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He’s Earned It—for Now

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Posted on Oct 9, 2009
Obama
AP / Gerald Herbert

President Barack Obama enters the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday to remark about being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

By Bill Boyarsky

Congratulations to the Norwegians for having the wisdom to give President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.

He’s earned it. In Obama’s nine months as president, he has put U.S. relations with Russia on a more constructive course; has seen Iran agree to open its nuclear facility near Qom to international inspection; and, despite Israeli and Palestinian intransigence, has kept the two sides negotiating with America’s dogged envoy, George Mitchell, who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.

More than that, he has brought the United States back into the world community after eight years of Bush-Cheney chauvinism and scorn for America’s allies. As the Nobel committee said, “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and the other international institutions can play.”

Mystifyingly, many main-line journalists are offended. How dare the Nobel committee give it to such a neophyte? “Not even a Rookie of the Year is ready to be elected to the Hall of Fame,” wrote George Packer of The New Yorker. The brief journalistic euphoria when the rookie was inaugurated as president seems now forgotten. “The award has essentially been given for the president’s speechmaking ability,” John Dickerson wrote in Slate. Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Jonathan Martin concluded that “President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is quickly turning from a singular honor into a gold-medal headache, as even supporters call it premature and critics say it proves he’s a darling of the international elite.” (Weren’t FDR and JFK darlings of the international elite? And some of them were charmed by Ronald Reagan, too.)

The left seems downright outraged. Richard Kim wrote on The Nation’s Web site, “Obama doesn’t deserve the prize, yet.” Kevin Drum blogged on the Mother Jones site, “... [T]he guy’s been in office for slightly less than nine months. That’s barely enough time to make a baby, let alone bring world peace.”

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Obama himself was humble. “To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace,” he said. “But I also know that this prize reflects the kind of world that those men and women and all Americans want to build, a world that gives life to the promise of our founding fathers.”

Obama said he knows the prize “has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.”

But, in fact, in Obama’s short time in office, his achievements have been substantial.

He killed the Bush administration plan for a missile defense—a radar installation near Prague and 10 missile interceptors in northern Poland—aimed ostensibly at Iranian missiles. The old Iron Curtain countries regarded it as protection against Russia. Russia considered the plan a provocation and a threat. It was an unnecessary provocation—especially since there wasn’t much hope the thing could ever shoot down a missile. And its elimination permitted the United States to work with Russia on a much more immediate issue—Iran’s nuclear buildup.

Obama was able to announce that Iran would open its nuclear facility at Qom to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency. He also announced that Iran would ship low-grade nuclear fuel to another country—it turned out to be Russia—for processing. Iran said it would ship 1,200 kilograms of the 1,500 kilograms it had, leaving a store in Iran insufficient to build a nuclear bomb. By doing this, Iran would become one of several nations using the Russian international enrichment center, perhaps taking a step toward joining the world community.

“The administration deserves congratulations for its adroit diplomacy,” Gregory L. Schulte wrote in Foreign Policy. He said it “might represent an important diplomatic breakthrough.”

And while few—including the Israelis and Palestinians—expect success from Obama’s Mideast peace efforts, he has pushed ahead. Perhaps it reminds him of the beginning of his presidential campaign, when hardly anybody gave him a chance. Whatever the reason for his persistence, his envoy George Mitchell was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when Obama’s award was announced.

Don’t sell the effort in Israel short. Obama and Mitchell are as stubborn as Netanyahu. And, as Mitchell showed in Northern Ireland, he is an incredibly patient and smart man.

One thing is clear: Obama brought a view of the world that was absent from Washington during the Bush years. As Obama said during the presidential campaign, he regards negotiation as a sign of strength, not weakness.

And don’t discount his speeches and his message of hope. Thorbjorn Jagland, the new Nobel committee chairman, compared the Obama award to one given in 1971 to a man with a message that seemed more hopeful than practical. He was Willy Brandt, then the West German chancellor, who advocated an “Ostpolitik” policy of reconciling with East Germany. “Brandt hadn’t achieved much when he got the prize, but a process had started that ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall,” Jagland told The New York Times.

Critics have an argument against the prize going to the president—the Afghanistan war.

The day Obama won the peace prize, The Wall Street Journal reported, he was scheduled to meet with his war council to discuss whether to increase the number of troops there by 40,000 or 60,000.

If Obama leads the country into a hopeless war to support a corrupt government—with no attainable goal and no end in sight—then his Nobel will indeed be tarnished, an ironic note in the history of his presidency.

But I don’t think it will happen. In his short time in office, he has shown he understands the world better than some of his more experienced predecessors. The Nobel Prize will help him and his administration to do even more.


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thebeerdoctor's avatar

By thebeerdoctor, October 18, 2009 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

sorry that the link on 12:)9 does not work. Try this instead:
http://www.oskarblues.com/

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By thebeerdoctor, October 18, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

re: ardee

Funny that you mention beer in a can. Aluminum can beer has come a long way from its notorious metallic taste history. The Ball Corporation, originally from Muncie, Indiana, now a worldwide concern with a headquarters in Colorado, competes chiefly with REXAM, who can a lot of the European and Canadian beers.
The story goes that a water-based sealer was developed awhile ago that prevents the liquid content from ever actually touching metal. This concept has been put into bold action at the Oskar Blues Brewery, in Lyons, Colorado, who put all of their craft brewed creations into aluminum cans.
Perhaps the reason beer still tastes metallic is because people drink directly from the can, instead proceeding with the slower but more urbane practice of pouring the beer into a glass.
From a Beer Doctor perspective, one of my favorite events, is the spring return of the inexpensive, but very quality, Genesee Bock from Rochester New York, sold, you guessed it, in Ball corporation aluminum cans.
My only prayer is thank you.
http://www.examiner/x-241-Beer-Examiner~y2009m9d16-52-
small-craft-brewers-put-beer-in-a-can

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By ardee, October 18, 2009 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor, October 18 at 6:04 am

When speaking to the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the Obama Presidency I suppose a discussion of racism is unavoidable. Regrettable but unavoidable.

I will not attempt to deny the obvious, that racism exists still in this nation. Heck it exists here in this forum, along with other ‘isms’ that keep us separate and unable to join together to effect change.

Yet a critique of the first year of the Obama Presidency should not bring charges of said racism, nor should the fact that enough of us voted for him, or against the absurd McCain/Palin ticket, to give hope that we are beginning to emerge from the darkness of hatred and stupidity. Judging this Presidency is a political act and only that. I know that you understand this , I make no judgment of your post , only a ramble because this is on my mind all the damn time.

As to your unfortunate incident, it reminds me of my only encounter with a robbery attempt. I had just moved to San Francisco, was living in a rental owned by a Baptist Church, and in a working class neighborhood called “the Fillmore” nearby to the Haight district.

The store on the corner had a great selection of beers, fortunately for my tastes ( no cans for me thank you very much). I had just bought a six pack of Heineken and was crossing the street towards home when I noticed two individuals approaching from either side of the street. I grabbed the handle of the six pack inside the bag, and , when the one fellow asked for my money I hit him upside his head with that sixer. Down he went, the other guy ran and the beer was intact too!

Moral? Heck no, well maybe don’t buy cans of beer…I do not drink aluminum.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 18, 2009 at 3:04 am Link to this comment

Cartoonist Gary Trudeau who use to portray George W Bush as a talking empty Spartan helmet, now refers to President Obama as The Great Hope Machine, a computer system that need to reboot from time to time…
The two extreme portrayals of President Obama are: He is the greatest thing to come along since the invention of sliced bread. Or, he is the sly brown skin devil ready to sneak into your bedroom home and abscond with your virginal fair hair daughter (which is also why bullet sales have gone through the roof).
But you simply have to love a “democratic” system that will spend a billion dollars to decide who gets to be the latest chief executive dingbat.
But OPERATION FEAR knows no end or quarter. The people who voted for Obama because of their fear of McCain/Palin reveal that it is not only the ultra hawks who genuinely fear the boogie man,
When The Great Hope Machine crashes, it is time to reboot.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 18, 2009 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Thank you KDelphi for checking out my rather personal post, well not really personal, just reality again. Sorry to hear about you being robbed, but you are correct the cops, as Hunter Thompson put it “are as useless as tits on a boar hog”.
But idea of this country being a democracy? That exists only in the imaginations of office seekers. But the full story of my recent incident, actually does not permit me to bathe in a pessimistic pool of piss, because there were plenty of people who showed genuine concern for my condition, which only served to remind me that it is people, on a human to human level, where all creative and compassionate actions take place.

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By KDelphi, October 17, 2009 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Does anyone really believe that the uS is a “democracy” anymore? We were supposedly founded on “revolution” but people in the uS only like “revolution” now if it happens somewhere else—preferably far away, where we can cheer them on on twitter or something.

beerdr—scary nonetheless! I was robbed a few years ago and the cops were fricking useless! I even found my jewelry—my mom’s wedding pearls and an old diamond engagement ring—in a pawn shop ,and the police wouldnt confisacate thme or make them hold them for me or anytihing! Didnt have any money, (change)but a friend of mine was robbed at the city bus station about 2 wks ago, and they took his entire disabled vets check, which is way too little anyway.

Thwy should at least rob people in the wealthy part of town! lol Do you still design beer? Just wondering…off topic, too, but wtf….

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By thebeerdoctor, October 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

I thought I would share a true story that happened to me last Saturday night (October 10):
I walked 2 blocks from my house to purchase some beer to have while watching the Iowa-Michigan football game. On the way back I was jumped from behind and had a large chef’s knife placed on my throat, were my assailant said in as real and corny as it gets “Give me your money or your life!” Which I did (the money that is) but unfortunately for my robber, it was only the dollar I had in change. At first the angry street thug did not believe the truth of the matter, but when he realized it was so, he pushed me down and took a 16oz can of Genesee Ice Beer, which costs about fifty cents. Total haul for this violent street robbery: One dollar and fifty cents!
Someone a street over, saw the tail end of this situation and called the police, which I knew was a total waste of time. But since a citizen in the neighborhood was taking civic responsibility, I figured the only decent thing I could do was to be a responsible victim.
What this entailed was two hours of cops, questions and some interesting police radio chatter: “Attention all units, suspect in armed robbery. a black male, five foot eight, around 30 years old, last seen wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt with white writing on the front, armed with large knife and possibly carrying a black and silver Genesee Ice beer can…”
Needless to say it was mostly a waste of time. A Citizens On Patrol member who was on a ride along in the cop car asked me: “Don’t you hate that bastard who assaulted you?”
I thought about it for a moment and then I said: “Pathetic is a better word for it.”
Which I later realized how ironic and pathetic it would have been if this ridiculous hateful chap would have murdered me for a buck and a half. In one sense perhaps it was providence that I was chosen to be the so-called victim. I shudder to think what would have happened to somebody older, or simply less prepared for when something totally insane from the outer universe comes screaming in unannounced. My older brother, who recently suffered a massive heart attack, told me after hearing about my exciting personal adventure in true crime, that an incident such as this would have caused his weakened ticker to totally crash.
If a person has something happen like this, where there is a distinct possibility of catastrophic results, it would be way too easy to slide into a psycho-babble swamp, where you have to go to some Dr. Phil and share your “issues” with his studio audience. But all the talk about racial vulnerability, socio-economic considerations seems totally useless, when you consider the banality of the whole thing. Violently evil and stupid? Yes but not worthy of any more attention. Musical composer Willie Dixon had a phrase that said “that’s evil going on” and there is plenty of that in this world to go around.
I could lie and say I was so traumatized by being touched by this murderous intent, that it forced me to change my life to the point that I assumed a new career. A beer swilling James Ellroy if you will, where I focus to the point of obsession, on the dark underbelly of American life and pysche.
But then again, no way Jose! That is just downright silly. Too much time and attention is already wasted on the actions of the criminally inclined. It’s been a money maker in Hollywood ever since the word “film” has been used to describe a movie, and not the oily slick found floating atop a kettle of broth.
Is this post completely off topic of this thread? Yes and consciously so. There is nothing like adventure on a Saturday night.

