Commentary

Why President Obama Deserved The Nobel Peace Prize

nobel-medal_thumbnailPresident Barack Obama’s willingness to confront the lawlessness and the calumnies of the Bush administration makes him a worthy and obvious recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Prize has been given in the past to those who fight oppression and restore hope.

President Obama has repaired much of the scarred reputation of the United States and restored the hope of Americans and people everywhere who opposed the antidemocratic and authoritarian acts of the Bush administration. In less than a year, he has personally revived the indispensible role of the United States to renew multilateral diplomacy, arms control and disarmament, and human and civil rights.

The Bush administration created a strategic nightmare for U.S. interests at home and abroad over the past eight years. The Iraq War remains the center of this nightmare, and President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney worked assiduously to create and employ a strategic disinformation campaign to convince Congress and the American people of the need for war. Their manipulation of the American people (and the international community) is still not fully understood, but their lies and disinformation became conventional wisdom to the mainstream media, falsely linking Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks and Iraqis to al-Qaeda.

How many Americans gave their lives in Iraq actually believing the propaganda about these links as well as the outright lies and fabrications about Iraq’s enriched uranium, aluminum tubes for nuclear testing, and mobile biological laboratories. The CIA  incorporated these lies into a speech for Secretary of State Colin Powell, which was delivered to the United Nations just several weeks before the start of the Iraq War.

The Bush administration’s misuse of the intelligence community to make a phony case for war was matched by the politicization of virtually every agency in the national security arena. In addition to politicizing intelligence to make the case for war, the Central Intelligence Agency was brought into a world of secret prisons, torture and abuse, and extraordinary renditions. In an act of raw cynicism, President Bush gave the President’s Freedom Award, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a civilian in the federal government, to CIA director George Tenet, who directed these policies.

The National Security Agency developed an illegal intrusion into the privacy of Americans with a program of warrantless eavesdropping that was far more comprehensive than we were led to believe. (The New York Times covered-up this story for more than a year.) The developer of the policy was NSA director Michael Hayden, who was then confirmed as director of CIA with nary a question from the Congress on his role in warrantless eavesdropping.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation used the Patriot Act to issue more than 30,000 “national security” letters every year to individuals and businesses, which required telecommunications companies and financial institutions to illegally disclose private information about their customers. The FBI also conducted an aggressive campaign of ethnic profiling against Arabs and Muslims that led nowhere.

The Pentagon played a major role in the campaign of politicization, creating the Office of Special Plans and the Counter Terrorist Evaluation Group to circulate phony and worthless intelligence to make the case for war. The Pentagon also created the Counter Intelligence Field Activity to conduct illegal surveillance against American citizens near U.S military facilities or in attendance at antiwar meetings.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created an illegal fact-gathering operation called TALON (Threat and Local Observation Notice) to collect “raw information” about “suspicious incidents.”  Readers of “Animal Farm” will not be amused.  President Obama certainly wasn’t; he has ended secret prisons, torture and abuse, and depoliticized the Department of Justice to make sure that renditions (and there have been none since his inauguration) are accompanied by judicial review and that the military respects the sovereignty of American citizens.

President Obama has methodically taken on these departments in an effort to demilitarize national security policy.  The military will find slower growth in its inflated defense budgets, genuine arms control and disarmament with Russia, and a rejection of General Stanley McChrystal’s demands for 40,000-50,000 more troops in Afghanistan. Fortunately, the president recognizes the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Saturday, the president pledged to end President Bill Clinton’s hypocritical policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” which increased the hazing of gays in the military and abruptly ended the service of nearly 13,000 fighting men and women.

The CIA has had to accept the release of the Justice Department torture memoranda as well as the investigation of those CIA officers who conducted torture and abuse in excess of Justice Department guidelines. President Obama dismissed the objections of seven former CIA directors to this investigation. The CIA’s strategic intelligence may continue to have shortcomings, but not because the White House is demanding politicization of the intelligence product.

President Obama also inherited the numerous false representations of the Bush era, which damaged U.S. interests. The almost forgotten “axis of evil” speech of January 2002 illustrates the harm that the policies of President Bush did to our vital interests.  In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the United States and Iran engaged successfully in secret talks to deal with the chaos in Afghanistan in the wake of the overthrow of the Taliban.

The Iranians were elated to cooperate with us and to bolster the new Afghan government led by Hamid Karzai. Fortunately for our interests, Iran was holding under house arrest former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the most brutal mujaheddin leaders and a major recipient of U.S. assistance throughout the 1980s. Hekmatyar and his followers represented a major threat to the Karzai government, and we wanted him moved from house arrest to real arrest and eventual transfer to Afghan custody.

Following President Bush’s “axis” speech, however, which absurdly linked Iraq, North Korea, and Iran, the Tehran government released Hekmatyar and returned him to Afghanistan, where he resumed his leadership of the Hezb-i-Islami organization that is one of the deadliest insurgent forces in eastern Afghanistan. U.S. troops are taking their highest casualties in eastern Afghanistan since the invasion in eight years ago. President Obama’s new opening with Iran allows the United States to return the bilateral dialogue to the period after 9/11.

In less than a year, President Obama’s actions have significantly reversed the increased anti-Americanism and the decline in American influence that took place in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Nobel Peace Prize will enhance his credibility as well as the credibility of U.S. diplomacy. Troglodyte editorial writers may accuse the Nobel Committee of being “trapped in an adolescent adulation of Mr. Obama” (Financial Times) or describe a “certain cluelessness about America” (Washington Post), but the mere promise of Obama’s international agenda has led intransigent nations that seemed frozen in time to try to join the dialogue that Obama has started.

In the past few months, leaders in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and even Burma have taken steps to enhance their international credentials. On Saturday, Turkey and Armenia, which had been prodded by the Obama administration, restored their diplomatic relations and reopened borders that had been closed since 1993. The Nobel Peace Prize gives moral weight and credibility to those who fight to end oppression and to energize international conciliation.

What in the world do the critics of the prize think that President Obama is trying valiantly to do?

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. He spent 42 years with the CIA, the National War College, and the U.S. Army. His latest book is Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.

