The Peace Prize Body Count


Civilian casualties (est.) in two wars being waged by the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize:

Afghanistan, Feb-July: 886

Iraq, Feb-Aug: 2,629

NEXT: Nobel WTF?

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  1. But he’s talked a good game. And that’s enough, right?

  2. Speeches about unicorns and rainbows > body counts

    You hate America don’t you?

  3. But those are still Bush’s wars, or something!

  4. Brian you make a good point. No President of a great power should, absent truly extrordinary circumstances win the Nobel Peace Prize. Leaders of great powers have to do nasty and unpeacful things. It is part of the job. They are therefore pretty much by definition excluded from winning such a prize. It is the equivilent of giving the Pope a world prize in military strategy. These prizes ought to go to dissendent leaders and do gooder NGOs.

    1. John, you make an excellent point. Do you think perhaps the committee awarded it to pressure Obama NOT to act with force when he otherwise would?

  5. While I agree that a country’s leader should not be eligible during a time of war. I don’t agree that it’s part of a leaders job to be nasty and unpeaceful.

  6. “I don’t agree that it’s part of a leaders job to be nasty and unpeaceful.”

    It is part of a leaders’ job to defend the country. That necessarily entails being nasty and unpeaceful at times. FDR was certainly right to fight World War II, but you can hardly give him a Nobel Peace Prize for it.

    1. There’s a lot of reasonable people who will disagree with you on the legitimacy of us fighting in World War II. We were egging on the Japanese for at least eight months before they bombed Pearl Harbor. After all, we immediately went after the Germans, not the Japanese.

      1. There are also a lot of people who think the earth is flat, the John Birch Society killed Kennedy and that Obama fathered Trig Palin on a trip to the Kremlin to. That doesn’t mean they are right.

        1. Without the predatory treaty of versaille, the Germans may not have been so susceptible to Hitler’s power speeches. There is some argument that Hitler and Stalin would have wiped each other out. Either way, I’m not sure how we decide to side with one guy who purges tens of millions of “bourjois” (read: anyone who disagrees), or the other guy who kills tens of millions jews.

          Dr David Gordon’s Review of _A Century of War_

          Dr David Gordon’s Review of Defend America First

    2. If you prefer the official version, so be it. But you might consider the possibility that the official version is “incomplete”.

      did you know that FDR sent warships into Japanese territorial waters as part of his ongoing efforts to provoke them into attacking the U.S.?

      Couldn’t possibly be true, could it?

  7. And only four more days until the SEASON PREMIERE of OBAMA’S WAR.

    It says so right in the ad down there to the left….. Hmmm.

  8. He inherited those coffins!

    1. he also said he would bring the troops home if he was elected president.

  9. MSNBC should be something tonight. Mathews will get another tingle in his leg. Olbermann and his little sis Maddow will be raging that anyone who doesn’t think Obama deserves the award is a traitor to the US.

    1. A traitor and a teabagger!

      1. hahaha I LOVE it when people call tax-protesters teabaggers! You know what teabagging is right?? It’s when I stick my nuts in your face! Big coup for me!

  10. We kill because we care.

  11. Irony = an ad for a documentary titled “Obama’s War” hanging out to the right of a blog entry about his peace prize.

  12. But the Cambridge, MA body count is 0! It could have been a bloodbath!

  13. This is ridiculous. While I’m no Obama fan, he’s inherited all of these wars.

    1. But he hasn’t done anything to end them, which he promised to do during the campaign. In fact he’s probably going to send even more troops to Afghanistan.

      1. “he hasn’t done anything to end them”

        Such as?

          1. He can end them just by ending them? He should do that.

            1. That’s generally how that works. Escalating one of them and doing jack and squat on the other is kinda the opposite of ending them.