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By no mans land, October 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

KD:

One last thing. At this point, the venus project is just a thought experiment—a theoretical concept. So was democracy at one point, though. There are problems with it for sure, but the question is if its a greater or lesser evil if put into practice. Would love to a social experiment that tests the concpets some day.

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By no mans land, October 17, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

KD:

Essentially they believe that scarcity, first injected into the money supply and by consequence our access to goods and services, makes people compete for goods and services that would otherwise be in abundance. Take away the scarcity and you take away the need to compete. Take away the need to compete and you take away the need for suspect behavior to procure them. That the greed argument.

Hatred is probable a bit trickier but it falls along the same lines. I think of it like this. Hatred is not the opposite of love. Apathy is. If we hate, its because its because something we love is threatened. Name me an atrocity and I’ll show you that the prime mover was because someone believed that they would have to do with less because of another with very few exceptions. In fact, the only exception I can imagine is hatred toward homosexuals. That has a cultural element that is derived from the sexual identities we are socialized into. Most other ofrms of racism are born from other elements: poor people taking our money, Mexicans taking our jobs, and the abolishon of slavery as a threat to the number one staple of the South. Hatred certainly go away over night, but perhaps over time with less of it in the world, such hatred would not be bred into us from birth. Right now, education is more of a job creation factory than an education. Eliminate that and we can get back to really learning about the world around us.

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By KDelphi, October 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

NML—I am reading some of it—alot to read! Is this true, or wishful thinking?

“Human behavior is subject to the same laws as any other natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviors, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry, patriotism and hatred; these are all learned behavior patterns. If the environment is unaltered, similar behavior will reoccur.”

I am not certain that greed or hatred belong in there…interesting stuff, although it looked like Petri Freiedman’s “plastic island uptopia” at first—its not, really….

Good article by Fisk.

thebeerdr—I like the way DN’s Goodman’s guest put it the other night—“pretending that it is working” or that it can work

SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK: No, what interests me is, for example, Paul—sorry, Paul Krugman said basically the same thing, which tells us a lot about how ideology works today. He said, what if we make a mental experiment, and all the leading bank people, managers and so on, were to know how it would end two years ago? He said, let’s not delude ourselves; there would have been no change. They would have acted in exactly the same way. ....


This brings me, as a psychoanalyst, into the play, because I think this makes us aware as to what extent our everyday dealing is controlled by what in psychoanalysis we call the mechanism of fetishist disavowal. “Je sais bien, mais quand même…” “I know very well, but…” You know, we can know very well the possible catastrophic consequences, but somehow you trust the market, you think things will somehow work out, and so on and so on. It’s absolutely crucial to analyze this, not only in economy, but generally. This is the focus of my work: how beliefs function today. What do we mean when we say that someone believes? ...


...So that I don’t get lost, let me tell you a wonderful story, which is my favorite story. I quote it also in the book. You know Niels Bohr, Copenhagen, quantum physics guy. You know, once he was visited in his country house by a friend who saw above the entrance a horseshoe, you know, in Europe, the superstitious item allegedly preventing evil spirits to enter the house. And the friend, also a scientist, asked him, “But listen, do you really believe in this?” Niels Bohr said, “Of course not. I’m not an idiot. I’m a scientist.” Then the friend asked him, “But why do you have it there?” You know what Niels Borh answered? He said, “I don’t believe in it, but I have it there, horseshoe, because I was told that it works even if you don’t believe in it.”


That’s ideology today. We don’t believe in democracy—nobody. You make fun of it and so on, but somehow we act as if it works. It’s a very strange situation….(ad libbing here)
... You know, there is a level of obscenity, but this shouldn’t deceive ud… We really live in cynical times, not just in this cheap sense they don’t take themselves seriously, but in the sense that—how should I put it?—the ironic self-undermining, making fun of yourself, is in a strange way part of the game. It’s as if the system can function even if it makes fun of itself..”

I admit he rambles some, but I think that some is “lost in translation”...
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/15/slovenian_philosopher_slavoj_zizek_on_the

In any case, it was a very interesting interview, in case you missed it.

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By no mans land, October 17, 2009 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

KD:

No Sweat. Hope the C.D. went well. You are dean on with your analysis of the banks. The monetary system is a slave ship…

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By KDelphi, October 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

NML—did not mean to ignore, had my own little civil disobedience to do. Probably a waste of time, but, I feel better.

I certainly do not think that the US govt is unique in its guilt. Certinaly the west has done more than its share , in the last couple of centuries. I also object strongly to who aLlways pays for and fights, these wars. It is a (selctive) attention (to) deficit disorder, to keep paying for war and banks and saying that the budget must tbe “deficit neutral” for social programs, when the banksters have just scammed the working classes of life and limb—but, hark!! recruiting among jobles is up! Any intention there you think? It seems very clear to me.

I will check out the link you gave.

Also will check out other links here, sigh, my pc is so slow…

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By ardee, October 17, 2009 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor, October 16 at 10:40 am

I think you have a point, especially as one who currently collects a social security check the fourth Wednesday of each month. I am a lucky one, in that I still work a regular job at 68 years of age. I say lucky because I love the damn job and think retirement for sissies….

It is hard indeed to understand this decision by our “populist president”....But then again I think him an incompetent.

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By Ray Duray, October 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Hi ardee,

You wrote: “I believe that things must get bad, even worse than they are now, sad to say, before a general uprising can occur.”

Revolutions are born of empty bellies.

My simple rule of thumb is that as long as the lumpenproletariat in America can afford one “Happy Meal” a day, there will be no revolution.

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By MarthaA, October 16, 2009 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”Nobel Peace Prize Citation via Reuters

Objective evidence to dispute all the subjective blather by the envious and jealous Right-Wing Conservative Movement against the Left and liberals.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 16, 2009 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

re: Ardee

I think the non-COLA payment to Social Security benefits next year spells the end of Barack Obama’s Presidency.Even a $250 bone being thrown will not cut it, because so many of the elderly and disabled are barely getting by now. Odd too when you think about it, because the COLA was created during the Nixon administration, and there has been a COLA stipend ever since 1975… until next year. Funny too was how often it has been said that Social Security is the third rail of American politics, and it seems somewhat strange that a President considered to be quite intelligent, can not see the folly of such action, no matter how much it is justified by CPI bean counters who use gasoline prices as the ultimate index for judging the rate of inflation. So it has been said that actually prices have stayed the same for many consumer goods, except that the portion size has been downsized tremendously. A perfect economic slight of hand, or so the clever ones in the federal and state governments believe. Even Americans who pay little attention to politics will notice when their money does not go as far, despite any alibis or speeches.

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By ardee, October 16, 2009 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

The Beer Doctor posits:

@Ardee Speaking of tough, reality has a way of exposing lies into dust. Maybe it is just my own peculiar observation, but it seems lately that many people are fully aware of the deception and fraud taking place, in government, business, religious institutions, banking, insurance and real estate… but unable to do anything about it. So a kind of consumer driven Utopian vision has taken the place of rational action.

I think we are in a transitional phase in American politics, if not in world wide reactions to selfish and sold out leadership. Rather than late belief stymied by rampant consumerism I see such addiction to cheap plastic crap as a major reason why such understanding of the way we are ripped off comes late to us all.

A population fearful of losing its jobs, its easy and (not so) cheap credit, is docile and easily manipulated. When millions have lost their jobs, when many more millions are facing huge credit debt load and rising interest rates, lowering credit limits and the overall unscrupulous practices of an industry that thinks changing the terms of a contract mid stream is a wise and profitable business practice, the previous fear factor becomes reality. Thus people can begin to focus upon the realities of their (our) situation.

I believe that things must get bad, even worse than they are now, sad to say, before a general uprising can occur. I hope for a peaceful revolution as should every honest and humane activist, but fear it shall not be so.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 16, 2009 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

@Ray Duray: Thanks for the Engdahl link. A true examination of General Wesley Clark’s war in Bosnia and Serbia is rarely. if ever mentioned these days. Instead the retired General works diligently as the promotional voice of the ethanol industry, claiming that production of corn for fuel does not deprive people of food in any way. I will always remember that time during an interview with Amy Goodman, he told her that cluster bombs were a humanitarian weapon. A startling oxymoron to be sure. Almost as startling as when Madeline Albright was asked about the sanctions against Iraq which caused the deaths of at least a half million children, she replied that it was a tough decision but that it was worth it.

@Ardee Speaking of tough, reality has a way of exposing lies into dust. Maybe it is just my own peculiar observation, but it seems lately that many people are fully aware of the deception and fraud taking place, in government, business, religious institutions, banking, insurance and real estate… but unable to do anything about it. So a kind of consumer driven Utopian vision has taken the place of rational action. There is a great need to feel good even when there is very little to feel good about. So it is not surprising that Oprah style redemption is in vogue. For many people, the day Ms. Winfrey gave each audience member a new car was a glorious day indeed. And why not? In an advertising media driven society, the demographic subjects are suppose to be in a permanent state of continuous, slight dissatisfaction, so what is more honorable than a member of the ownership class bestowing gifts upon the less fortunate?
It is difficult to grasp the reality that the United States operates in a condition of permanent war. This is not helpful for the freedom and peace narrative that actually does not exist, but people are afraid to admit this, having been programmed and intimidated by authority so long that they become unconscious of its presence. Just take a look at the FBI warning when you put on a DVD. Authority knows you are a criminal and it is up to you to prove to them that you are not. To the Corporate State, the citizens are a threat that must be controlled.
And a very funny thing about this, it is not even about weapons. In the most heavily armed population in the world, where the majority actually supports increased totalitarian measures, the folks they feel most threatened by are the essentially powerless (a good example is the continuous stake burning of ACORN) which have been transformed by media demagoguery into very fearful demons. The Indian writer Arundhati Roy once remarked that there is an assumption amongst the elite that if you are poor, you are more than likely a terrorist, right from the start.Pay no attention to the bin Laden $ billions.
Everybody is pretending to not be pretending.

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By Ray Duray, October 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

To thebeerdoctor,

Your faint hope if fulfilled. I just finished the Robert Fisk item on Obama’s humbling win in Oslo.

Fisk is one of my favorite open-eyed observers. I recall that during the NATO bombing of Serbia a decade ago that aside from targeting the Chinese embassy, the Serbian TV station and the odd bit of infrastructure that the main targets of Gen. Wesley Clark’s sharpshooting bombardiers turned out to be the industrial plants that Anglo-American corporations had failed to steal from the Yugoslavian communists in the chaos following the fall of the U.S.S.R.

It was an eye-opening moment for me when I read that. Funny how that news never made it into the corporate American media.

