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Obama's Prize Is Bush's Fault

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Students who do not do well on their exams will often ask if I curve
grades. I almost always respond with a no. But now I can now send these
same students to a very prestigious group that does curve grades, the
Nobel Committee for the Peace Award.


People on the left are asking how in the world could anyone select
President Obama for the Nobel Peace Prize? We ask this regardless of
Obama's length in time in office. The answer comes back in what the 5
person committee saw as Obama's accomplishments--or more precisely, his
initiatives. The list of his initiatives includes his emphasis on
diplomacy as a way of settling current or potential conflicts, his
engagement with the Muslim world, and his efforts to lessen the nuclear
threat in the world. So his list of initiatives appears to be
impressive.


But perhaps the biggest reason that Obama won the award is that he is
not George W. Bush. That is, compared to what Bush had been doing for 8
years, what Obama has been doing for 9 months must be a miracle to the
members on the Nobel Committee. Thus we have a Nobel Laureate who won,
not because of what he has done, but because of the curve that was set by George Bush. After all, it was good ole George who ignored the
Middle East until 9-11, initiated and prosecuted a war of aggression
with Iraq and threatened another one with Iran, broke treaties in order
to pursue the development of new nuclear weapons, and started a game
of Armageddon Chicken with the Soviet Union by beginning to place BMD
bases on Russia's border. With George having set the bar so low, any
deviation that Obama brought must have be seen as manna coming from
heaven. Unfortunately, peace requires much more than not imitating
Bush.


If we could ask some John Pilger type questions, we might ask if Obama
would have been awarded the Nobel Peace Award had one of the committee
members been a Pakistani child whose parents were killed by one of
Obama's drone launched bombs? Or would Obama been honored if another
member of the committee had been an Afghanistan child who lost his or
her family due to his escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Would Obama
have received this Peace Prize if a member of the committee were a
Palestinian child who lost his or her home or life to Israeli smart
weapons after Obama gave assurances that he would not oppose their use?
[1] Or what if that Palestinian child belonged to a family who either
lost their home or access to water as Obama did not sustain
objections to Israel's plans to increase settlements, would Obama have
won?


Obama is now considering a further escalation of the war in Afghanistan
and he has not withdrawn all troops from Iraq nor does it look like he
will. He did show that he could talk politely to leaders whom the Bush
Administration despised too much to even appear with in public. Does
such protocol merit the Nobel Price for Peace or should he have
received the Nobel Prize for Etiquette? How can a person who believes
in American Exceptionalism receive a prestigious peace prize? Or how
could a person who increased our already morbidly obese military budget
win the prize for peace?


I am reminded of Chalmers Johnson's comparison of George W. Bush with
Bill Clinton. Clinton, he said, "camouflaged" what he was doing while
George relied on brute force.[2] Obviously, we are back to using
camouflage with Obama. We could conclude that Obama should have won an
international award for applying veneer rather than for working toward
peace.



Certainly Obama is an improvement over George Bush or mini-George
(a.k.a John McCain) but such does not merit the Nobel Prize for Peace.
If we were to look at the down and dirty work of many activists who
risk their lives while actually working for peace rather than for a
establishing a more palatable empire, we would see that the recognition given to Obama
dishonors the prize itself. Certainly we all hope that Obama can avoid
future wars as well as end the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq as
well as work out a viable and just peace accord between Israel and
Palestine. But we are nowhere close on any of these goals nor have
we started down the right road. But we can at
least say that Obama is not George Bush and perhaps that is why he won
the award.

[1] http://www.zcommunications.org/zvideo/3227

[2] Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, pg 255

 

Curt Day is a religious flaming fundamentalist and a political extreme moderate. Curt's blogs are at http://flamingfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ and http://violenceorsurvival.blogspot.com/

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Well, yes, we have st... by Bia Winter on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 12:51:29 PM
I guess I am more cynical about Obama's prize than... by Curt Day on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 1:27:21 PM