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26 Responses for “Why President Obama Deserved The Nobel Peace Prize”

  1. AB says:

    And he did all that in his first 11 days in office? Not convincing.

  2. Richard Wicks says:

    I got up to this point:

    “President Barack Obama’s willingness to confront the lawlessness and the calumnies of the Bush administration makes him a worthy and obvious recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize”

    Then I had to comment on Obama’s willingness to confront the last 8 years of criminal behavior by our last president.

    * The Iraq War, the war started over lies, is still going on.
    The Patriot Act is still law, despite it being completely unconstitutional
    * The US is still running a torture camp in Guantanamo .
    * Halliburton and paid murderers, I mean “contractors” still work in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    * US citizens can still be declared “enemy combatants” and be sent off to Cuba, to be tortured.
    * The Bush/Paulson Bailouts that have placed a trillion dollar debt burden on you, they are continuing. They are now the Obama/Geitner bailouts.
    * Nobody has been prosecuted in the financial sector, in fact, quite the opposite if you look above.

    The only difference between Obama and Bush, is that Obama can talk and not sound like a moron and he’s got darker skin. Policy wise, he’s identical.

    It is a very funny joke to say Obama has had any willingness whatsoever to confront the criminal behavior of the last administration, when Obama hasn’t overturned ONE policy of that administration.

    Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize as much as Dick Cheney and George Duh Bush did.

    And Marvin, the fact that you worked for the government, shows me how incompetent government employees are now. I’m ashamed of the low quality garbage that is bankrupting this nation – you.

  3. dobropet says:

    “In less than a year, President Obama’s actions have significantly reversed the increased anti-Americanism and the decline in American influence that took place in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.” -Melvin A. Goodman

    Guess that sits well with the Islamic population that lives here in America right? Oh wait, didn’t we just arrest some of them for contemplating to attack us again? What about the first attempted bombing of the WTC, doesn’t sit well as reference for “in the wake” does it.

  4. Zinaad says:

    The Nobel Prize has been totaly devalued by giving this award to Obama. The fact the nomination deadline was only 11 days after he was sworn in, makes a nonsence of the whole award . How could anyone do enough in 11 days to justify this award beggers belief. He may well deserve some award for what he has done so far in the past 9 months, but why not wait until next years awards?

  5. In less than a year, President Obama’s actions have significantly reversed the increased anti-Americanism and the decline in American influence that took place in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    LOL

    Mr. Goodman…are you serious?

    Sir wipe that brown stuff off our nose:

    http://www.opednews.com/author/author16458.html

    (((3)))

  6. In less than a year, President Obama’s actions have significantly reversed the increased anti-Americanism and the decline in American influence that took place in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    LOL

    Mr. Goodman…are you serious?

    Sir wipe that brown stuff off your nose:

    http://www.opednews.com/author/author16458.html

    (((3)))

  7. young says:

    You are all a bunch of cowards, anti-republican and afraid to speak the true if it has anything against black people. I am asian and I can see that from my perspective. You guys would face with the truth about Obama treated his way to become President. The reason you keep talking about bush because you talks from a Democratic’s perspective. You need to be neutral and open-minded to see the true.

  8. Thanks for the thoughtful piece.

    @Richard Wicks: so did you actually expect the opposite to obtain: that Obama would single-handedly reverse 180 degrees everything Bush/Cheney/Rove took 8 years plus to do?

    @dobropet: your comments are juvenile. I’m embarrassed even to address them. Go yank your own chain, we’re trying to have an informed debate here.

    @Zinaad: here’s a link to the process: http://nobelprize.org/nomination/peace/process.html You’ll see a chart indicating the process began last September, with review up until August.

    @Donald F. Truax: Yes, he’s serious. Try looking it up before asking silly questions and making juvenile remarks.

    @Young. WTF?! Thank for the hermeneutical tip, though, can’t argue with that.

    I just revisited Dave Lindorff’s piece on this.

    http://pubrecord.org/commentary/5722/obama-nobel-peace-prize/

    Harper’s Scott Horton has a piece that has me rethinking the merits of the award.

    In my earlier criticism, my ignorance and assumptions are showing. I had the naive belief that the prize expressed an objective measure of “peacefulness.” I didn’t bother to learn the history before judging the judgment.

    SCOTT HORTON: What was the Nobel Committee recognizing by giving the award to Carl von Ossietzky, a man reviled by his fellow countrymen, accused and convicted of an act of treason? He sounded a clarion call about the rise of Nazism and the resurgence of German militarism, and he committed his life to their exposure. He tried to awaken the world to the threat they presented and nothing contributed more to the cause of world peace at this time than his wake-up call. In fact, at this time, leaders in Whitehall and in the Washington saw Ossietzky and his associates as part of a hysterical fringe who were overstating the dangers of “Herr Hitler” and his movement. Seventy years later, however, the wisdom of the judgment of the Nobel Committee shines through.

    …So, the award to Obama is necessarily to some extent an expression of confidence in him as a politician. But this award clearly is focused on his ability to shift the course of international dialogue relating to peace. Many of Obama’s domestic critics are so absorbed with the debates over health care and other internal issues that they fail to understand the shift that Obama has already brought about on the international stage through a handful of steps. He extended a hand to the Islamic world in a striking speech delivered in Cairo. He revived flagging European confidence in the Atlantic Alliance (in which, by no coincidence, Norway has long been a stout-hearted member) by moving away from American unilateralism and back to a policy of closer coordination with traditional allies. He removed a key irritant from Russian relations with the west by pulling back a missile defense plan focusing on Poland and the Czech Republic and putting in its place one more genuinely attuned to the purposes that Bush articulated: defense against a missile threat from Iran. Finally, he has once again moved efforts to control the nuclear arsenal to the top of the agenda. These developments have been all but ignored in the United States,…”

    http://harpers.org/archive/2009/10/hbc-90005893

    Including by yours truly. My personal preference would be to see laureates like the people suggested by John Watts, as they clearly operate out from under the shadow of war crimes. But I’ve come to see merits of awarding it to Obama.

