President Obama "Channeled" Predecessor in Nobel Speech, Writes Prof. Kevin Howley
December 14, 2009
December 14, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — "In a week marked by a series of contradictions that could make your head spin, Barack Obama accepted the Noble Peace Prize by channeling none other than George W. Bush," begins a Bloomington Alternative column by Kevin Howley. The associate professor of communication at DePauw University adds, "Not only did Obama repeat the Bush-era mantra that al-Qaida is evil incarnate, he snubbed the Norwegian royal family with Bush-like insolence."
Dr. Howley opines, "When Obama was named this year's Peace Prize recipient, conventional wisdom had it that the Nobel Committee selected Obama for one reason and one reason only: he's not George W. Bush. An important distinction to be sure, but hardly prize worthy. Or is it? Inevitably, the Nobel Committee went on to suggest the prize was 'aspirational' in nature and was awarded to Obama in recognition of his hard line against nuclear proliferation, his outreach to the Muslim world and his implicit rejection of Bush-era unilateralism. American news reports dutifully repeated the spin and seemed content to reaffirm Obama's brand identity as a peacemaker. Still, even the thick-as-a-brick U.S. press corps couldn't help but notice the irony that Obama collected his Nobel Peace Prize days after he announced his decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan." (photo at right: Pete Souza/The White House)
The professor goes on to note Obama's refusal to sign the Mine Ban Treaty (which Bush also opposed) and the current president's "flawed reading of post-WWII history ... Obama and his apologists in the U.S. press corps neglect the unpleasant fact that American tax dollars, military hardware and political influence have underwritten the state of Israel's decades-long oppression of the Palestinian people."
Howley notes, "For a great many Americans, the costs and consequences of Obama's war are hidden -- at least for the time being. But for those Americans who are currently serving in the armed forces, their families and the innocent civilians of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Obama's Nobel Peace Prize adds insult to injury." He concludes, "You needn't read between the lines of Obama's Noble Peace Prize acceptance speech to come to an Orwellian conclusion: for Obama, his national security advisors, and the establishment press, WAR IS PEACE."
Access the complete essay at the publication's Web site.
Kevin Howley was among the presenters at a media and communications conference in the Netherlands last month. He is the editor of the recently published textbook, Understanding Community Media, and authored Community Media: People, Places, and Communication Technologies.Back