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Tarnished Gold

By Guy R McPherson

10 October, 2009

I suppose the king of Norway could endow me with the Nobel Prize for Medicine. After all, I've done no harm, thereby adhering to the first rule of medical practice. As a consequence, I demonstrate great promise.

But of course there would be no political reason to hand me a Nobel Prize. The Nobel committee is nothing if not political, and there is no more political act than awarding the Nobel Peace Prize.

On the other hand, it's politically astute to award Barack Obama the prize. And he has promise and little else on his side, according to the official statement from this year's Nobel committee, unless you believe his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" have yet borne fruit. The committee had better be looking at his promise and his efforts, and not the outcome. If they were giving the Nobel for results instead of empty hope, Obama would have been awarded the Prize for War, not Peace. Consider the following accomplishments, which represent a partial list of the best-known examples.

Obama has ratcheted up the war in Iraq, despite campaign promises to the contrary. Can we kill more civilians? Yes, we can.

Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, despite campaign promises to the contrary. The war has spilled into Pakistan and now includes political conversations with the Taliban, our allies during the Reagan administration and mortal enemies during the last decade or so. Can we enlist our former foes to help us kill more civilians? Yes, we can.

Obama is seriously considering bombing Iran, a strategy he believed wise long before he was president, or coming to the aid of Israel when they attempt to drive Muslim enemies from the Promised Land of Christianity. Can we contribute to further fraying of a delicate situation in the tinderbox known as the Middle East? Yes, we can.

Obama has postponed his promise of closing the torture camp at Guantanamo Bay, despite many promises to the contrary. At the current rate, Gitmo will never be closed. Can we continue imprisoning and torturing people without cause? Yes, we can.

Obama has maintained Bush-era programs of extraordinary rendition and legalized torture. Can we spread our culture of torture throughout the civilized world under the false flag of quashing terrorism? Yes, we can.

The political left has been silent throughout this entire onslaught, thus giving Obama a free pass on every one of these issues. Each of these issues was considered vitally important when a smirking half-wit occupied the Oval Office. Now, as then, any of them should be sufficient to begin impeachment hearings in Congress. Where's the left? Oh, that's right: There is no left left in this country. They abandoned ship in the dead of night, back when it was Morning in America.

Perhaps most importantly, Obama has instilled confidence in the world's industrial economy, thereby preventing the economic collapse toward which the Shrub administration had us headed. By keeping alive the omnicidal culture of death, Obama ensures the birth of more people into the world. When collapse comes, we're therefore assured that human suffering and consequent death will be even greater than it would have been with an earlier collapse. And, along the way, we have to live with the burden of knowing we have killed more non-human species, slayed more non-industrial humans, and contributed even more quickly to our own inevitable extinction. Can we extend the omnicide beyond other cultures and other species, so that it includes our own species? Yes, we can.

War is peace. Life is death. Left is right. And this Orwellian world grows more Orwellian with each passing day.

Guy R. McPherson, Professor Emeritus
University of Arizona
School of Natural Resources & the Environment and
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology


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