Barack Obama-A Nobel Peace Laureate for our Times?

One of the key benefits of having a Nobel Peace Laureate as the leader of one of the most militaristic and aggressive countries in the West, is that he is able to hesitate, pause, reflect and think, before he orders cruise missiles to be launched into another sovereign state which is fighting a bitter insurrection and civil war.
The President of the United States of America Barrack Obama is under extraordinary political and military pressure to attack another self-governing, independent state. While to some extent this is of his own making (“the use of chemical weapons crosses a red line”) he has listened to his key allies, and to the Russians in deciding to wait before he issues the order to attack Syria. Fortunately for the rest of us Mr. Obama possesses key human qualities of rational thinking, reflection and understanding. Qualities which many of his predecessors have lacked, especially George W Bush and his administration who led the world to the point of no return following their illegal invasion of Iraq.
In his address at Cairo University in 2009 President Obama stated that “There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”
These are the decent, humane values which underpin this man’s political career and aspirations, his thoughtful and decent leadership qualities, as well as the directions in which he is attempting to lead his country and the world. He went on to say that “ We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children”. (Obama, 2009) So, it is in this context that American citizens and peoples of other countries need to situate his current stance on the Syrian Arab Republic and not in the politics of hate and disaffection which seems to taint and threaten America’s democracy in the 21st century.
Disaffected Democrat and Republican politicans and their supporters, along with war crazed peoples of the USA (and the world), caught up in their own blood lust, are calling for War and urging a catastrophic missile strike on the besieged Syrian state without any pause for reflection. They are caught up in their own narcissistic egos. They are filled with gloated pride and the faded ideas of war time glory, world domination and imperialistic grandeur. Shame on them! They have learned nothing from history or their countries covert and explicit involvement in wars outside of their immediate geo-political sphere over the past 70 years
President Obama continued “…events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.” (Obama, 2009) This is a good and noble way of acting – to seek diplomatic solutions to world crises which may involve countries going to war. Indeed, it is the only way for a Nobel Peace Laureate to think and behave.
Those who talk of plots by the Russians and a new era of American appeasement and submission are enmeshed in their own webs of fear, trickery and deceit, and cannot see that the world is tired of war. The new age awareness of peace rather than war has never been erased from our consciousness, and we must work hard to keep it at the forefront of our critical thinking, awareness and understanding.
As one very fallible Nobel peace laureate recently said, “Too many tears have been shed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when mothers… can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer” (Obama, 2009).
We need to pray in our respective traditions and cultures for peace in Syria, and throughout the world, and if we don’t believe in prayer we need to think positively and hope for a world where kindness and compassion are the core values we live by, rather than anger and aggression and the fear and ever present danger of war.
References
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-at-Cairo-University-6-04-09

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