I just finished re-reading President Obama's 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. Now I think I understand what our president has been trying to tell us right along; that war is not really war but that war is really peace. This is so reminiscent of a quote from Orwell's classic novel, "1984"; "The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous, war has ceased to exist. ... War is Peace."
But wait a minute. I still have some reservations and doubts in my mind about what his message really means. You see, in this eloquent speech, the main objective seems to be the justification of war by portraying an illusion of peace; So, let's further analyze his remarks about war and peace by recalling the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan by G.W. Bush, together with the escalation of the war in Afghanistan and the widespread use of drones in Pakistan by President Obama. These warlike actions have all been steps in the quest for peace -" right?
Therefore, the people of those nations should, at some point, finally begin to understand that they are a part of this honorable quest for peace. They have to put out of their minds the fact that hundreds of thousands of their countrymen have either died, had their homes destroyed, or have been forced into exile in neighboring countries; that they live in constant fear, that his is the price that they have to pay in the process of establishing peace.
Quite logically it follows that these people must further understand that in order to truly achieve peace they have to be controlled and pacified. That is sometimes very difficult for such people to accept but, over time, it becomes easier as they realize that it is for their own good. This, of course, is a part of the commonly used military strategy of "capturing" hearts and minds.
In order to continue this process to the intended objective of peace, it is also necessary to invest billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to build numerous military bases and to spend additional billions to train and equip the police and military in these nations to make certain that the programs of control and pacification of the citizenry are successful.
Was it the Taliban that was responsible for the despicable attack of 9/11? No, in fact, 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, two were Egyptians, one a Lebanese and one from the United Arab Emirates. If this is so then why did G.W. Bush order an attack on Afghanistan rather than Saudi Arabia? The obvious answer is that it would not have been justifiable to attack one of our primary suppliers of petroleum. So the Taliban, who actually did have some contacts with Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, became the primary targets; the insurgents, the enemy and the face of terror to America.
So Afghanistan rather than Saudi Arabia was attacked and the mission to hunt down no more than 100 or so Al Qaeda terrorists was undertaken by using a combination of NATO and U.S. troops to form a massive military force to fight a guerilla war. The Taliban were in control of that nation as they have been for a very long time and they weren't going to watch their country be invaded and occupied. So they had to be eliminated.
Back to his speech which I must say was masterful, using lofty rhetoric in trying to make his point. The speechwriter should be commended for a beautifully constructed message. But what this stirring message couldn't do is; it couldn't justify something that is unjustifiable. It couldn't make legal what constitute illegal acts; it could not portray something moral that clearly is not.
He attempted to sell the idea that peace can only be attained through the proliferation of wars. If all nations bought into his premise of using military force as a choice then world chaos would follow as each would become judge, jury and enforcer in disputes with their neighbors. He seems to be following the doctrine of pre-emptive war as developed by Bush/Cheney. He apparently has now bought into the theory that America has been given a mandate to determine what other nations can and cannot do, i.e., to be the self-proclaimed policeman and conscience of the world.
The most illogical part of his attempt to justify war is when he said, "To begin with, I believe that al nations -" strong and weak alike -" must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I -" like any head of state -" reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that "adhering to standards' strengthens those who do, and isolates -" and weakens those who don't."
What? Is he trying to say that America's history of wars, from the Korean War to Vietnam, to Cambodia and Laos, Somalia, Grenada, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan have all adhered to standards that govern the use of force? Apparently so, but that doesn't make it a true statement. What other nation, strong or weak, has a history of ongoing military conflict since the end of the only war in recent times that could be called honorable and justifiable -" World War II?
A succession of presidents from Nixon to Johnson to Bush Jr. and now Obama has used war as a rationale for peace. Do we recall the fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident that served as Johnson's legal justification for deploying U.S. combat forces, and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam? We certainly should remember the phony weapons of mass destruction that allowed Bush Jr. to attack and occupy Iraq. In all of these now proven falsifications, the media has worked closely with the government to convince the people that War is Peace and it has worked beautifully.
If Mr. Obama is truly a man of peace then why is it that all evidence is pointing to the attempts by his administration and the military to establish a permanent presence in Iraq? Why is it that the date for withdrawal from Afghanistan, originally set to be July, 2011, has been pushed back to 2014? And why did Defense Secretary Gates state that the U.S. may never withdraw from that nation. Is that what peace is supposed to be about -" the permanent occupation of sovereign nations?
Sorry, Mr. President, but the people of America are simply not buying into this worn out sales pitch. They have heard it all before too many times. You can't dress up war and make it look like peace. If you really want to be deserving of that prestigious award, you must take a courageous stand by ending these wars and paving the way for real peace. If not, please return the award, for it should be reserved for facilitators of peace; in the truest sense of the word.