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Obama’s Nobel Intentions and Ignoble Realities

New America Media, Commentary, Roberto Rodriguez Posted: Oct 09, 2009

President Barack Obama continues to wage two wars, and now he has received the Nobel Peace Prize. Although the right thinks he has turned over the nation to the socialist UN, Obama is actually continuing many of the war policies of his predecessor.

So then why the Nobel prize? The reason has to be his discourse. Rather than speak of America’s destiny, he speaks of worldwide peace and a nuclear-free planet. Speaking of these goals, as opposed to accomplishing them, are two different things. But admittedly, he has called for a new cooperative environment in which the United States is now seen as a contributor to peace as opposed to rogue policeman.

All this is good for the world. However, the reality is that Obama has yet to make a serious dent in former President Bush’s draconian war policies at home and abroad. On the domestic front, this reticence greatly affects the national debate on matters such as health care, energy and immigration.

For example, over the past several months, conservatives seemingly have made headway convincing a good portion of the U.S. public that Congress may not be able to produce a national health care plan that will not bust the budget – something that Obama promised not to sign. And then came Afghanistan.

Conservatives almost had the nation convinced that insuring everyone is simply too costly. However, there will be money for Afghanistan, just as every year our brave and courageous political leaders of both parties manage to find hundreds of billions for the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Neither is there money for education, but plenty of money for war and more war. Plenty of money for bombs, but not books.

How did the values of this nation get this skewed? The truth is the nation’s leaders are addicted to war. They always have been. They have also always been aided by linguistic jujitsu in which war is actually peace. This is not a page out of George W. Bush’s warped lexicon. Truthfully, all of history’s despots have made the same claim: The more war, the more peace. Thus, the nation inherits not simply an insatiable thirst for war, but a spiritual rationale to go with it.

At the core of this ideology is dehumanization. As long as loss of U.S. lives is kept to a minimum – especially with the use of drone technology – the nation’s leaders do not have to account for the killing of hundreds of thousands of the “enemy.” All they have to do is employ phrases such as peace, democracy and national security.

But dehumanization is old news. Back to the economic argument about the nation being too broke to afford health care or it being a crime to saddle the next generation with permanent debt because of Obama’s intent to impose a government-run, socialized and rationed health care

As tempting as it is to call it Bush-logic, the truth is, that’s the past. Under Obama – and despite his Nobel Peace Prize – we continue to live under the same nonsensical policies that have brought us to the brink of bankruptcy. This includes defending the unchecked right of the executive to trample the Constitution – all under the guise of national security and “keeping the nation safe.” This also includes his failure to uphold the Constitution by failing to even investigate the former administration in its effort to foist a clearly illegal war upon the world.

It defies logic how the nation’s political class manages to discuss the war(s) and health care reform as though they were unrelated. The actual price tag (more than a trillion dollars) on both wars has already far exceeded the projected cost of the president’s health care reform. That does not take into account the added costs from the tens of thousands of veterans who are returning with permanent physical and psychological injuries, which in many cases will require lifetime medical care.

Beyond the moral and political arguments, it makes perfect economic sense to stop both wars. Perhaps a fiscally conservative Congressional bill is in order: the United States shall not engage in war unless it is fully paid for; the United States shall not engage in war if it contributes to the nation’s deficit.

Perhaps President Obama will now use the moral power of his Nobel to actually end both wars.

Rodriguez can be reached at: XColumn@gmail.com.

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