Now WE Must Earn Obama's Nobel

The Nobel Prize given to Barack Obama must now be earned by a
grassroots movement dedicated to peace. The award was given to an
American president now ignobly intent on waging war.

So the task of actually earning this honor falls to us.

Thousands of anti-war activists took to the streets in at least 100 US
cities within hours after Obama officially escalated the war on
Afghanistan on December 1.

With them came a least one new global internet campaign (The Peace, Justice & Environment Network, devoted to reversing this ghastly attack as well as to saving the environment and winning social justice.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced legislation to deny the funding for this war.

All around the world a sane citizenry has made it clear that war is not peace.

Perhaps the Nobel committee knew it was taking a gamble on Obama when
it gave him a Peace Prize he has not yet earned. Perhaps some voters
hoped that it would influence his decision and help him turn away from
a clearly catastrophic excursion into the Graveyard of Great Powers.

But the President has delivered his answer: No Such Luck.

The tragedy of his speech and behavior in Norway is
heart-wrenching. Obama devoted his once-in-a-lifetime talk to
justifying American warfare, conjuring righteous images of this nation
as an armed crusader, and asserting that violence is an immovable piece
of the human condition rather than the ultimate enemy.

If the Nobel Prize has stood for anything over the decades, it's been
as a beacon to the hope that our species might ultimately evolve into
something better.

It was with the hope that Obama would further that vision that the
award was given. But he flew into town, pitched an infomercial for war,
blew off the traditional niceties of a meeting with the King of Norway,
a talk to the Parliament, a visit with local children and much more -- and
then split town to do -- what?....that could be so much more important.

In short, beneath that smooth, calm veneer, Barack Obama was
ingracious and rude in a setting designed to epitomize the opposite.
For Americans dedicated to global goodwill---many of whom voted for
him---he was downright embarrassing. For those committed to justice and
peace, he was alarming and infuriating.

Obama did acknowledge that he did not deserve the award, and that his
contributions had been "slender." That much has become an overly kind

He also acknowledged he came to the award by virtue of the work of
Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement he helped lead.

But Dr. King would have been utterly heartbroken by Obama's screed for
war in the most inappropriate time and place. It was King who forever
linked the unjust war in Vietnam with the moral and financial
bankruptcy of the nation waging it. Now his ultimate beneficiary is
perpetrating all the good doctor's worst fears.

Obama's speech has been brilliantly dissected at great length
by superb commentators like Norman Solomon ("Mr. President, War is Not
Peace",; David Swanson ("Obama's Infomercial for
War," at Portside); David DeGraw ("Obama Far Outdoes Bush in Escalating
War," at Alternet) and many more.

It's a tragic picture with a very clear message: the peace movement
must re-constitute itself with sufficient power to fulfill the Nobel
mandate. For those who might have retained residual hope or illusions
for this young president, this must stand as the definitive departure.

We now face triple crises in war, where the president has
escalated; health care, where he has refused to discuss single payer
and now presides over the gutting of the public option; and the
environment, where he has escalated the ultimate destroyer---war---and
may soon open the door to its ultimate evil, atomic power.

It's not enough to wring our hands. It's time to move on and figure out
how to win. Our ideals---from meaningful peace to universal health care
to a Solartopian energy economy---are all tangible, essential and

The ignoble truth is that the man in the White House is not our ally.

So what else is new? Obama's failures have made it OUR Nobel.

Yes we can!

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