An Orwellian end to the decade

It seems wholly appropriate that a decade that has been punctuated by death and destruction, from the nightmare events of 9-11 to the illegal invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, should end with a man winning the world’s most prestigious peace prize for waging war. In a world of Orwellian political discourse such as The “War On Terror”, “A War for Freedom and Democracy” in Iraq and a “Moral War” or “War of Necessity” in Afghanistan, a picture of a man being lauded by intellectual elites for recently sending another 30,000 troops into an already impoverished country seems very fitting.

Not that this is anything new of course. Powerful interests have to cloak acts of aggression with pretty words otherwise the public they rule over wouldn’t let them get away with it quite so easily. It’s just that the whole thing with Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize – when there are millions of charities and aid workers out there working for genuine peace – has reached rather bizarre extremes. Even the authors of the Wikipedia entry on Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have been a bit naughty and said that Obama “doesn’t deserve it” (scroll to the bottom of the page).

And it’s no secret that Obama will soon be “bringing peace” to Iran with missiles and bombs which is what this peace prize is really all about. The main reason Obama has been awarded the peace prize is apparently because of his rehtorical “commitment” to reducing nuclear weapons. Words are cheap though and any rational person judges someone on their actions and not their words.

Unfortunately, Obama’s actions on nucelar proliferation don’t paint a pretty picture. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently passed a resolution calling on Israel to join a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (N.P.T.) and open its nuclear facilities to inspection. The USA, along with Europe, tried to block it (to the general silence of the media) although unfortunately for them it passed anyway. But while it’s OK for Israel to be armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, Obama has made it quite clear that it’s not OK for Iran to do so.

Even more tellingly, the day before Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize, the Pentagon announced it was accelerating delivery of the most lethal non-nuclear weapons in the arsenal: 13-ton bombs for B-2 and B-52 stealth bombers, designed to destroy deeply hidden bunkers shielded by 10,000 pounds of reinforced concrete. Ideal for attacking a well protected country like Iran unlike a feeble one such as Iraq or Afghanistan.

It would be nice to think that those naive Scandinavians have awarded Obama the Peace Prize to “encourage” him towards real actions towards peace. To give them the benefit of the doubt, they did award it to him in a moment of madness after getting a little over excited about his election just a few days after he took office. However, as they very well know, it has been interpreted as a ringing endorsement of what Obama is doing now. The unfortunate effect is that it looks like the European intellectual elite’s way of giving Obama a green light to go steaming into Iran when the US administration feels the time is right.

As the decade ends, Orwell’s 1984 depiction of a world where “War is Peace” has been given new meaning by this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

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5 thoughts on “An Orwellian end to the decade

  1. “And it’s no secret that Obama will soon be “bringing peace” to Iran with missiles and bombs which is what this peace prize is really all about.”

    Er… that’s a secret to me. Not to sound naive but to call a potential future US attack on Iran “no secret” seems to be a little misleading.

    Also, how is this “what this prize is really all about”? Don’t get me wrong: I see the Nobel prize as both pointless and seriously discredited.

    Is the Committee involved in organising wars? Obviously not: they’re just a publicity-hungry bunch of fools who found a good way of making themselves look relevant this year.

  2. Thanks for the comments. “Er… that’s a secret to me. Not to sound naive but to call a potential future US attack on Iran “no secret” seems to be a little misleading.”

    It’s no secret because Obama can’t stop talking about it just like Bush couldn’t stop talking about how dangerous Hussein was in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Only 3 days ago Obama was in Turkey urging them “move” on Iran to make them observe international law.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/12/20091281580941678.html

    And yet as we all know, his own country and Israel don’t observe international law. There’s a reason he’s singled Iran and not Israel as a threat and that’s because a) Unlike Israel they won’t toe the Washington line and b) He has to demonize Iran and scare the world in order to get public backing to steam in there – just like the US has done with Iraq, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador etc in the past. This takes time. You can’t just come and say “Right, we’re having you” in international relations. It has to be very subtle to start with until you eventually ratchet things up to fever pitch so that people are running in the streets baying for Iranian blood! So I think the “secret” is out on a daily basis if you read between the lines.

    “Also, how is this “what this prize is really all about”? Don’t get me wrong: I see the Nobel prize as both pointless and seriously discredited.”

    As regards the Nobel prize, to say it was an endorsement just to attack Iran is extreme I admit. I can’t imagine they all sat round a table and said, “Right, how can we make it easy for Obama to invade Iran. I know…” However, the effect of it is that it’s certainly an endorsement of war mongering. I’m afraid I can’t see it any other way unless they had been brave enough to withdraw it in view of his actions in the time since he was announced as the winner.

    The kindest thing we can say is that it was a monumental cock-up by the committee based on his rhetoric to peace and diplomacy in the runup to the US elections. I do think Scandinavians can be terribly naive sometimes and its quite possible they saw some kind of Messiah in Obama because he was the first black president in US history which is no mean feat. But of all the people in the world, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee should know that you judge a man – especially a politician – on his actions and not his words. Otherwise, I should be up for one next year because, and I hope you’re listening Nobel Committee, I think war is BAD.

    Is the Committee involved in organizing wars? Obviously not: they’re just a publicity-hungry bunch of fools who found a good way of making themselves look relevant this year.

    Approval by the intellectual community – whether it is the media or academia – is essential in helping governments spread propaganda Therefore, I think they are effectively involved in organizing wars. I mean, who in the intellectual elites is going to be brave enough to come out now and criticize a man who’s won a peace prize!? It’s like coming out and saying Mother Theresa was a terrorist or something.

  3. By the way, just noticed this. France are getting in on the act now and it’s not surprising. They’ve just lost out to Shell in the race to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves. Iranian oil would be a decent compromise:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8406717.stm

    It’s clear as day what’s happening. Just as with Iraq it will be textbook i.e sanctions, cripple the country, invade, regime change, take over the oil. Bob’s your uncle, fanny’s your aunt.

  4. Then the comparison is very apt. Just like Obama, she was and still is lauded by the intellectual elite and corporate media based on her rhetoric and not her actions.

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