Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Can you think of a worse winner? Why not give it to Bush? Obama hasn’t actually changed any US policies, he just uses different rhetoric. Bush, who we’ll assume the Nobel committee doesn’t like, waged war against Iraq and Afghanistan, bombed Pakistan, supported Israeli wars and rejectionism, supported two military coups (Haiti and Venezuela), the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopia, and blocked international action on climate change (climate change is relevant to the Nobel folks, given their award to Gore and IPCC). Okay, so Obama continues the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan (which he’s in the process of escalating), escalated the bombing of Pakistan, supports Israeli war and aggression (particularly in its rejection of the Goldstone report), supported the military coup in Honduras, is continuing US inaction on climate change, and is building new military bases in Guam and Colombia.

Obama has said that

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honoured by this prize – men and women who have inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

He’s right: except for people like Woodrow Wilson, Henry Kissinger, Al Gore, Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, Theodore Roosevelt and so on. Perhaps we can start a new category: the war cabinet of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

Naomi Klein is particularly critical on the issue of climate change.

What we’re actually seeing, as we speak, in Bangkok—this is the final day of two weeks of climate negotiations—has been extraordinarily destructive behavior on the part of the United States government, on the part of the Obama administration, absolutely derailing the climate negotiations in the lead-up to Copenhagen. Developing countries are absolutely shocked by what US climate negotiators have done. They have gone into these talks saying, you know, “We’re back. We want to reengage with the world.” What they’ve actually done is made a series of demands that would destroy the Kyoto Protocol and the binding emission architecture that was set up under Kyoto. So, to reward the Nobel Prize in the context of destroying the climate, where the US is destroying the climate negotiations, or threatening to, to me, is just shocking.

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