  9. Apart from that, I want to thank the author for this thorough review of recent history. The phrase that stands out to me is “strategic disinformation campaign.” That’s what I’m trying to say with my neologism, “myth-jacking.”

    Here are what I think are some of the crucial events that have led directly to our present day use of torture and inhuman cruelty as matters of policy.

    A) The wholesale adoption of the so-called “Newtonian revolution” at the start of the Cold War.

    > CHOMSKY (2007): As Henry Kissinger later explained in his academic essays, only the West has undergone the Newtonian revolution and is therefore “deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer,” while the rest still believe “that the real world is almost completely internal to the observer,” the “basic division” that is “the deepest problem of the contemporary international order.” But Russia, unlike third word peasants who think that rain and sun are inside their heads, was perhaps coming to the realization that the world is not just a dream, Kissinger felt. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20070827.htm

    That right there is a Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the making. As I’ve said elsewhere, reclaiming our inalienable organic humanity is the first step in acting humanely.

    B) The 1955 decision, at the APA convention, to reject Robert Oppenheimer’s advice, not to base psychology on an outdated physics, and to instead model our science of the mind of organic beings on the laws derived from Newton’s old balls in empty space. In effect, after WWII, we killed the cosmos, mechanized it, and have been attempting to machine the earth into submission ever since.

    How’s that working out for us? The author’s list of horrors is the answer.

    C) In 1957, Joseph Campbell began lecturing at the State Dept’s Foreign Service Institute. That should send a chill up the spine of anyone familiar with the power of myth. We’ve been weaponizing myths into weapons of mass deception, and deploying them domestically, ever since.

    D) Skinner’s inhuman behaviorism was described as mythology by Chomsky 42 years ago:

    >CHOMSKY: The conclusion that I hoped to establish in the review, by discussing these speculations in their most explicit and detailed form, was that the general point of view was largely mythology, and that its widespread acceptance is not the result of empirical support, persuasive reasoning, or the absence of a plausible alternative. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/1967—-.htm

    E) Stephen Jay Gould’s 2001 announcement of the failure of reductionism for us complex, biological systems. Reductionism is dead already, people, we can’t keep reducing organic beings to mechanisms and then pretend we ARE mechanisms.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/19/opinion/19GOUL.html?ex=1226466000&en=f7655ce4049eba50&ei=5070

    F) The Matrix (the movie). Esp. the scene in which Neo wakes up, to find himself an organic being having the life sucked out of him in an hyper-mechanized world. That’s what I’m sayin’!

    Where does Obama’s Nobel fit in? Cynical cover for perpetual war? I doubt that. Enough to persuade Obama to “go rogue?” Doubt that, too.

    To be charitable about it, he’s got lots of ‘opportunities’ for making a more peaceful world, you might say.

  10. dobropet says:

    Really Dave:

    “Instead, looks to me like the War Party, the permanent National Security state, is pulling strings same as before. Dave “knowbuddhau” Parker”

    :in your own words, correct?

  11. dobropet says:

    BTW, who addressed you? If this is an informed debate, isn’t this piece on the commentary side? Aren’t comments addressing this belief due their opinions?

  12. dobropet, If you speak in public, should you be surprised when someone replies?

  13. My words sure sound cynical, in a box apart from their context; see the next comment, in which I say I’ve seen the counter-arguments I didn’t before. So, I don’t get what you mean by that whole reply, sorry.

    What was the Committee thinking? What will be the effect? I admit to being clueless to the latter, but Horton and Goodman both give good reasons for the award. To be charitable about it, Obama’s got lots of ‘opportunities’ for making a more peaceful world, you might say.

    But that’s not what I came back to add. Wholly apart from debating the purpose of a comments section, I want to thank the author for this thorough review of recent history. The phrase that stands out to me is “strategic disinformation campaign.” That’s what I’m trying to say with my neologism, “myth-jacking.”

    Here are some things I do know, some of the crucial events that, IMO, have led directly to our present day use of torture and inhuman cruelty as matters of policy.

    A) The wholesale adoption of the so-called “Newtonian revolution” at the start of the Cold War.

    > CHOMSKY (2007): As Henry Kissinger later explained in his academic essays, only the West has undergone the Newtonian revolution and is therefore “deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer,” while the rest still believe “that the real world is almost completely internal to the observer,” the “basic division” that is “the deepest problem of the contemporary international order.” But Russia, unlike third word peasants who think that rain and sun are inside their heads, was perhaps coming to the realization that the world is not just a dream, Kissinger felt. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20070827.htm

    That right there is a Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the making. As I’ve said elsewhere, reclaiming our inalienable organic humanity is the first step in acting humanely.

    B) The 1955 decision, at the APA convention, to reject Robert Oppenheimer’s advice, not to base psychology on an outdated physics, and to instead model our science of the mind of organic beings on the laws derived from Newton’s old balls in empty space. In effect, after WWII, we killed the cosmos, mechanized it, and have been attempting to machine the earth into submission ever since.

    How’s that working out for us? The author’s list of horrors is the answer.

    C) In 1957, Joseph Campbell began lecturing at the State Dept’s Foreign Service Institute. That should send a chill up the spine of anyone familiar with the power of myth. We’ve been weaponizing myths into weapons of mass deception, and deploying them domestically, ever since.

    D) Skinner’s inhuman behaviorism was described as mythology by Chomsky 42 years ago:

    >CHOMSKY: The conclusion that I hoped to establish in the review, by discussing these speculations in their most explicit and detailed form, was that the general point of view was largely mythology, and that its widespread acceptance is not the result of empirical support, persuasive reasoning, or the absence of a plausible alternative. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/1967—-.htm

    E) Stephen Jay Gould’s 2001 announcement of the failure of reductionism for us complex, biological systems. Reductionism is dead already, people, we can’t keep reducing organic beings to mechanisms and then pretend we ARE mechanisms.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/19/opinion/19GOUL.html?ex=1226466000&en=f7655ce4049eba50&ei=5070

    F) The Matrix (the movie). Esp. the scene in which Neo wakes up, to find himself an organic being having the life sucked out of him in an hyper-mechanized world. That’s what I’m saying has been done with the science of psychology, in particular, and the social sciences, in general.

