In 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the annual Nobel Peace Prize to newly minted President Barack Obama. In its press release, the Committee noted “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Democrats hailed the announcement as a validation of their faith in the erstwhile junior Senator from Illinois. Conservatives acknowledged the most-recent addition to the untested former community organizer’s collection of accolades as proof that the Nobel Prize — which had gained considerable tarnish after being handed to Al Gore for science fiction — was rapidly becoming as precious as those fancy breath mints they have in a dish at the Chicago-area restaurants where Oprah Winfrey dines. The conservative skepticism was confirmed after it became apparent the Norwegian Nobel Committee voted to hand the medal to Obama only nine days into his occupation of the Oval Office.
But Obama is a Nobel laureate. He successfully campaigned on his opposition to war, proudly touting his stance against further combat in Iraq and promising a swift withdrawal from that conflict. With Obama in the White House, not only were we all going to be better people, but we were going to live in a more peaceful world. Obama was demonstrating “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation.”
So, more than two years later, how’s that working out for everyone?
The War in Iraq continues, although the corporate media have developed an apparent aversion to reporting on it. The War in Afghanistan has gotten more — not less — violent, although the corporate media have evidently forgotten how to find Afghanistan on a map. The Middle East has erupted in a revolutionary frenzy which seems inspiring, until closer examination of the various conflicts reveals what may well be some sort of intramural Islamofascist squabble. Instead of delivering harmonious peace to the planet, Obama has increased U.S. military obligations from two wars to four. And he has done so at a time when the U.S. economy is wheezing like Ed Schultz chasing after a date (thanks to Obama’s ham-fisted economic stewardship).
You read that correctly. In addition to the continuing engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama has committed us to the dubiously progressing effort to oust Moammar Gadhafi from Libya. And thanks to a report which will probably cost The New York Times a spot on the plane the next time Michelle Obama takes a few dozen of her closest friends to a five-star foreign resort, it has been revealed the U.S. military is now conducting a “secret” — and growing — conflict in Yemen. “Cooperation between peoples” is fairly simple when one side of those “peoples” is pushing up palm trees.
To be honest, I have no issue with justifiable war. Terrorists, among others, need to die; and the U.S. military has consistently demonstrated it is second to none at killing terrorists. Plus, war looks much cooler on television than the corporate media excusing Representative Anthony Weiner’s contact with high school girls. Of course, I didn’t run for President of the United States on an anti-war platform, nor did I win the Nobel Peace Prize on spec. The Obama global doctrine appears to involve some sort of diplomatic board game: “All right, Mr. President, you rolled a five and a three. You have to go to…Yemen… with a cruise missile!”
I am, therefore, perplexed by the ability of rank-and-file liberals to rectify their beloved Obama’s anti-war promises with his decidedly belligerent (or scattershot) performances.
The whole of human history has been marked by war. Indeed, the number of war-free years since the first Neolithic tribesmen began scribbling depictions of dead other Neolithic tribesmen is, counting 2011, effectively zero. Ever since Thok figured out he could have the best cows and women by splitting Unk’s skull with a rock, we’ve been at it. In fact, there may well be only one thing that has defined man’s attempts to assert his own dominance over the world: lying.