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.