I woke up to a text message from CNN that Obama had won the Nobel peace prize. First thought-- "Why? What did he do to earn it?
I woke up to a text message from CNN that Obama had won the Nobel peace
prize. First thought-- "Why? What did he do to earn it? Extend the
Afghan war? Send thousands of storm trooper police to Pittsburgh for
According the the Norwegian Nobel Committee, he's won it for:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
...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.
...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."
Others refer to Obama's effort to reduce Nuclear weapons in the world.
Senior OEN editor Josh Mitteldorf posted an article announcing the
award (notice that the word award is "war" with ad left over. How the
mind wanders) and added a description, "Let us hope that inspires our
new President to live up to the honor."
I thought how this award lowers the value of the Nobel Peace prize
to those it's already been awarded to. That's not Obama's fault. But
when the Nobel is awarded to a green president who hasn't found solid
legs yet, hasn't taken a solid stand on war or torture or war crimes...
Danny Schecter had similar thoughts, writing
"Never mind that he's involved in two wars and contemplating a third,
President Obama snags the big peace prize even as he snubs the Dalai
Lama, another Nobel laureate.
"Hmm.Will thus devalue the prize by
further politicizing it, enhance skepticism, or give Barack a new sense
And the UK's TimesOnline headlines:
absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobel peace prize
But maybe Josh is right. Maybe
it will inspire Obama, who's proven to be a disappointment so far, to
live up to the honor. Maybe it will give him an attitudinal boost so he
finds more spine to represent the people who voted for him. Maybe it
will get the right wing blowhards to STFU. Maybe it will give him the
spine it takes to tell his DLC, right wing Dem advisors to STFU and
maybe even leave.
Ironically, I feel little pride in this
awarding of the Nobel. I don't think he deserves it. Sure, it's a nice
image boost for the US and the Democrats, but it is a failure by the
Nobel committee. If they had waited until Obama made his decision on
Afghanistan, and he did the right thing-- stand up to a General with a
hard-on for un-ending war, and all his backers, then Obama would have
deserved it. I pray the Nobel committee knows something we don't know
about Obama and Afghanistan.
Now, we have a "peace prize
winning" president about to commit tens of thousands more troops to a
never ending war in a country that has never been defeated.
Reuters reported, on October 7th,
quite likely this committee will reward somebody who is engaged in
current processes," said Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the
International Peace Institute in Oslo (PRIO).
"They want the prize to have an impact on things that are about to happen and want to affect events," he told Reuters.
Let's hope the prize inspires Obama, not just to be a
peace maker but also to be a stronger president who stands up to the
corporations which have waged war against humanity. Maybe he'll pay
attention to Justice Sotomayor's questions about corporate person hood
and wage the good war, ending the longest war of human history-- and
kill the right of corporations to be treated as persons.
Awarding the prize to someone who is older, whose work with war and the
possibilities for peace is done is a passive act. Awarding the price to
someone who has the potential to make a difference, well that's a bold
step to take, a gamble. I still have a little hope that Obama will find
his inner strength, cast off the corporate enablers rife throughout his
administration and do the right things, maybe with Michelle Obama's
inspiration. Maybe this award will help. Maybe it will remind him of
what he could become-- a great man who goes down in history for
standing up to the powerful tides and forces within and outside his
party which pushed him to do more of the same. Maybe he will reject the
garbage the corpsestream media spews, the pressure the lobbyists apply
and the corruption and sold out humanity within the beltway.
Sometimes extraordinary things result when extraordinary acts are done. This could be one of those times. Let us hope.
Rob Kall is editor-in-chief, publisher and site architect of OpEdNews.com, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor. He hosts the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, aired in the Metro Philly area on AM 1360, WNJC. Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
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