A “deeply humbled” Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
The five-member Nobel Peace Prize committee – political appointees from Norway’s top parties – spent seven months debating over who to honor with the award before settling on Obama, who had become president nine months earlier.
In his speech following the award, the president said he was unworthy of the prize, and commented on the need for war due to the prevalence of “evil” in the world.
“To say that force is sometimes necessary isn’t a call to cynicism, it’s a recognition of history, the imperfections of man, and the limits of reason.”
With that, Obama warned that in his eyes, war could always be chosen as a prelude to peace.
Nothing has undermined the notion of Obama as a leader for peace more than his drone wars and the secrecy surrounding them, experts say.
“His drone policy raises grave questions about presidential powers to determine life or death. Obama would argue that his policy is protecting or saving more lives than it takes, but drones are no symbol of peace,” Maraniss said.
In October, Amnesty International condemned the secrecy over U.S. drone strikes, and said officials responsible for the secret CIA drone campaign against suspected terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen may have committed war crimes and should stand trial.
“Secrecy surrounding the drones program gives the U.S. administration a license to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law,” Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty’s Pakistan researcher, said in a statement.
Under the Obama administration, drone strikes soared in number in Pakistan, and resumed in Yemen after a seven-year hiatus.
Full story at Al Arabiya