Barack Obama is notably absent from the home page of The Nobel Foundation. Norwegians are silly cowards. Alfred Nobel would be ashamed of all of you! As many of you by now know, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Their reasons are blunt and stunted, plainly, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”. If you choose to peruse the Nobel site you will not find the plethora of substance you may expect to “qualify” this award. Forget imagery as well, there are three Obama related pictures, one of Michelle and Barack looking typically good, another of the President on the phone in the oval office, and one of him greeting the Mexican President. It really does appear to be the biggest ad hoc accord of any significant global accomplishment in the history of my short tenure on this planet. Mr President? Your thoughts?
A ‘call to action’ is exactly what the Nobel team had in mind when announcing Obama’s award. Unfortunately, the United States of America isn’t in the business of taking orders from Norwegian cronies sitting on agendas. We also have some major internal issues, the Glen Beck infused tea party gang is a hop, skip and a jump away from disrupting peace within our own borders. And by the way, this Nobel junk has effectively armed Beck and his army of idiots with another piece of ‘evidence’ demonstrating the illogical endorsements of Obama. It will become the quintessential punchline for right wingers when hypothesizing Obama’s plans for action. Let alone the fact that Obama will get 1.4 million dollars as a result of the award, it’s the equivalent of throwing a massive rock at a hornets nest. The question really is, why?
Just too much gloss and rhetoric is behind the Norwegian explanation. The Nobel Peace Prize has always been awarded on the basis of action already taken, accomplishments already in hand. Former recipients have had little difficulty citing their actionable accomplishments, they include: Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, The 14th Dalai Lama, Elie Wiesel, Mother Theresa, Mikhail Gorbachev and so many more it’s depressing. (Google those names if unfamiliar, seriously).
There used to be much debate and intellectual discourse about the merit of Peace Prize recipients, often utilized as a teaching mechanism. For example, Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize is a great teaching tool when illustrating the key part Egypt plays in the Israeli conflict, specifically Egypt’s proactive co-operation on regional political matters. What would Obama’s prize be used to teach in classrooms? It’s not hard to envision a 7-year-old stumping a college educated teacher with the simple question: Why? Why Obama?
Argh, the answer is nauseating. They chose Obama because Europeans have a disgusting sense of humor, and take pleasure in putting the U.S. in precarious positions. Effectively this nomination is a win-win situation for the Nobellites. If any substantial action is taken by Obama during his tenure, the Nobel committee will most certainly feel redeemed, perhaps responsible even. If Obama tries but fails to demonstratively take action, the Nobel fogies can make their favorite claim, that Obama was clearly ready, unfortunately America was not. Bad America, bad.
This has been one bad week for the Obama administration and our country. Leave it to the Europeans to take a good prize and defecate all over it. Yes, the Peace Prize is inherently utopian, but so was standing up to the Soviet Union. And that certainly didn’t stop Polish union leader Lech Walsea from catalyzing the end of the Cold War in Poland, and later becoming Prime Minister. Forget the Peace Prize, somebody get Lech a prime rib.