Friday, October 09, 2009
IT IS NOT April Fool's Day!
We woke up this morning to a bit of a shock: Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
According to news reports, the Nobel Peace Prize reflects BO's work on "....initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism."
Yesterday, we saw this headline: Obama's woes keep piling up around globe
"The woes keep piling up for President Barack Obama.
While it is unfair to blame him for all the world's problems (although some folks try) there is no question he is having trouble finding the right answers."
Let's take a look at the box score:
Reduce nuclear arms? Where?
Ease tensions in the Muslim world? How? By forcing Israel to bomb Iran?
Cooperation rather unilateralism? Again, where? the arbitrary cancellation of NAFTA provisions? Protectionism?
Guantanamo? It's still open and will remain open!
Iraq? Pres BO is implementing the Bush plan!
Patriot Act? It will be reauthorized pretty much the same way that Bush wrote it!
Climate change? It's going nowhere in Congress even though he has the majority.
Health care? Same as climate change!
This is an award based on what some Euros expect Pres BO to do rather than on specific accomplishments.
This is "yes we can-ism" infecting a few Euros who obviously see BO as a different kind of American president.
My guess is that they will be very disappointed just like so many here who invested their hopes and dreams in "change"!
We agree with The Economist:
"Mr Obama’s aspirations may be laudable, but he has several tough years ahead. The Nobel committee evidently wants to encourage him but it might have been wiser to hold judgment until he has achieved more."
We agree with Jennifer Loven:
"The prize seems to be more for Obama's promise than for his performance. "
We agree with Michael Binyon of the UK:
"Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace."
We agree with David Blair, also from the UK:
"In effect, they are taking out a bet on Mr Obama's future peacemaking skills.
Are they being realistic?"
We agree with liberal Peter Beinart:
"I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce.
He’s done nothing to deserve the prize.
Sure, he’s given some lovely speeches and launched some initiatives—on Iran, Israeli-Palestinian peace, climate change and nuclear disarmament—that might, if he’s really lucky and really good, make the world a more safe, more just, more peaceful world.
But there’s absolutely no way to know if he’ll succeed, and by giving him the Nobel Prize as a kind of “atta boy,” the Nobel Committee is actually just highlighting the gap that conservatives have long highlighted: between Obamamania as global hype and Obama’s actual accomplishments."
The Washington Post reminds us that two presidents won the prize in the past:
"Obama is the third sitting U.S. president -- and the first in 90 years -- to win the coveted peace prize.
His predecessors won during their second White House terms, however, and after significant diplomatic achievements.
Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919, after helping to found the League of Nations and shaping the Treaty of Versailles; and Theodore Roosevelt was the recipient in 1906 for his work to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese war."
Today's decision is a joke and it devalues The Nobel Prize. Of course, wasn't this prize already devalued with the selection of Arafat a few years ago?
P.S. Let's watch that one from SNL again:
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