  14. My words sure sound cynical, in a box apart from their context; do you see the next comment, in which I say I’ve seen the counter-arguments I didn’t before? I don’t get what you mean by that whole reply, sorry.

    What was the Committee thinking? What will be the effect? I admit to being clueless to the latter, Goodman gives good reasons for the award. To be charitable about it, Obama’s got lots of ‘opportunities’ for making a more peaceful world, you might say.

    But that’s not what I came back to add. Wholly apart from debating the purpose of a comments section, I want to thank the author for this thorough review of recent history. The phrase that stands out to me is “strategic disinformation campaign.” That’s what I’m trying to say with my neologism, “myth-jacking.”

    Here are some things I do know, some of the crucial events that, IMO, have led directly to our present day use of torture and inhuman cruelty as matters of policy. Any thoughts?

    A) The wholesale adoption of the so-called “Newtonian revolution” at the start of the Cold War.

    CHOMSKY (2007): As Henry Kissinger later explained in his academic essays, only the West has undergone the Newtonian revolution and is therefore “deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer,” while the rest still believe “that the real world is almost completely internal to the observer,” the “basic division” that is “the deepest problem of the contemporary international order.” But Russia, unlike third word peasants who think that rain and sun are inside their heads, was perhaps coming to the realization that the world is not just a dream, Kissinger felt. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20070827.htm

    That right there is a Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the making. As I’ve said elsewhere, reclaiming our inalienable organic humanity is the first step in acting humanely.

    B) The 1955 decision, at the APA convention, to reject Robert Oppenheimer’s advice, not to base psychology on an outdated physics, and to instead model our science of the mind of organic beings on the laws derived from Newton’s old balls in empty space. In effect, after WWII, we killed the cosmos, mechanized it, and have been attempting to machine the earth into submission ever since.

    How’s that working out for us? Goodman’s list of horrors is the answer.

    C) In 1957, Joseph Campbell began lecturing at the State Dept’s Foreign Service Institute. That should send a chill up the spine of anyone familiar with the power of myth. We’ve been weaponizing myths into weapons of mass deception, and deploying them domestically, ever since.

    D) Skinner’s inhuman behaviorism was described as mythology by Chomsky 42 years ago:

    CHOMSKY: The conclusion that I hoped to establish in the review, by discussing these speculations in their most explicit and detailed form, was that the general point of view was largely mythology, and that its widespread acceptance is not the result of empirical support, persuasive reasoning, or the absence of a plausible alternative. http://www.chomsky.info/articles/1967—-.htm

    E) Stephen Jay Gould’s 2001 announcement of the failure of reductionism for us complex, biological systems. Reductionism is dead already, people, we can’t keep reducing organic beings to mechanisms and then pretend we ARE mechanisms.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/19/opinion/19GOUL.html?ex=1226466000&en=f7655ce4049eba50&ei=5070

    F) The Matrix (the movie). Esp. the scene in which Neo wakes up, to find himself an organic being having the life sucked out of him in an hyper-mechanized world. That’s what I’m saying has been done with the science of psychology, in particular, and the social sciences, in general.

    Any thoughts on any of those?

  15. Richard Wicks says:

    Let me respond to Dave Parker.

    It’s not that I expect Obama to reverse “180 degrees” everything Bush did, but at least I expected him to reverse SOMETHING he did.

    He has not. Nothing has changed. We’re al talking about National Health Care, I don’t seem to remember that being a burning issue from 2000 to 2008, and in fact, I wouldn’t consider it an important issue compared to costly war or a criminal unprosecuted banking system.

    Putting a happy face on bad US policy for the rest of the world to look at is not change. We’re doing the same exact thing a year after putting Obama into the presidency as we were doing a year ago. Everything is the same.

    Giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s like Giving George Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    I know Obama’s senate record. I’m one of the 1 or 2 Americans that actually finds out what sort of garbage running for political office before I vote. I know how he voted to renew the Patriot Act, I know how he voted to fund the Iraq War at every opportunity except for one during primaries, and I know what speeches he made claiming it may be “necessary” to attack Iran.

    He is Bush, except he can at least sound intelligent, and he has darker skin. A former CIA employee ought to know better. He was in intelligence, supposedly.

    Obama doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize anymore than Dick Cheney, Andrew Mozillo, or Dick Fuld does. He’s nothing more than another pathetic yes man, and Melvin A. Goodman was EVER competent when he worked for the CIA, he knows exactly what Obama is, he’s a puppet just like the Shah was.

  16. Former Something or Other says:

    I’m not willing to comment on the rest of your “commentary,” but the following statement is absolute, unadulterated bullshit:

    “The Pentagon also created the Counter Intelligence Field Activity to conduct illegal surveillance against American citizens near U.S military facilities or in attendance at antiwar meetings.”

    It’s a lie. You’re twisting the stupid, misguided “TALON” program into something far more sinister than it ever was. If you’re willing to fabricate something to characterize what CIFA was doing, the rest of your “analysis” is suspect.

  17. dobropet says:

    “In less than a year, he has personally revived the indispensible role of the United States to renew multilateral diplomacy, arms control and disarmament, and human and civil rights. – Melvin A. Goodman”

    “We are witnessing a flurry of emails and articles proclaiming victory after President Obama’s announcement that he was going to scrap George W. Bush’s plans to deploy missile defense interceptors in Poland and a Star Wars radar in the Czech Republic. There is no doubt that our peace activist friends in those two countries do indeed have reason to celebrate after their hard and determined work to stop those deployments. We also need to recognize and thank the many people around the world who acted in solidarity with them during these past couple years of intensive campaigning.

    But now that we’ve had a day to rejoice, the time has come for more reflection on what the Obama administration intends to do next. I’ve quickly learned during these eight months of watching Obama in action that when he gives something with one hand it is wise to watch what his other hand is taking away.
    -Bruce Gagnon”

    The rest can be viewed here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/gagnon1.1.1.html

    -Both the Obama administration and NATO are directly threatening Russia, China and Iran. The US under Obama is developing “a First Strike Global Missile Shield System”:

    “Along with space-based weapons, the Airborne Laser is the next defense frontier. … Never has Ronald Reagan’s dream of layered missile defenses – Star Wars, for short – been as….close, at least technologically, to becoming realized.”