If you like Fisk’s writing, I can recommend F. William Engdahl to you. His new book, “Full Spectrum Dominance” is another eye-opener about the true nature of America’s imperial ambitions.

http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/

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By ardee, October 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

This is not my dear Ardee a question of conservative versus liberal. hawk versus dove, but a matter that concerns the universal human condition and each person’s need of that recognition. Euphemistic language such as “boots on the ground” “enemy combatant” “terrorist insurgent” are cleverly constructed dodges to prevent the enablers and participants of the enterprise from ever observing what a deplorable meat sausage grinder all of this is…

Rather vividly descriptive, if unfortunately accurate, my dear Doctor. I do believe this is a battle of two forces though, those that have the power and choose to exercise it to make themselves even wealthier and more entrenched, and the rest of the world.

One might consider this an evolutionary trend perhaps, if unwilling to make it purely political. I prefer to make it political if only because I do not know how to deal with or alter evolution.

The cryptic terms for cannon fodder were invented for a reason, a political reason in fact. The omission from our media of that recent gathering in Washington DC, ten thousand strong, to ask for real health care reform, was unreported for a reason as well.

We the People of this planet are engaged in a great war, one that is waged unbeknown to most I fear. As the natural resources become scarcer, as the population increases, the haves will struggle even harder to rip off the have nots. Perhaps this will lead to an awakening, or merely an extinction.

All things are political.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 15, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment

re: Ardee

Realism can be very tough. Mr. Robert’s unflinching assessment is from someone who has been reporting on The Great War For Civilisation for a painfully long time.
You have to love the false portrayal of peace activists by the established media, as pie-in-the-sky dreamers. When the actual folks who continue to expose this murderous fraud known as war, point out the gruesome facts about the actual consequences from implemented policies.
This is not my dear Ardee a question of conservative versus liberal. hawk versus dove, but a matter that concerns the universal human condition and each person’s need of that recognition. Euphemistic language such as “boots on the ground” “enemy combatant” “terrorist insurgent” are cleverly constructed dodges to prevent the enablers and participants of the enterprise from ever observing what a deplorable meat sausage grinder all of this is…
Hope? Yes it is possible. But first there is that hurdle of knowing that realism bites. Then, just maybe, people will break free from the shackles of illusion reinforced by national-religious-ethnic bias, and see, as the infamous Rodney King once observed, “That we are all stuck here for awhile.”
PEACE: an action for the living.

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By dihey, October 15, 2009 at 4:06 am Link to this comment

I wonder what the members of the Nobel Peace Committee had been smoking. To award the Peace Prize to a person who made clear during the Presidential Race that he would not end the war in Iraq and would expand the war in Afghanistan is weird unless you believe that these actions foster Peace on Earth.

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By ardee, October 15, 2009 at 3:29 am Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor, October 15 at 1:29 am

Hope springs eternal…...I read it and I applaud it.

If I have any criticism of that article it would be that it gives no hope or path to success. Perhaps that is not the authors responsibility but articles sans hope are hopelessly ineffective.

If we cut off Israeli foreign aide until such time as that nation demonstrates an ability to function as a humane and caring member of the world community perhaps progress might occur.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

I post this link from a Robert Fisk article from October 10,  with the faint hope that some on Truthdig will actually check out what the veteran Middle East correspondent has to say about this sorrowful charade:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-obama-
man-of-peace-no-just-a-nobel-prize-of-a-mistake-1800928.html

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By no mans land, October 14, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

Certainly did not mean to lump you in with red staters. Apologies.

I’ll have to give you’re suggestions some thought. Of the cuff, I’d say that world wide class struggle/war is what we have now though and its proven to be quite a hamster wheel. Though I find your ideas of removing the prime movers very interesting.

Not sure if you’ve ever heard of it, but there is something called the “venus project” that you might be interested in. Its a radical idea but I think all real progress starts out that way. Essentially, they advocate doing away with all monetary systems. They believe that the earth provides everything we need in abundance and that scarcity is a self-imposed economic hardship meant to inflate monetary value. In short, they believe that technology is what truly changes the human condition and that through technology we can manage our consumption of resources responsibly and cohabitate with earth with an abundance of goods and services at no cost to anyone. Check it out.

http://www.thevenusproject.com/a-new-social-design/resource-based-economy

In the mean time I’ll leave you with this. I do not believe its accurate to suggest that every time the US gets involved that we are inherently guilty while others are inherently innocent. There is plenty of blame to go around in this world. What I believe we must realize, and what I think you’re getting at, is the dawning of a new era. The World Wars ended the romantic period. Until that point, war was seen simply as the way the nations and empires solved business disputes. It was “normal.” Following those wars attitudes changed and with the exception of the Bush movement most now see it as a horrible thing. 

In present day, business itself seems normal and the natural way in which goods and services are procurred. Perhaps its time for another sea change? I could go for that.

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By KDelphi, October 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

NML—I am NOT “red state”—if I seem a little defensive, it may be because I keep being accused of that here for just be anti-interventionist and its not true. My state was “red” for DOMA and Bush,  blue for obama.
I had voted for Cinton (couldnt do it again with Obama)and thought that the Balkans were a great idea at the time. I just dont think that the uS ever plays a uselful role by invading—ever. It always turns out to be for financial reasons, and, the people that benefit from them never fight them..

I am anti-interventionist, for reason I stated. You probably hve studied more thoroughly than I, but, I submit that what I learned in Peace Studies still applies—there is ALWAYS a better way to work it out. If there is not, our intervention just causes more bloodshed and our business elites make alot of profit and our whole economy is based on war “balloons”. It will stop , whether we decide it must or not.

Food stamps and charity are great until you have to live on them. We take and take from the working classes to bail out Wal St and then offer them food stamps and Medicaid. We allow business to drain someone’s retirement, take their home and offer them charity—that is not justice. We do “urban renewal” (worldwide) and assume that “peasants” living in other countries are just “dying” (literally) fror some good ole Merkin enterprise. The planet is ugly and poorer as a result.

In place of social programs, I propose that food, shelter, clothng, etc are human eirights. I also propose eocnomic justice in the form of closing down Wall St , stopping colonialglobaliztion (we have too many of our own problems to fix others)and just LET OTHER COUNTRIES alone! we are noT helping and the vast majority of our interventions involve thousands of civilians deaths, starvation and, replacement of local industries with McDonalization.

We may be close to wanting the same things, but we have vastly differnt ideas about how we get there.

I believe that worldwide class struggle is the only way for world justice and peace. If we dont take back from the oligarchs, they will kill us all. I think that the poor in Afghanistan have more in common with the poor in the US than they do anyone in either govt. It seems to be the military industrial complex’s job to see that they dont realize that.

The military oligarchs have no idea how to fix any of this, and McChrystal now has our soldiers acting like social workers! They arenot trained for it and its not working. Its the old “hearts and minds” trick

Since both Euroworld wars, all the uS has done is to “intervene”—maybe we should try something else.

Dont you think?

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By ThomasG, October 14, 2009 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

“Congratulations to the Norwegians for having the wisdom to give President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.”

“He’s earned it. In Obama’s nine months as president, he has put U.S. relations with Russia on a more constructive course; has seen Iran agree to open its nuclear facility near Qom to international inspection; and, despite Israeli and Palestinian intransigence, has kept the two sides negotiating with America’s dogged envoy, George Mitchell, who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.”

“More than that, he has brought the United States back into the world community after eight years of Bush-Cheney chauvinism and scorn for America’s allies. As the Nobel committee said, “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and the other international institutions can play.”

I agree with the above statements by Bill Boyarsky.

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By spirit equality, October 14, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://nobelprize.org/nomination/peace/process.html

The deadline for being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is in February of the year in which the award is given. That means Obama’s nomination arose based upon his action in his first few days in office. That is patently absurd. Obama did nothing in his first 10 days in office that justified being nominated as the person who did more for promoting world peace from February 2008-February 2009 than anyone else on earth. That is ridiculous on its face. He should not have been a nominee at all, nor should his nomination have been seriously considered, based on that simple fact alone.

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By no mans land, October 14, 2009 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:

I don’t think we’re on such different pages as it might seem. I am simply advocating incremental steps to get to the same point and I believe the first step is to decentralize military power from any one nation. Such a step would require wide international consensus before large scale military operations could be waged.

Very few in Europe that I’ve spoken with are big on keeping American bases on their soil—with particular emphasis from the Irish. In fact, of the people I spoke with, many of whom hailed from all over Europe, most of us were in agreement that the primary problem is the nationalism that comes with borders on a map. I just think that both Americans and Europeans have been taking a rather short-sighted view of history. Europe has not had to raise large armies due in no small part to the U.S. as a result, their economies and cultures have vastly changed since WWII. We, having a large standing military and being on the brink of war for so long evolved in oppioste fashion. All I ask for is the chance to similar changes that a respite from military responsibilty in the world would bring.

I consider the Balkans a very rare success story.  One of the things I often tell my red-state neighbors is that sometimes what we see is not as important as the things we don’t see. For example, social welfare programs such as food stamps, wic, and public housing play a large role in social stability. If not for those programs, we would likely be seeing not only higher crime rates, but higher food prices as those people would surely be forced to steal large quantities of food. Nor do most of us hear gunshots at night when we come home from work because of the stability those programs provide.

I’m not arguing to be the world’s police force. Quite the contrary. Being the ‘most powerful’ military, the tendency is for others to expect us to do most of the heavy lifiting and dirty work. By demanding that the EU, and others in this world, shoulder more of the burden and responsibility, we will not be the sole solution anymore.

My point about the Balkans was that sometimes, military intervention can prevent greater evils from happening. It is important to remember that the two most costly wars in human history started with European conflict. I stood on the very spot where Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. It was the singular event that sparked the WWI powder keg. The war in the Balkans was beginning to spill over into places like Macedonia and threatening Hungary. In fact, we had American peacekeepers in Macedonia keeping an eye on the conflict from the start and Hungary was more than happy to provide staging bases, training areas and logistical support to mission in Bosnia.

With traditional allies of the Russians being threatended and Russia itself already destabalized from the demise of the Soviet Union, the concern was that Russia may enter and expand rather than contract the conflict.  Had the conflict gained momentum throughout the European continent again, we easily could have seen World War III break out. Had that happened, we would not be sitting here talking about healthcare reform today. We would be talking about how to avoid planting in radio-active soil, if we were here at all.

We’re not on such different pages. At heart I am a pacifist and humanist. That said, due to my personal experiences, I have set out to learn how and why conflicts and wars arise. It was a primary focus of my studies. I absolutely believe that had nothing been done to contain the conflict in Bosnia, GW would have been the least of our worries. Its one of the few things I think Clinton got right and I’m glad he did.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 14, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

How many meetings have I missed?
http://www.alternet.org/story/143226/dick_gephardt’s_fall:_how_a_progressive
_stalwart_turned_into_a_spectacular_political_sellout

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By thebeerdoctor, October 14, 2009 at 4:55 am Link to this comment

Eased tensions in the Mid-East? In what way? By giving a speech in Cairo, extolling the virtues of all three pillars of the desert god tent?
Brought the U.S. back into the family of nations? Which family is that? The one that continues to complain about Muslims’ desires for nuclear weapons, yet will say nothing about the hydrogen bomb arsenal in Israel?
So I gather that essentially, President Obama was awarded the Prize by the Nobel Committee because basically he is not George W. Bush, and actually has an actor’s rhetorical language skills. Downright elegant this President can be at times; remember the “fierce urgency of now”? From one Nobel laureate to another.
Much has been made of the relentless rightwing attacks on the president. Well who was it that wanted to have a dialogue and invited their input? That very same man who found time as a candidate to make an appearance with Rick Warren and the money sucking operation known as the Saddleback Church.
Some folks complain about people who have complaints about President Obama. In a corporate profit-driven society it is surprising that anybody has any standards at all. You know the drill: WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY INDEPENDENT THINKING IS DANGEROUS REPORT ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS
But I say old chap, aren’t those some of the new instructional phrases found in that latest runaway best seller: “The Mendacity Of Hope”? Or perhaps I just missed a meeting.
How many meetings have we all missed?

