Friday, October 09, 2009

The Nobel?

I suppose if you believe that Obama’s image took on a permanent smudge after the Olympic Committee ignored him (and awarded the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro), you have to admit that winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a much bigger vote of confidence.

Does he deserve it? No, not yet. We are still in two wars, Israel continues to kill Palestinian civilians with American weapons, and he presides over a military budget that is almost as much as the rest of the world’s combined. And I don’t think continuing the ban on homosexuality in the military really counts as a way to reduce the presence of standing armies in the world (one of the original criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize). On the other hand, clearly stating the importance of international diplomacy and "cooperation between peoples" is worth rewarding at this point in history.

So, I agree with the criticism that this is more about what he wants to do than about anything he has actually done. At the same time, it’s ironic that conservatives are so mad that he got the award for having accomplished so little, when they are the ones that dug the hole he is standing in, and the ones standing in his way of accomplishing much.

Nonetheless, an American President winning the Nobel Peace Prize should be a cause for national pride. Let's hope people can turn away from "hating Obama more than they love America," as Jon Stewart so aptly put last week.

UPDATE: Obama just gave some remarks about the award, essentially saying that is it a call to action for him, rather than acknowledgement of any accomplisments. He shares the award "with everyone who strives for justice and dignity." Full text available here.


brownie said...

To be fair, Palestinians kill Israeli civilians as well. But you knew that.

Robert Sievers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Sievers said...

As always, Dan, we seem to disagree.

I have come a full 180 on Obama. Who better to win the Nobel prize. Obama has been able to keep the wars going in both Iraq and Afghanistan, even increasing troops in some circumstances, but has hoodwinked everyone into thinking he is all about peace. This kind of doublespeak goes way beyond the skill of the average politician. This requires a level of ability rarely seen, even in these days.

Also, he had only been in office 12 days when nominations were due. Yet it was clear even then that we, as a nation, were earning respect from other nations. We didn’t, nor do we now, have to actually *do* anything. We must only talk a good talk. Whether we actually close Gitmo or pass environmental change is irrelevant. Just saying we wish to is enough. It’s kind of like telling your spouse that you wanted to get her an anniversary present, didn’t actually buy it, but told her it was the thought that counts. The guy who can pull that off successfully without sleeping on the couch, let alone getting accolades for it, is deserving of our admiration and praise. Doing that on a global level is even more amazing and worthy.

Also, when you consider the Israel-Palestinian issue, you have a guy who is working the situation masterfully. He is working closely with the side that wants to exterminate the other, and pressuring the other side into making concessions. The schoolyard kid who can convince his friend to walk to school with the bully who is stealing his milk money and beating him up afterward is someone we need to sincerely marvel at. Not just anyone has talent such as that. If Obama can finally get a two state solution that will allow the Jews to be annihilated once and for all, he will indeed be the person who truly and finally brings “ultimate peace” to the region.

Perhaps best of all, this can be a slap in the face for Bush. Let’s face it, Bush just hasn’t suffered enough for all of the damage he has done. Of course, Bush is really deserving of torture, but our country doesn’t torture people anymore. That was all stopped when Gitmo was closed. But this is just another way everyone can let Bush know what a lowlife he was for bombing Muslims, unlike what our country is doing now that Obama is in charge. Besides which, we can make news by bombing the moon as well and no one will notice what might be happening in remote places here on earth.

Finally, we now at last can achieve unity. When once disagreement was the loyal opposition, we can now just whisk it away as crackpots such as birthers and teabaggers. Finally our country can be united in direction, and any dissention can be relegated to insanity and ignorance.

Fingtree said...

It's basic cause and effect; without December 12th, 2000 happening (Supreme court deciding the Presidency), 9/11, 2001 doesn't happen. Obama doesn't become President, therefore, never given the Nobel Prize for symbolic reasons that lead back to December 12th, 2000.
Without oil and the greed that has accompanied it through the last century, Saddam Hussein doesn't become a dictator through our support for him to have achieved because of oil interests in the region.
Unfortunately, decisions made for the wrong reasons do apply and predictably have detrimental consequences.
They can almost always be traced back to the age old; "for the LOVE of money" sins. I'm sure George W Bush wasn't born a torturing, Muslim bombing, drunken cocaine snorting bamboozling buffoon. No, he was only born a sinner, it was his choices along the way that shaped him. It was ideology and regurgitated propaganda that blinded so many to have voted for him. We are all paying for the cause and effect of this.

Dan S said...

Bob, it sounds as if you are angry that Obama has not accomplished much of his agenda yet. I understand your frustration, especially as it's been conservatives who have been standing in the way of him getting those things done.

Perhaps the Nobel committee is trying to give momentum to the cause of peace by awarding it to someone who has those goals and some power to achieve it. If you are concerned about his lack of accomplishments so far, you could write Tim Johnson and ask him to help clear the way in Congress.

And did you just compare the lowly Palestinians, who have no state and no rights and no future, to a neighborhood bully? And the Israelis, who have the full might of American weaponry behind them, to some poor kid who got his lunch money stolen? Open your eyes, man.

And for the record, the only dissent being criticised for insanity and ignorance is the dissent that is insane and ignorant. A good start would be for people to learn the difference between socialism, fascism and communism.

Fingtree said...

"A good start would be for people to learn the difference between socialism, fascism and communism".
Glenn Beck said that they were all "bad". I guess I never gave it a thought that there may be a difference...
Dan, have you seen the satire from sesame street with Michelle Obama and Big Bird? It is hilarious.

hair extensions said...

When i ask with my friends what your reaction obama winning the Noble prize???????
Firstly everyone shocked and said.. how he deserve it... he had done nothing.
but in my opinion he really deserve it...