    Reacting to this consolidation, streamlining and upgrading of American global nuclear strike potential, on August 11 the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, the same Alexander Zelin cited earlier on the threat of U.S. strikes from space on all of his nation, said that the “Russian Air Force is preparing to meet the threats resulting from the creation of the Global Strike Command in the U.S. Air Force” and that Russia is developing “appropriate systems to meet the threats that may arise.” (Rick Rozoff, Showdown with Russia and China: U.S. Advances First Strike Global Missile Shield System, Global Research, August 19, 2009)- from Globalresearch.ca

    Which can be viewed here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15622

  18. Obama Administration Accused Again of Concealing Bush-Era Crimes

    This is just (1) example of the Obama hypocrisy!

    http://www.truthout.org/10120912

    Nobel Peace Prize…..my ass!

    In less than a year, President Obama’s actions have significantly reversed the increased anti-Americanism and the decline in American influence that took place in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    LOL

    Mr. Goodman…are you serious?

    Sir wipe that brown stuff off your nose:

    http://www.opednews.com/author/author16458.html

    (((3)))

  19. John says:

    When I read this piece my first thought was, “What is this piece of crap doing on Jason Leopold’s site?” Then I read the comments and realized that other readers were thinking the same thing. You have an astute readership here Jason; we expect better from you. You are supposed to be the guy on the leading edge; hard-hitting, well-researched serious journalism. Even the editorials and commentary you publish has, until recently, been top-shelf. First Huffington Post turns to fluff, then Marc Ash starts printing drivel on Truthout. Those of us with more than one brain cell are not happy about this trend. Don’t go soft on us Jason. If you have a slow week and can’t produce anything edgy it is better for you to post nothing at all that to post fluff filler. Your readership is patient. Less is more if it is high quality. Please read the criticisms of this piece in the comments above mine, digest them, and demand better writing from your contributors.

  20. All

    Here’s an excellent related piece from Mathaba today that puts the (.) on this topic:

    http://www.mathaba.net/rss/?x=621824

    October Surprise – Peace Prize to a War Criminal

    The Nobel Committee`s tradition is long and inglorious, but for the well-informed no surprise

    by Stephen Lendman

    The Nobel Committee’s tradition is long and inglorious, but for the well-informed no surprise. Consider its past honorees:

    – Henry Kissinger;

    – Shimon Peres;

    – Yitzhak Rabin;

    – Menachem Begin;

    – FW de Klerk;

    – Al Gore;

    – The Dalai Lama, a covert CIA asset;

    – Kofi Annan, a reliable imperial war supporter;

    – UN Peacekeeping (Paramilitary) Forces that foster more conflicts than they resolve;

    – Elie Wiesel, a hawkish Islamophobe;

    – Norman Borlaug, whose “green revolution” wheat strains killed millions;

    – Medecins Sans Frontieres, co-founded by rabid war hawk Bernard Kouchner, now France’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs;

    – Woodrow Wilson who broke his pledge to keep “us out of war,”

    – Jimmy Carter who backed an array of tyrants and drew the Soviets into its Afghan quagmire that took a million or more lives;

    – George C. Marshall, instrumental in creating NATO and waging war against North Korea;

    – Theodore Roosevelt who once said “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one;” and

    – other undeserving winners….”War is peace,” what Orwell understood and why the award legitimizes wars and the leaders who wage them.

    After the October 9 announcement, The New York Times quoted 2007 winner Al Gore saying it was “thrilling” without explaining it was as undeserved as his own. Writers Steven Erlanger and Sheryl Gay Stolberg called it a “surprise.” For others it shocked and betrayed.

    Palestinian Muhammad al-Sharif asked: “Has Israel stopped building settlements? Has Obama achieved a Palestinian state yet?”

    Iyad Burnat, one of the West Bank’s non-violent protest leaders, “started to go crazy” after hearing about the award. “I asked myself why. The Americans are still in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Palestine is still occupied….Why didn’t (they) give the prize to (George Bush. He) worked very hard (for) eight years killing children, starting wars and supporting the occupation, and they gave the prize to (other choices). I think (the) prize makes the people more violent. Do you think that Obama can make peace….why didn’t (they) wait until he actually made” it.

    Straddling both sides, The Times said that the “unexpected honor….elicited praise and puzzlement around the globe.”

    It called it a rebuke of Bush’s foreign policies instead of explaining it legitimizes wars and conflicts, the same ones Obama’s pursuing more aggressively in Afghanistan and Pakistan under a general (Stanley McChrystal) James Petras calls a “notorious psychopath” – responsible for committing war crime atrocities when he headed the Pentagon’s infamous Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). No matter, according to Erlanger and Stolberg’s Times-speak:

    “Mr. Obama has generated considerable goodwill overseas (and) has made a series of speeches with arching ambition. He has vowed to pursue a world without nuclear weapons; reached out to the Muslim world (and) sought to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, at the expense of offending some of his Jewish supporters.”

    In fact, his speeches are disingenuous and lie-filled. He disdains peace. The renamed “Global War on Terror” is now the “Overseas Contingency Operation.” Torture remains official US policy. His administration reeks of Islamophobes. The Israeli Lobby remains comfortably dominant. Muslims are still target one. His ambition is global dominance. His method – imperial wars with a first-strike nuclear option.

    The Nobel Committee’s Twisted Logic in Announcing the Award

    It reflects Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

    Fact Check:

    In less than nine months in office, Obama has been confrontational through destabilizing belligerence towards numerous countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China, Occupied Palestine, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Somalia, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Honduras by deposing a democratically elected president and obstructing efforts to reinstate him.

    “Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

    Fact Check:

    America has the world’s largest, most threatening arsenal and global delivery systems. Besides Israel, it’s the only major power with a first-strike nuclear policy against any country called a threat. Its drawdown plans will replace old weapons with better new ones, and so-called “missile defense” is solely for offense.

    “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multinational diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions play.”

