"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama's Nobel Farce

Sometimes it amazes me at what can happen in a couple of days.

Okay... So I stepped away from the computer for a couple of days to get some writing done. In that time I turned off the TV, didn't listen to the radio. Today I browse through the internet and find out that Obama won the frigging Nobel Peace Prize?! Today I found out that the world has officially become an Onion news piece.

This just makes me sick. How can someone be rewarded for nothing? Obama has done nothing for world peace. Nada. Zip. Making speeches that so many people believe to be pretty (they just annoy me-- his cadence is cloyingly arrogant), having a beer photo-op with Gates and a cop, firing a few hellfire missiles at terrorists during funerals, and a fretting inaction at an escalating war in Afghanistan, does not merit a certificate of participation, much less any farcical prize.

Even the Nobel Committee's announcement admits he has done nothing.

"Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.

"For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'"

Yeah... Way to pin down those myriad of Obama accomplishments. "Created a new climate..." That passes as an achievement?

What's clear in their language is that the Committee's thinking is pretty much what the Daily Kos echoes. Witness this cute, little gem from Crispian Day a blogger at Daily Kos (h/t NewsBusters.org).

"In just eight months President Obama has taken us from looking like crazed, bible distributing (in Arabic no less) war mongering, macho, family killing raping and torturing nation that we WERE into a nation of peace seeking. Are you kidding me?

"You think that's easy... try getting two people who don't like each other to change... just two. He has turned the outlook of the whole world from one where everyone was worried about WW3 or WMD or Nukes, or mounting terrorism into a world of hope....

"There are people who are calling for him to turn it down. I think President Obama will say that this is where we all need to start and he will tell us where we should go from here. This gives him so much clout on the world stage. How can you turn down MORE clout to get more PEACE accomplished? And hopefully it will help with the world's crappiest Senate."

This juvenile rant by Day (why am I reminded of Chris Crocker?-- "Leave Obama alone! It's not easy... he's got a lot of stuff to deal with? Leave HIM ALONE!) really is not all that much different then what the Nobel Committee basically stated in their own announcement. Sure, Obama hasn't actually accomplished anything that's even close to tangible, but he's given us "hope" with PR, we agree with his politics ("the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy"), we think he's popular ("attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman") and we didn't like Bush. Brilliant.

I suppose you could think of Obama's so far disastrous presidency (a gargantuan political payoff/stimulus bill that has done nothing to stimulate, a trillion dollar deficit, etc.) and his unearned accolades as being the ultimate results of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

What is especially aggravating are the largely unknown people in other countries who have not confused appeasement with peace, and actually have worked, often at great personal risk to themselves, for actual peace.

People such as Morgan Tsvangirai (a politician who has stood up to Robert Mugabe's violent tyranny in Zimbabwe), Hu Jia (who has been jailed for his work for the Chinese democracy movement and AIDS/HIV activism), Dr. Sima Samar (who has worked for women's rights in her native Afghanistan), Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad (who advocates inter-religious dialogue and religious tolerance), Thich Quang Do (who has resisted government intrusion into religious beliefs, advocated democratic reforms in Vietnam, and was convicted of and jailed for"sabotaging government policies and damaging the interests of the state."), and Lidia Yusupova (who has worked to publicize human rights abuses by both Russian soldiers and Chechen rebels) were all reported to be on the short list of the Committee's nominees (h/t Jacobson at Legal Insurrection).

Selecting Obama over these people reaffirms to us the Nobel Committee's shallow tendency to prefer style over substance, political posturing over results, naivete over wisdom, and popularity over morality. The Committee has insulted all of these fine and dedicated people for the sake of celebrity.

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