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By ProfBob, October 14, 2009 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

One former Norwegian prime minister is head of the Peace Prize Committee. Another commented on the award to Obama at a reception at the South African Embassy the night of the award. He said that Obama has brought the U.S. back into the family of nations. That, of course is a major accomplishment in just eight months.
Last night (Oct. 12) on Norwegian TV, the former UN representative from Norway Jan Egelund said that no one has done more for peace this year than Barack Obama. He has eased tensions in the Mid-East, relaxed tensions with Russia, committed the U.S. to climate change, and brought the U.S. back into the UN.
Those are actions, but detractors, who don’t understand the history of the Prize, say he has only talked of peace. But even if he had not done anything his words have been important. Words must come before action—they guide the action. Obama has, through his words, relaxed world tensions, and given hope to the world. Through his actions he has rejoined the UN by paying the dues. 
The Dalai Lama got the Prize for advocating the freedom of Tibet through peaceful means. As holy as he is, Tibet is still not free. Desmond Tutu advocated the peaceful end of apartheid. He probably played a part, but he was not the major player. Heck, in Jesus’s 3 years he just talked—except when he threw the Pharisees out of the temple. So obviously the hard Republican right wouldn’t back their Christ for the prize!  But for Obama deeds AND words are obviously not enough!

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By MarthaA, October 14, 2009 at 12:25 am Link to this comment

President Obama not only earned the Nobel Peace Prize, he earned the support of the Nobel Peace Committee forever.

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By KDelphi, October 13, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

nml—I think that the decline of Euro-American dominance is over and the sooner NATO accepts it and disbands, the better off we will be.

It turns out that (parts of)Asia is alot better at this “Capitalist thing” than we are, being able to act “as one nation” while we play with this Merkin individualism crap. There is no real national unity here and Alabama could not be different from NYC if it were another country *(which I wish it were)Whether we like it or not, Asia has already taken over the old Eurocentric dominance in alot of the Third World—as you probably know they make huge investments in local economies (I am not sayng it is all out of the goodness of their hearts)and, they dont demand military bases, at least so far, as far as i know

So we are on totally different pages here.Perhaps Ireland is different, but, did you ask anyone in the EU (on th e street) whether they wish us to keep military bases there? not the govt’s the people.

Because when I was in Western Europe (on a WorkCamp—my Eurailpass did not go to Ireland or the UK and was paid for by WC), they didnt seem real crazy about us, at least in a military sense. I dont think that Europeans are going to spend more money on military (why should they?) and cut social services for a second. The populations there would never put up with the standared of living that half the population does here.

Why are the uS and EU responsible for world security, and, if they are, how is that not Imperialistic? Dont get me wrong—my family is from Europe—I loved it there. But, it seems to me , that, if given a choice between militarism or standard of living in Europe—it wouldnt even be close.

Why doesnt it matter how the Balkans are doing now? It is not that long ago. Why is it “our job” to intervene? Why shouldnt China intervene, if they want? Is Russia not Europe’s ally now? Why dont they intervene?

The uS had better learn quicly that being World Police is neither workable nor desirable.

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By no mans land, October 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

I think I would have to disagree with you, at least on Bosnia. Not because I was there and I “need” to believe it was a good thing. The Europeans were unable to end it and the entire continent was desperate to get us in there. NATO wouldn’t go in without the US. The Europeans seemed powerless to stop a very nasty little war that was happening in their own back yard. Once the US committed, the Europeans also committed and the Dayton accord was signed by all the combatants.

The truth is that there was almost no fighting after we went in. In fact, we had very strict rules of engagement and often weren’t allowed to fight back. I think one of the hardest things in the world is for a Soldier to be put in harm’s way only to be told he can’t do what he was trained to do, even though we were being shot at. Of course I’m thankful for this now, but at the time it was quite a bitter pill to swallow.

There were some Amercians killed, mostly by landmines and accidents, but some due to hostility. It was absolutely a manage toi of genocide before we got there though. That I can attest to.

As for Serbia, I was not there for that one. My personal opinion is that part of that war was caused by a miscalculation on the part of the Serbs. Historically, the Russians have always come to their rescue, which is how WWI started. Given Russia’s big brother history with them, they’ve often felt empowered to take things to the next level and they certainly did with the Bosnian Muslims and the ethnic Albanians within their borders.

On the flip side, our actions there also had eveything to do with soldifying and expanding NATO and stopping the return of the Soviet Union. In that sense, you are right, it was quasi-imperialism, though that term implies that we annexed the region which we haven’t done. Those countries are joining th EU, not the US.

In a conversation in Ireland I had back in 2007 with a group of European travelers at the height of the Bush admin, I laid out what I hope we are starting to see now. I told them that for 50 years, the US provided an umbrella of defense while they rebuilt and invested in their populations. While they were implementing social programs, our money was going outward toward defense. I also told them that I don’t think any nation can sit on the brink of total war like we did during the cold war without having it impact every aspect of their lives. As a result, our economy, our politics, and our culture all became very militaristic. And, I told them, that is something we need to deal with. But I also told them that I bleive the day is coming when Americans begin to demand more of the Europeans. Its time for them to step forward and shoulder some of the burden for our common defense that we’ve been providing for them. Its time for us to finally begin investing in our own people again.

We will not get rid militarism overnight. However, with a shared and more egalitarian dispersion of power, we can ensure that no one nation, especially our own, ever drifts into the imperial mindest you speak of again. We need the Europeans to help more in this world. And we need to invest at home and begin healing ourselves so that we may return from the long respite we’ve taken from our common humanity.

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By Laugher, October 13, 2009 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

You mention 3 reasons why he deserves the peace prize. two of them are ridiculous on their face, and the other is a minor trivial issue

Ridiculous on its face is saying he deserves a peace prize for treatment of Israel/Palestine.  Especially when he makes the United States the Pariah of the international community by blocking the Goldstone war crimes report

Next on the ridiculous side is saying his handeling of Iran deserves the peace prize.  Obama did not “get Iran to agree to inspections.”  Iran agreed to inspections despite the United States, and Iran’s reward for keeping with the terms of the NPT is more sanctions and threats of violence from Obama, who made a complete ass of himself at the G20

Third on your list was at least a real event.  The ending of some of our missile defense programs in Eastern Europe.  But that really wasn’t a decision about peace with Russia, it was an internal decision made because the missile defense crap doesn’t work and is just a waste of money.  Not to mention that polls showed people in both Czechoslovakia, Poland and the United States opposed our missile program.  So it was useless and counter productive in every way.  It was totally in his interest to to do it, it wasn’t an act of peace.

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By KDelphi, October 13, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

nml—Yeah, the “peace” was negotiated here in my hometown—how many civilians died? (I know we didnt lose many—if any—soldiers) How are the Balkans doing now?

Only a firm Democrat would still pretend that the balkans were a success.

“...Actually, Biden’s visit might be making things worse for the quislings. Not only is he presenting them with an impossible demand to accelerate their agenda, his presence is serving as a lightning rod for the opposition. Already there are posters across the country telling Biden to “Get Out of Serbia” and “Yankee Go Home.”

Both American diplomats in Belgrade and their lackeys in the Serbian government like to talk about “friendship” between their countries. Had Washington really wanted Serbian friendship at any point between 1989 and 1999, all it had to do was ask. But asking is not something empires do. Instead, it demonized, bullied, bombed, and occupied. And then it was “concerned” that the Serbs might have taken it personally!

The policy Joseph Biden’s visit is supposed to further is predicated on America’s asserted ability to create reality and compel obedience by force. Though it may appear at times that this effort has paid off, and even approached success, it is never wise to bet against reality and its annoying habit of triumphing in the end….”
http://original.antiwar.com/malic/2009/05/19/biden-does-the-balkans/

As a (former) member of the Democratic party, I used to believe that “‘Merkin intervention for the good” was good for the world. Watching all of these years, I dont buy that crap anymore. We are bankrupting our own working class (and they do all the fighting—I wish some of these interventionists would join the fricking Marines) killing others. I fail to see how this advances “peace”.

The “Merkinization” of the world benefits intl corporations only—we need to “de-globalize”—its been a sham and a lie all along. The “melting pot” is a sham—I prefer the multi-culturalism of Canada and other more advanced countries (if I could afford to move, I would). We need to preserve ancient cultures, not McDonaldize them. You assume that they want ‘Merka to intervene , or , that the uS is intervening to “help the people” ,although, time after time, the Third World watches as we (supposedly unintentionally—the multi-natls know better!) make things worse for the poor..

Poor of the world unite and draft the Ivy League!

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By Ed Harges, October 13, 2009 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Obama will not deserve any sort of peace prize until he breaks definitively from
these two cardinal tenets of the US’s pathologically stupid foreign policy:

(1) that any war undertaken by the US, no matter how stupid and unjust, must —
once started — be “won”; and

(2) that furtherance of the national interests of the Holy State of Israel must ever
be the central concern of US foreign policy, no matter who has to die in the
process, and no matter what it costs the United States.

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By @CT, October 13, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

KDelphi writes:
“The Estate Benefits Recovery isnt just about when people on Medicaid die—it is the fact that you must maintain resources under $1500, minus house (which allows McMansions in) and that any family member or friend who helps you on any regular basis can lose their assets also.

It prevents many from working and prevents them from saving assets to go to school or making any plan to become ‘not indigent’ in the future (Unless you get a PASS—Plan for Achieving Self Support) and those are few and limited. It prevents those on Mediciad from marrying anyone who has any assets above indigent levels. It prevents them from moving from state to state.

Medicaid is shameful in that it exists ...”

—> If the former Democrats increase Medicaid—while CUTTING it at the very same time—by a single soul, and call that “reform”, every one of the “Democrats” deserves to be hung upside down in the village square with his/her garments in disarray.

