Friday, September 12, 2014

Regrets, They Had a Few...

.... but then again, too few to mention. 

Not that it would have meant anything in the grand horrific scheme of things, but reports that the Nobel Committee is now kicking itself in the ass over awarding Barack Obama the 2009 Peace Prize appear to be premature, if not entirely bogus.

Antiwar blogger David Swanson (or someone claiming to be David Swanson) today posted a purported missive from the "Norwegian Nobel Institute" which quotes one Thorbjorn Lagland as saying the committee joins with other Peace Prize winners "in expressing its regrets over the conduct of the 2009 prize recipient."

According to the Washington Post, the dead giveaway to the letter's fakery is that it contains the grammatical atrocity of “It remains the obligation of the Committee to disassociate itself from actions taken by laureates that frustrate rather than advancing [sic] the fraternity between nations." Also, there's the little issue that the head of the Nobel Committee denies both writing the letter and committing such a grammatical atrocity. So, either some underling in Oslo or actually anywhere could have punked David Swanson, or David Swanson could have punked everybody, or some punk pretended to be David Swanson and punked the whole Internet.

Not that he probably even gives a crap, but Barack Obama can now put his prize back on his nightstand where he can gaze upon it cynically every night before sleeping the sleep of the unbothered. Regrets? Say what?

"I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption,
 I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way."

The only Peace Prize the Nobel Committee has ever even hinted at regretting is the one given to Henry Kissinger in 1973, before his full, true murderous roles in the Chilean coup and the secret bombing campaigns in Southeast Asia were revealed to the world.The Nobel people will only allow that the Kissinger pick was "controversial." A prize once awarded may never be retracted, they say.  

Kissinger and Obama being honored as peacenicks have, in the words of Tim Lehrer, "made political satire obsolete."

But not irony. For alleged prankster/punking victim/satirist David Swanson also wrote a recent article about how to do fake news right. Oops. Those misplaced present participles will get you every time.


Cirze said...

As I read your essay I was thinking that the end of your sentence (instead of the Tim Lehrer quote) would be:

"made any candidate ever being awarded this honor in the future only depict themselves as charlatans more than ready to follow orders for war-making without restraint or ethical boundaries."

Because who would ever trust these guys' judgment again?

Kissinger and Obama being honored as peacenicks have, in the words of Tim Lehrer, "made political satire obsolete."

Pearl said...

Perpetual War Is Fine With the New York Times After All -

Denis Neville said...

Dr. Martin Luther King and Barack Obama as Nobel Peace Prize winners …

For Dr. King, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize gave him an even greater responsibility:

“I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission — a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for ‘the brotherhood of man’. This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances…”

“As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

President Obama argued for war in his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech:

“There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified. I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: ‘Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.’… But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by [King's and Gandhi's] examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history…. So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.”

Obama’s policies epitomize King’s grim warning in 1967: “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.”

Jay - Ottawa said...

Since the Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded in 1901, the Nobel Committee has been at a total loss on 19 occasions to find a worthy brow upon which to rest its laurels. You might then say, I suppose, that nobodies win the prize quite often. At least 19 times so far.

Try to understand the pressures on the Nobel Committee. Every year you’ve got the whole world to choose from and you still have to fuggedaboutit. A peaceable anybody anywhere is hard to find –– as we ourselves must surely know from personal experience.

So, give the Nobel Committee a break. We (who are peaceable types) should be more sympathetic and indulgent when the Committee, instead of voting yet again for another nobody, decides instead to scrape the bottom of the barrel to come up with an almost nobody like Kissinger and Obama.

Alfred Nobel made his fortune blowing up things (to include people) better than other arms manufacturers of his day. Great men and women of our time, in the spirit of ‘do as I do’ not ‘do as I say,’ carry on that Nobel tradition.

Now do you see the rapport between Alfie, Super K and BO? Hillaryhawk may soon be allowed to join that same club of almost nobodies.

David said...

My comment is about Obama putatively 'sleeping the sleep of the unbothered.' I think this is needlessly pejorative as I think it is evident that the President is one agonizing soul struggling with contradictions and conundrums the likes of which you and I will never have to face. It is rather clear that he is bothered, but he can't do....nothing. I think, rather, that whatever he does or does not, he sleeps the sleep of the damned.

Jay - Ottawa said...

How does he sleep nights?

He must be getting enough unbothered sleep, somehow. Otherwise, he would not be able to get up every morning year after year to face the world with a bright smile to carry on with betrayal, murder, deception and reliable service as the chief governmental accessory to grand theft by plutocrats at home and abroad.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I remember my husband telling me on the morning that Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. I seriously thought he was joking around. It totally cheapens what should be an incredible honour and commission, as MLK saw it, for the worthy recipients when politicians like Kissinger and Obama are given the prize. I mean, why not give it to Bush?

And I am with JayOttawa. I don't think Obama has any problem sleeping at night. If you want to see a president who agonized over decisions about what was best for America, take a look at photos of Jimmy Carter. THAT was a Nobel Prize Winner deserving of the honour.

Eric Veltri said...

So, You are saying that he is being forced to do immoral things and there is no way out of this predicament? That he cannot make a resignation speech and just resign? Perhaps the powers that control him have threatened to kill him and his family?