The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Leader of the empire wins a Nobel

The first thing I thought when I heard about Obama’s peace prize is that it must be a fake headline from the Onion. As usual, right-wing Fox News/Rush Limbaugh style criticism of President Obama has been so ridiculous and over the top, that any legitimate substantive criticism is ignored. Right-wing smear merchants like Sean Hannity are now denouncing Obama’s Nobel Prize, because it is apparently further evidence of Obama’s Socialism.

The right wing cries that the Obama-lovers at the Nobel Committee rewarded Obama for waving the white flag of surrender on the “war on terror.” Even more bizarrely, the Democratic Party is invoking the fear tactics of the right wing, “The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists … in criticizing the president for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.”

The only problem here is that the dominant narrative is the exact opposite of the truth. I judge politicians by what they do, not from inspiring speeches and campaign promises. I don’t just figure they have good intentions, and take their word for it. Liberal defenders of his prize cry “he’s only been in office nine months” or that “he has the Republicans to deal with, he will be labeled as a sissy and he won’t get re-elected if he ends the wars.”

Now, surely one cannot expect Obama to dismantle all of our imperial army’s foreign entanglements in just nine months. By the same token, one can also not expect an occupier in chief, in office for only nine months, to earn a peace prize of any sort.

There’s no denying he inherited the two wars. However, he also escalated and expanded the occupation of Afghanistan by 21,000 troops earlier this year. He’s currently in deliberations about exactly how much to escalate the occupation by. This is not to even mention his nonstop deadly predator drone attacks in Pakistan, which have killed hundreds of civilians. His press secretary, Robert Gibbs, repeatedly ruled out any possibility of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The only question he’s examining is just how much he’s going to escalate the death and destruction.

Whatever motivation you attach to a warmonger is irrelevant. The Nobel Prize shouldn’t be for anyone who is actively bombing and killing people. Is this really a radical concept?

Although the corporate media seems to have forgotten, Iraq is still under U.S. occupation. Obama has a plan which will leave 40,000-50,000 “residual forces” after the Status of Forces Agreement is fully implemented.

We’re still playing divide and rule in Iraq, while top U.S. military officials widely admit we never really plan on leaving. This is not a policy of peace; it’s George Bush with better speeches.

Obama obviously has no problem continuing the U.S.’s “special relationship with Israel,” even if it includes staying silent during war crimes. Thus, he bit his tongue while Israel unleashed Operation Cast Lead, a sustained bombing campaign against the people of Gaza, last December and January. Hundreds of civilians were killed, including 300-400 children. This is verified by all credible sources including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Israeli human rights group B’tselem, and the United Nations Human Rights Council (the Goldstone Report). How can a president, who supported with his silence the deaths of hundreds of children, possibly deserve a Peace Prize?

It seems the U.S. and Europe feel pride knowing America has a president who speaks better than George Bush, but I assure you the victims of Obama and the U.S.’s violence don’t see him as a man of peace. In the countries currently under U.S. occupation, this is surely how the majority of the population feels.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, truth be told, has a better claim to the award than Obama. His speeches aren’t as good, but Iran doesn’t occupy anyone. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic is responsible for the deaths of a hell of a lot fewer people than Obama. To the man with the least blood on his hands goes the peace prize!

Obama’s foot is the one snugly within the boot of American imperialism (which is currently on the necks of three Muslim countries). I’ve heard that perhaps this prize could inspire Obama to stop his military violence. Maybe we should give AA sobriety chips in advance to alcoholics, as long as we feel they have good intentions of course. So, don’t be so negative and cynical! It could encourage them to stop drinking, it’s worth a try! Maybe the class troublemaker deserves a gold star for “best behaved student,” and maybe, just maybe, Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

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