    Fact Check:

    Obama is pursuing the same policies as George Bush:

    – permanent wars and occupations;

    – record amounts of military spending at a time America has no enemies;

    – supplying arms and munitions to rogue state allies;

    – confronting independent ones with sanctions, belligerent threats, and more war;

    – subverting the rule of law;

    – pursuing a global jihad against human rights and civil liberties;

    – using Security Council pressure and intimidation to enforce policy and block constructive measures through vetoes; and

    – overall continuing America’s hegemonic pursuit of “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.

    Under Obama, “the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climate challenges the world is confronting.”

    Fact Check:

    Obama’s House-passed “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ is environmentally destructive, lets corporate polluters reap huge windfall profits by charging consumers more for energy and fuel, and creates new Wall Street bubble potential through carbon trading derivatives speculation.

    According to Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the “US stance retards progress at Bangkok climate talks” the way it’s obstructed earlier efforts.

    “Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.”

    Fact Check:

    Obama’s polices have weakened them at home and abroad. Torture remains official US policy. Muslims, Latino immigrants, and environmental and animal rights activists are repeated victims. So are peaceful protestors. Police state measures are still law and tough new ones are planned. Civil and human rights issues are nonstarters. Warrantless illegal spying continues. Health care reform schemes will ration a human right, and the new Swine Flu vaccines are covert bioweapons.

    “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”

    Fact Check:

    Under Obama, growing millions in America face poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness, despair, ill health, and early deaths at a time of permanent wars.

    “For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely the international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman.”

    Fact Check:

    Skirting the truth, the Committee’s twisted logic picks honorees who should face prosecutions for their crimes.

    A 110-Year Tradition

    Alfred Nobel (1833 – 1896) began it in 1901. Swedish- born, he was a wealthy 19th century chemist, engineer, dynamite inventor, armaments manufacturer, and war profiteer, later reinventing himself as a peacemaker.

    Past nominees included Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Tony Blair, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush. Mahatma Gandhi got four nominations but never won. Nor did three-time nominee Kathy Kelly and other deserving choices, passed over for war hawks like Henry Kissenger whose credentials include:

    – three – four million Southeast Asian deaths;

    – many tens of thousands more worldwide;

    – backing coups and despots;

    – stoking global conflict and violence; and

    – compiling an overall breathtaking criminal record.

    Others like:

    – Israeli leaders Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin matched him against Palestinian civilians;

    – Kofi Annan backed Western imperialism, years of genocidal Iraqi sanctions, the 2003 invasion and occupation, and the same lawlessness against Afghanistan; and

    – Al Gore, the 2007 choice, was infamous for putting politics above principles and made a career out of being pro-war, pro-business, anti-union, and no friend of the earth – credentials descriptive of Obama and his national security team, ideologically stacked with hawks.

    As a result, American war making continues, sanctified and legitimized under Obama’s peacemaker mantle. Or as CounterPunch’s Alexander Cockburn put it in his October 10 “War and Peace” article:

    The award is “a twist on the Alger myth, inspiring to youth (and future Nobel hopefuls): you too can get to murder Filipinos, or Palestinians, or Vietnamese or Afghans and still win a Peace Prize. That’s the audacity of hope at full stretch.” Nobel hypocrisy also by scorning peace in favor of war. The tradition continues.

    Stephen Lendman is a Mathaba Analyst. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

    Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

    (((3)))

  21. All

    Here’s an excellent related piece from Mathaba that puts the (.) concerning this topic!

    http://www.mathaba.net/rss/?x=621824

    October Surprise – Peace Prize to a War Criminal

    The Nobel Committee`s tradition is long and inglorious, but for the well-informed no surprise

    by Stephen Lendman

    The Nobel Committee’s tradition is long and inglorious, but for the well-informed no surprise. Consider its past honorees:

    – Henry Kissinger;

    – Shimon Peres;

    – Yitzhak Rabin;

    – Menachem Begin;

    – FW de Klerk;

    – Al Gore;

    – The Dalai Lama, a covert CIA asset;

    – Kofi Annan, a reliable imperial war supporter;

    – UN Peacekeeping (Paramilitary) Forces that foster more conflicts than they resolve;

    – Elie Wiesel, a hawkish Islamophobe;

    – Norman Borlaug, whose “green revolution” wheat strains killed millions;

    – Medecins Sans Frontieres, co-founded by rabid war hawk Bernard Kouchner, now France’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs;

    – Woodrow Wilson who broke his pledge to keep “us out of war,”

    – Jimmy Carter who backed an array of tyrants and drew the Soviets into its Afghan quagmire that took a million or more lives;

    – George C. Marshall, instrumental in creating NATO and waging war against North Korea;

    – Theodore Roosevelt who once said “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one;” and

    – other undeserving winners….”War is peace,” what Orwell understood and why the award legitimizes wars and the leaders who wage them.

    After the October 9 announcement, The New York Times quoted 2007 winner Al Gore saying it was “thrilling” without explaining it was as undeserved as his own. Writers Steven Erlanger and Sheryl Gay Stolberg called it a “surprise.” For others it shocked and betrayed.

    Palestinian Muhammad al-Sharif asked: “Has Israel stopped building settlements? Has Obama achieved a Palestinian state yet?”

    Iyad Burnat, one of the West Bank’s non-violent protest leaders, “started to go crazy” after hearing about the award. “I asked myself why. The Americans are still in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Palestine is still occupied….Why didn’t (they) give the prize to (George Bush. He) worked very hard (for) eight years killing children, starting wars and supporting the occupation, and they gave the prize to (other choices). I think (the) prize makes the people more violent. Do you think that Obama can make peace….why didn’t (they) wait until he actually made” it.

    Straddling both sides, The Times said that the “unexpected honor….elicited praise and puzzlement around the globe.”

    It called it a rebuke of Bush’s foreign policies instead of explaining it legitimizes wars and conflicts, the same ones Obama’s pursuing more aggressively in Afghanistan and Pakistan under a general (Stanley McChrystal) James Petras calls a “notorious psychopath” – responsible for committing war crime atrocities when he headed the Pentagon’s infamous Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). No matter, according to Erlanger and Stolberg’s Times-speak:

    “Mr. Obama has generated considerable goodwill overseas (and) has made a series of speeches with arching ambition. He has vowed to pursue a world without nuclear weapons; reached out to the Muslim world (and) sought to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, at the expense of offending some of his Jewish supporters.”

