Two of them, yes two are in the news today. Two awards announced that are so far into the realm of the absurd, the stuff science fiction is made of, that one must shudder at the realization, Orwell's "1984" has truly arrived, war has become peace.
The first news has circled the globe already, our president, Barak Obama, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination for this honor coming only days after he took office, prior to any accomplishments whatsoever. Hope inpregnated in the nomination itself. Hope.
What does that word even mean? One definition reads "something that is hoped for or desired" Yet another is slightly different "to look forward to with confidence or expectation"
The first definition goes to longing-coming from oppression in many cases. The second goes straight to expectation and confidence, in this case, Obama who ran on the slogan of "hope" was given the confidence by many who voted for him because they expected results for their longings to be fulfilled.
In the case of Palestine, if one were using this issue to influence your vote, there were two viable options this past presidential election, one of two men was going to win, either McCain or Obama. Ironically at the time, a poll was taken in Palestine where McCain came out on top slightly. I asked a dear Palestinian friend of mine at the time how this could possibly be the case. He told me that Palestinians have learned that they would rather have straight talk from a tough opponent than anything that is lofty and non-concrete. It took me a while for me to understand what he was telling me, but eventually I did. Placing hope in a politician due to lofty speeches is not at the end of the day going to guarantee anything. Improvement possibly could have been hoped for, relief from years of Israeli aggression propped up by America, never. As an American myself, I can only in utter shame and sadness agree. Would McCain have been doing anything better had he been elected? No. He wouldn't have put forth any effort like Obama has in my opinion, but the question begs to be answered, Obama has said many things and then back tracked. His settlement stance is one prime example, first he says no more settlements, then he backed away.
A defining moment in Obama's presidency has been his Cairo speech, the first American president to go straight to the Muslim world to address them. A much needed outreach after eight years of George Bush's Middle East policy which included the pre-emptive, illegal war on Iraq. Obama in his Cairo speech addressed the Palestinian/Israeli issue in the following excerpt:
The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.
Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed -- more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction -- or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews -- is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people -- Muslims and Christians -- have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they've endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations -- large and small -- that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own. (Applause.)
Oh how the speech was hailed. It's a moment in history! He took himself to the Muslim world in peace. You are going to have to show me though where his speech concerning Palestine was in any way significantly different than what George Bush said when he entered office. He also pledged efforts towards a two-state solution, albeit not as eloquently. 20-20 vision shows us that the Bush administration gave a blank slate to Israel-US efforts towards "peace" in Israel/Palestine were nil during Bush's tenure. One must remember though that at the time of the Cairo speech, Rahm Emmanuel and Dennis Ross had already been welcomed in by the Obama administration. Yes, Obama has sent George Mitchell who accomplished peace in Northern Ireland, yet on the other hand, through votes and pressure on Israel's puppet leader of the PA, Abu Mazen, voting on the Goldstone Report in the Human Rights Council was postponed until March. This is peace? This is "hope"? This is reaching out to the Muslim world?
"War is peace"-George Orwell. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize goes to President Barak Obama.
News yet of another award of the absurd has also been announced. The Dali Lama, winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, has accepted an award presented to him in Congress-the first ever Tom Lantos "Human Rights Award". (view the C-Span video HERE)To have the term "human rights" in the same sentence with the name Tom Lantos goes beyond the pale of decency. Tom Lantos who passed away in February 2008 was on record as being Israel's staunchest hawk in Congress. The Fanonite wrote:
Lantos was also an enthusiastic supporter of Operation Defensive Shield, Sharon’s war of terror on the Palestinians. According to one analyst, “Lantos isn’t just a Democrat who voted for the Iraq war, he was one of its co-authors…Lantos has never met a war he didn’t like. His unblinking defense of Israeli policy gives him tunnel vision with the rest of the Middle East.” Already in 2006 he was gunning for war; he wrote an article “Now or Never to Prevent a Nuclear-Armed Iran.” Lantos was also a prominent supporter of the School of Americas, where Latin America’s military dictators and would-be torturers were trained. Lantos played a key role in building Democratic support for the Patriot Act. According to the Jeruslame Post, he represents Israel in countries with which it has no diplomatic relations.
In further absurdity, in January of this year, during the massive Israeli offense on Gaza for which the Goldstone Report has found war crimes were committed, the Dali Lama spoke before a conference wearing a keffiyeh around his neck as he urged Israelis and Palestinians to "work together" (view video HERE)
Today the Dali Lama accepted a "human rights" award from the foundation of a man who over a lifetime in Congress voted for torture (his support ot the SOA) and war. The keffiyeh he wore in January is missing. Chameleon.
Today in Sweden, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Barak Obama, whose administration has like all past administrations done what Israel has "hoped", no "had confidence in" and "expected" the US to do, cover their crimes. "Hope"-yes this was his slogan.
"War is peace".-George Orwell
Postscript: China has accused the US of meddling in their affairs with the presentation of the Tom Lantos "humanitarian award". Note, Obama, todays Nobel Peace Prize winner, has not yet met with the Dali Lama, 1989's Nobel Peace Prize Winner. He is postponing meeting with him until after he meets with China's president next month.