Dear Dirty America

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A Peace Prize Like A Millstone

A Peace Prize Like A Millstone
August 31
14:45 2013

Most people like to be rewarded for their efforts. Most people like to receive a prize. Yet some prizes must turn into a goddamned nuisance, like President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. He must be so sick of carrying on his back that hollow honor.

He can’t seem to get rid of the damned thing. It’s become a millstone around his neck, weighing him down in ethical and moral arguments about some of his favorite activities as president — drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan that have killed thousands of innocent people; a Tomahawk cruise missile strike that wiped out a small Yemeni village and killed 21 children and 14 women. His war in Libya where NATO unleashed a fierce bombing campaign that resulted in untold numbers of civilians believed to be in the tens of thousands range of dead and wounded.

And now Syria. The president finally broke down on his tough guy, go-it-alone stance as pressure overseas and at home prompted Mr Obama to first get approval from Congress before he strikes Syria and angers its allies like Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea.

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin poked Obama’s peace prize in relation to Washington’s heavy rhetoric concerning Syria:

The Russian president said Obama, as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, should remember the impact any U.S. attack would have on Syrian civilians. (source)

Although the president of Russia should not be one to talk about peaceful action toward civilians, he is talking sense right now in relation to Syria. Bombs do not fly into compounds filled with clear cut bad guys. Bombs rip and destroy anything in their blast circumference. Bombs destroy electrical grids and water treatment plants and lower the standards of living for millions of people. Sickness and disease from a lack of clean water and electricity take a toll on civilians who are not in direct danger of being blown up.

What is so shocking and maddening is the way Secretary of State, and one-time vigorous peace activist, John Kerry, so easily and heartlessly attempts to push America into taking drastic, violent measures. President Obama is no different. There is nothing short term or simple about a military strike.

[photo by Samantha Appleton]

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