In a recent letter to US President Barack Obama twelve Nobel Peace laureates declared their support for the long history of US elite violence against Native Americans and enslaved Africans, as well as the US imperial violence around the world that has butchered tens of millions of people over the past 200 years. See ‘US: An End to Torture: Twelve Nobel Peace Prize laureates write to President Barack Obama asking the US to close the dark chapter on torture once and for all. Obama responds’.
The letter to Obama was signed by ex-President José Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste, prize recipient in 1996), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa, 1984), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia, 2011), Mohammad ElBaradei (Egypt, 2005), Jody Williams (USA, 1997), Muhammad Yunus (Bangladesh, 2006), F.W. De Klerk (South Africa, 1993), John Hume (Northern Ireland, 1998), Oscar Arias Sanchez (Costa Rica, 1987), Bishop Carlos X. Belo (Timor-Leste, 1996), Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina, 1980) and Betty Williams (Northern Ireland, 1976).
The letter, the response from Obama and a subsequent article written by Ramos-Horta – see ‘Obama: The Courage to Say “We Were Wrong“‘ – were a stark reminder to those of us who struggle to end the violence in our world of what genuine peace activists are up against.