  14. Way to reduce those standing armies, Barack.

  15. And Hitler inherited an angry Germany. What could he do but what he did?

  16. You have to break some eggs to make Whirled Peas.

  17. Peace is Our Profession.

  18. I made a model catapult for my kid’s science project in school. Can I get the Nobel for Physics? I’ve still got the catapult if they need proof…

  19. Schlock and awe.

    1. Grasp and thrust.

  20. You know, I get it, but a complete failure to acknowledge that he took over those wars in mid-stream?

    1. Is there going to be some point–say, some time in this century–when Obama is responsible for something that he does?

  21. Lamar,

    So what? Is he phasing us out of those wars? Has he done one thing on his own to advance the cause of peace? Certainly he’s done nothing material. Nothing.

    Gandhi, on the other hand, got nominated FIVE times and never won. Gandhi. I suppose Jesus could come down, provide us all with total consciousness, rid us of the desire to hate and kill others, and he’d be passed over because he’s too conservative.

    1. Just to back up what ProL said, he’s done absolutely NOTHING to foster peace, except avert the potential escalating violence between a pissed off Ivy League professor and an asshat cop.

      But hey, that’s one powerful motherfucking beer summit to merit Norwegian neck bling.

    2. Gandhi was the Susan Lucci of Nobel Peace Prizes.

    3. Ghandi is the classic snub, and you can compare almost every winner to Ghandi and the winner will pale in comparison.

      And I see it as a bit unreasonable to question why Obama doesn’t just let Afghanistan turn into chum. He’d have more blood on his hands than if he does an Afghanistan surge or whatever they’re calling it.

  22. With Lamar on this one, would have been a valid point, but without acknowledging that they were part of the mess Bush left, makes this look like a Rush or Beck headline.

    1. Maybe, if the topic weren’t specifically about what Obama’s (not) done. Do you really think anyone here doesn’t know that Bush started the wars? Your request would be like me saying “I fell down the other day” and you saying “Now wait just a cotton-picking minute: You left out the whole bit about gravity?” Would it help you if we all prefaced our comments with “We know that it’s all Bush’s fault, but?”?

      1. Straight question: Do you support the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq? Or do you think that such a withdrawal would be unwise? Something in between?

        1. No, I don’t support the immediate withdrawal. But this isn’t about me. It’s about what Obama said he would do and what he has (not) done. It doesn’t matter if I agree with him or not. He made a position for himself as the peace candidate with a platform of getting out. Whether I agree with it or not, he has manifestly not even started what he promised to do. If that was the basis for his claim as the peace candidate, what was his award for? Being nice and talking a big show? Hell, any of us could do that.

          1. “No, I don’t support the immediate withdrawal.”

            And neither does the Nobel Committee or anybody else for that matter.

          2. “What was his award for? Being nice and talking a big show?”

            I’ve heard some garbage about awarding it to Obama as a representative of the American people for moving away from Bush/neocon rhetoric, but really, I think you’re closer to the mark.

        2. Yes. The disasters happens now or they happen ten years hence. No need to waste another dollar or another American life.

          We should have never been in Iraq and should have been out of Afghanistan years ago.

  23. You know, I get it, but a complete failure to acknowledge that he took over those wars in mid-stream?

    In Iraq, he’s carrying out Bush’s plan.

    Afghanistan is all his, though. He adopted the current strategy (of escalation) back in March after careful and thorough review.

    The Nobel committee is quite clear that they aren’t worried about anything so picayune as wars. They are quite explicit that this prize is given solely for his rhetoric, not his results.

  24. Ah, but those dead have been counterweighted by all the spirits He’s lifted from the grave.

    O the glory!

  25. Afghanistan is now legitimately Obama’s war. In February, Obama ordered 17k more troops to Afghanistan to “stabilize” the region. Due to the increase in troops, July, August, and September saw the worse losses of coalition casualties since the war began. There have been more coalition casualties in Obama’s 9 months, then in W’s entire first term. Obama’s escalation was his own, not part of W’s plan, so while I hate W too, it is a dishonest copout to blame Bush for this one.

  26. . .this prize is given solely for his rhetoric, not his results.

    I just can’t stop thinking about Hitler (who I’m not comparing Obama to)–he talked peace before, after, and during multiple invasions.

    1. RC Dean: “In Iraq, he’s carrying out Bush’s plan.” Pro Libertate “he talked peace before, after, and during multiple invasions.”