Until that happy day, those who are still in denial about Der Won might wanna read the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ApB-7j__DY

Video: Candidate Obama’s Promises on Iraq War, Gitmo, Habeas Corpus & FEMA Justice

On February 11, 2008, then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) made a campaign stop at College Park, MD. This was the day before the Democratic presidential primary in Maryland. At this event, Sen. Obama promised a cheering audience at the Comcast Center: “I will bring this [Iraq] war to a close. In 2009, I will bring our troops home. It is time for the Iraqis to stand up and stabilize their country. We cannot have a permanent occupation in Iraq…We are going to close Guantanamo and restore Habeas Corpus…No more FEMA Justice…We are going to have…a Justice Department that believes in Justice. And, you will elect a president who has taught the Constitution, and believes in the Constitution and will obey the Constitution of the United States of America.” For background on the Feb. 11, 2008 rally, check out: http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/16834/index.php For how President Obama has waffled, dodged and/or broken many of his campaign promises, see: Author/Activist David Swanson’s commentary, “Not What Obama Promised,” at: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Not-What-Obama-Promised-by-David-Swanson-090720-253.html and http://open.salon.com/blog/behind_blue_eyes/2009/05/22/obama_proposes_indefinite_preventive_detention_without_trial and
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/11/bagram/ and http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/2009/05/15/obama-reinstates-bush-kangaroo-courts/ and
http://news.antiwar.com/2009/09/15/obama-seeks-patriot-act-extensions/

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By Jean Gerard, October 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now we’re getting down to basics, talking about what causes wars, and certainly the profits from arms sales is a big one and has to be dealt with a.s.a.p. if not before.  Problem:  The US economy is more or less dependent on war industries (jobs and power).  Problem:  The American people believe in wars as the best way to “keep the peace” and “exploit resources” and keep “America First” in money and power.  Problem: Corporations have been allowed to dominate American politics for at least 100 years. Problem:  American people think that our economic system is better than anyone’s.  Problem:  It will take time to clean up this rats’ nest.  Problem:  Few people want to help with such a dirty, dangerous job.  Problem:  It’s easier to complain, diagnose, poke fun, let George do it.  George Who?  Be careful what you let happen; you might get unexpected consequences—again. I pledge allegiance to hope, compassion, knowledge, and justice for all—or words to that effect.

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By no mans land, October 12, 2009 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Kdelphi:

Military inteverntion stopped the genocide in the Balkans. Granted, they had a negotiated peace settlement before we entered, but the fact is that the UN was unable to affect the situation while NATO did. For my part, I think we would do better to identify the elements that lead to it and solve them before it reaches that level. Much smaller investment than military action too.

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By mike112769, October 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

PROLE: I stopped reading the posts after I read yours. Yours said all that needed to be said. Spot on, sir.

Obama winning this joke of a prize was a farce.

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By KDelphi, October 12, 2009 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

noman’sland—The “answer” , I would suppose, is for the US to stop colonizing Third World countries (including its own) ie ‘globaliztion of trade mkts” and selling weapons to EVERYONE. I realize that that would be hard on our No 1 industry, but we must be strong and remember that “were al in this together”.(so, if you need something—take it!) Please tell me when US intervention has stopped a genocide (we still havent intervened in Darfur)or “given people democracy” and dont say WWII they already had a much more advanced one than ours, minus Hitler.

Ray—Skol and Id have a light, but Carlsberg doesnt make one in Denmark and the ones in the US taste like piss..btw I have a very old pc, but since we are in this together , I am going to take yours. Or (one of)Obama’s

FT—Thanks you, I accept and I will give the prize money to Democracy Now (Amy Goodman)


I am pretty certain that few here would suport the Taliban’s “excesses” in religion, but, we have Mormons, “born agains” and are in no position to be preaching to others. MOst of all, there is no evidence that killing more people solves the problem! NOr does handing out bibles in Arabic (esp to people who speak Farci (sp?)With help like ours, who needs enemies..Japan. Korea and the EU are all sick of our military and want us out. Neo-liberal “well-intended” intervetion’s day has past.

Failing to see our decline and passing it on to future generation without a shift in priorities will be the big “sin” of our times.

Pretending that it is business as usal accacerbates the problem—we arent the “world leader” anymore, folks! If we ever truly were, except in terms of consumption…

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By Zack, October 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So now War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. The irony of awarding a war president the Nobel Peace prize is truly Orwellian. Obama has sent additional troops to Afghanistan, has expanded the war into Pakistan, and has not pulled any troops out of Iraq. These actions count for a lot more than his “tone” to any objective observer. MLK must be rolling over in his grave.

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By @CT, October 12, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Ray Duray:
“Are you gullible perhaps or maybe some sort of disinformation agent? From what I can tell by looking directly at the CodePINK website, there is no substantive change on their policy of ending that war ASAP and definitely having NO escalation. http://www.codepinkalert.org/”

I’m gullible enough to have read the rawstory piece on CodePink which followed the CSM article, anyway—http://rawstory.com/2009/10/report-code-pink-rethinking-anti-afghan-war-stance/#comment-19460649—and am among the presumed zillions who asked (so far in vain) that CP clarify the reports.

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By no mans land, October 12, 2009 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Dr Beer,

Good points. I hadn’t considered the arms proliferation side of it. I would think that sustainable agriculture that benfits the local populace would go a long way to preventing these types of situations as well. For that to happen though, the logisitcs of these areas must also be addressed. Often times, the problem isn’t a lack of food but an inability to get to where it needs to be.

Thanks!

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By Ouroborus, October 12, 2009 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

@CT, October 12 at 9:38 am #
Outraged writes:
“When you say… “Oblabla”, are you referring to the
President of the United States of America, Barack
Obama?”

Exactamundo. It’s easier to type than “Der CHANGEling”.
====================================================
Now, that was funny. Thanks for the belly laugh. Good
one. smile

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By thebeerdoctor, October 12, 2009 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

re: No_Man’s_Land

A response to your real question is, the military can never really pacify the situation, just provide temporary restraining force (as was the case when Vietnam invaded Cambodia). But the real problem in places like Darfur, Africa and Afghanistan is that there is way too much profit in weapon sales, that crosses all geopolitical boundaries. How many times do you have to witness totally impoverished countries, on the verge of starvation, who always seem to find available and ever increasing flow of guns and bombs?
There is a huge international demand for surplus weapons. A surplus made possible by the 5 countries who preside in the United Nations Security Council, with the U.S.A. on top of the steaming pile. Unused weapons, loaned or more likely given away to unauthorized third parties, sometimes creating the scenario where made in America ordnance gets reused to kill Americans.
Arms dealer war stories abound everywhere: automatic riffles that are known to jam, old Soviet style hardware, sitting in crates turning into rust, rocket grenade launchers, bazookas, you name it… all becomes product to be traded in the not-so-underground black market, where the covert operatives of various governments decide which “freedom fighters” to support.
(Which only reminds me, now that President Obama is a Nobel Peace laureate, when will he move the U.S. to sign on to the International Ban On Landmines, and actually embrace what his fellow Nobel laureates, the ICBL and Jody Williams were recognized for back in 1997.)

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By @CT, October 12, 2009 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

Outraged writes:
“When you say… “Oblabla”, are you referring to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama?”

Exactamundo. It’s easier to type than “Der CHANGEling”.

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By no mans land, October 12, 2009 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

Re: thebeerdoctor/the forum

This directed more at the entire forum. Before I ask, let me preface my question be saying tha I find war absolutely reprehensible and ceratinly do not wish to expand it.

That said, Dr Beer is absolutely right in his recounting of history with the Taliban. They are an absoultely horrid, despotic movement that hacks off heads of women for peaking out of their burkas.

I can’t help but think of the genocide in Darfur and how many people have been trying to bring awareness to that equally horrid situation.

So here’s my question. Once we are finally aware of killing fields like Darfur, tyrants like the Taliban, or those who hijack humanitarian food assistance (as was happening in Somalia),what are we supposed to do about it? If we don’t use the military to pacify the situation, what can be done?

This is a real question. I honestly don’t know the answer.

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By jackpine savage, October 12, 2009 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the Taliban effort all. In truth, i’ve read a lot on this from multiple perspectives. I asked the question as an exercise because i get rather tired of writers/commenters/politicians using the word to mean pretty much whatever they want it to mean at the moment.

A facet of the Taliban not discussed enough is how much US aid got siphoned through the Pakistani ISI to enable the Taliban to win the Afghan Civil War.

We certainly don’t hear much about how the Taliban are the sons of (or were) our beloved freedom fighters of the 80’s. Or how the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11…especially the history that the Afghan mujahideen and the Arab mujahideen never really got along, even during the Soviet War.

We’re stuck in an AfPak of lies.

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By guacamaya, October 12, 2009 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

Nobel prize for peace is decided by the Norwegian government. Political? See:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aZ2VnmfckdrA

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By Ray Duray, October 12, 2009 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

Dear Incapacitated Outraged,

You wrote: “Hmmm… Sorry but I can’t go to your link my system is not currently capable of video nor podcasts.”

What? Are you on an Amiga? Or perhaps an Apple Lisa II? What iteration of 1980s technology are you struggling on? I’m afraid I can’t offer to subsidize your entry into the 21st Century but I can recommend your local library probably has a system that is somewhat less retro than your kit.

As to your inability to get my joke about Michelle’s husband -> Oh-blah-di… no technology will ever solve blocked heads.

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By Folktruther, October 12, 2009 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

Beerdoctor, the Nobel peace prize is not awarded for peace.  It is awarded for violent Western imperialism under the guise of peace, in order to sanitize war.  that is why it ws awarded to an imperialist like Theodore Roosevelt. He presided over the massacre of hundreds of thousands Philopinos.  Wilson got the US into WW 1 after campaigning on the platform of keeping the US out of the war.  Kissinger was a war criminal who devised the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia, killing a 150 thousand peasants.

Begin, after receiving the award invaded Lebanon, killing 20 thousand people.  Peres presided over the installing the settlements under the Oslo Accords.  and the Nobel Committee is now sanitizing the two wars of Obama and the escalation of a third in Pakistan, and the threat of forth in Iran.

The nobel peace prize is given for imperialist Western war.  And often the Nobel prize for literature as well.  Steinbeck did not receive the Prize until he supported the expansion of Vietnam war.  Russell received the liberature prize in 1950 after he argued that the US should use its atomic manopoly to prevent the Russians from developing atomic weapons.  He did not say how but one can guess.  He later said that he forgot he held this position and I beleive him, it not being characteristic.

The Nobel peace prize is a fraud, as one would expect of a prize funded by a munitions maker to sanitize his own history.

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By Outraged, October 12, 2009 at 12:26 am Link to this comment

Re: Ray Duray

Your comment: “Dear Impassioned Outraged,

You wrote: “When you say… “Oblabla”, are you referring to the President of the United States(?) ”

I’m from an older generation. I assumed he was referring to an old Beatles’ tune Obladi Oblada: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Proving that the Beatles anticipated the anti-Christ by four decades:”

Did ya’ now for the former and is that a fact on the later.  Hmmm… Sorry but I can’t go to your link my system is not currently capable of video nor podcasts.  Still… I wonder, did you have a point?  If you did it escapes me.

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By Ray Duray, October 12, 2009 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

Dear Impassioned Outraged,

You wrote: “When you say… “Oblabla”, are you referring to the President of the United States(?) ”

I’m from an older generation. I assumed he was referring to an old Beatles’ tune Obladi Oblada: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Proving that the Beatles anticipated the anti-Christ by four decades: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJhcGepfG04

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By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

Re: @CT

Your comment: “Oooo. How McCarthyesque.

Wow.  Did you make-up that “McCarthyesque” word all by yourself…?  Certainly, I’m impressed (whether it shows or not).
 
Your comment: “However, to call Oblabla’s Peace Prize—or His bait-and-switch campaign/administration—merely a “joke” is fairly generous. And it’s heart-warming that some Taliban spokesman has more of a sense of humor than the Obama cult.”

When you say… “Oblabla”, are you referring to the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama?  Additionally, how is it you find it “heart-warming that some Taliban spokesman has more than a sense of humor”  in regards to what YOU specifically refer to supposedly as “the Obama cult”

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By Ray Duray, October 11, 2009 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Mr. beerdoctor,

Re: “Scoff at the Nobel Committee forever, but if you received that big cash prize, you know what you would say?
DYNAMITE!”

