Blood on the Nobel

Obama is an incredibly Orwellian character.  He can make people think that war is peace.

- Jeremy Scahill, Chicago, Illinois, Speech to the International Socialist Organization, June 2009


Cindy Sheehan sees war as war, whether the battle standard is being waved by a white moron from Midland, Texas or an eloquent black man from Chicago. 

- Alexander Cockburn, September 5, 2009


Obama has only brought war to our country.  Peace prize? He’s a killer.

- Afghan man, December 10, 2009



Here is an interesting sentence from the Associated Press on the day that Barack Obama was given the world’s highest award for the advancement of peace: "President Barack Obama entered the pantheon of Nobel Peace Prize winners Thursday with humble words, acknowledging his own few accomplishments while delivering a robust defense of war."


We truly live in Orwellian times [1]. 


A Flawed Prize


Does Obama deserve his Nobel? Let’s admit from the start that the prize has long been a less-than- perfect measure of its recipients’ actual commitment to peace.  Alfred Nobel, it is worth recalling, was a leading armaments manufacturer.  He was the inventor of dynamite along with other deadly war materials. 


It’s true that the Nobel Peace Prize has gone to some deserving recipients, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But there are numerous peace leaders and war opponents who have not received the award and should have, including Mahatma Gandhi, who led mass nonviolent resistance to the British Empire in the 1940s.


The award has repeatedly gone to powerful Americans with blood-soaked records.  It was given in 1906 to Teddy Roosevelt, a man who openly glorified war abroad and genocide at home, a man who helped escalate the Spanish American War in accord with his belief that the US needed periodic wars to maintain proper national manliness.


The prize went in 1919 to Woodrow Wilson, who crushed dissent at home as he sent hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to kill and die in the great inter-imperialist bloodbath known then as The Great War and as he sent troops to intervene against the Russian Revolution in 1918.  Wilson also intervened in quite bloody and neocolonial ways in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and in Haiti, where his troops restored de fact

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