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Thread: The Nobel Peace Prize

  1. #1
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    The Nobel Peace Prize

    It seems to me appalling that Mr. Obama has used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech as a platform to justify war. The Nobel committee is first of all to blame for this extremely unwise and at best premature choice. It's going to be a good long time before I'm going to watch the President quote Gandhi and Martin Luther King without gagging. The repetitious slogans were effectively delivered in his campaign speeches, but I'm having trouble seeing how this man can be considered a great orator. This address was pedestrian, devious, and unfelt. Somewhere he is preparing himself for a future life of guilt feelings and ruefulness, like so many before him, notably LBJ.

  2. #2
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    President Obama has the power to end the war.
    Why isn't he using that power?
    Something's up.
    He's not being clear enough as to why this war must continue.
    It is a complete and utter joke that he's been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm quite angry about it, actually, and I like Obama.
    I still like him and his mojo.
    But Holy Shit has he slackened. In one year he went from a total Hope Machine to just another pasty, pathetic President.
    Barack!
    Sir!
    Mr. President!
    How in the Holy Land Hell can you get a peace prize when when you are chairman of two wars?!?!
    They are Bush's leftovers. Moldy leftovers. But they're your responsibility now. And you aren't doing a whole hell of a lot on ending them. Your campaign promises are crumbling and there's no excuse for it. What the fuck has happened in the last year?
    Have you given up? caved? Where's your spine?
    You have the power.
    I hate to say it, but maybe you should get as brazen as Bush.
    Start flexing some of your Presidential muscle.
    I understand that you want to seem like the man for all seasons, but let's get a big black woody for ending two nasty, unneccessary wars, OK?
    You lost on health care. No biggie.
    You can easily blame the fuckers who fear common sense.
    Easily. Cuz that's what happened. They feared common sense and logic so they had to kill that one. Oh well. You had to know there would be heavy resistance from the Empire...
    Us Jedi's can't win 'em all you know...

    But you have the power to end the two *clone* wars.
    We gotta get out of those hostile systems, Master Obama..
    And quickly.
    You might be a one-termer....is that all you want?
    One term? For the first Black President?
    As Darth Vader said at the end of Sith:
    "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  3. #3
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    There was a chiiling analysis of Obama by Webster Tarpley on the radio yesterday as a representative of the "Wall Street wing" of the democratic party and as a US President extremely dangerous to peace but also to civil liberties: "Obama equals the worst of Lyneon B. Johnson, the worst of Carter, and the worst of Nexon." But closest to Woodrow Wilson. This is a prettyy far out show that favors 9/11 Truth guys (and Tarpley is one), but the idea that Obama is more dangerous than a republican has merit. Obama has disabled the peace movment, because he caused the mainstream anti-war movement supporters to roll over for the past year or so, because they thought he was our salvation. The Swedes' awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize simply fed this rolling-over. But in time it wlll feed our rage and disappointment like little that has ever happened before. Obama is a snare and a delusion.

    Give it a listen: http://kpfa.org/archive/id/57004. On KPFA's show "Guns and Butter" of December 16, 2009, "Obama and Civil Liberties." Note that Obama is keeping Guantanamo by another name, is keeping "extraordinary rendition," is keeping arbitrary wiretapping and all the other curbs on civil liberties and aspects of totalitarian police state repression. "Janet Tolatariano."

    Forget talking to Obama. He's not listening.

  4. #4
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    I know he's not listening.
    No one is.
    At this point I don't see anything happening in the next three years of his first term.
    He seems like a whipped dog who still smiles and wags his tail.
    People did indeed see him as a Salvation.
    If he flames out, then MAN what a colossal despair will descend...if he continues to roll over and over and over then there truly is no hope.
    The Bush Admin seemed like an aberration, a horrifying twilight zone episode that could be corrected, with the right Presidential candidate. WRONG.
    Even the best, most positive man in the universe will succumb to the dark sides of power.
    It's easy, I guess.
    You campaign pie-in-the-sky (even if you believe it at the time) and it don't matter. Once you're sworn in, you become a MONSTER.