Nonsense. I’m a Polack. I’d say Nazdravia! And then I’d forget about it. And then wonder how I squandered a million Zlotys, or Euroes or whatever. And that’s when I’d call on the beer doctor.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

You are right Ray. It was you Ray all along. I am as happy and sober as a hanging judge. Scoff at the Nobel Committee forever, but if you received that big cash prize, you know what you would say?
DYNAMITE!
Remember kids: Don’t Drink And Blog.

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By thebeerdoctor, October 11, 2009 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

re: Outraged

Your comments about the Taliban are very apt indeed. Back in 1997, I worked for an alternative weekly newspaper that published a series of articles concerning the cultural catastrophe (especially for women) created in Afghanistan because the fundamentalist Pashtun bright boys decided that devotion to their version of Allah means nobody is allowed to have any fun. The staggering list of prohibitions and the insane brutal punishment inflicted for violating their decrees, was largely ignored by the U.S. government, as long as Unocal had the pipeline deal on the table.
Ignoring human rights was (and is) perfectly acceptable as long as it looks good for business. It seems to have been airbrushed out of history that when Dick Cheney was Chief Executive Officer at Halliburton, little attention was paid to the military enforced slave labor used to construct their pipeline in Burma. Somewhat ironically, I first learned about this, from a biograph article in the Wall Street Journal on the then vice-presidential candidate.
One other thing about the Taliban, although they condemn and ban computers, they of the leadership circle of course own and use them. Egyptian-Canadian Ahmed Said Khadr, the famously dead Islamic extremist fighter, had a son who use to sneak into his dad’s office, in order to watch DVD’s on pop’s computer. A teenage slacker who actually failed and got dismissed from his al-Qaeda training camp (which probably broke poppa’s heart) , he was later picked up and imprisoned by the U.S. as a very dangerous enemy combatant.

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By Ray Duray, October 11, 2009 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

Dear Mr. thebeerdoctor,

Apparently you are off prescription. I detect entirely too much sobriety in a comment like this: “It is time to lighten up a bit about this.”

Light beer is for wooses. Or worses. Certainly not as a concordance with wursts, which are best with real beer, which is never, ever lightened up.

***
Re: Martti Ahtissari

This is, without any question, the best joke I’ve seen the entire weekend about the irrelevance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Thanks for bringing this absurdity to my attention. Who knew that the self-promoting glad-handing celebrity in the White House was actually following in the footsteps of someone so utterly forgettable? This bodes well for the future. If only Obama can become as obscure as Ahtissari, then we can rest assured that “the Democracy” is on the rise.

Skoal, you carbon kitties!

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By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Re: jackpine

Your comment: “Someone define “Taliban”.”

Good point.  I was having the very same thought earlier today.  I looked at a couple of sources and what you will find, and it makes perfect sense, is that the identity/thing “morphs” (for lack of a better word).  What it was at one point (or at least what it claimed to be), it is not at another.  All in all, I would give you the definition at Wikipedia as a straightforward definition.  While it doesn’t include every detail, I thought it a good overview.  This would be my definition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

Truthfully, this is the nutshell version.  On the other hand, it gives a broad-based identity to “the Taliban”.

A couple of excerpts:

“Foreign powers, including the United States, were at first supportive of the Taliban in hopes it would serve as a force to restore order in Afghanistan after years of division into corrupt, lawless warlord fiefdoms. The U.S. government, for example, made no comment when the Taliban captured Herat in 1995 and expelled thousands of girls from schools.  These hopes faded as it began to be engaged in warlord practices of rocketing unarmed civilians, targeting ethnic groups (primarily Hazaras) and restricting the rights of women. In late 1997, American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright began to distance the U.S. from the Taliban and the next year the American-based Unocal, previously having implicitly supported the Taliban in order to build a pipeline south from Central Asia, the oil company withdrew from a major deal with the Taliban regime concerning an oil pipeline.

In early August 1998 the Taliban’s difficulties in relations with foreign groups became much more serious. After attacking the city of Mazar, Taliban forces killed several thousand civilians and 10 Iranian diplomats and intelligence officers in the Iranian consulate. Alleged radio intercepts indicate Mullah Omar personally approved the killings. The Iranian government was incensed and a “full-blown regional crisis” ensued with Iran mobilizing 200,000 regular troops, though war was averted.

A day before the capture of Mazar, affiliates of Taliban guest Osama bin Laden bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa killing 224 and wounding 4500 mostly African victims. The United States responded by launching cruise missiles attacks on suspected terrorists camps in Afghanistan killing over 20 though failing to kill bin Laden or even many Al-Qaeda.”

And:
“Frustrations of aid agencies were numerous. Taliban decision-makers, particularly Mullah Omar, seldom if ever talked directly to non-Muslim foreigners, so aid providers had to deal with intermediaries whose approvals and agreements were often reversed by Taliban higher-ups. Around September 1997 the heads of three UN agencies in Kandahar were expelled from the country after protesting over a female lawyer for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees being forced to talk to Taliban officials from behind a curtain so her face would not be visible.

When the UN increased the number of Muslim women staff to satisfy Taliban demands for Muslim staff, the Taliban then insisted “all female Muslim UN staff traveling to Afghanistan to be chaperoned by a mahram or a blood relative.” In July 1998, the Taliban closed down “all NGO offices” by force after those organization refused to move to a bombed-out former Polytechnic College as ordered. One month later the UN offices were also shut down.

As food prices rose and conditions deteriorated, the Taliban Planning Minister Qari Din Mohammed explained the Taliban’s indifference to the loss of humanitarian aid:

We Muslims believe God the Almighty will feed everybody one way or another. If the foreign NGOs leave then it is their decision. We have not expelled them.”  (Remember, these are not simply Muslims as they claim, they are FUNDAMENTALISTS, and crazy-ass at that)

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By thebeerdoctor, October 11, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

I think there is great misunderstanding about what the Nobel Peace Prize represents. Many seem to operate under the false assumption that it represents an award for a “noble” person, when in fact the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to many questionable scoundrels who, in the minds of the committee members, performed actions that helped promote peace and/or justice, in certain precise instances.
This explains why Theodore Roosevelt was awarded the prize in 1906, for his participation in end of war treaties. One only has to read Howard Zinn’s account of TR’s war blood lust in The People’s History of The United States, to know he was not always honorable.
The same could be said of Woodrow Wilson, recipient in 1919, who was cited for creating the League Of Nations, an organization the United States never joined/
Frank Billings Kellogg received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929, for helping to create the Briand-Kellogg Pact, a multinational treaty designed to prohibit war as an instrument of national policy.
Sometimes the prize is awarded for an individual’s work towards international peace. Such was the case with Sir Robert Cecil in 1937, and in 1962, Nobel Chemist laureate, Caltech’s Linus Pauling.
As I stated, many ethically suspect people have received the prize. One of the most glaring was in 1973, when Dr, Kissinger shared the prize with Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho. In 1994, Arafat, Peres, and Rabin shared the center stage.
Sometimes the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded for other reasons than diplomacy. In 2004 Wangari Muta Maathai received recognition for planting over a million trees in Africa. In 1989, the Dalai Lama was awarded the prize for well… just being the Dalai Lama.
I also wonder about those who scream what a sham the Nobel Peace Prize is, have any clue to who Martti Ahtissari is? I also notice a bipartisan stupidity of mixing up Nobel Peace Prize laureates with Nobel Literature Prize laureates. I too benefited from reading Harold Pinter’s scathing indictment of western imperialism put forward at his acceptance speech. But it should always be remembered that he was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, which is not the same playing field as the one President Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela and F,W. de Klerk. Michail Gorbachev, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Willy Brand, Ralphe Bunche, Lord Boyd Orr, and many others are located in.
The Nobel Committee is criticized for making bad choices at times, but it should be remembered that is not some all wise tribunal beamed down from outer space, but simply humans, with all the emotional foilbes that go with the living package,
It is time to lighten up a bit about this.
Peace is a living action, and most definitely a work in progress.

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By Michael Price, October 11, 2009 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He “has kept the two sides negotiating with America’s dogged envoy, George Mitchell,” by pressuring the Palestinians to acquise to the coverup of war crimes by the Isrealis.  He “persuaded” the Iranians to open their site up to inspections (something they would certianly have done anyway) by threats of force and pretending to believe they’re developing nuclear weapons (which even Bush-appointed intelligence cheifs admit isn’t true).  Even the scrapping of the missle shield was only to get Russia on side for an attack on Iran.  The torture goes on, the renditions go on, the bombing of civilians goes on, and he’s earned it?  Yeah and I’ve earned a gold medal because I want to cross the line first.

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By jackpine savage, October 11, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Someone define “Taliban”. And please provide clarification as to whether you’re talking about the Taliban that Obama administration officials have hinted at bringing into the Afghan government.

And it would be swell if the definition was specific about whether warlords of opportunity/nationalist ambitions are included in “the Taliban”.

Furthermore, please compare and contrast the governing record of the original Taliban with that of President Karzai and his allies, e.g. General Dostum. And a short explanation of why the evil Taliban received US aid until May 2001 would also be appreciated.

Thanks,

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By Emu, October 11, 2009 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thought it went beneath the mass media radar, Obama also earned a win in the famed Irrational Exuberance Awards this weekend.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVDWYAikpYo

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By Inherit The Wind, October 11, 2009 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

The Norwegians started awarding the Nobel Prizes right after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor….thought you’d all like to know. Source: Office of U.S. Senator John Blutarsky.

Most of this thread is just a repeat of the other ones bemoaning the selection of Obama by the Nobel Committee.  Though there is one wise admonition: Don’t drink and post.

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By Ray Duray, October 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

The year was 1938. The Nobel Peace Prize committee was deliberating. The two leading candidates for the prize were Mohandas Gandhi and… wait for it…. Adolf Hitler.

Sparing the committtee future embarrassment, they chose a compromise dark horse, the Nansen International Office for Refugees.

Within 7 years there were about 20 million refugees and internally displaced persons planet-wide.

Excellent foreshadowing, I’d say.

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By Can O Whoopass, October 11, 2009 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Rightards in the 60’s saw Dr. Martin Luther King as an agitator, a commie, ‘ni@@er’ troublemaker and a Nobel Peace Prize joke, too.

So who gives a steamy sh*t what those losers think?

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By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: LostHills

Your comments: “The prize itself is a Joke.”

“Giving this thing to Obama just further cheapens an already tarnished piece of junk.”

If you believe what you are claiming, why does it bother you that Pres. Obama received it…?  If you think it worthless, it should bother you and others who feel as you do, least of all. Yet, here you are complaining.

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By LostHills, October 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

The prize itself is a Joke. Any prize that was given to Henry Kissinger is not a peace prize in my book. If they wanted it to mean anything, they should have given it to Cindy Sheehan, who is really working for peace and would have put the money to good use. Giving this thing to Obama just further cheapens an already tarnished piece of junk.

