12 October 2009

The Obama Peace Prize

The fascists of the right wing echo chamber still don't get it. For just about the entirety of the 20th century, the United States enjoyed high favorable ratings around the globe. Our great nation was looked to as the bright beacon of liberty and freedom to a world continually torn apart by failed leadership, war, and famine. Then, in early 2003, the administration of George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. It was, they explained, a necessary war in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Only, it wasn't. It was a war of choice, sold to the American people and the entire world on the basis of false and fabricated intelligence; thousands of American soldiers sent to their graves on the wings of a lie. The administration broke international law, condoned torture, and essentially told the rest of the world to fuck off, insisting that the U.S. had the right to do what it pleased, when it pleased. By the end of 2008, the result of such iron-fisted governance was a world at the abyss, with America's reputation in tatters.

With last year's election of Barack Obama, the American people said, "Enough!" Having got the choice wrong in 2004, voters turned the page and closed out a very sad chapter in our history. Since taking office in January, President Obama has worked slowly and methodically to restore American values and leadership in an effort to sooth global nerves, assuring allies and enemies alike that we really aren't the belligerent bully the minions of the Bush administration made us out to be; that we can truly abide by international law, and live up to promises made in long standing treaties.

Last week's Nobel Peace Prize was recognition of that effort.

(Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh, European Pressphoto Agency)