Thursday, November 27, 2014

Revoke President Obama's Nobel Prize?

The recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to 17 year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai have stirred grumbles in several quarters, with many claiming that she was gifted the “holy grail” simply because she was shot by the Taliban.

“Tell me, would you have known Malala if she was shot by a United States drone,” posed Mohammed Wehliye, a Gulf-based Kenyan banking executive. “Do you know who Nabila Rehman is? Her family and folks were killed by an American drone and despite raising her voice, the Western media and governments ignored her”.

The awarding of Malala, whose case is an example of thousands of others in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza, comes at time when there have been calls to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to strip US President Barack Obama of the Nobel Prize he won in 2008 given the bloody wars that he is currently spearheading across the globe.

In fact, many have argued, the committee went against the will of the award founder Alfred Nobel who categorically declared that the prize should be granted to “someone who has made very outstanding achievements for the promotion of world peace in the previous year”.

Barack Obama was barely in office for eight months and the only global piece he had promoted remained in a mirage coloured in poetic rhetoric, epitomized by a speech he delivered in Cairo themed on improving West-Arab World relations.

But the reality of this lie would be manifested a few years later after the newly hailed “angel of peace” spearheaded wars that ended bombing six Arab nations, killing and maiming tens of thousands of civilians the process.

The seventh one, Syria, was only saved by a defiant Russia, only for Uncle Sam to later find an excuse in Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to rain down her bombs.

Those clamouring for Obama’s award revocation have claimed that he Nobel Peace Laureate to have spilled the most blood after being declared winner.

While the Nobel Committee said that during his consideration “emphasis was also given to his support-in word and deed-for the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons”, Obama’s regime have been increasing the nuclear development budget over the years against a backdrop of protests from the opposition and global peace lobby groups.

A few weeks ago, The New York Times reported that the Obama administration is planning to spend $1 trillion dollars, a conservative estimate according to experts, to upgrade the country’s nuclear weapons capabilities. The authors of the analytical article clearly indicated that America was slowly preparing for a possible future nuclear war, especially given the rise of Russian and Chinese influence in the global arena.

“With Russia on the warpath, China pressing its own territorial claims and Pakistan expanding its arsenal, the overall chances for Mr. Obama’s legacy of disarmament look increasingly dim,” the Times article proclaimed.

Expected to spend at least $355 billion in the first ten years according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the plan focusses on developing and deploying nukes that are more powerful and reliable but smaller than the current warheads. While this will go far in serving Obama’s public rhetoric of reducing nuclear tonnage in US stockpiles, the system will yield more destructive warheads in terms of targeting capabilities and delivery systems. 

The fact that two powerful but controversial Americans never had their Nobel Peace Prize medals reposed might demoralize the current campaigns to have Obama’s Nobel revoked.

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States and the first statesman to be awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, triggered a lot controversy with the Norwegian Left branding him a “military madman” imperialist who furthered the bloody American conquest of Philippines. The awarding of US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who have advocated and led a bloody military campaign against Vietnam, in 1973 led to the resignation of two Nobel Committee members in protest. 

But the fact that these individual’s names still remain engraved among the list of other “angels of peace” like Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Junior is enough to make Obama rest easy, assured that regardless of the number of countries he bombs his legacy as a peace maker is already cast in gold.

The story was first published in The Standard opinion pages