Protesters remind Peace Laureate that war is not justifiable

By staff writers
December 11, 2009

Protesters turned out in force in New York and elsewhere yesterday to remind Nobel Peace Prize winner, President Barack Obama, that war is not justifiable and to oppose his 30,000-strong troop surge in Afghanistan.

Some 50 of the demonstrators walked from outside the United Nations to the military recruiting office on Times Square in central Manhattan, carrying coffins.

One declared: "We want to remind Mr Obama that you don't justify peace prizes by killing people, and that many of us voted for him to end the wars America has been prosecuting, not to extend them.

Mr Obama himself admitted that there may be "many others" more deserving of the famous Nobel Peace Prize, initiated by a dynamite-maker who wanted to go down in history for a different reason.

But he used his speech to launch a justification for war as an instrument of policy and social justice in the last resort.

When Henry Kissinger, architect of the Vietnam War, won the Nobel Peace Prize, Tom Lehrer famously commented that "satire had died". In New York, many claimed that its grave had been danced on again in an award seen as political rather than principled.

"Barack Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, especially after his recent announcement that he will escalate the war in Afghanistan," said Will Travers, aged 30, who helped to carry one of the coffins.

He added: "I'm disappointed in him and in the Nobel committee. He shouldn't have accepted the prize and they should have rescinded it the minute he announced he was sending more troops."

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