Even if you think President Obama hung the moon and is the best thing since sliced bread, how can anyone honestly believe he deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize?
Seriously, Nobel Committee, what are you smoking? From what I can tell, we’re giving this man an award because he is an excellent speaker (he is) and has a boat load of frequent flyer miles.
Even his most vocal supporters are asking what the heck he has accomplished. As one of my friends put it, this is “like giving a freshman who got a B+ on his first mid-term the designation summa cum laude.”
The Committee gave some of its reasoning, applauding Obama’s “efforts to strengthen international diplomacy,” his “vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons” and for inspiring hope and creating “a new climate in international politics.”
Whoopdeedoo. “Vision” for something has not happened (and will probably never happen) and giving everyone a feel-good, warm, fuzzy feeling. the ending of Love Actually gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, but you don’t see me lauding it for it’s peace-making efforts (shut up, it’s a great movie). Way to go, Barack. The nomination deadline was 11 after his inauguration, which means technically he was judged on 11 days of… something. (Unless you want to argue his work as Senator/Candidate Obama were enough to win.)
The President has said he is humbled by the award. Good. He should be. Because at the very best, this is ridiculously premature. At its worst, it suggests that the populace of Oslo has been brainwashed by aliens.
He’s been in office nine months and already we’re holding “vision” up among the actual accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr., the International Committee for the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, the 14th Dalai Lama and Neslon Mandela. If you think he’s going to save the world in the next 3.25 years, that’s great. I hope it happens. But as of yet, it hasn’t.
I picked apart the criteria two years ago, when Al Gore won for his fancy Power Point presentation (that one still baffles me how does Global Warming = World Peace?), but let’s go over it again. Here’s what Alfred Nobel laid out for the Peace Prize: The award should go to…
The person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
Wait, isn’t Obama actually considering increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan (by the way, I wouldn’t disagree with him if he did)
Now let’s see if – among the other 204 nominees – we can find someone who fits that criteria just a little bit better. I don’t necessarily agree with all of them or endorse their efforts, but just compare their resumes to the criteria listed above:
- Humanitarian and education advocate Greg Mortenson, who has spent his life building schools and promoting literacy – especially among girls – in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Mr. Mortenson was actually nominated by a bi-partisan cadre of U.S. Senators and Representatives.)
- French President Nicolas Sarkozy, for brokering a cease-fire between Georgia and Russia.
- Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng, who is known as “the Father of Chinese Democracy” and “Nelson Mandela of China.”
- Macedonian artist and humantarian Zivko Popovski-Cvetin, who, over the past 30 years, has given away more than 30,000 “peace flower” paintings all over the world. (OK, I’m going to concede that Obama legitimately beat out Zivko. 30,000 peace flowers is a little too much hippie for me.)
- Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, who spent years in prison for acting on his conscience telling the world that Israel was developing nukes.
- Thich Quang Do, a Buddhist monk still imprisisoned because of his vocal and continued a staunch advocacy for religious freedom tolerance in Vietnam.
And that was just what I found in eight minutes online. Sure, the Nobel Committee can do whatever the heck they want, but they’ve embarrassed themselves and cheapened the award.
On the other hand, maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Mayby I convince my boss to give me a raise purely on potential…