Thursday, December 10, 2009

My accomplishments are slight

Obama got his Nobel. He gave a speech. Possibly the most war-mongering Peace Prize speech ever. At one point he got carried away and declared war on Norway. Apostrophe-less transcript.

UNLIKE THOSE POOR SCHMUCKS AT GUANTANAMO – SAY, DIDN’T I PROMISE TO SHUT THAT PLACE DOWN?: “It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations — that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate.”

HELL, KISSINGER AND BEGIN, IF IT COMES TO THAT: “Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize — Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela — my accomplishments are slight.”

In this long speech, he couldn’t not mention Iraq. Once. Let’s watch him try to slip it past, shall we? “I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 43 other countries — including Norway — in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.”

TO REPLACE WHICH ONE WITH THE OTHER? IT’S PROBABLY BEST TO BE CLEAR: “And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict — filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.”

WELL, WITH SECOND MAN, BECAUSE WAR WITH JUST ONE MAN ISN’T AS MUCH FUN: “These questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man.”

SOME PEOPLE (SIGH) THOUGHT GETTING RID OF GEORGE BUSH WAS A GOOD START: “I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war.”

Dude brought Will Smith with him.

Much of the speech was about the concept of “just war.” He’s in favor of it. “We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

“As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life’s work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence.” AND I WILL SPIT ON THAT WORK IN 5... 4... 3... 2... 1... “But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their [King and Gandhi’s] examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.”

HERE’S THE MESSAGE FROM YOUR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER: WAR IS, IN FACT, PEACE: “So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.”

TO REITERATE, WAR IS PEACE: “I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war.”

YET AGAIN, WAR IS PEACE: “The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice. That is why NATO continues to be indispensable.”

I DON’T THINK THAT WORD, “ORDERED,” MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS: “And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed.” That claim is becoming about as ridiculous as Bush’s claim that “we do not torture.”

He talked about the need to slap down Iran and North Korea, global warming, blah blah blah.

HE WAS FOR HOLY WAR BEFORE HE WAS AGAINST IT: “Most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint — no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or even a person of one’s own faith.” But earlier in the speech he denied the relevance of the non-violence of Gandhi and King because “make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world.” And it is just – some might even say holy – to go to war against evil. “A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaida’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.” Cynicism, hypocrisy, you say potato...

We’re getting to the end, so let’s bring out some of that ol’ Obama inspirational magic: “So let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees he’s outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.” And then the soldier who sees he’s outgunned calls in an air strike and blows her and her child to pieces.

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