    I'll check out your link.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    I am not a 9/11 Truth nut or a conspiracy theorist, like this Webster Tarpley, but I'd not be surprised that the government especially the FBI is cooking up anti-Islamic feeling. "Terrorism" is the "communist threat" of the present. It is used to manipulate us.

    Speaking of conspiracy theorists who've got interesting things to say take a look at my review of the new documentary COLLAPSE presenting Michael Ruppert's looks at the future.

    Forget about Afghanistan: Obama has dramatically increased drone attacks on PAKISTAN. Pakistan is the new front.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-17-2009 at 10:09 AM.

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    I hate to disagree with you, Chris. However, you don't have all of your facts straight, as you have emersed into the emotional argument of peace and ignored the just of his speech. He did not set out to justify war. I watched the entire speech as he delivered it. During the speech, he only referred to King and Gandhi as men he admired. His argument that "non violence" against someone like Hitler was specifically directed to Europeans. Remember, the Sweds chose to look the other way in WWII, while millions of Jews were slaughtered. Obama reminded them it took Americans, coming to their soil, shedding their blood, that ended the most horrific war in the history of the planet, a war meant to stop a brutal dictator.

    We don't know what Obama saw in those intelligent briefings he held in his cabinet for more than three months. I know that he wasn't satisfied with the plans the generals first threw at him. Recall, he was a professor in history and law, probably the most intellectual president in the White House since John Kennedy, and I would add, far more thorough.

    The impact of one death, one son, one tragic life lost in war is too much for most families. It was for my family when I lost my brother in Vietnam. First Johnson, then Nixon screwed the American public over that fiasco. Obama is hardly a comparison. We should not project our frustrations on the man who is trying to solve the problems that another more stupid president started.

    (unedited)
    Last edited by cinemabon; 12-18-2009 at 07:48 PM.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

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    Obama "did not set out to justify war," you say. What did he set out to do, then? And what did he actually do? I'd really like to know.

    Obama said, "We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations - acting individually or in concert - will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified."

    This is not justifying war, if you like; it is saying that it can be justified and will be justified.

    Obama not only talks about justifying war; he also calls upon his audience to admire the US for its constant intervention all over the world; its hundreds of military bases on other nations' territory: "the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms. " This is a rather ingenuous way of justifying America's constant pursuit of global hegemony. He calls this "enlightened self-interest." Wherever American military forces have been long term occupiers, he says we "promoted peace and prosperity." Like Bush II, he says our occupations and wars promote "freedom."

    I recommend a look at Chambers Johnson's "Blowback" trilogy:
    * Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire
    * The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic
    * Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.

    I am not so much concerned about the thorny issue of whether or when war is justified. I'm concerned with Obama's being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; his accepting it; and the speech that he gave justifying not only war, but the ongoing US involvement in two wars even as he spoke. He didn't start these wars -- he even opposed them -- but now that he is at the epicenter of the global power elite, things are different. He will keep occupying forces in Iraq -- the embassy compound alone is the world's largest -- and he is escalating militarily the war in Afghanistan. He calls this a "war of necessity." It is emphatically not.

    Obama did not, however, revile nations that were neutral during WWII as you do when you say: "the Swedes chose to look the other way in WWII, while millions of Jews were slaughtered." The Americans also chose to look the other way -- till rather late in the war. But nobody really knew how man Jews were being killed till later, from reports. Being a pacifist was punished in America, but being neutral in Europe was not a crime.

