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Obama the Rock Star vs. Obama the Peacemaker

Much as Barack Obama may deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for changing the climate toward international diplomacy and recognizing the value in cooperating with the

Jul 31, 2020
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Much as Barack Obama may deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for changing the climatetoward international diplomacy and recognizing the value in cooperating with the rest of the world, the prize seems more about congratulating the United States for breaking with the Bush go-it-alone attitude than for any great achievements or policy changes Obama has actually led, at least so far.
Americans’ surpriseat the announcement may be best explained by a quick look at Obama’s domestic policies when it comes to the international war on terror — so let’s take a glance at Glenn Greenwald’s page todayat Salon. Just below his discussion of Obama’s Nobel prize is a lengthy analysis of how the president, now with the help of Congress, has repeatedly suppressed evidence of war crimes committed by the previous administration.
From trying to exempt abuse photosfrom the Freedom of Information Act to dismissing torture cases on “state secrets” grounds, encouraging Congress to limit civil libertiesprotections against broad-based FBI snooping and refusing even to investigatecases where the Defense Department appears to have tortured detainees in its custody (let alone investigating the policymakers who approved of the abuse), the Obama administration has so far amassed a disappointing record on “peace”-related activities at home.
The Nobel Committee was obviously looking at different things when it made its award, and emphasized Obama’s abilityto “capture the world’s attention” and offer people hope for the future. That’s a good start, and hopeful rhetoric is important and a welcome change for the so-called “leader of the free world.” But true diplomacy and progress and “peace” can’t come from hiding the brutality of the past.
So far, just as he’s promised a new diplomacy, the President has made lots of hopeful promises about a new transparency and accountability in government. He has yet to follow up on them.
Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

Reviewer
Paolo Reyna is a writer and storyteller with a wide range of interests. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies. Paolo enjoys writing about celebrity culture, gaming, visual arts, and events. He has a keen eye for trends in popular culture and an enthusiasm for exploring new ideas. Paolo's writing aims to inform and entertain while providing fresh perspectives on the topics that interest him most. In his free time, he loves to travel, watch films, read books, and socialize with friends.
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