Friday, September 26, 2014

Obama Can Still Earn His Nobel

Timothy Egan, NYT
SEPT. 25, 2014

You remember 2009 and the glow from Oslo — Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner. Wow. Less than a year into his presidency, he joined an elite group: Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama. And for what? As near as anybody could tell, it was the only Nobel ever given for future good intentions.

Now the president with the world’s most prestigious badge of nonviolence is forced to become the warrior again, killing religious extremists as he bombs his seventh Muslim country — one more, as Stephen Colbert noted with a rewards punch card, and he’s earned a free falafel.

But look ahead, with optimism, and you can see a design for long-term peace behind the president’s plan to simultaneously kill fanatics and force a religion to confront the sources of that fanaticism. With his blunt speech at the United Nations on Wednesday, Obama put on notice the Sunni Muslim nations that have allowed Sunni barbarians to spread.

He made it clear that it is a warped religious ideology — “the cancer of violent extremism” — that is behind the slaughtering of innocents, raping of young girls, beheading of aid workers and tourists. Yes, it was a lecture, with finger-pointing. It’s time for the duplicitous Saudis, the look-the-other-way Qataris, “those who accumulate wealth through the global economy and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down,” to stop trying to have it both ways. He called out their “hypocrisy,” without naming names, because everyone knows who they are.

(More here.)

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