    Anyway, Obama's speech is diplomatic, even if it is unlikely to convert anybody who doesn't already support America's self-appointed activities as the so-called global peacekeeper. I just don't see how the awarding of something called the Nobel Peace Prize should be a suitable platform for the leader of a country with military forces all over the world, pursuing two major wars, to speak in justification of his country's pursuit of global hegemony under the banner of "security," "freedom," and "peace." George Orwell must be turning over in his grave.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-18-2009 at 09:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    You make some valid points, and I don't wish to get into a shouting match with someone as intelligent as you, Chris. Besides, it's Christmas... peace on earth, goodwill toward man, that sort of thing. I understand your frustration. I even empathize, for what that's worth. Hell, if you lived closer, I'd say - come down to the local bar and let's get drunk over this. Consider that as excuse to have one extra cognac on me should you attend a party that serves such beverages.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  9. #9
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    I appreciate the thought but I don't drink any more. That wouldn't matter though. We could debate the issues face to face.

    The editorial in a recent edition of THe Nation entitled "Obamas War" expressed my point of view and that of those who think like me.

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    Obama, war, climate, and money

    Obama, War, Climate, and Money

    Like so many of the world's political leaders, the American President seems to exist to smooth things over; to tell us that things are alright, that we're all doing our best and it will get better. Thus his announcement that the Congressional health care plan is a milestone and a memorable solution to a long-standing problem, when in fact, lacking a public option, this plan is only an agreement to suck more poor citizens into the private insurance nexus, as indicated by the way the major independent providers' stocks have all gone up in the 20% range in the week of the Congressional vote on the bill. Polls show that Americans wanted a public option, and this bill is likely to cause more grief than satisfaction. Former Democratic National Committee Chairman, doctor, and longtime Vermont governor Howard Dean prominently called upon congressmen to "kill the bill," saying with reason that it was "not worth passing." The Obama administration, like the Congress hand-in-glove with the health insurance companies and Big Pharma, didn't push hard for a public option, and say things are fine.

    The health care bill is the most frustrating outcome of US legislation since Obama became President; it is, typically, something, but not enough. But if one thing has caused the President's stock to drop drastically with progressives it is his announced escalation of the war in Afghanistan. This itself is merely a desensitizing gesture and in a sense a cover-up, because the escalation is already under way. Jeremy Scahill has written recently about how much more personnel the US has in Afghanistan than is publicly admitted. Contrary to popular belief, Scahill explains, the U.S. actually has 189,000 personnel on the ground in Afghanistan right now -- and that number is quickly rising. Beginning with his focus on Blackwater, Scahill has been prominent in reporting the privitization and consequent concealment of American global warfare. In matters like this, Obama seems to be not an initiator like Bush-Cheney, but a continuer, one who perpetuates the situation, who acts by doing nothing to change things fundamentally.

    Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech enunciates a view of America as the world's peacekeeper that would perpetuate the discredited and crumbling policies delineated in Chambers Johnson's seminal "Blowback Trilogy" (Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire; The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic; and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic). The "peacekeeper" stance is revealed as a pose by the overriding US focus on oil-rich Iraq and Afghanistan, a cover for Pakistan, all of this a way of maintaining dominance in the Middle East -- while the impoverished and violent continent of Africa, likely to be the future epicenter of climate disaster, is virtually ignored. Meanwhile also the siege of Gaza is allowed to continue unabated while its ravaged people must live among the rubble.

    The fact is that the Obama administration is doing little if anything more than Bush to help solve the global problems of climate change, poverty, famine, internal conflict. We can't even solve our own huge current economic problems when not enough has been done to save mortgages, find jobs for the unemployed, protect infrastructures because there's not enough money being made available. This is a matter of priorities. Too much goes to war. Even Wall Street and the big corporations that put Obama in office and to which he consequently is most beholden aren't getting the financial help they need to fight the current economic crisis, by consensus the worst and most widespread financial disaster since the 1930's.

    Thomas K. Friedman, the prominent writer and New York Times commentator, attended the World Climate Conference in Copenhagen and his conclusion to comedian Eugene Mirman in a blog for Grist.com was that the one thing that came out of it (though important) was a "deal on forests." Obama came late and worked with a group of five countries to make a non-binding deal.. The US stance is that, as PBS reporter Ray Suares claims, the many small nations, which in fact suffer most from climate change and can even be eradicated by it, were getting in the way and a conference should consist of only a few dozen countries, and maybe like here just a handful should call the shots and get the headlines.

