Christi Christian Peace Movement
National President: Father Claude Mostowik MSC
0411 450 953
December 10, 2009
Mr Lars A WENSELL
Royal Norwegian Embassy
17 Hunter Street
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Pax Christi, Australia, which is part of the International Christian Movement for Peace, Pax Christi International, wishes to protest and express its profound dismay at the recent awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to US President, President Barack Obama.
Norway has often been portrayed as a nation of peace by presenting itself as a moral model and moral action in various peace-negotiating actions from the Oslo accords in the 1990’s to the present. This image has been shattered when we learn that your country has had troops working alongside US Special Operations forces in Afghanistan and its involvement in logistic support of running of Guantanamo Bay.
When Barack Obama became President of the USA he pledged to dismantle Guantánamo Bay. He has failed in this. He has failed stop torture. He has failed to bring to justice US citizens and their collaborators who have been involved in the torture of numerous prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and in Afghanistan. More importantly, he has protected these perpetrators.
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a man who can justify committing more troops to Afghanistan in the same week that he receives his award devalues and debases the Nobel Peace Prize. Many would argue that the Prize has already been devalued when it was awarded to people such as Simon Peres, Yassar Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin to mention a few names.
When the Nobel Peace Prize is offered to people whose words grossly mismatch his executive decisions, like Barack Obama, it becomes a meaningless honour.
President Obama’s insistence that the troop escalation in Afghanistan is a necessary response to the instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan should be rejected. The actions of the USA along with its allies, including Norway, in Afghanistan, have done nothing to bring stability and peace to the people of Afghanistan, and now Pakistan. Does the Noble Peace Prize Committee really wish to present to the world a message that war is peace?
Pax Christi Australia would wonder if the Nobel Committee may now regret its decision in light of recent developments. Pax Christi Australia can only hope that more and more people and those belonging to peace groups will rise up in solidarity to promote peace through development and justice, to more strenuously acknowledge our common humanity, to loudly protest all war, and listen to voices of the peoples of Pakistan and Afghanistan who are highly affected and rarely considered
[Father] Claude Mostowik msc