Friday, 11 December 2009
Obamacon's Peace Prize 2
Well, Obama's got his Peace Prize, although he's done absolutely nothing to deserve it.
But he has got a nice smile.
"Having been nominated for the peace prize after only ten days in office; having spent the previous three weeks as a president-elect who silently monitored the slaughter in Gaza; and having just assumed the role of commander-in-chief in two wars, for Barack Obama to then craft a credible way to accept an accolade as this year’s most celebrated man of peace, was always going to demand some rhetorical creativity.
Still, this surely ranks as a first: to use the peace prize ceremony as an opportunity to justify war.
Speaking in Oslo last night, Obama said: “the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.”
Only within a nation that has largely managed to insulate itself from the effects of war could such a statement be made.
Sixty-four years earlier, in the shadow of two world wars, Americans had a much greater interest in condemning war than in presenting arguments for its justification.
“… our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Robert H Jackson, on August 12, 1945, when laying out the foundation for the Nuremberg Trials.
How times have changed.
Obama pissed off Norway by refusing the usual invitations to a post-Nobel concert and lunch with the king, which duties more worthy prize winners have gladly undertaken. It's almost as if he snuck in, took the prize, and ran.
This photo, showing the most powerful man in the world, sitting smugly like a school prizewinner, says it all.