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President Obama, Human Rights, and False Idols

By Tyler Bauer

Last month, former President Obama received an award at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2018 Ripple of Hope Awards. A large portion of Obama’s speech was spent criticizing President Trump, Obama did speak on the progression of human rights during his tenure as President, and expressed his hope for a more peaceful future.

This isn’t the first time Obama has received such a prestigious award. In 2009, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

So, what did Obama do to earn these awards? I honestly have no idea. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, President Obama earned the Nobel Peace Prize due to “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

To be fair to President Obama, he did accomplish some work in the aforementioned areas. During his presidency, President Obama successfully worked with Russia to reduce the amount of nuclear arms held by the US and Russia. I’d argue that this is more than worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, but it came after the prize was awarded, so it seems as though it was President Obama’s rhetoric – not his work – that won him the prize in 2009.

As for the human rights award at last month’s RFK Human Rights 2018 Ripple of Hope Awards, I feel like Obama’s award is undeserved. Throughout his presidency, President Obama said many great things. Whether it was to bring peace to the world or close Guantanamo Bay, Obama said things that even I would support. He didn’t back it up, though. President Obama was at war every day of his presidency. And these weren’t just wars he inherited from President Bush. President Obama chose to promote war by intervening in Libya, which eventually led to an ongoing slave trade. Thanks, Obama!

The Libyan intervention and the slave trade aren’t President Obama’s only human rights abuses. Here’s a short – and by no means conclusive – list of President Obama’s human rights abuses.

·       The indefinite detention of prisoners without a trial at Guantanamo Bay.

·       Killing citizens in drone strikes.

·       The extrajudicial killing of American citizens overseas.

·       Bombing a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders.

·       Supporting ISIS.

Did President Obama do some good things? Of course he did, but he certainly isn’t deserving of any human rights awards or Nobel Peace Prizes. The man who detained people indefinitely, drone bombed innocent civilians, spied on the people he claimed to fight for, and went to war for every day of his presidency shouldn’t be receiving awards. He should be facing the International Criminal Court.

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