Here are five reasons why Obama might not have been the ideal winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. These are five of many others, but I have little time.
- Exerted political pressure to prevent the prosecution of Israel for war crimes committed during the 23-day illegal invasion of Gaza, in which 1,400 Palestinians were massacred, of which 900 were civilians, including 300 children and 115 women.
- Continued the imperial occupation of Afghanistan, supporting regular air raids which have killed thousands of innocent civilians (including many children), the result of which has been to radicalise previously peaceful men and women into supporting Islamic militancy, some of which is along the lines of Al-Qaeda. The net effect of these actions has made the threat of terrorist attacks against America more likely than prior to the invasion.
- Continued the Bush policy of allowing US troops to bomb ‘suspected terrorists’ indiscriminately within the borders of Pakistan. If one considers that the imperial presence and actions of the US in Afghanistan has already destabilised the region, and then adds to this the fact that Afghanistan shares a porous border with Pakistan (the local Pashtun tribes who have lived there for hundreds of years do not even recognise the border), plus the bombings within Pakistan itself, then it paints a rather bleak prospect for future peace. Not to mention that Pakistan suffers from profound internal strife and houses a nuclear arsenal, causing experts on the region to label it the most dangerous country in the world.
- Opened new military bases in Colombia, the official reason for which is ‘the war on narcotics trafficking’. Several studies have shown (though common sense is equally reliable) that such ‘wars’ on drug-trafficking are ineffective, that the US government knows this, and that it continues to use them as a front for other more insidious activities. Senior Colombian intelligence officials have informed Associated Press that in fact these military bases are nothing to do with narcotics, but will be used as hubs for Pentagon activity in the area. Historically what this has meant for Latin America is CIA-led overthrows of democratically elected governments and the installation of dictatorships. Not to mention that Colombia’s human rights record is abominable but that they receive enormous military aid from the US.
- Put in charge of the economic crisis in the US two men who played a significant role in creating it in the first place. Dean Baker, a respected US economist, likened the casting of Robert Rubin and Larry Summers into the roles of economy-overseers to ‘selecting Osama Bin Laden to run the war on terror.’ The bailout they orchestrated has been described by Naomi Klein as ‘a robbery in progress, the greatest heist in monetary history.’