    In truth democracy does not prevail in world conferences, and the big ones make deals that maintain the status quo and benefit the most powerful nations. America has up to now been the world's greatest carbon emitter and Barack Obama is the leader of this country, and he did not step forward to take the drastic steps necessary to save the planet. But as we come up on the first year of Obama's presidency, what we see is not leadership but his failure to assume the reins and step forth. Communication and negotiation have turned out to be conciliation and knuckling under. Money dominates, war policies continue, and the greatest challenge of our time, climate change, grows ever more ominous.

    December 22, 2009
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-02-2010 at 02:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    No public option on health care means nothing has changed on health care. Except what you mention, that more poor people are being sucked into the insurance racket. (Which lets stock owners get even richer- the USA ROCKS!!!!)

    Obama certainly is playing the role of smoother-over-of-things.
    Health care plan is a milestone? Yeah. Right. OK.
    Keep talking Barack. You make shitloads of money from this.
    You are the best candidate for President I've seen in my lifetime.
    Yet you increasingly show how whipped you are, day by day.
    You say you didn't take office to let fat cat bankers take huge bonuses for doing jack shit yet that is exactly what you're doing.
    You ain't stopping or regulating Jack.

    Who's got your balls in the tight grip? Huh?
    You're a Hope messenger turned turtle.
    Not Cool.
    Not Cool at all.

    My pride in Obama has faded to a mere "Well, at least a black man became President..."
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #12
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    Obama's approval rating has gone down a lot, though it got a spike this week. At least we got a black president? Well, we got one who is also half white and attended the elite Punahou School in Honolulu and Columbia and Harvard Law School. We did get a president whose family has not been a part of the ruling class for generations, like Bushes I and II. But did we get "Not Bush" or "Doesn't Look Like Bush"? Did we get a black president or an Oreo one? As Cornel West says, the color of the president doesn't matter. Not that we are in any post-racial age nor will we ever be, times have changed about acceptance of color.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-22-2009 at 06:29 PM.

  13. #13
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    Great point.
    He's not "Black-Black", and has definitely had a silver-spoonish Life.
    Yep, he's defintely OREO.
    Domesticated and approved by OPRAH, who is the most Oreo person on the planet.
    I guess it'll be a long long time before we see a man with no ties to elites and no ulterior motives get into the oval office...

    I have a real problem with those people who support Obama no matter what he does. They are just as sickening as the ones who supported Bush no matter what. Get your fucking heads out of the sand and realize what he stands for, what he is accomplishing. Are Obama supporters really following his every move? I wonder.
    It's been a year since he won and not much has changed.
    And CHANGE was his platform on the campiagn trail, wasn't it?
    Hope and Change.
    Wherefore art thou?
    One year later?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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    Most presidents have come from upper class or upper-middle class backgrounds, and now they have to have a lot of money or be capable of raising an enormous amount of money, usually both; money begets money. How do they raise that money? They have to be a commodity worth purchasing. This is how independence goes out the window. The pose of independence is lovely. But actual independence is a no-no.

    There still seems to be a tendency for those who rejoiced at Obama's election to ignore what he does from day to day or to keep on saying "it's too soon, too soon to say." How can it be too soon to say one year on? How many years does he need to get started? And this was a president who was all up and ready long before he got inaugurated. You could already see the direction his administration was going to go with his earliest appointments, such as Rahm Emmanuel. But of course at that point I was concerned, not yet hopeless. Incidentally a blog I just glimpsed entitled its inauguration day entry "Racism ended, world peace declared." Many still stubbornly persist in seeing it that way. They liked the dream and don't want to wake up. Unfortunately I never had the dream, just as I never for a minute drank the Iraq war Kool-Aid.

    The worst part of this is that Obama's election caused the progressive opposition to roll over and play dead, to "give him a chance." And they still need to wake up, because local activism has never been more needed -- or more possible, with the organizing tools that are available.

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    The "Racism ended" blog , incidentally, is a satirical one.

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