Obama, Kissinger, Wilson, Roosevelt and Moniz.
Quick. What do Barack Obama, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger and Egar Moniz have in common? All won the Nobel Prize, the first four for â€œpeaceâ€ either as sitting presidents, or in Kissingerâ€™s case, while his bombs were falling on innocents in Vietnam. Moniz won the prize in Physiology or Medicine for his invention of the lobotomy. Of these five he wrought the least carnage.
Today we awoke to news that Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Some looked quick to see whether it was April 1. Most often folks mumbled resignedly â€œWar is Peace.â€ I prefer the Vietnam era formulation that warring for peace is like fu**ing for virginity. A few wept tears of disappointment, certainly mainstream Medea Benjamin who, having recently come out definitively as a hawk, must have thought that with this adjustment the Nobel was certainly in sight. Code Pink needs a new name now. Justin Raimondo suggests Code Yellow. But I believe Whores for Wars might be better. (That would only apply to Medea and the national leadership, many of the local Code Pinkers being genuine anti-interventionists who cannot stomach the narcissistic national leadership like mainstream Medea.)
My good friend and Israeli expat Joshua was at first afraid he was having a bad dream or that the Nobel committee was working a cruel joke. After all, Joshua reasoned, Obama is war criminal, who has engineered the biggest military spending in human history, who daily drops bombs on innocents, women and children in at least three countries, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, who supports the worst war criminals and lodges some in his administration, who destroyed in a few months the “hope” for a peace in the middle east. The western world has gone crazy, no doubt, says Joshua. And since war is now peace we might rename all organizations appropriately â€“ United for War and Justice, War Action, and so on.
This led Joshua to predictions for future Nobels.
Next year, literature: Obama for â€œThe Audacity of Hopeâ€ – the greatest fiction ever.
Next year, economy: Obama – creating a new statistical metric for recovery.
Next year, peace: Bush/Cheney – based on Obama’s peace prize precedent.
Year after, peace: Netanyahu – the man behind Obama’s peace in the Middle East.
But to this writer we witness the second repetition of history. The US Empireâ€™s first great colonial war on the Asian mainland in the last half century was Trumanâ€™s Korean war. This was repeated as tragedy in Vietnam at the hands of the Best and Brightest, with Johnson and Kennedy in the lead. And now the Iraq/AfPak war comes at us from Bush and Obama and Congresses both Democrat and Republic. If Vietnam was tragedy, then certainly Iraq/AfPak is farce. There were no WMD in Iraq and everyone knew it. By the militaryâ€™s own admission there are about 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, so the US troops are not there because of Al-Qaeda â€“ and everyone knows it.
Now the ultimate comedic turn comes with the award to Obama of the Nobel War Prize. Perhaps the antiwar movement needs to adjust its tone from pure outrage to ridicule. After all Obama and the elite running this country are without clothes as they parade before us as men of peace, puffed up with talk of fake health care reform and assuring us of economic recovery that provides no jobs. It would be hard to make this stuff up. And through our tears at the predicament we are in, we can at least ridicule these hypocritical murderers. They deserve to be seen clearly as the cruel and absurd hollow men that they are. They march before us unknowingly naked.
John V. Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He believes that if the Nobel Committee were serious, Cindy Sheehan would have won the award long ago.