In an act of almost unprecedented irony, the first African American President of the United States, Barack Obama, delivered what may have been the most imperialistic speech ever given by a U.S. president in Oslo on 10 December 2010 upon receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Obama’s peace prize speech, in fact, had little to do with peace, but rather took the form of a glorious justification of war, particularly the endless wars in which the United States has found itself involved over the past two hundred years or so. Obama traded heavily on the so-called “just war” doctrine to rationalize his bellicose pro-war words. “There will be times when nations will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified,” said Obama.
Given the fact that the United States is currently engaged in two illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which it initiated, and provides unconditional support to Israel in its lopsided war against the Palestinians, it’s hard to imagine by which criteria Obama was named the peace prize recipient. Not only does Obama support all three of these wars, but he just authorized an additional thirty thousand American troops to fight in Afghanistan. Furthermore, his war waging policies seem to differ little from those of his predecessor George W. Bush.
As further evidence of the degree of cynicism expressed by his Nobel acceptance speech, Obama even had the audacity to make reference to the Biblical concept of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It was as though Obama were the Emperor of the American Empire, and he had been invited to hold forth before some of his loyal NATO subjects in Norway. Knowing full well that NATO is a Cold War relic, they welcomed his redefinition of the NATO mission to include the possibility of intervention in various self-determination movements such as ethnic and sectarian conflicts, secession movements, and local insurgencies.
Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller took exception to Obama’s attempts to equate self-determination, particularly secession, with terrorism. Miller believes that Obama’s reference to secession was clearly aimed at Texas and other American secessionist movements.
As if to underscore the imperialist nature of his message Obama said, “Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.” And by inference he left little doubt that, “We shall continue to do so.”
Mr. Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech made a complete mockery of the Norwegian peace prize. Any future nominee should refuse to accept the prize on the grounds that it is a meaningless political sham.
Thomas H. Naylor
December 15, 2009