    In fact, his speeches are disingenuous and lie-filled. He disdains peace. The renamed “Global War on Terror” is now the “Overseas Contingency Operation.” Torture remains official US policy. His administration reeks of Islamophobes. The Israeli Lobby remains comfortably dominant. Muslims are still target one. His ambition is global dominance. His method – imperial wars with a first-strike nuclear option.

    The Nobel Committee’s Twisted Logic in Announcing the Award

    It reflects Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

    Fact Check:

    In less than nine months in office, Obama has been confrontational through destabilizing belligerence towards numerous countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, China, Occupied Palestine, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Somalia, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Honduras by deposing a democratically elected president and obstructing efforts to reinstate him.

    “Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

    Fact Check:

    America has the world’s largest, most threatening arsenal and global delivery systems. Besides Israel, it’s the only major power with a first-strike nuclear policy against any country called a threat. Its drawdown plans will replace old weapons with better new ones, and so-called “missile defense” is solely for offense.

    “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multinational diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions play.”

    Fact Check:

    Obama is pursuing the same policies as George Bush:

    – permanent wars and occupations;

    – record amounts of military spending at a time America has no enemies;

    – supplying arms and munitions to rogue state allies;

    – confronting independent ones with sanctions, belligerent threats, and more war;

    – subverting the rule of law;

    – pursuing a global jihad against human rights and civil liberties;

    – using Security Council pressure and intimidation to enforce policy and block constructive measures through vetoes; and

    – overall continuing America’s hegemonic pursuit of “full spectrum dominance” over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary, including with nuclear weapons preemptively.

    Under Obama, “the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climate challenges the world is confronting.”

    Fact Check:

    Obama’s House-passed “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009″ is environmentally destructive, lets corporate polluters reap huge windfall profits by charging consumers more for energy and fuel, and creates new Wall Street bubble potential through carbon trading derivatives speculation.

    According to Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, the “US stance retards progress at Bangkok climate talks” the way it’s obstructed earlier efforts.

    “Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.”

    Fact Check:

    Obama’s polices have weakened them at home and abroad. Torture remains official US policy. Muslims, Latino immigrants, and environmental and animal rights activists are repeated victims. So are peaceful protestors. Police state measures are still law and tough new ones are planned. Civil and human rights issues are nonstarters. Warrantless illegal spying continues. Health care reform schemes will ration a human right, and the new Swine Flu vaccines are covert bioweapons.

    “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”

    Fact Check:

    Under Obama, growing millions in America face poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness, despair, ill health, and early deaths at a time of permanent wars.

    “For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely the international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman.”

    Fact Check:

    Skirting the truth, the Committee’s twisted logic picks honorees who should face prosecutions for their crimes.

    A 110-Year Tradition

    Alfred Nobel (1833 – 1896) began it in 1901. Swedish- born, he was a wealthy 19th century chemist, engineer, dynamite inventor, armaments manufacturer, and war profiteer, later reinventing himself as a peacemaker.

    Past nominees included Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Tony Blair, Rush Limbaugh and George W. Bush. Mahatma Gandhi got four nominations but never won. Nor did three-time nominee Kathy Kelly and other deserving choices, passed over for war hawks like Henry Kissenger whose credentials include:

    – three – four million Southeast Asian deaths;

    – many tens of thousands more worldwide;

    – backing coups and despots;

    – stoking global conflict and violence; and

    – compiling an overall breathtaking criminal record.

    Others like:

    – Israeli leaders Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin matched him against Palestinian civilians;

    – Kofi Annan backed Western imperialism, years of genocidal Iraqi sanctions, the 2003 invasion and occupation, and the same lawlessness against Afghanistan; and

    – Al Gore, the 2007 choice, was infamous for putting politics above principles and made a career out of being pro-war, pro-business, anti-union, and no friend of the earth – credentials descriptive of Obama and his national security team, ideologically stacked with hawks.

    As a result, American war making continues, sanctified and legitimized under Obama’s peacemaker mantle. Or as CounterPunch’s Alexander Cockburn put it in his October 10 “War and Peace” article:

    The award is “a twist on the Alger myth, inspiring to youth (and future Nobel hopefuls): you too can get to murder Filipinos, or Palestinians, or Vietnamese or Afghans and still win a Peace Prize. That’s the audacity of hope at full stretch.” Nobel hypocrisy also by scorning peace in favor of war. The tradition continues.

    Stephen Lendman is a Mathaba Analyst. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

    Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

    (((3)))

  22. @John: I share your esteem for Leopold. I don’t see how you can praise TPR in one breath for independence, then demand absolute compliance with whatever it is you consider “edgy” in the next.

    So if it’s not edgy enough (for you), you’re telling him to shut up or you’ll throw a tantrum and storm off? What do you look for in a site, just something edgy enough for you, just looking for that thrill?

    Isn’t this debate right here and now the thing itself? We have differing positions, and we come here, to the public record, at least for my part, to lay out our perspectives and see where we have common ground.

    Can you summarize for us the urgent lesson from the linked articles? What is so abominable about the award that it provokes such vehement reactions?

    I think much of this argument has to do with the assumption that the Nobel Peace Prize, as I said above, is somehow a purely objective and absolutely unerring measure of “peacefulness.” May I ask, what are your assumptions about the NPP? How do you think it comes about: divine intervention? A direct downlink from the Vulcan Science Academy maybe?

    No, of course not, right? It’s the product of a committee of 5 Norwegians, not an edict from the gods. It’s their award, they get to award it for their own purposes. I was shocked, too, but now I can see merits I didn’t see before.

    So you disagree–great, but do we have to fracture to the root because of it?

  23. @Former Something or Other: What’s your response to the Pentagon’s targeting of us with weapons-grade propaganda?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    …[A]n AP investigation disclosed that the Pentagon is spending at least $4.7 billion this year on “influence operations” and has more than 27,000 employees devoted to such activities. At the same time, [Associated Press chief Tom] Curley said, the military has grown more aggressive in withholding information and hindering reporters.

