Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chomsky: Nobel Should Have Gone To Malalai Joya, Not Obama


IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT ONLY A YEAR AGO Barack Obama was sent to the White House on a wave of incredible enthusiasm, epitomized by the slogans "Yes, we can!" and "Change we can believe in." In a country built on the harshest racism towards African blacks, in particular, this was truly a generational moment. You would have to be pretty hard of heart to not be moved.
Yet, here we are, a year later. The only achievement we can point to is Obama's receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. In terms of promises, he has reneged or backpedaled where they were progressive - whether it was on gay rights or bringing the troops home from Iraq or medicare. And he has been an aggressive war-monger in Afghanistan and Pakistan. So, his only achievement - the Prize - was like a sad, bitter joke. It's good to see Noam Chomsky defying the "Obama consensus" that has progressives bending over every which way to provide a cover for him. Anti-war activists, like Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, who are now backtracking on calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan are doing a great disservice to all those struggling for peace and to their own honour. In contrast to the "hail the chief" brigade, Chomsky provides a welcome tonic:

"The Nobel Peace Prize committee might well have made truly worthy choices, prominent among them the remarkable Afghan activist Malalai Joya.
"This brave woman survived the Russians, and then the radical Islamists whose brutality was so extreme that the population welcomed the Taliban. Joya has withstood the Taliban and now the return of the warlords under the Karzai government.
"Throughout, Joya worked effectively for human rights, particularly for women; she was elected to parliament and then expelled when she continued to denounce warlord atrocities. She now lives underground under heavy protection, but she continues the struggle, in word and deed. By such actions, repeated everywhere as best we can, the prospects for peace edge closer to hopes."

AFGHAN MP MALALAI JOYA WILL TOUR CANADA FROM NOVEMBER 14 - 28.
Come out to hear this remarkable woman who speaks out against the violence and corruption brought on by decades of war and foreign occupation.


Events

Friday, November 13, Vancouver
Luncheon hosted by MP Libby Davies, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver. Tickets: $20 (Proceeds to support Malalai Joya’s humanitarian projects). Contact: Phyllis 604-775-5800 / daviel1@parl.gc.ca.

Saturday November 14, Vancouver
Book launch at St. Andrew's Wesley Church, 1022 Nelson Street (at Burrard), 7p.m. Suggested donation: $10 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds).

Sunday November 15, Victoria
Book launch, 2p.m. at University of Victoria, David Lam Auditorium, MacLaurin Bldg. Hosted by Victoria Peace Coalition.

Monday, November 16, Winnipeg
University of Winnipeg, Convocation Hall 7 p.m.
Peace Alliance Winnipeg

Wednesday, November 18, Toronto
7 PM, Trinity St Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. West
Admission $5-$10 sliding scale
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War

Thursday, November 19, York Univeristy
Details TBA

Saturday November 21, Halifax
Details TBA

Monday November 23, Montreal
Details TBA

Thursday November 26, Ottawa
Centretown United Church (507 Bank St) 7pm,
Ottawa Peace Assembly
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