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By Ray Duray, October 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment

Hi @CT,

You wrote: “As for who IS aping the Taliban, the Obama organization seems somehow to have stuffed CodePink… back in the birka on Afghanistan”

Are you gullible perhaps or maybe some sort of disinformation agent? From what I can tell by looking directly at the CodePINK website, there is no substantive change on their policy of ending that war ASAP and definitely having NO escalation. http://www.codepinkalert.org/

I have read the article in the Christian Science Monitor (CSM) claiming otherwise and I found it to be highly disinngenuous, yet it seems to have created a very unfortunate meme that is infecting the blogosphere.

Winston Churchill once observed that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.”

Let’s shut this CSM lie down, eh?

CodePINK remains stalwartly anti-war.

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By @CT, October 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

Outraged writes:
“Calling Pres. Obama’s winning of the peace prize a joke . . . So why spew this nonsense and ally yourselves with rightwingers and the Taliban…?  Unless, of course…..

It’s one thing to see things differently than others but it’s quite another to ape the TALIBAN!”

Oooo. How McCarthyesque.

However, to call Oblabla’s Peace Prize—or His bait-and-switch campaign/administration—merely a “joke” is fairly generous. And it’s heart-warming that some Taliban spokesman has more of a sense of humor than the Obama cult.

(As for who IS aping the Taliban, the Obama organization seems somehow to have stuffed CodePink AND Michael Moore back in the birka on Afghanistan ... you gotta love it. OR not.)

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By Folktruther, October 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

Damn right, KDelphi, you’d make an excellent Nobel Physics prizer, better anyway than Obama makes a Mobel peace prizer.  If only because of your Danish heritage. 

the second best physicist in the first half of the 20th century was arguably Niels Bohr, who was head of an institute in Denmark.  Bohr always hired someone for a position in the institute that had various titles but was always known as the ‘co-talker.’ His job was to talk to Bohr, and to listen, much as Infield’s was to Einstein. 

You make an excellent co-talker and as soon as you pick up a little of the math, you’d fit right in.  In fact, I’m so certain of it I nominate you right now, just like the Nobel committee did Obama, impressed by the Hope he inspired.

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By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Funny how so many of the comments parrot those of the Taliban and right wing pundits. From Reuters via MSNBC:

“KABUL - Afghanistan’s Taliban mocked the award of a Nobel Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday, saying he should get a Nobel Prize for violence instead....

....The United Nations says 1,500 civilians have died so far this year, with insurgents killing three times as many as Western and government forces.

The new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, has asked for 40,000 more troops to implement an overhauled counter-insurgency strategy.

The White House is still deciding how to respond, and Obama has described himself as a skeptical audience for the case.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33239161/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

The Taliban is a ruthless entity who is accused of genocide, why would anyone ape their mantra?  The right wingers are warmongers, and they too ape the Taliban.  Calling Pres. Obama’s winning of the peace prize a joke, while at the same time demanding MORE WAR, they’re the ones pushing for war - not Pres. Obama.  They’re the joke, and they have been for some time…. maybe forever….who knows?

So why spew this nonsense and ally yourselves with rightwingers and the Taliban…?  Unless, of course…..

It’s one thing to see things differently than others but it’s quite another to ape the TALIBAN!

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By ardee, October 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

One might think a nomination for such a prize would indicate some small, remote even, accomplishment deserving of said nomination. With Obama barely sworn in there was certainly a lack thereof. Perhaps his daughters submitted his nomination.

Of course the award was based upon the several months of actions since that swearing in. I am trying hard to see what Obama has accomplished to deserve the prize for peace…..contemplating an increase in the forces in Afghanistan? Increasing our defense budget yet again? Refusing to stop the rendition and torture of suspected terrorists?

It couldn’t be for his giveaways to the most wealthy among us, that would certainly have earned him the prize for economics…..upon which Krugman would have returned his.

Actually a much better choice for this prestigious award would have been Barack Obama’s teleprompter…

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By ricardo, October 11, 2009 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The nature of Boyarsky’s thoughts and logic are absurd…..if not being Bush
qualifies you for the Nobel Peace Prize then the judges have symbolically
demolished its relevance this year with the force of ironic force of dynamite that
founded their efforts !

Ricardo
Veracruz, Mexico

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By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

Re: divorcedmale

Your comment: “the President had only been in office two weeks when he was nominated for this award. This would be like saying Jerry Jones the owner of the Cowboys should be given the Super Bowl trophy two weeks after opening his new stadium.”

First of all that’s when he was NOMINATED, not when he won it!  So no, its not the same thing AT ALL.

“Obama had not done anything to warrant winning any award. Even listening to the speech given by the Nobel award committee shows that they had no substance of actual achievement that they had used to base this award.”

That’s not how the NC sees it, you may feel that way but you were not chosen to make the decision.  The Nobel Committee Press Release:

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.”
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html

“Before the emotional left get enraged for the asking of logic in this situation look at the nominees that were passed over for this award and ask yourself if Obama’s two weeks were actually more important and world changing than the other nominees.”

Again, it ISN’T about the “two weeks” you are claiming it to be.  BTW, Pres Obama, as candidate Obama was already having a positive impact throughout the world.  Additionally AS PRESIDENT, he (among other things) “created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”

I agree with the committee.  Who else has moved so many people WORLDWIDE in the past year, aside from Pres. Obama…?  Also, the award is NOT saying anything against any other nominee.  They chose Pres. Obama, they weren’t dissing the others, that’s flawed reasoning and hyperbole.

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By bnick, October 11, 2009 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A “peace prize” that was once given to Henry Kissinger, that was once being
considered as a gift to Hitler?  I suppose that invasion, murder of thousands of
innocents, support of torture and terror can be seen as a sort of backwards,
perverted way to get people to cry out for peace.  If so, the award should have
been given to GWB and Cheney, jointly. 

I was as excited as I could be when Mr. Obama was elected, but he has yet to
impress me as a true peacemaker.  Perhaps he is simply trying to move slowly
and delicately through a political and diplomatic minefield, and use those baby
steps to plant seeds of peace that will blossom later - but then, let’s do the
awarding later, too.

The only reasonable response to this is to hope that it will spur him to live up
to the accomplishments the Peace Prize, ideally, is supposed to be recognizing.

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By KDelphi, October 11, 2009 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Dale—Then the Europeans should take him along with his “governing style”—goodbye social safety net, hello war/war/war.

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By KDelphi, October 11, 2009 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Someone should submit my name for the Nobel prize for Physics.

I might take some courses in it the next coupla years and I think i’ll be really good at it! Maybe not, but, hell, dont be negative, give me encouragement!

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By jackpine savage, October 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

What, is the Obama administration paying people to go out on the internet and repeat the “Obama ended missile defense and now Russia loves us!” line of…well, frankly, it’s bullshit.

Here’s Robert Gates’ op-ed in the NYT discussing it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20gates.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

This is a nice little BBC article, and if you scroll down you’ll find a set of maps that shows the coverage of the old system and the one Obama chose:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8265190.stm

Note that Mr. Obama did not decide to reinstate the ABM Treaty signed with the USSR/Russia that Mr. Bush abandoned. Note as well that Russia is still working on missiles designed to defeat missile defense systems.

There are memes and then there are facts; when you bring the former, please have it supported by the latter.

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By KDelphi, October 11, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

It is not a matter of negativity, positivity (whatever the hell that mean), pessimisn nor optimism..it is about facing facts. You cant change things if you wont accept them as they are.

Hedges was correct about corporations having a stake in pushing mindless optimism

“Our real enemies are the people who make us feel so good that we are slowly, but inexorably, pulled down into the quicksand of smugness and self-satisfaction” Sydney Harris

We elected Obama, we are ok now. Race problems, intl problems, class problems, all over. He has risen.

This is really rising to a cult status as scary—and perhaps more harmful than—the teabaggers. We know that the teabaggers are not rational. Most think that the Dems are—that could be dangerous.

divorcedmale—the Nobel committee showed that they are upper class, privileged European white men. I dont think that it is mere coincidence that the upper classes are gung-ho Obama—they dont have a clue whats happening outside their class. And they dont have much to lose by his doing—nothing.

All the “accomplishments” seem to be “process” and most just say “better ‘n Bush”—-does everyone totally forget that we existed before Bush? We’re talking to other countries—AGAIN. We’re not pointing missiles at Iran through Eastern Europe, via Moscow-AGAIN. The “Israeli/Gaza” “peace process” is on—AGAIN.  We “sortve reformed things with Cuba” (??), we will “soon” “
close GITMO”, we are “leaving Iraq”—-none of this has been accomplished. and , as long as the slaughrter continues in Af-Pak, what does the rest of it matter? Do you guys really think that we can treat other people that way and just walk away scott free? History does not show that.

Was there someone who thought that Bush was a permanent dictartor or seomthing?

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By Dale Headley, October 11, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President Obama’s decision to halt the installation of George Bush’s intimidating
missile “defense” system in eastern Europe was a clear indication to Europeans
that he is a man of peace, not war.  Try asking THEM whether he deserves the
Nobel Peace Prize.

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By Folktruther, October 11, 2009 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

The Nobel peace prize to Obama sets the stage for the escalation of the war in Pakistan, accoridng to professor Chossedusky of Global Exchange.  This war is far worse than any of the wars the Bushites initiated.  Pakistan has a population 6 times that of Iraq or Afghanistan, it is on the Chinese border and has strong economic ties with China, the military is divided between pro-US and anti-US poliices, and polls have shown that the people hate the US power system for bombing villages, weddings and funerals.  And it has nuclear weapons.

Since Obama is now the head of the US power system, which leads the West in Nato, the Nobel committee has chosen to indicate that War is Peace, and legitimate Obama’s increasing troops to escalate the War, or, in Nobel terms,  the Peace.  the recent seizure of a MILITARY HEADQUARTERS in the Pakistan capital indicates the the insurgents are much stronger than expressed in the US mass media.

Increasing the war in Pakistan is even more insane from a geo-strategic standpoint than a war in Iran, which Obama is also pursuing.  When Begin was given the Nobel Peace prize in 1978, he invaded Lebanon shortly afterwards, killing and estiamted 20 thousnad people.  Kissinger was given the award after killing a hundred and fifty thousand people in Cambodia, setting the stage for the Kymer Rouge.  the Nobel Peace prize has often promoted Western imperialism, and it appears to be doing so now.

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By @CT, October 11, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

Here is the absolute best political piece since soldier-cult saboteur John Kerry inflicted Oblabla’s birthday suit on the Democratic Party:

They Oughta Give Me The Wurlitzer Prize
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/10/11-0

(Is “Christopher Cooper” really J.D. Salinger? Maybe. Whoever he/she is, BRAVO!)

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By @CT, October 11, 2009 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

SNL spoofs Obama: I won Nobel for not being Bush
http://rawstory.com/2009/10/snl-obama-peace-prize/

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By @CT, October 11, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

divorcedmale writes:
“Obama had not done anything to warrant winning any award.”

Most Ludicrous Boot-strapping of a Birthday Suit, maybe.

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no mans land's avatar

By no mans land, October 11, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

Personally, I think in many ways the US is working (almost) as designed. There has always been a certain anarchism and chaos to this country. Indeed, the very prospect that the people would determine their government, direction, etc is itself a fundamental of anarchist theory. At its core, anarchy is government through immediatism, where group or crowd dynamics determine the actions of the group. Just as any house party has subgroups and subcultures that make up the whole who either influence or conform, so it is in our political discourse. If the dynamics of the house party do not suit a particular subset, do they not tend to leave the party to pursue their own interests?

