PSL: ‘Peace prizes for war makers’

Posted at PSLweb.org:

By: Anne Gamboni

Only the defeat of ‘great nation’ imperialism will end war

In a seemingly surprising move this past October, the Nobel Prize Committee named U.S. President Barack Obama as the recipient of its prestigious peace prize for 2009.

Alfred Nobel
Alfred Nobel, ‘merchant of death’

The nomination is ironic for at least two reasons:

Nominations for the prize had to be postmarked by Feb. 1, only 12 days after Obama took office. The committee sent out its solicitation for nominations last September, two months before Obama was elected president.

But more importantly, President Obama has never wavered from continuing the “great nation” warmongering agenda of his predecessors in the White House.

There are more total troops in Afghanistan and Iraq now than there were at any time during the Bush administration. In addition, Obama announced Dec. 2 a troop increase of 34,000 soldiers to be sent to Afghanistan. His administration has been working day and night to pressure other nations to send additional troops to save the colonial-style occupation of the country. These are hardly the qualities one associates with a peace
prize winner.

President Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech was carefully calibrated to justify U.S. aggression against the Iraqi and Afghan people. It was drenched in the rhetoric of the “mighty” bringing enlightenment to the backward peoples of the planet—“enlightenment” through non-stop political, economic and military interventions in the sovereign affairs of other countries.

The president blamed indigenous resistance fighters for war and violence in the world. He also equated peace with U.S. campaigns to destabilize and overthrow the governments of Iran, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, North Korea, China, the former Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and other socialist and oppressed countries.

This is hardly a strategy for peace between peoples, especially coming from the elected head of a military that kills and wreaks destruction far exceeding all the rest of the world’s killing machines combined.

History of the Nobel Prize

Following the announcement of the award to President Obama, Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, explained that Obama’s creation of a new climate in international politics closely fulfills the statutes of Alfred Nobel’s will. The committee said it honored Obama for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

The award given to someone like Obama is actually not all that surprising—it is intentional. For Obama to win the Nobel Peace Prize after so little time in office and continuing on a war path, the only true explanation is that the prize is political, and not
pacifist, in nature.

The Nobel Peace Prize is usually hypocritically bestowed upon various bourgeois heads-of-state or lackeys of the capitalist ruling classes around the world to disguise the violent nature of imperialism. The people allowed to make nominations for the prize are members of various governments or university professors, mostly from Europe. For the most part, the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners reads like a “Who’s Who” of warmongers, imperialists and/or their defenders. Hitler and Mussolini were even nominated for this “prestigious” award.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes set aside by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. Alfred Nobel, born in 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden, is best known for inventing dynamite. Nobel was in fact an arms manufacturer who hoped his arms would help to “end” war. In 1888, a French newspaper prematurely ran an obituary for Nobel calling him a “merchant of death.”

Not wanting to go down in history with such a horrible reputation, Nobel, who died a super-rich man in 1896, used his enormous fortune to institute the Nobel Prizes.

According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize, the most well-known of the prizes, should be awarded to the person who “during the preceding year shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

The prize includes a medal, a personal diploma and a large sum of money, now over
$1 million. Some past winners are the following:

• 1973, Henry Kissinger, architect along with Richard Nixon, of a secret massive bombing campaign in Cambodia and Laos;

• 1989, the Dalai Lama, defender of brutal serfdom in Tibet;

• 1993, F.W. de Klerk, leader of apartheid South Africa (Nelson Mandela was also named the same year to make it appear as if it was a peaceful transition out of the heinous system of apartheid);

• 1994, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, colonialist agents of imperialism in occupied Palestine (Israel), and

• Last year’s winner, Martti Ahtisaari, a Finnish diplomat and mediator.

Most people are probably not aware of who Ahtisaari is or of his “great” accomplishment for which he was awarded this prize. He supposedly resolved a long-running dispute in Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

The “independence” of Kosovo, which is really a U.S. client state, is one of the most recent chapters in the brutal and bloody dismemberment by the imperialist powers of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

It is not “great men” who make peace, just as much as it is not individuals who make war. Socio-economic and political circumstances make war. Large numbers of
people fight and die in these violent political conflicts. In the Modern Era, the most destructive wars are started by the capitalist elites in the so-called “great nations” in support of their own dominance. Only movements of the people in resistance to imperialist aggression will restore peace.

 

6 thoughts on “PSL: ‘Peace prizes for war makers’

  1. Brian Holtz

    “bourgeois” …. “lackeys of the capitalist ruling classes” … “capitalist elites” … “campaigns to destabilize socialist and oppressed countries” … “dismemberment by the imperialist powers of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” etc.

    Angela, Eric, et al. — good luck creating creating libertarians out of the sort of people at whom this rhetoric is aimed. It seems likely that either you or your bedfellows are badly misreading your audience.