    …The Pentagon’s Public Affairs Office has been one of the last redoubts of the Neoconservatives. Burrowed Bush era figures remain in key positions in the office, which had responsibility for implementation of some of the Rumsfeld Pentagon’s most controversial strategies in which the American public was targeted with practices previously associated with battlefield psy-ops.

    Pentagon Targeted and Mistreated Journalists
    http://harpers.org/archive/2009/02/hbc-90004359

    AP report cited in above article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29060453/
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Where’s the evidence supporting your rejection of Goodman’s description? After all we’ve been through, these guys get no presumption of innocence from me.

    If we allow the National Security State to assume complete control, we’ll have a de facto dictatorship with a faux democratic veneer.

    That we may have one already, IMO, is of far more concern than trying to divine the purpose of the Nobel committee’s award.

    BTW, if TALON was so innocuous, what response do you have to this news?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The latest NSA project is storage on a massive scale of everything—signals intelligence harvested continuously from all over the world. It represents one of the clearest examples of “capture” in the intelligence community. Contractors make equipment and sell it to the government at princely prices. The government agencies are always eager to own whatever the contractors can deliver to them. The investment in intelligence slides continuously towards these newfangled toys and away from human beings, particularly away from investment in human capital geared to digesting, interpreting, and understanding this massive flow of data. This process has been with us for some time, but in the Bush era, particularly under the questionable leadership of General Michael Hayden, it accelerated quite dramatically. Is the nation’s security enhanced by this process? To put it another way, is our intelligence very intelligent?
    http://harpers.org/archive/2009/10/hbc-90005898

    @dobropet: hey, now that’s what I call a comment, very nice, thanks for the effort. I’ve read many a good article on that site. I still disagree (see below).

    @Y’All: the NPP isn’t an award for saintliness. It isn’t given as a receipt for X amount of good works. It doesn’t come out of thin air. Read up on its history before you go, like I did in my initial reaction, making claims for the prize that the foundation would likely abjure.

  24. @John. Thank you for your comments and for the kind words you used to describe the type of journalism I practice. But let me make it clear that as the editor of this website I stand behind this story and felt it was important to add a positive voice to the debate surrounding the decision to award Obama a Nobel. I also published a report by Dave Lindorff that was critical of the award. My goal in doing this is to get my readers and others who may stumble across these stories to have an intelligent discussion about it. I’m still evaluating whether that goal had actually been achieved.

    I am well aware that you and others won’t always agree with the articles I publish on TPR. But I can assure you that when we do decide to publish a story here it is not because it’s a slow news day or week. Anyone who knows me and is familiar with my work knows that I gravitate toward hot-button issues. So if you’re reading a report on TPR, whether you agree with it or not, know that it has been published on this website because I find the issue itself to be of importance, underreported, or simply ripe for debate. A media outlet should in fact piss off it’s readers from time to time. That’s healthy and it’s also OK. I respect the differing opinions, whether I agree or disagree with them. Readers should express themselves when they take issue with the substance of the news being reported here. That’s what keeps me on my toes. So I am pleased that you decided to do that. I appreciate your comments and feedback. And I hope you will continue to read the work of people who, in my opinion, deserve to showcase their work on a larger platform. Melvin Goodman, the author of this column, is, hands down, one of the most important and intelligent columnists writing today. I urge you and others to take the time to read his body of work published on TPR.

    @Dave Parker; As always, thank you!

  25. Richard Wicks says:

    Hey Jason,

    What is intelligent about defending a President that has done nothing other than what Bush did?

    You might as well given Bush a tan, have him spout different *lies*, *promises* and *rhetoric*, and given HIM the Nobel Peace prize.

    Nothing has been changed since Obama has taken office, absolutely nothing has actually changed in our government or in our foreign policy. You can’t defend Obama without defending what Bush did. It’s just that simple.

    The only thing that matters is results and the result of electing Obama is the same result as having elected Bush. You might enjoy having Obama be able to talk like he’s got an IQ over 100, you may enjoy the promises of health care reform, and you might enjoy the little pat on your back about promises to close Guantanamo and end the war in Iraq, it’s probably nice to dream that the Patriot Act has been made constitutional and that the economic system is going to be reformed. I’m sure many people enjoy that “medicine” – placebos are often made from sugar after all. Yum yum.

  26. John says:

    @Jason and Dave Parker,

    I’m not arguing with the idea of posting both and con pieces on an issue like the Obama Nobel Prize. Actually I neither agree nor disagree strongly with the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Obama. The Peace prize is often very politically-motivated, and, although I would personally not be quite as cynical as Donald Truax about it, his points are taken, and supported by hard facts. The Nobel Committee has always seemed to march to the beat of its own drummer on this particular prize. That is the Nobel Committee’s problem; it shouldn’t pose a problem for the journalistic quality of this site even if Jason wishes to post pieces supporting both sides of this and other issues. If Jason wanted to post a decent piece in support of the Obama prize he could have posted Juan Cole’s piece of October 9, http://www.juancole.com/2009_10_01_juancole_archive.html This piece is decently supported with facts instead of fluff, as are all of Juan’s pieces. Alternatively Jason could have written the piece himself, starting with Juan’s comments about the importance of the reduction of tensions with both Iran and the Arab world, Obama’s apparently genuine intent to make some attempt to reduce nuclear arms proliferation and existing stockpiles, the softening of our tensions with Russia, and the promise of more multilateralism on the part of the US than was evident in the recent past. Jason could have rounded out this treatment by throwing in some info from the recent AP piece describing what members of the Nobel Committee themselves have to say about their decision (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091013/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_peace_obama). The strongest argument for giving the prize to Obama in my opinion was hinted at in this piece by suggesting that there really wasn’t anyone else who seemed to stand out as a candidate for this prize more than Obama at the time the decision was made. I am hard-pressed myself to think of a better candidate for this prize at this time, and I recognize that it had to be given to SOMEONE, so I am not really anti-Obama with regard to this prize. I just wish that the support piece that Jason chose to post had a bit less fluff in it and more substance.

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