Counterculture Con HQ

December 10, 2009

Peace Prize, War President

The Nobel Peace Prize means very little to this blogger.  It’s value has been so debased that it pretty much amounts to little more than a bauble of fool’s gold in the pursuit of false peace, or in the service of rank politics.  That alone could be the subject of an entire post, but that isn’t our focus here.

Most recently the Nobel committee in Norway embarrassed itself by awarding the Prize to President Obama who had done absolutely nothing to earn it.  If you disagree with that proposition, you can’t disagree with the fact that it was certainly awarded to him over the heads of far more deserving candidates (something he himself admitted).  President Obama actually looked embarrassed receiving it.  Some claimed it was awarded to Obama for no better reason than to shame George W. Bush.  Others said it was to encourage or bribe Obama into a more “peaceful” course in Irag and Afghanistan.  And while this blogger does not hold President Obama responsible for his embarrassment (after all, he didn’t ask for it), the Nobel committee’s choice exposed to the light of day the corrupted process by which the Prize is awarded.

Yet even as the Prize has come into disrepute, the acceptance speech given by President Obama in Oslo is receiving high praise from CCHQ.  This was not Barack Obama the leftwing appeaser, the citizen-of-the-world apologizer, the internationalist kowtower-in-chief. It was the most pro-war speech ever given by a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.  It was a speech George W. Bush himself could have made, a speech by an unapologetically American War President:

I…am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars.  One of these wars is winding down.  The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by forty three other countries – including Norway – in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

And while President Obama was obligated to toss the usual suspects in the reconstructed bolshevik, blame-America-first, far Left crowd a couple of bones such as,

…I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago – “Violence never brings permanent peace.  It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.”

Those platudinous scraps were almost always rendered as mere qualifiers for his real points,

I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.

The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest – because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another – that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier’s courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause and to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.

And then something for the erstwhile JFK Liberals who now call modern conservatism their home:

So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly irreconcilable truths – that war is sometimes necessary, and war is at some level an expression of human feelings. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. “Let us focus,” he said, “on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions.”

Stunning. Here was an American president who showed up in Oslo and essentially tossed those 30 pieces of silver right back in their faces and told them where to shove it.  And you should have seen the glum look on those mugs!

Yes, there are the usual cheap shots at President Bush we’ve all come to expect from Obama in the greater text of the speech.  They are uncalled for, but expected.  He has been obsessive in this blame game.  Despite that, Obama’s speech essentially affirms the foreign policy beliefs and values of the American Right.  It was an American exceptionalism speech.  A speech affirming that war– unlike the empty slogans of the Left we’ve been subjected to for the last eight years, i.e., “War never solved anything,” “No blood for oil,” and every platudinous leftwing slogan, meme and trope you care to imagine, etc.– war is sometimes a justified, and dare I say moral recourse.   And his speech affirms that an American president’s duty is first to his country and his people, and only later to the notion of a larger “international community.”   It was a speech recognizing the sacrifices our country has made, and the benefits we have brought to the world.  It was a moral and principled speech, and he defied his own political base to deliver it.

I have never disliked Barack Obama, the man.  Today I like him just a tad more, the President.  Today he showed that there is a strong undercurrent of pragmatism in the Leftwing ideologue.  He has shown us he is a man of complexity.  Even his prior grovelling might be forgiven.  It is this writer’s firm position that we should always give credit where credit is due so as not to cheapen legitimate criticism of the Left.  You might think that this policy undermines our cause, and perhaps it does to a degree.  But only superficially.  Because these carrots–carefully and appropriately administered to reward their good behaviour–ultimately serves our cause in the long run, as surely as taking the stick to them does.  President Obama made a terrific speech.  The first truly American speech I have heard this President give.  And he should be sincerely applauded for it.  We at CCHC take our hat off, stand firmly at attention, and salute this President.