The manipulation of positivity or negativity by corporate and/or political conglomerates is both the recognition and the practical application of this principle. It was the fundamental question of the time of our revolution and still is: Who is better suited to govern? Like it or not, they are pursuing their own interests. The question we have to answer is therefore what kind of democracy we want? For my part, I believe the problem to be that corporations and industries, being the conjured, despotic entities they are, have been given rights equal to the individual with simultaneous power determine the level of sustainance the people receive. Such are the despots of anarchy that Jefferson warned against.

Some interesting quotes from Thomas Jefferson that clearly illustrate anarchist principles that were injected into our form of government (for better or worse).

“The voluntary support of laws, formed by persons of their own choice, distinguishes peculiarly the minds capable of self-government.  The contrary spirit is anarchy, which of necessity produces despotism.”

“The catholic principle of republicanism is that every people may establish what form of government they please and change it as they please, the will of the nation being the only thing essential.”

“We may say with truth and meaning that governments are more or less republican as they have more or less of the element of popular election and control in their composition; and believing as I do that the mass of the citizens is the safest depository of
their own rights, and especially that the evils flowing from the duperies of the people are less injurious than those from the egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that composition of
government which has in it the most of this ingredient.”

“It must be acknowledged that the term “republic” is of very vague application in every language…  Were I to assign to this term a precise and definite idea, I would say purely and simply it means
a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally according to rules established by the majority; and that every other government is more or less republican in proportion as it has in its composition more or less of this
ingredient of direct action of the citizens.  Such a government is evidently restrained to very narrow limits of space and population.  I doubt if it would be practicable beyond the extent of a New England township.”

“The further the departure from direct and constant control by the citizens, the less has the government the ingredient of republicanism; evidently none where the authorities are hereditary… or self-chosen… and little, where for life, in proportion as the life continues in being after the act of
election.”

“Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people; whose rights, however, to the exercise and fruits of their own industry can never be protected against the selfishness of rulers not subject to their control at short periods… My most earnest wish is to see the republican element of popular control pushed to the maximum of its practicable exercise.  I shall then believe that our government may be pure and perpetual.”

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By divorcedmale, October 11, 2009 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Some of the writers here are so intent on pushing their own ideology that they fail to recognize the facts. Whether one is part of the left or the right one can not ignore the facts that the President had only been in office two weeks when he was nominated for this award. This would be like saying Jerry Jones the owner of the Cowboys should be given the Super Bowl trophy two weeks after opening his new stadium. Obama had not done anything to warrant winning any award. Even listening to the speech given by the Nobel award committee shows that they had no substance of actual achievement that they had used to base this award. Before the emotional left get enraged for the asking of logic in this situation look at the nominees that were passed over for this award and ask yourself if Obama’s two weeks were actually more important and world changing than the other nominees. One will see then how unbelievable this award is and how it is a pure attempt to push an agenda and not just give an award.

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By jackpine savage, October 11, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

1. He has put US-Russian relations on a more constructive course, at least somewhat. That wouldn’t be hard considering the recent past. Look at it from a Russian perspective: he had to come with his hat in hand to get transit permission to supply Afghanistan and have Moscow remove its objections (which had changed the field) over Central Asian bases.

2. All Iran has done is to abide by the IAEA rules that it always has. There’s great discussion as to whether the US actually caught the Qom facility or responded quickly. None-the-less, he (and his administration) are still rattling sabers and refuse to accept Iran’s statement that its nuclear program is peaceful, though they have no evidence that it’s otherwise.

3. Agreed, though he’s done little to stop settlements and doesn’t seem too eager to look into war crimes accusations during Cast Lead (on which he remained silent).

4. Agreed, but how hard was that? On the other hand, he’s worked against the world community’s attempt to reform international finance.

5. No he did not. He killed the ground-based system and replaced it by expanding the Aegis Destroyer system.

6. So much was absent during the Bush years that the election of my cat to the presidency would probably look like an improvement. Yes, he’s an improvement. That’s great but we’ve yet to see him get on board with things that the rest of the world finds important…like banning land mines, cluster munitions, etc. or do much besides talk a good game.

7. Why didn’t you mention his escalation of Afghanistan and pushing the conflict into Pakistan? You also didn’t mention that’s he’s repeatedly stated that withdrawing from Afghanistan is not an option.

8. No mention of what looks like clear agitprop during the Iranian elections, while keeping relatively mum about the coup in Honduras and boldly supporting clearly fraudulent elections in Afghanistan.

I could go on, but i don’t want to make this about who’s list is longer. I won’t argue that he’s better than Bush, but this isn’t a binary, good/bad situation.

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By MeHere, October 11, 2009 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

Outraged says:

“I read and responded to the very article you speak of, I did not interpret Mr.
Hedges article to be endorsing negativity….  Is that how you interpreted the
article?  The way I remember the article it was about actual programs and
tactics used by business and industry to control and circumvent their
employees from thinking rationally.  As I’ve said above it is every bit as
irrational to be perpetually negative as it is to be perpetually positive.”

I did not think C. Hedges was endorsing negativity, not at all.  I thought it was interesting that he wrote about the subject. Yes, he was specifically addressing the use of positive thinking in corporate tactics.  I don’t endorse negativity either. If I did, I probably wouldn’t bother expressing my views.  There’s a huge difference between _endorsing_ and _observing_.  My personal view is that the proliferation of superficial positive thinking is both a symptom of our situation as well as an obstacle that prevents that which is most desirable: positive change. Perhaps you would agree that this kind of change is never accomplished unless all the negatives in a situation are thoroughly identified.

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By t groan, October 11, 2009 at 4:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since when are press releases from the DNC considered newsworthy? This isn’t the Nation.

Come on how about some real news and opinion instead of bullshit masquerading as political analysis.

When our Celebrity in Chief actually accomplishes something then the Obamaholics can start their crowing. But please, wait until there are some actual tangible results. Good lord!

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By Steve E, October 11, 2009 at 1:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At the point of “Mission Accomplished”, Bush had an approval rating of 95%. Now
Obama got the Nobel. Go figure.

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By Ray Duray, October 11, 2009 at 12:29 am Link to this comment

There are vastly better analyses of the atrocity of this Ig-Nobel Prize available at any number of Internet locations:

Naomi Klein and Tariq Ali have intelligent comments here:
http://www.democracynow.org/2009/10/9/as_us_continues_afghan_iraq_occupations

Glenn Greenwald has intelligent comments here:
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/10/09-7

Howard Zinn has intelligent comments here:
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/10/10-3

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Bill Boyarsky is being given a forum to say such insanely unobservant things as “(m)ore than that, (Obama) has brought the United States back into the world community…” 

I’m not sure what planet Mr. Boyarksy is living on, but it certainly isn’t the one being created by the Department of Defense using Barry Obama as a front man for the continuation of the great game of “Full Spectrum Dominance”. http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

Mr. Boyarski,

Your comment:  “Congratulations to the Norwegians for having the wisdom to give President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.

He’s earned it.

I agree.  It appears that several commenters have not actually read your article.

1. In Obama’s nine months as president, he has put U.S. relations with Russia on a more constructive course.

2. He has seen Iran agree to open its nuclear facility near Qom to international inspection

3. Despite Israeli and Palestinian intransigence, has kept the two sides negotiating with America’s dogged envoy, George Mitchell, who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland.

4. He has brought the United States back into the world community after eight years of Bush-Cheney chauvinism and scorn for America’s allies.

5. He killed the Bush administration plan for a missile defense—a radar installation near Prague and 10 missile interceptors in northern Poland—aimed ostensibly at Iranian missiles.

6. One thing is clear: Obama brought a view of the world that was absent from Washington during the Bush years. As Obama said during the presidential campaign, he regards negotiation as a sign of strength, not weakness.

This is no easy task and it takes a measure of trust and integrity to accomplish things so delicate.  To some people, this means nothing.  Then again, to warmongers this is outrageous.  It is an excellent article Mr. Boyarski, thank you.

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By Outraged, October 11, 2009 at 12:05 am Link to this comment

Re: Folktruther

Your comment: “You are quite right, I am a victim of black and white thinking.  I think some things are good and some are bad, and that a reasonable and decent person can tell the difference between them.”

> I do not see your “victimhood” my friend (although this would not necessarily be true of others… but you…I think not.)  Furthermore and aside from that, The People DO tell the difference, do you think they do not? 

You:  “I think wars are bad, inequality is bad, violence is bad,  irrationality is bad.  I’m against them.  Heavily negative about them.”

> You, I, and the majority of people not only here in America but throughout the world feel this way regarding what I have bolded.  Yet, you yourself are claiming to engage in the irrationality of black and white thinking, additionally claiming it somehow a good thing.  So…. what’s your point? 

You:  “And you are quite right.  I am quite depressed about the state of the world and especially the state of the US.  I think its aweful and getting worse. It is quite true that this is negative thinking but for some reason I don’t have your faith that Obama is making things better.  He is continuing Bushite polices, turning the US into a police state to manage the class inequality.  What happened to your belief in Nader?  do you just go with the winner and to hell with the policies?”

> I do not see Pres. Obama continuing Bushite policies, that’s hyperbole.  I do see him doing EXACTLY what he said he was going to do as far as the wars are concerned.  I disagreed with that before and I disagree with that NOW, however I cannot fault a person for doing exactly what they said they were going to do.  Why should I?  I am not THIS WHOLE COUNTRY by myself, and many voted for Pres. Obama, this is what democracy is.

You:  “What do you suggest in place of negative thinking, poitive thinking about inequality, violence, barbarism and irrationality?  Or maybe its better to pretend that they aren’t there, or that the Dems are confronting them.  Or perhaps a kind of intellectual mush, one one hand this, on the other hand that.  I the only mushheads I am fond of are on mushrooms.”

> Your first sentence here is again…. hyperbole.  I disagree that “it is getting worse”, unless of course you are a right winger… then, well… I’d have to agree.

You:  ” Kind of like the Educated in the univesities.  When confronted with a choice between the true or the false, they prefer a Golden Mean between these two Extremes.”

> Hyperbole.  And so blantant…. really Folktruther…..

You:  “I prefer black and white thinking, so decent people can understand the difference between good and evil take a stand against oppression. Not support The Lesser Evil.”

> Regarding this comment (aside from the irrationality you CLAIM to disavow), you’ll have to “enlighten” me.  Explain to me the SUPPOSED PROBLEM of “The Lesser Evil” and the SUPPOSED “decent people” who engage in black and white thinking?

Ahem…...

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, October 10, 2009 at 11:57 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, October 11 at 2:16 am #
I fail to see what happiness about your own life has to
do with Obama getting a peace prize.
===========================================
Absolutely nothing and I didn’t say it did.

I have nothing else to say about Obama one way or the
other. Oh, and I’m not there; I’m here.

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By KDelphi, October 10, 2009 at 11:16 pm Link to this comment

UnchiNelo—Never drink when you post. Trust me on that one.

Ouroborrus—I see plenty of things to be happy about in my own life and plenty of things to be sad about. Not everyone in this countryhas the life you have here and I think those that do should fight for justice for those that dont. I fail to see what happiness about your own life has to do with Obama getting a peace prize.

This “peace” prize was not justice. If it was you will have to explain it better to me then, “this is a great country” stuff…there are alot of great people in this country and they deserve better than this.

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, October 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Ellen, they did fawn over Bush…..the population is
stupid we must accept that.

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