      There’s no difference between cleaning up messy wars started by Bush and starting a war by invading a country? And didn’t the surge bring peace to Iraq?

      I don’t think Obama deserves the Nobel, even as a symbolic gesture or whatever. But I’m not stupid. I can tell the difference between invading a country on a slim pretext and pursuing a strategy to obtain a positive result in the wars we are already in.

      If I’m not mistaken, most Nobel winners are leaders who maintain a standing army. That’s not very peaceful!!

      1. And didn’t the surge bring peace to Iraq?

        This word you keep using, I do not think it means what you think it means.

        If you call what’s going on in Iraq peace, then Obama deserves this award for sure…

        1. If the surge didn’t bring peace, then would withdrawal of all troops? That seems to be the position taken here.

  27. Omama in our time!

  28. Lamar,

    What’s your point? That he’s not to blame for getting us into Iraq and Afghanistan? Fine. Still, he’s done little to tone down either war, so he can’t get peace credits for that, and he’s done virtually nothing material–not even rhetorically so–to advance the cause of peace. So this remains completely pathetic and indefensible.

    The only honest thing to have done was to have turned down the award. I acknowledged elsewhere that I could see why someone like him would find that impossible, but that’s not a compliment. Frankly, I think he missed an opportunity to really impress his critics as well as his cult by saying, “I haven’t earned this yet–please give it to Ben Kingsley.”

    1. Yes, my point is that he is not to blame for getting us into Iraq and Afghanistan. He is charged with getting us out. I guess he could just withdraw all the troops and sing Kum Ba Ya, but I don’t think that’s a reasonable solution. I find it disingenuous to say these wars are on Obama because he didn’t pull the troops out the day he took office. I’ve seen this magazine go from absurdly detailed and even-handed Cathy Young stories to this garbage. Matt Welch sucks.

        1. Already did. And I don’t like to call out specific names (except Moynihan, who is awful). But Jesus Christ. If I wanted typical right wing bullshit, I’d go to typical right wing bullshit outlets.

          Now that I think about it, Cathy Young was a good symbol. You finished her articles knowing more than when you started. All I learn from this bullshit is that Obama inherited a war and hasn’t pulled all the troops out, something that I don’t think anybody advises. These little bullshit pot shots are terrible. When they would do it to Bush, they would say “We know this is bullshit, but….”. And now it appears they don’t even know what an unfair cheap shot is. And looking at the posts, I can see why.

          In the Polanski thread, we have people who would always question the prosecutors version of events, even when the supposed victim testified at grand jury hearings. Throw some movie honcho into the mix and all of the sudden a young girl’s uncrossed and unobserved testimony is the gospel.

          I don’t think Reason or many commenters have said that we should immediately withdraw all troops from overseas entanglements regardless of consequences (though the Ron Paul angle should have suggested otherwise). Many folks supported the war. And now, Obama didn’t get us out in his first few months in office, so fuck him.

      1. Yes, my point is that he is not to blame for getting us into Iraq and Afghanistan.

        I promise you there isn’t a one of us who doesn’t know that. Telling us over and over again isn’t going to add one iota to our knowledge. Some of just happen to think that since the show is Obama’s now, we should judge him by whether he’s cleaning up the mess or not, especially since his big election pledge was to clean it up.

        Look, if a ruthless gang of bandits are running the town and the last sheriff was in cahoots with them and I’m elected because I say I’m going to run them out of town, but then, once I’m in office, I start inviting them over to the jail to play card, smoke cigars, and drink whiskey, how long will I get away with blaming it on the last guy.

        1. Blah blah blah. What is the peaceful solution to Afghanistan?

          1. I don’t know, but it seems neither does Obama. “blah, blah, blah?” I’m sorry if that’s what your argument has devolved into.

            1. Blah blah blah vs. Obama is inviting Taliban warlords over for cigars. I’ll take the former.

        2. Agree. Partisans of either the donkey or the elephant only understand the concept of governing from the context of their side’s need to stand on a higher moral plane than the other side, and neglect the inherent responsibility of that office because the power of the office and the metaphoric osmosis of one of their own possessing that office is what they covet.

