There were many raised eyebrows at the decision to award President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, not least the president himself who said it was “surprising” and that he did not “deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honoured by this prize”.
The Galway Alliance Against War and the Galway Palestine Children’s Fund are “livid at the award” saying the prize has become a “bad joke”.
A spokeswoman for the GAAW pointed out that on October 7 a legal case was filed at the Spanish Audiencia Nacional against the United States president for commissioning, condoning/perpetuating multiple war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Iraq.
The GAAW welcomed the president’s efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and willingness to talk with leaders of Iran and Syria, but pointed out that he has still extended sanctions against both countries.
His declaration to pursue a worldwide reduction of nuclear weapons and decision to end the Eastern European missile defence system “are welcome”, yet he also supports Israel’s 200 nuclear warheads while repeatedly raising the threat against unconfirmed Iranian nuclear plans.
As a result, The GAAW believes there is “a new face but the same old warmongering in The Whitehouse”.
However others believe the prize is an opportunity to force President Obama to change US policy in the Middle East. Avaaz.org, a community of global citizens which take actions on major world issues, has set up a petition in response to the award.
“Let’s flood Obama with a million global congratulations, urging him to turn hope into world changing action in the coming months, on nuclear disarmament, peace not war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a fair and lasting peace in the Middle East,” a statement from the group said.
Those interested can sign the Avaaz petition at http://www.avaaz.org/en/obama_peace_prize/98.php?cl_taf_sign=BjWDDOy and it will be delivered directly to the White House.