  2. Steven R Linnabary

    Well, Brian…

    I have asked repeatedly for a “Libertarian” defense of our war(s) and have never seen it. Most likely because there is no Libertarian defense of these wars.

    But still, good luck to you creating libertarians with the likes of Sonny Landham.

    PEACE

  3. Brian Holtz

    If Sonny Landham is where you’ve been seeking a defense of libervention, then you haven’t searched competently.

    Type “defending libervention” into Google. The top result — by me — has stood unrebutted for over two and a half years. I’ve asked repeatedly for a point-by-point rebuttal and have never seen it. Do you think you can come up with one?

    You apparently haven’t read e.g. Brink Lindsey, Randy Barnett, Tom Palmer, or Jacob Levy on libervention. Quick, what do you consider the least unpersuasive defense of liberventionism that each has written? Or do you admit that you simply haven’t read them at all?

    If this reading list is too long, then at http://www.cato.org/events/041022conf.html you can watch a video of prominent libertarians debating the invasion of Iraq.

    There’s simply no excuse for claiming that reasonable libertarians cannot disagree about whether the need for a liberty-loving polity to defend human liberty vanishes completely at lines drawn on maps by statists.

    So far, I’ve only been able to find one Libertarian (hi Mik!) with the intellectual fortitude to say: “The U.S. military should never be used to depose a genocidal totalitarian WMD-using ballistic-missile-firing neighbor-annexing terrorist-funding sadistic maniac who defiantly persists in what the Security Council declares to be ‘material breach’ of his agreement to be inspected for cessation of his admitted earlier secret WMD programme.”

    Who’s interested in becoming #2?

  4. paulie Post author

    Brian,

    “bourgeois” …. “lackeys of the capitalist ruling classes” … “capitalist elites” … “campaigns to destabilize socialist and oppressed countries” … “dismemberment by the imperialist powers of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” etc.

    Angela, Eric, et al. — good luck creating creating libertarians out of the sort of people at whom this rhetoric is aimed. It seems likely that either you or your bedfellows are badly misreading your audience.

    Is it supposed to be some kind of surprising revelation that a Marxist sect such as PSL uses Marxist terminology?

    Both libertarians and Marxists can address the concerns of millions (or even billions) of people who see the same problems of war and social injustice in the world. Obviously, we have different answers as to the causes and solutions, but we don’t get anywhere if we make no attempt to make our viewpoints heard. And in no way should we allow ourselves to be duped into becoming defenders of the statist-corporate status quo.

  5. Brian Holtz

    My point was about the PSL’s audience, not about the PSL itself. I still don’t see how you’re going to find among them significant numbers of people who are sympathetic to property rights and freedom of economic association. Most of these people don’t understand the the Invisible Hand, and instead see in free markets an Imaginary Fist. I remain fundamentally skeptical that very many people have (or will) come to libertarianism through the door marked “antiwar”. But hope springs eternal, and I favor keeping that door open.

  6. paulie Post author

    My point was about the PSL’s audience, not about the PSL itself. I still don’t see how you’re going to find among them significant numbers of people who are sympathetic to property rights and freedom of economic association.

    It’s not too hard to find people who are strongly antiwar who are not Marxist-oriented in their economic thinking. While doing college OPHs, I found the typical score to be clustered around 80 on social issues and about 50 on economic issues. Many of those economic scores came with comments such as “I don’t really understand economics” or “I don’t really care about that stuff.”

    Also, while working with peace, anti-prohibition, environmental, and other such groups on campus I ran into many people who would tell me in conversation that they agreed that government is way too big, but they usually prioritized peace and civil liberties issues and stayed quiet on the economic issues.

    Finally, there are also many people who weakly hold big government economic views as part of a package deal – because their allies on peace and civil liberties issues, which they care more about, hold similar views, and because the warmongers, theocrats, and other people they strongly line up against tend to (falsely) profess faith in free markets. I used to fall in this category, and I know many other people who did at one time or another.

    Ron Paul was able to appeal to many of these kinds of people, and the galvanizing moment that did it was standing up to Giuliani on the war issue. He built a tremendous following among young people, and even got many of them excited about monetary policy of all things – and somehow I don’t think it was because he is pro-life, anti-immigration or anti-gay marriage. So, if anything, Libertarians should be able to do even better with this crowd than Ron Paul did.


    Most of these people don’t understand the the Invisible Hand, and instead see in free markets an Imaginary Fist. I remain fundamentally skeptical that very many people have (or will) come to libertarianism through the door marked “antiwar”.

    Well, they could. And as for the invisible hand, it has to be explained to them in language they relate to by people they relate to by virtue of already working together on common causes. No, you are not going to get everyone – just as when you appeal to conservatives, there are always some who will see libertarianism as a drug-crazed haven of abortion, prostitution, homosexuality, promiscuity, borders opened to invading Mexicans and Muslims, etc. and so on.

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