Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Compost: Yasser Arafat and Barack Obama?

There's been much, much, much written about Obama winning the Nobel Peace prize. My favorite came from Ace of Spades' list of other people considered for the Nobel:
9. Sue Lefkowitz, homemaker, Poughkeepsie, NY, for vowing on New Years Eve to lose her last 20 pregnancy pounds (she gained 6)
The initial shock over the absurdity of a first year president winning the award was rooted in the reality that the only thing Obama has done is promise everything and deliver nothing. Americans - liberals and conservatives alike - were criticized by Democrats for questioning the value, worthiness and timing of the award. A DNC spokesman said that people who mocked the president for receiving it were throwing their "lot in with the terrorists..." No idea what that even means.

His receipt of the award was undeserved. It's clear that turning it down was not in Obama's cards, nor did that seem like the wisest diplomatic move. The best move was probably suggested by, of all people, Thomas Friedman. Obama should have accepted on behalf of American soldiers, who have done more to keep and create peace in the world than any person or entity in history:

“Let me begin by thanking the Nobel committee for awarding me this prize, the highest award to which any statesman can aspire. As I said on the day it was announced, ‘I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize.’ Therefore, upon reflection, I cannot accept this award on my behalf at all.

“But I will accept it on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi fascism. I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers and sailors who fought on the high seas and forlorn islands in the Pacific to free East Asia from Japanese tyranny in the Second World War.
If you still can't reconcile Obama, who is watching idly the increase or creation of arsenals of nuclear weapons in Iran, India and Pakistan, winning the Nobel Prize, reconsider the award's worth. Recent winners have included noted terrorist and murderer of innocents, Yasser Arafat, and long-time thief and abetter of dictators, Kofi Annan. The award has gone from being bestowed upon those who solve large, widespread problems (food shortages, war torn Europe) to being a political Emmy. It's not that the world has a dearth of problems, with people actively working to solve them. It's just that international committees, typically pro-internationalist liberal bodies, love taking swipes at the US. In this case, they got to take a shot at the individualist nature of Americans, while bestowing praise on Obama, who is seeking to align US interests with the homogenized goals of internationalist liberal bodies.

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