush adding 30,000 more troops in Iraq. The occupation in Afghanistan merits no sympathy from international law, since it is in violation of it. The same follows for Pakistan. Attacks from US military happen daily in these countries. Prior to Obama’s inauguration, supporters of Obama may have found some moral sanctity by "hoping" that the hawkish stances were just a way to politically maneuver into the presidency, and criticizing those that called Obama out on these issues. An answer came on January 22nd with his talks on the Middle East with his State Department. Regarding Afghanistan, Noam Chomsky points out that "Afghan president Karzai’s first message to Obama after he was elected in November was a plea to end the bombing of Afghan civilians, reiterated a few hours before Obama was sworn in." Chomsky also points out that a few hours after Obama’s January 22nd talk on the Middle East, "US planes attacked a remote village in Afghanistan, intending to kill a Taliban commander," but, the LA Times reports that people of that village told officials that "there were no Taliban in the area, which they described as a hamlet populated mainly by shepherds" (Obama on Israel-Palestine, Chomsky). But, we should probably look cynically at this and imagine that bombs are serving the people a platter of peace. We should probably continue to look cynically at future attacks and possible-future escalation of US military in Pakistan, in order to distort reality to where Obama is shining from a ray of peace.
Obama casts a darkening shadow as he turns his back on a (or internationally recognized as the) peaceful solution regarding the Israel/Palestine conflict as well. Regarding the US-Israeli assault on Gaza, which abruptly ended just prior to Obama’s inauguration, Chomsky correctly points out that before taking office "Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president – a fact that did not silence him on other issues." Obama silently sat by as Israel criminally and ruthlessly slaughtered Palestinians. Let’s be generous for no reason and give Obama a free pass on that. Even doing so, Obama doesn’t give himself much of a break, since at his State Department’s Middle East talks on January 22nd, he evaded mentioning any rights of the Palestinians, while preaching the rights of Israel. Yet, we will give him a partial free pass on this too, since it is universal for the United States to disregard Palestine and illegally support Israel‘s criminal actions. I say partial because, as Chomsky points out, Obama states that the Arab League’s peace proposal has "constructive elements" and that Arab states should "act on" the proposal’s "promise by supporting the Palestinian government under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad." He leaves out the fact that this proposal suggests the "longstanding" internationally recognized peace settlement for a two state solution with pre-1967 borders, which has been blocked repeatedly by the US and Israel for over 40 years. Another fact he leaves out, maybe just a triviality for Obama, is that President Fayyad was, for one, illegally appointed following Abbas, and, secondly, has no jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories because Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority, was democratically elected in 2006. We wouldn’t want to bring up the fact that Hamas is with the rest of the world in supporting the same settlement. Therefore, as Chomsky sums up, we can blame Obama for "his scrupulous evisceration of the core component of the Arab League proposal, which is his own novel contribution" (Obama on Israel-Palestine, Chomsky).
The Obama "peace"-machine, not surprisingly to those that have followed him, does not stop there. Although most may think, and possibly rightly so, that Obama is for an end to the "war" being waged in Iraq, he is not for ending the military occupation of Iraq. He has stated that he supports the "responsible" withdrawal of combat troops in possibly 16 months (we will have to see), but thinks and mentions nothing of the indefinite occupation of the country by the US, which will bring with it continued crimes. A big (literally) example can be found in Baghdad where a US military base the size of the Vatican is located. Obama also seems to not care about war criminals, since he is not going to bring the Bush Administration up on obvious charges, and will silently let Israel get away with their very recent war crimes. But, why not give him a free pass on that too since we will undoubtedly see and, of course, hear more from the administration and the man who "symbolizes the hope of ‘giving peace a chance.’"