Dec 12, 2009

Obama and Kissinger

In the list of other winners of the prize, commentaries on President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech never mention one of those other winners, Dr. Henry Kissinger, who succeeded in extending the Vietnam War by a number of years resulting in many thousands of Vietnamese and American deaths.

In Dr. Kissinger’s case that result fits well with the gentleman’s program of significantly reducing world population, so that the resources the US requires are located in unpopulated or thinly populated areas.

Liberals expressing disappointment with President Obama’s performance are being very selective in their memory. Candidate Obama promised to intensify the war in Afghanistan, and to start a new war, in Pakistan, which is going very nicely, thank you.

In his acceptance speech President Obama praised what Bernard Shaw called the Armorer, the creator of weapons, to be sold freely to all customers, and to all sides in all wars, in this case Mr. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. No one forces you to buy weapons or use them.

But the world is full of weapons, not all of them obvious. George Orwell warns in Down and Out in Paris and London that the waiter may spit in your soup, but the waiter can do more than spit. Sprinkling ground bamboo would have roughly the same result as the DIME weapons used in Gaza, shredding of the inner organs. Very painful. Not good.

Talk of rights, human or animal, is a waste of time and breath except as a cover for other agenda. None of us can demonstrate a right to exist in the first place, let alone three meals a day; the gift of life comes without deserving of any kind. When Polonius says to Hamlet I shall give them what they deserve, Hamlet’s reply is worth remembering: Much better, man! If we all got what we deserve, who would escape whipping?

For the super rich, the movers and shakers, a world with a sufficient number of hotel workers, bar tenders, golf caddies, and ladies of the night is required, and the huge crowds of people everywhere are surplus to requirements.

But the super rich, such as Senator Kerry of Massachusetts, who has more of his own private funds in US military support companies than any other member of Congress, (which, one assumes, is why photos of President Karzai so often have Senator Kerry at his shoulder, protecting his investments) are never entirely safe. Tsunamis are no respecters of luxury hotels, the wife or mistress may be plotting one’s demise, and the rabble are everywhere, requiring increasing numbers to police them. One’s life and fortune remain largely in the hands of others.

That may also have the seeds of an answer to the dilemma. Perhaps Auden was right: We must love one another or die. That requires active concern for the well being of others. Nothing else will do it.