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War is Peace, Mr. President?

Updated on December 13, 2009

"War is Peace.
Freedom is Slavery.
Ignorance is Strength."

These are the three slogans of Ingsoc in George Orwell's novel "1984".

President Obama, who has caught the opportunity when receiving the Nobel Peace Prize to come out as a supporter of legal mass murder, has not (at least not yet) pronounced the last two, but in his speech in Oslo he was close enough to the first.

The full text of his speech can be read (if the link works) at

and a commentary from a Quaker can be read at

As I was a university student in the 1960:es, I remember a nice song that was often sung at the time:

Lyndon Johnson told the nation,
"Have no fear of escalation.
I am trying everyone to please.
Though it isn't really war,
We're sending fifty thousand more,
To help save Vietnam from Vietnamese."

(Full text at )

If we change "Lyndon Johnson" to "Barack Obama", and "Vietnam" to "Afghanistan", the text will be quite up to date, I think (although there would be some problems with rhymes and meter).

Obama says:

"But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down."

That remains to be seen.

"The other is a conflict that America did not seek..."

Here we may notice that the president of the USA, who recently asked the youth of his country to study better, doesn't know the name of the country he is supposed to be ruling. He repeatedly calls it "America"; but America is a double continent, extended from the North West Passage to Cape Horn, and the USA is just one of many American countries, in no way representing the others. The main part of America is Latin America. If you don't believe me, just look at a map.

If "USA" is not good enough as a name, may I humbly propose "Yankistan"?

But if he says "America" and means "USA", what he now said is a flat lie.

Afghanistan never attacked the USA, as far as anyone knows.

Perhaps World Trade Centre was attacked by al-Qaida, perhaps by individual terrorists.

But nobody has proved the attacker to have been Afghanistan. The Taliban regime of the time was guilty of many crimes, but this was not one of them.

The war between USA and Afghanistan was initiated by USA. It is very much something that USA did seek.

Obama says:

"America has never fought a war against a democracy."

That's a matter of definition. It depends on how you define 1. "America", 2. "war" and 3. "democracy".

As for "America", see above. Its many countries have never agreed with each other enough to be a party in any war.

As for "war" and "democracy", USA has perhaps never fought an official war against a country that USA has defined as a democracy.

But it has collaborated with many dictatorships.

For example: when USA began fighting Hitler (not because they thought the war against him to be just, but because Hitler had declared war against them), they became the allies of Stalin; so they fought one devil by supporting another.

May have been necessary at the time - that was a war that USA "did not seek" - but it didn't make USA defenders of democracy.

(Neither were Britain and France, the only two countries who actually did declare war against Hitler. Both had vast colonies at the time, and the colonized peoples had no democracy. Both countries accepted Mussolini, as long as he committed his crimes in Africa; but Hitler went too far: he committed his crimes in Europe...)

September 11th is not only the date of the attack against World Trade Centre. It is also the date in 1973, when USA helped Pinochet to dethrone Allende - who was democratically elected.

Besides, perhaps we shouldn't forget that the USA in itself, as a country, was founded not on democracy but on genocide. People were living there before the palefaces arrived, and it took a long time for the native peoples to get some kind of human rights. US territory is stolen territory - either directly, or bought or conquered from other robbers.

Nor should we forget that the beautiful words of the Declaration of Independence, "that all men are created equal", were written and signed by slave owners.

Even the capital of the country bears the name of one of those slave owners, and the District of Columbia is named after a murderer and exploiter (who, besides, didn't know where he was, and who - by the way - never visited any part of the present USA,except Puerto Rico).

No, I don't think you should change the names; I think you should use them to remember history, and to look through the public lies of your national myths.

Obama says that his empire is making war "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".

I don't believe him. Power always seeks, first and last, to impose its will.

He says that "the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace".

Can we remember having heard this before?

Yes we can!

This assertion has been repeated by every single warlord for some millennia by now. The Romans said the same.

They, too, were lying.

But to do Obama justice, I don't think he is worse than other presidents of the USA. For a chief of state, or a chief of government, to be a lier, a murderer and a hypocryte is, historically speaking, perfectly normal.

Truth is the first victim of war, according to many.

I think truth is also the first victim of power.

(As recommended by one of my followers - formerly called "fans" - I am just reading Norman Solomon's book "War Made Easy". I recommend it. But I think it will now need a new chapter...)


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