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10 Dec, 2009 14:27

A Nobel man: Obama faces controversy receiving Peace Prize

Barack Obama has arrived in Norway to receive his Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him in October. The choice of the Nobel Committee was a surprise for many, even for the American president himself.

The Nobel Committee said it wanted to praise Obama's efforts to strengthen diplomacy and cooperation between nations.

But with Obama accepting the prize only nine days after sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, many critics are ablaze.

US economist Paul Craig Roberts says it is wrong to award the Peace Prize to a president involved in a war based purely on his rhetoric:

“In George Orwell’s book 1984, one of Big Brother’s slogans is ‘War is peace’. When the Nobel Committee made this decision, they made it way back based on a little bit of rhetoric. I think they were hoping for the best and perhaps they were trying to encourage him to go into a peaceful mode. But he hasn’t. He has renewed the war in Afghanistan, he has escalated it. He started the war in Pakistan, which is now quite serious. And also Iran remains under threat. So obviously Obama has nothing to do with peace. He has to do with war. And giving him a Peace Prize means the equation of war with peace,” Roberts believes.

Republican Congressman Ron Paul agrees. Obama's recent war plans show he should not have been awarded the Peace Prize:

“They should have turned it down. I mean, he is expanding the war. The people should be embarrassed. How can you believe in preventive war, that is, belief in the principle of starting wars, in expanding wars – and get a Peace Prize? I don’t see any signs of peace. I see that the world is more dangerous – it was more dangerous with the last administration, and the danger continues to expand with this administration,” Ron Paul told RT.

German publicist Christoph Horstel calls Barack Obama an “unworthy candidate for a Nobel Peace Prize”, citing all his doubtful achievements:

“Look at Afghanistan, for example, where he has doubled the troops; Pakistan, where he has killed more people with drones in nine months than Bush has in the last three years. Look at the Middle East – he is incapable of stopping illegal Israeli settlements. This is all being paid for by American taxpayers,” Horstel told RT.

During the award ceremony, Obama took a moment to justify his decisions, saying that “the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.” He admitted, however, that “no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy,” and said that he saw his task as having to reconcile these truths. “War is sometimes necessary,” Obama added.

Read also: Obama in Oslo insults Norwegian King, journalists and orphans