12 October 2009

Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize

I do not usually comment on current political events in these pages, but last week I received an email invitation to congratulate Barack Obama on his Nobel Peace Prize. As I have commented on an earlier Nobel Peace Prize (see my entry of 14 October 2007 "Should the IPCC receive the Nobel Peace Prize?") I feel justified to react publicly to this insult to my intelligence. I do that by comparing the timelines of the Vietnam War (a war that also sparked a Nobel Peace Prize) and of the war in Afghanistan. What is a Nobel Peace Prize worth if the wars intensify? Evidently the prize has lost all credibility and value (except its monetary value, of course).
The emphasis on Australia is for some local friends. How long should Australia wait before it withdraws its troops this time?

1961 John F. Kennedy becomes president,
2,000 US troops in Vietnam
2001 George W. Bush becomes president,
special forces are sent into Afghanistan after arial bombing campaign
1963First coordinated protests in London and AustraliaLyndon B. Johnson becomes president, says that "the purpose in Vietnam is to prevent the success of aggression."2003 5,500 foreign troops in Afghanistan
1964Student marches in US cities16,500 US troops in Vietnam
1965First large anti-war marches in the US,
first sabotaging of military aircraft in Canada
The war is extended into Cambodia and Laos
200,000 US troops in Vietnam
2005 George W. Bush is re-elected president, declares that "the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq will be remembered as great turning points in the story of freedom."
1966Public opinion moves from support to rejection of the war
2008Public opinion in Europe and Australia moves from support to rejection of the war, first large anti-war demonstrations in Europe
1969Millions take a day off in the US to demonstrate against the warRichard Nixon becomes president, promises "peace with honour" and an end to the war2009First news reports of protest demonstrations in AustraliaBarack Obama becomes president, says that the previous administration "has overextended our military", sends an additional 15,000 troops, authorizes the bombing of targets in Pakistan, receives the Nobel Prize
100,500 foreign troops in Afghanistan (66,000 US, 34,500 NATO)
1970First and only nationwide student strike in the US closes universities in protest against the warUS troops start incursions into Cambodia
Kissinger pushes for intense bombing of Cambodia
2010???US may start incursions into Pakistan (?)
US may raise foreign troop level to over 120,000 (?)
1971More than 12,000 demonstrators arrested in WashingtonAustralia and New Zealand withdraw their troops2011??????
1973 Kissinger receives the Nobel Prize
US troops withdraw from Vietnam, the USA increase military aid
2013?????? becomes president, promises to ???
1974 Gerald Ford becomes president, is forced to phase out aid by 19762014??????
1975 The fall of Saigon ends the war2015??????
Final cost: 3 - 4 million Vietnamese and 1.5 - 2 million Laotians and Cambodians killed, 58,159 US soldiers deadCost to date (October 2009): over 12,000 civilians killed (about 40% by anti-goverment forces, 60% by foreign troops), 1,435 foreign soldiers dead

1 comment:

Ben Gage said...

Thanks for the graphic, peace thru endless war?