Saturday, December 12, 2009

War is Peace, Hate is Love

I have been mystified by the liberal responses to Obama's Nobel acceptance speech. I mean, really? Lauding and justifying 6 decades of near-constant and pointless war as you receive a prize for peace? This gets you misty-eyed? Really?? And after spending hours complaining about it to every innocent within earshot yesterday, I read Glenn Greenwald's reaction, which pretty well echoed my own and made me feel that perhaps I wasn't insane:
Is that what liberals were hoping for when they elected Obama: someone who would march right into Oslo and proudly announce to the world that we have a unilateral right to wage war when we want and to sing the virtues of war as a key instrument for peace?
I knew he was no dove when I voted for him, but when I compared his vote to ban cluster bombs to Hilary Clinton's vote against the ban, I really did think I was getting someone who might have some hesitance about continuing to fuel the dark Satanic mills of the military/industrial complex.

But I guess liberals will accept anything from a president these days so long as he can use multisyllabic words and talk in complete sentences, (another of my themes in yesterday's venting, and also coincidentally Greenwald's, here):
After eight years of enduring a President who spoke in simplistic Manichean imperatives and bullying decrees, many liberals are understandably joyous over having a President who uses their language and the rhetorical approach that resonates with them.
Yes. And if he uses that language to defend the indefensible, so much the better for getting the left to buy into the policies of the previous 8 years.

Greenwald also links to Chris Hayes over at The Nation, who quotes David Cortright, a Vietnam veteran and the Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame:
"I found the Nobel speech disappointing...To use the Nobel dais to justify the use of military force is unseemly. The president's characterization of the historic role of US military power was distorted, and his interpretation of just war theory was incomplete."
Disappointing. I wish I could tone it down to merely disappointing. As time goes on, I find Obama's various compromises and retreats on principles he outlined during his campaign to be more than just politics as usual. He worked tirelessly to gain our trust and make us believe that, this time, it could be different. I realize that his foreign policy approach was never intended to be completely dovish, but I personally think his acceptance speech in its overall tone and constant harking to a cynical realpolitik was inexcusable. Reagan could have done no better.

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