Monday, October 12, 2009

War and Peace Prize

Well, I told you it wouldn't take long for Obama's misguided war policies to return to this column. I told you it wouldn't take long for him to do something.

The only difference this time is, he actually did nothing.

But the Nobel Committee, apparently believing that doing nothing is better than nothing, did do something: they awarded him a big fat peace prize.

In interviews after the announcement of the award, Obama confessed to being "surprised" at the committee's decision. And frankly, I'm not surprised he was.

Because when it comes to promoting peace, Obama has not only not done anything, he's done a lot less than nothing.

Let's review. Despite campaign promises, he has maintained the war in Iraq, with no end in sight. (After we pull out, he tells us, tens of thousands of "non-combat troops," not to mention various bases, embassies, contractors, private security forces, and advisors, will remain. So really, we're there for good.) And in keeping with campaign promises, he has escalated the war in Afghanistan, with, let's face it, no end in sight. (If these wars have proved anything, it's that in the modern era, wars are much easier to prolong than to end.) So Obama's signal contribution to peace has been to wage--and no less vigorously than his predecessor--war.

The wars he has waged have achieved none of the objectives on which they were founded. They have not destroyed the Taliban or al Qaida, captured Osama bin Laden, rid the world of WMD, brought democracy to the Middle East, staved off terrorist threats, liberated Muslim women, or any of the rest of it. What they have done is kill thousands of US soldiers and possibly hundreds of thousands of non-combatants, wreck several nations' economies and environments, unleash ancient ethnic rivalries, stoke anti-US sentiment worldwide, spawn new terrorist networks and recruits, install unstable governments, enrich defense contractors, embolden aggressor nations, and generally make the world much less peaceful than it was before they began.

Not exactly what you'd expect of the Nobel Prize winner. But hey, I guess it's something.

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