Saturday, October 17, 2009

The death of the Nobel Peace Prize?

I was at a peace-building conference in Bangkok a few days after the mega floods from tropical storm Odyong had begun to subside in Metro Manila when the second storm Pepeng battered northern Luzon. As the new devastation and death toll rose, I got a distress message from Manila:

“So many deaths from flooding and landslides in Benguet, Pangasinan and Tarlac. And now President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. End of the world na yata. (Looks like it’s the end of the world already.)”

To which I somberly replied, “Just the end of the Nobel Peace Prize maybe, thank God.”

I spoke to the conference before BBC and CNN reported Obama’s award. In my remarks, I argued that for us to rid the world of conflicts between and among nations, we must first resolve deep conflicts between the closest neighbors; and none could be closer than the mother and her unborn child. There cannot be real peace so long as enmity exists for the unborn child.

Many governments have legalized the murder of the unborn. And President Obama has fueled this carnage by authorizing the use of US funds to support abortion in developing countries. For her part Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has proclaimed that “reproductive health includes access to abortion” and that the US was determined to abolish all barriers to such access.

My reference to abortion stirred a hornet’s nest. The next speaker, a lady Member of Parliament, discarded her prepared text to respond to my “attack” on the “right” to abortion. Many delegates thanked me later for my statement.

Apart from the Nobel committee itself, no one of consequence has praised Obama’s award. Even in Oslo, where the award is handed out in December, the negative opinion polled higher than the positive. Newsweek, in its Oct. 19, 2009 issue, put Obama on its cover, with the words: “He doesn’t deserve the prize.”

The common complaint is that Obama’s bold sally into international diplomacy has consisted mainly of talk and talk and talk, and that he is being medalled for winning a race he has not even entered yet. The award is the artificially induced fruit of what one US magazine has called “the selling and selling and selling of Barack Obama.”

“If, for a pregnant instance, he manages to negotiate a nonviolent transition to an Iran that has nuclear power but not nuclear weapons (and that perhaps allows its own people to intervene in their own internal affairs)---then he will have done very well, and will deserve much more than a medal and a large check,” writes Christopher Hitchens in Newsweek.

But there is another take. Even if Obama renounced America’s nuclear arms themselves, he would still not deserve a bronze medal for peace if he continued funding the killing of unborn children around the world. He, along with many others, could instead be held under the terms of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of Dec. 9, 1948, which regards “measures intended to prevent births” within a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as “genocide.”

The Nobel committee will recall that when it awarded Mother Teresa the same prize in 1979, the saint of Calcutta responded by reminding the world that “the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing --- direct murder by the mother herself.” No more glaring contradiction could probably exist----a peace prize to a saintly soul who had devoted all her life trying to infect the world with love for every human being, born and unborn, and the same prize to a US president whose first official act was to put American taxpayers’ monies at the service of abortion around the world.

What Obama could still achieve in international diplomacy may have already been undone by that single act against the sanctity of the family and human life. It mocks every solemn and stirring word he has ever uttered about truth, freedom, justice, human rights and human dignity since his inaugural as the first African-American president of the United States.

In that inaugural, he reaffirmed the ideals of America’s founding fathers and the God-given promise that “all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.” He assured everyone from the grandest capital to the small village where his father was born, that “America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity.”

He has not allowed anyone to forget that he is the son of a man who might not have been served at a local restaurant less than 60 years ago. Yet he has not hesitated to export a policy that effectively reduces every unborn human being to the status of his earlier forebear, Dred Scott, whom the US Supreme Court could not recognize as a human being, but only as an article of commerce to be bought and sold for profit, 142 years ago.

Around the world abortion kills millions of unborn children each year. Obama’s active promotion of it outside the US does not make him or his America a great friend to anybody anywhere. It makes him and her a great danger to God-fearing Americans and to everybody else everywhere.

15 October 2009

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