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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/13/13

Give that Nobel back, Barack!

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Over one hundred thousand people worldwide have signed petitions calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to return the Nobel Peace Prize he was so unfortunately awarded early in his presidency, based primarily on some speeches he had made, not on any meaningful or concrete accomplishments. Even at that time, some four years ago, many peace activists questioned why the Nobel Peace Prize Committee would take such a premature and unwarranted action, by making an award which has since proven totally unjustified.  Perhaps they had had too much Aquavit to drink.  In any event: Give that Nobel back, Barack!

Here is what the Huffington Post said in a column posted by Norman Solomon on April 4, 2013:   The Nobel Peace Prize that President Obama received 40 months ago has emerged as the most appalling Orwellian award of this century. No, war is not peace".consider the absurdity and tragedy of the world's most important peace prize honoring the world's top war maker.  This week, a challenge has begun with the launch of  a petition urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee to revoke Obama's Peace Prize . By midnight of the first day, nearly 10,000 people had signed. The online petition simply tells the Nobel committee: "I urge you to rescind the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to Barack Obama."

Those words were published early this April, and by now the number of people demanding the return of this unjustified award has taken several quantum leaps.  There are also now other worldwide petitions being circulated, calling upon the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to rescind the Obama award, if it is not returned voluntarily.  Let us look at the facts:

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has increasingly and illegally turned those wars (supposedly ended in Iraq some time ago, and supposedly ending soon in Afghanistan) over to generously-compensated private military contractors, with maximum impunity and immunity from any atrocities and war crimes they are increasingly likely to commit.

In Syria, the United States has failed to even impose a no-fly zone over areas of conflict, while more than one hundred thousand innocent civilians are killed, some likely by banned chemical weapons.  Our reasoning is fundamentally flawed  by fears that some of the Syrian rebels may support Al Qaida, resulting in no vital humanitarian actions being taken.

Over the Middle East and elsewhere, unmanned American drones kill and mutilate people seemingly indiscriminately, with no Congressional or other oversight, in violation of many international conventions -- and, most recently, over the express objections of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

And, on the home front, the Obama Administration spies on Americans via monitoring their phone calls and emails, under some vague decree from a secret court with no Constitutional basis.   Anyone seeking to expose such fundamental violations of our rights suffers charges that range up to treason.   Whistle-blowers and others have seemingly become enemies to  our top national leadership, deserving harassment and even prosecution.  Instead of the oft-promised transparency in government, we have a host of hidden abuses of our basic rights.

President Barack Obama has indeed done immense damage to the cause of peace at home and abroad, making himself totally unfit to receive any Nobel Peace Prize--he should return it, with apologies.  That position needs to be taken by the G20 nations meeting in Europe early in September. That position needs to be communicated forcefully to President Obama by the world leaders at that summit meeting.  And, if the American President fails to return his unwarranted and undeserved medal, the Nobel leadership should demand it back.  Sadly, Barack Obama is making a mockery of his Nobel  award -- and, far worse, he seems to be making a mockery of the cause of regional and world peace itself.  

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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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