Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Opportunity Lost: Obama in Oslo

By Daniel C. Maguire
December 16, 2009

Whether Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize is not the point. He didn’t. The fact is he got it, and was gifted with the chance of a lifetime to make a classic speech on the politics of peace-making, a speech that in the glare of Nobel could have attained instant biblical standing.

Read on.

5 comments:

B/R said...

Sadly cogent take on Obama in Oslo.

Randal Marlin said...

Daniel Maguire's comments are spot on. I noticed that President Obama conspicuously omitted reference to Just Cause and Right Intention in his speech, presumably because the 2003 Iraq War was notably bereft of support from either of these two conditions. The WMD deception has knocked out any underpinning from the original casus belli, and the immediate post bellum concern for oil and not order has undermined the second. Interestingly, Obama seems less concerned about Iraq oil than the Bush administration.

rightly said...

Just cause is in the eye of the beholder. The standards enumerated by a theory must not be bent to fit a desired conclusion, We hear too much of this in religious and political dissertations.Terrorists attacks may be defended on the same principles:
Just Cause - defense against perceived attacks on a religious culture that relies on its interpretation of divine authority. We have had similar wars. The Crusades and and the Inquisition come to mind.
Declaration by Competent Authority - Who is more competent than one who acts with the certainty of belief?
Right Intentions - The Right and Justice depends on the moral and ethical authority.
Non-Combatant Immunity- Who are immune if the cause is just, the Authority Competent, and the intentions right?
Last Resort - If the convictions of religious fanatics are frustrated by the masses, the last resort is a just war. This has been the accepted practice throughout history. Saving souls has been the basis of continuing warfare by Muslim, Christian Tartar, and every culture and belief that felt the need to feed its people, whether the hunger was for food or belief.
The idea of an absolute justice is just that, an idea. The certainty of justice is founded in a leap of faith and the invention of authority.

J. Patrick Mahon said...

Dan,
Your analysis is right on target. I had some of the same impressions and some additional comments.
In trying to be "practical" in an "evil" world, the President was trashing the efficacy of nonviolence. I am sure he forgot to cite how the myth that Reagan's tough policies brought down the Iron Curtain when, in fact, it was a mounting nonviolent effort. It came from people who were under oppression behind the Iron Curtain.It came to be known as the Velvet Revolution.
In assigning the noblest of motives to American policy, it is apparent that the President has never read Overthrow by Stephen Kinzer. Kinzer documents American intervention and domination of other nations from the Philippines in the late 19th century right down to Iraq today. Freedom and democracy are code words for our conquest of bananas and oil, among other valuable commodities,to ensure the American way of
life--our complacent, bloated lifestyles. We have killed millions around the globe to set them free.
The Obama bumper sticker is no longer on my car. I no loner see even a glimmer of change I can believe in. The self-proclaimed change agent is what has been changed.
We have a person in our church who prays for our troops who are working for peace and justice around the world. I cannot answer, "Lord hear our prayer" to that petition. Answering that petition makes me complicit in living the lie. They just do not get it. I often tell folks that violence cannot produce lasting peace. I say, "I can bring an acorn here to Florida from the North Georgia Mountains but it will never
become a palm tree!"
I challenged a young Republican who "crashed" the SOA Vigil to hand out fliers supporting "our heroes" and he was was quick to tell that me dialogue will never produce peace. How sad!
By the way, I do pray for the troops and their safety because many of them have been duped by the
establishment and it is their only way up and out of less than
desirable living conditions. The powers and the principalities have put them in harm's way. It is now the military-multinational complex.
People delude themselves into thinking that our politicians, including the President, have power--they are puppets on the strings of multinational greed.
We have to teach nonviolence from the rooftops. We have to proclaim
nonviolence in season and out of season. We have to conform our lives to the life of Jesus who overcame the power of death, the ultimate threat, by nonviolent means.

paul bangasser said...

Once again, good conclusion but lousy logic getting there. Quite a weak application of the concepts, sort of a cut/paste/post method where anything which support my conclusion is "true" and any fact which refutes it is "false". Sort of like that bright but lazy sophomore.
With your pedigree, I was expecting something tight which I could then hold up to the bishops and ask why they don't pound the podium about this unjust war as they like to about abortion.
This is only a polemic, not a thinking piece.