          It needs to be printed on their cerebellums, if you want the Goddamn job of the presidency, and are elected to that Goddamn job, you are responsible for every Goddamn aspect of that job from Goddamn day one onward. No Goddamn excuses allowed. Damn it!

      2. I don’t think anyone is blaming Obama for getting us into anything. But he’s not turning the volume down, either. We’re withdrawing from Iraq per the Bush schedule, we’re escalating in Afghanistan, and I’ll be surprised if we don’t blow something up in Iran in the next year or so.

        Where’s the peace?

  29. Lamar,

    Come now, let’s be reasonable. If Obama is trapped by Bush into not being able to do anything significant for peace, then he’s not eligible for even being nominated, now is he? I mean, you should be at least able to do something significant for peace to even be considered, shouldn’t you?

    I’d give it to the dude who stopped the tanks at Tiananmen. He might be alive in some pit somewhere–who knows?

  30. Pro Lib, I am NOT saying Obama deserves it. But if he withdrew all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq tomorrow, would peace increase or decrease?

  31. Lamar,

    I hear you, but I’m pretty sure Bush would tell you we invaded to create more net peace in the long run, not less. In all sincerity, too.

    By that token, Harry Truman should’ve gotten the prize for dropping a couple of A-bombs on Japan.

    1. That’s one of the biggest problems with awarding the prize to a man who has done absolutely nothing for peace. I grant you that Obama’s record consists of some vague talks with enemy countries, and a lot of American ordinance in middle eastern soil. While I think Obama is a bit handcuffed with the wars he inherited, there is not an upside to balance it out. Yeah, bombs fell in Iraq during his tenure, but that pales in comparison to ____________________. There simply can’t be a blank space there.

      1. Ordnance, obviously. Though Obama may very well implement a regulatory state in the Middle East.

  32. I find it disingenuous to say these wars are on Obama because he didn’t pull the troops out the day he took office.

    Why? The buck stops somewhere.

    FWIW, I favor full and immediate withdrawal from both wars. So there.

    1. TAO: As far as the Reason-verse goes, you’ve been a constant. I will now go kill myself for saying Reasonverse.

  33. Lamar,

    One of the guys I work with was just telling me about some dude who has been risking his life to open schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan who was supposedly nominated. If true, that’s sickening.

    Wouldn’t the award as an incentive be better withheld until the president did something to earn it? Why bother doing anything for peace now? He’s already been told that whatever he does is sanctioned by the committee and all of its apologists!

    1. I agree. Tons of better candidates. Focusing on pre-existing pustules takes attention away from the people who deserved it.

  34. I just keep thinking about Gandhi. If they took all the prizes from the last century and gave them to him, it wouldn’t have been unjust. Sweden should be ashamed.

    Hey, I just looked at the wiki entry for the Nobel Peace Prize. This will be edited away probably before you can see it, but this is great:

    The Nobel Peace Prize (Swedish, Danish and Norwegian: Nobels fredspris) was one of five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. But as of 2009, the Nobel committee officially indirectly announced they no longer cared about actual achievements, and awarded the prize to current US President Obama for; spending money the US didn’t have, reaching beyond the governments’ powers and interfering with management of publicly shared businesses, and filling the upper echelons of the US government with under-qualified, and entirely unqualified personnel.

  35. filling the upper echelons of the US government with under-qualified, and entirely unqualified personnel.

    George Bush made him do that!

  36. Pro Lib, I am NOT saying Obama deserves it.

    Why not?

    1. A combination of lack of positive achievements and other more qualified nominees.

      1. So, you essentially agree with nearly everyone on this board about it.

        Yet you’re on here complaining about how we say it.

        1. Yes, essentially.

  37. Henry Kissinger:
    four million (est.)

  38. I don’t agree that he deserves a peace prize, but please explain how you can blame the iraq war on obama

  39. I don’t agree that he deserves a peace prize, but please explain how you can blame the iraq war on obama

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