In my view, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Obama for one central idea. An idea so vital to world peace that the prize was not just deserved, but that it was in fact necessary.
That idea that Obama would restore American Morality.
Something that got dreadfully and tragically, and incredibly harmfully lost over the last eight years.
The lack of American Morality is far and away the greatest threat to world peace in the 21st century. Everyone agrees that America is the most powerful nation in the world. When the most powerful nation in the world, a nation that possesses enough firepower to end life on earth, loses it’s moral compass, it changes from a force for good to a force for evil.
Or evil like invading a nation for just cause…and then letting the people of that nation and your own soldiers languish ignored in a brutal eight year war/occupation while you go off to fight another war.
Another war not based on a just cause, another invasion of a sovereign nation, but this time not based on ANY cause. To the point where you have to manufacture evidence and lie to the American People and the UN and the world to justify invasion. Another invasion that by no stretch of the imagination has anything to do with keeping America safe.
Even though you had to use the immoral and incredibly ludicrous threat of a mushroom cloud to scare people into going along.
An immoral invasion in which you brutally kill tens of thousands of innocent men women and children….and when asked why you are killing innocent men women and children….you can offer no valid, or even good, reason for doing so.
We Americans view ourselves differently from how the world views us. We view ourselves as just and fair and righteous. As moral. We have to, it is human nature to view oneself as moral. But morality is not based on self-image. It is a SHARED concept, morality is an agreement.
This is right…and this is wrong. We agree that something is moral, or that something is moral. Many many countries have viewed themselves as moral, while the rest of the world has agreed that they are immoral.
The rest of the world, for the past eight years, has viewed us as an immoral military behemoth, projecting our ability to kill men women and children around the world on what amounts to the whim of an unbalance, insensitive and nearly sociopathic religious Crusader.
The rest of humanity sees us as a threat.
The rest of the world, the world that helps define what is moral and what is not for all humans, has been shocked at our descent into immorality. They view us differently than we view ourselves.
They have been forced by our actions under George Bush and The Republican party …
…to view us as a people who are willing to kill children for no good reason. As capricious bullies and invaders.
And if we look at the events of the past eight years from an objective point of view, or from their the rest of the worlds point of view, or god forbid, from the point of view of an Afghan or Iraqi child whose parents were just killed by an American soldier or a Smart Bomb or an aptly named Predator drone….it is damn hard to argue that America did not lose it’s morality.
It is immoral to wage Aggressive War, as we did in Iraq:
The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, called the waging of aggressive war “essentially an evil thing…to initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Article 39 of the United Nations Charter provides that the Security Council shall determine the existence of any act of aggression and “shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security”.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court refers to the crime of aggression as one of the “most serious crimes of concern to the international community”, and provides that the crime falls within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
It is unquestionably immoral to torture, which even though we refuse to meaningfully investigate ourselves for doing, the entire world…and we ourselves…know we did.
It is immoral to invade a country and occupy it. And after eight years, when you are STILL trying to figure out the very meaning and goal of your invasion…..while still killing the people of that country, it is an occupation.
We have no idea of why we are in Afghanistan at this point. We have no idea of what we are trying to accomplish. We have no idea of what goal can be met to allow us to leave…other than trying to immorally dictate to another country and another people what THEY should do to ….be moral enough for us to leave.
Yes, perhaps THAT is what we are doing there. trying to force the Afghans to get to a point where we consider them morally rehabilitated enough to not harbor “terrorists” who MIGHT attack America. Perhaps we are killing them to try to get them to be moral.
As we prop up an immoral corrupt government and as we allowed the reestablishment of the heroin trade, and as we assassinate women and children with Smart Bombs and invisible drones, and as we detain them in the allegedly FORMER torture prison at Bagram…with no rights and no trials.
While admitting that we have no real idea of what our mission and our goals are in that country.
While admitting that it is NOT the people we are killing who are a threat to the USA.
While admitting that our “real” enemies, Al Qaeda, do not even exist in Afghanistan in any real number.
While NEARLY admitting that our reason for being there now has nothing to do with the country we are occupying, but indeed is about an entirely different country, Pakistan.
While in the meantime….
Killing people who are only fighting us…
Because WE invaded their country, and for some unknown reason, they resent that.
By any objective standard, America has indeed acted immorally.
Now Obama is trying to restore America’s morality. Thus the Nobel prize.
But since America DID torture, DID illegally invade another country, and continues to occupy yet another country with no clear goal in mind for that occupation, he is trying to restore America’s morality while being trapped in the continuing immoral actions “necessary” …to bring those immoral actions to an end.
Including being politically trapped into not addressing the most immoral act of all, torturing other human beings to death.
In a domestic atmosphere where not only is he being urged to undertake MORE immoral actions, such as escalating the killing in Afghanistan, while a significant number of his constituents are not even aware that America has acted immorally.
The lies, rationalizations and denial of the past eight years have allowed Americans to believe…incredibly enough…that even though they have illegally invaded a nation, tortured people to death, and continue to occupy and kill people in a nation where we have no idea why we are there….that we are still a moral nation.
When under George Bush, America violated nearly every, if not all, moral codes known to mankind.
As Obama struggles to find a moral answer to the problems of Afghanistan, and struggles to find a politically viable way to address the deep immorality of torture….
Even the attempt to rebuild America’s morality back from the depths it sank to under George Bush….is indeed worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The choices he makes in America’s current spotlighted moral challenge, who to kill and how to kill them, in Afghanistan will be the foundation that either crumbles the last vestiges of America’s morality….or will be the cornerstone on which we begin to build a new American morality for the rest of the 21st century and beyond.
Let’s hope that he is worthy of the trust we have placed in him and the award for Peace that he has just received.