|The Echo for Peace not War
Bob's Acceptance Speech for the Nobel Peace Prize
Let me begin by thanking President Obama for sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with all of us that work for peace every day.
When the announcement was first made public he said that there were many deserving people and he shared it with them.
So, I accept it and below I present my own acceptance speech.
When we look back at history it is easy to presume that humans were the greatest creatures to ever walk mother
earth. There have been great feats, unbelievable physical art works, and institutions that mold society into what it is
today. But this is not enough to insure a place for the ages. Peace will ultimately determine humankind’s longevity on
this planet, because war’s present course only leads us down a destructive path of annihilation one day at a time. Our
collective capacity to understand and embrace peace before war will bear out in the narrative of history. Those that
make war only rationalize the use of violence. Most have used it to change societies that do not conform to their
likeness. War is our detriment. It is not a solution. It is humankind’s greatest flaw. The constant preparation for it
leads to antagonisms that leave each person vulnerable to attack. It leaves us on unstable ground for solving the true
goals that humankind has faced throughout time. Sustenance, shelter, medical care and free education at every level
are in fact what peace would allow. The provision of all necessities will guarantee us our safety and prolonged
existence for the ages through the presentation of peace first.
There would have been no Hitler had the German people laid to rest the philosophy of political violence as part of the
basic fabric of their culture, as many in the world today still follow. But somehow political leaders, professors and
others that manufacture consent in society have fallen for the vicious cycle of kill first, peace second, just as Germany
did under Hitler. For that matter just as humankind has since the beginning of time.
So how do we change and correct a lifelong error of misunderstanding about the glamour of war and the weakness of
peace? We can no longer let groups of criminals rule and dictate our behavior to the point that pouring more cruelty
and death on top of conflict seems like the reasonable answer. Nor can we blame those we corner mentally or
physically, shaming and humiliating them while starving them to death with sanctions. And then pretend we do not
understand their reaction to our oppressive occupation of time, space and mind. These invasions of arrogant terror
create the atmosphere for hating the interloper. We need not question them for wanting to defend their lives and
culture because it is a natural reaction for those that are being hunted.
Leaders in the world that say they want peace, but understand war is a reality in order to maintain the peace are
behaving no differently than the average street thug. There is a claiming of turf and the spoils go to the victor. They use
the philosophy of killers. “I need to kill a few more women and children first, in order for the world to have peace. It is
not my fault that they get in the way when I seek out my enemy.” We then continue to excuse ourselves for bombing
homes where the enemy is in mixed company and right off the innocent as expendable, sterilely naming it collateral
damage, casualties. You see how delusional it is, this cycle of death is not a solution on the road to attain peace, but it
only feeds juvenile retaliation. As if you could convince the world to stop the violence while pointing a gun at them.
The fact is any leader that advances war on nations that have not declared war on them becomes the wicked
interloper. For the earth’s only super power to attack one of the poorest countries in the world because a few
criminals are being sought is unconscionable. This behavior is immoral by any standard of common decency and
intellectually defies the logic of ordinary people that live a peaceful existence.
When you speak of the evil elements in the world, do you ever think of the war you perpetuate as blocking the ultimate
end of war? The real leaders of history put down their arms to negotiate and teach by example to the children of the
world that peace is the only choice. They reminded us about the dangers of the escalation of weaponry.
With so much power in these weapons of mass destruction that exists in the hands of the current super power, the
world still quivers at the sound of war for peace. The memories of the United States of American government, who
openly used them on innocent women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are haunting. For some war becomes a
way of life. It serves to defend false imposing ideas about a certain brand of democracy that the rest of the world is
supposed to follow or face the consequences. Those nations that conform become favored and share in the spoils of
We need not wonder what the real motives have been for war. Currently in the Middle East it is the quest for oil and
new pipe lines that must be built to fill our greedy self interest. No coincidence that Exxon Mobil has acquired a great
deal in Iraq. In Afghanistan, China is extracting precious cooper metal from a huge mine, 11 million tons, while US
trained Afghan troops stand guard. This is why the rich and powerful love war, it is their forte. It is their way to
maintain power and crush real change that could lead to a lasting peace at the expense of their riches.
America’s military under Bush II had little reason to bomb water supplies and other infrastructure in Iraq. When they
did, they failed to hurt Hussein’s army, but instead the innocent people, women and children suffered for lack of food,
water and medicine. Obama’s oxymoron of war for peace includes the ugly sanctions aimed at new advisories. These
too will make sure the masses will be hurt the most when they go without the basic needs to survive, while politicians
boast of success.
When I think of war, it is one of the most vulgar words used in any language. It is not the common FU and other
expletives that constitute vulgarity; their usage is meant to add color to the vernacular heard in everyday conversation
the world over.
But, the words that should be considered offensive and truly vulgar, in any language, are those that cause so much
pain and misery to humankind. War, its cohort’s genocide, holocaust, and their cousin’s famine, pandemic are the
words that we should teach as hideously vulgar. How dare you say them, act on them and feel no sense of guilt or
responsibility for all the human lives that have been lost. How many Gandhi’s, Martin Luther King’s, did we vanquish to
the halls of oblivion because of War?
But throughout history we have all be dirtied by war and the taint of terrorism. Is the mirror so cloudy that we can’t see
world history clearly? Did not some Jewish people commit a terrorist act when a bomb was planted at the King David
Hotel that killed 91? Oddly we have made up with other known terrorist groups or leaders, like Omar Kaddafi. Obama
says Al-Qaeda can’t be reasoned with, what he is really saying is he lacks the initiative to open dialogue with the
enemy. And haven’t we played the terrorist? For me the most vicious of terrorist’s acts was the atomic bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of innocents have died as a result and been stricken with cancer. So,
history does repeat itself. We act out with waging war, synonymous with terrorism and other atrocities, like it is
normal behavior. Then we negotiate with those we dominated and make them favored nations, while those that
continue to resist catch more bombs.
Peace is a way to reason, through intellect, that we can overcome hate and destruction. With peace resources
wasted on war can be used for the betterment of the world. The world has never taught peace, which is why so few
put it before war, even though it is tantamount in understanding humane citizenship and not nationalistic antagonisms.
Peace can put an end to the atrocities we grow so weary of seeing over and over again in history.
I am sorry, but war by any other name is the perpetrator of injustice and crimes against all of humankind. When we
look back at history it will be war that was our demise. The earth will be scorched by the flurry of chemicals left by
bombs of mass destruction, and humankind will be extinct. Mother Earth may be uninhabitable for people, but it will
live on as it has for billions of years, while we lay six feet under. Peace, if left untouched as the number one priority for
humankind will result in abandoning the use of what set us apart from all evolutionary life on mother earth, our
intellect to unravel conflict. If our intellect has true meaning, then let it lead us around the corners of history and on to
a new page. Let our intelligence lead us to the era dominated by PEACE and not war. Peace teaches us a deep respect
for human life. It shows us that human life is not a commodity to be peddled at the market and later discarded as
While every human being dreams of eternal life, peace can guarantee it. From one generation to the next we can pass
on the true significance of self preservation for humankind and the planet we all treasure by teaching peace.
Robert (Bob) Bracamontes