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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Juan Cole on rightwing bottom-feeders
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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Juan Cole on rightwing bottom-feeders

goddam these people to hell...

professor cole...

The American Rightwing would not have approved of Woodrow Wilson getting the prize for helping found the League of Nations. They do not believe in international cooperation or multilateralism in the first place. They think America should cowboy it. They are the tribe of 'bring'em on' and 'wanted dead or alive.' They are about trapping the country in quagmires so as to throw cash to their cronies in the military-industrial complex. They like wars, not peace. They don't care how many people they kill in the global south. A million Iraqis dead? They deny it or justify it or blame it on someone else. They are bottom feeders.

They would have considered Frederic Passy, the first peace Nobelist, as woolly-headed dreamer and laughed at a Universal Peace Conference organized just a little over a decade before the mass slaughter of World War I. They would have dismissed Jane Addams as a "socialist." And what would have provoked them to more gales of laughter than the 1935 award to the German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky. How'd that work out, they'd snicker as they elbowed each other (with any luck breaking some of each other's ribs). If there is anyone they find more laughable than Barack Obama, it is Jimmy Carter (the greatest ex-president in American history), the 2002 awardee. Mohammad Elbaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency repeatedly got in the way of the American Right's war plans, so presumably they didn't rejoice at his 2005 prize. They don't believe in climate change or global warming and want us to switch to the dirtiest coal possible, so Al Gore's 2007 prize set them giggling, as well.


Barack Obama was given the prize because he is a game-changer. Obama has dedicated himself to reducing and ultimately scrapping the nuclear arsenals that threaten the world with nuclear winter or a destruction of the ozone layer; either event would be catastrophic for human beings' existence on the planet. Obama has already made a substantial change in relations between the US and the Muslim world. Two years ago we were talking about whether Cheney could convince Americans to go to war on Iran. Now Washington is engaging in direct talks with Tehran that have easied tensions.

Whether she or he actually achieves peace or not is unpredictable, but game changers are clearly visible to everyone. The hand shake between Rabin and Arafat in the early 1990s was potentially a game changer, and the Oslo deal would have profoundly enhanced world peace if it had worked (it might even have averted 9/11 and the subsequent wars). Al Gore's campaign for the environment was a game changer. Shirine Ebadi's dedication to a rule of law in Iran is a game changer, and she gives hope to many otherwise cynical youth and women.

For those who are giggling and demanding concrete improvements, it is worth noting that most of the recipients have been idealists rather than practical persons. Obama is both, and therefore he has a real shot at vindicating the social worth of his policies in future. Rightwing policies were tried for 8 years and they failed. Miserably.

giggle away, you bastards...

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