One of my best friends is a retired national journalist, professional skeptic and keen observer of the political scene in this country. He has been saying for five or six years now that when the Nobel Committee awarded newly minted President Barack Obama the Peace Prize in 2009, it made a huge mistake. I was inclined to agree but only sort of mildly.
I’ve come in from the cold. Obama has, during his terms in office, progressively worsened the cause of world peace. Most recently, he has authorized deliberate saber-rattling provocation of China over the latter’s admittedly shaky claims to territorial waters off its coast and tacitly approved Israel’s recalcitrant refusal to disclose whether or not it has a nuclear arsenal.
Both of these moves — only the latest in a continuing series of foreign policy initiatives and positions taken by Obama, Clinton and Kerry during the past 6+ years along similar lines — have increased global tensions, reduced the nearly non-existent notion of international cooperation and bolstered the causes of belligerents to ever-more-dangerous heights.
While he takes popular credit for ending the war in Iraq, we have seen lately that he hasn’t ended it, he’s merely transitioned it and modified its terms. In Afghanistan, he continually backs down from his commitment to bring things to a final conclusion. He eschews any talk of a political component in dealing with the Islamic State of Israel and the Levant (ISIL). He has greatly expanded the unconscionable use of unmanned drone attacks to further sanitize and isolate warmaking. And he has continued many of the previous Administration’s immoral, ineffective and illegal national espionage programs.
In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of a legitimate step toward peace this President can lay claim to.
If he is indeed a disappointment to the Nobel Prize Committee, think how much a disappointment he is to us peace-loving people in his own nation who supported him, however reluctantly, in his first bid for the White House.