If US President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize a few weeks ago for the leader the world hoped he would be, he accepted the prize today as the leader he is.
In defending his wars in a speech in Oslo today, Obama neatly fits the predictable, packaged persona of the US Commander-in-Chief in thrall to the be-ribboned military, which itself is the face of the obese military industrial complex.
And he leads a country that has become so accustomed to war, and its pathetic knee-jerk to jingoistic patriotism, that in seeking new adventures the leader preaches to the eager converted.
While the world is appalled by the US escalation of the war in Afghanistan, a majority of Americans are in favour of it, even though the war, like the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, is unwinnable by any conventional definition and will cost much needed treasure, not to mention much cherished blood.
The long history of war as a useful tool in international relations came to an end when the vast majority of countries, including the US, signed a UN declaration that made it illegal to acquire land by means of war.
The inspiration for war, then, has become either brutal all-encompassing punishment (as many as a million people have died helplessly in Iraq) or an act of empire-building or, more in the American style, a means of building military bases to thereby gain economic (read ‘energy’) control of a country and region.
The rest of the world has pulled away from the hammer of war by making acts of terror, based from foreign countries, police-keeping operations: using intelligence and other means to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Not so the US which uses its $680 billion annual military budget to express its militant dissatisfactions around the world while building its military installations.
In endowing Obama with its highest honour, the Nobel committee has done irreparable harm to the Nobel brand.
Awarding a prize for what might be, only to find out that what is was always destined to be, cheapens the memory of those who actually deserved the prize and it tarnishes the gloss of any future awards.
And it encourages the war-monger.