Friday, October 09, 2009

Norway loves Obama

At least President Obama had the grace (or at least the political instinct) to acknowledge that he had not really done anything to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. The Prize has been largely devalued by the tendency of the Norwegian politicians who award it to use it for political purposes. This year they made that intention quite explicit. They wanted to "respond" to what they see as Obama's change in US foreign policy.

But what is that change? I guess that Obama has made clear that he would not have wanted to waterboard those three Al Qaeda operatives. He has given some speeches that, depending on your perspective, present either a "kinder and gentler" America or a weaker one unwilling to assert its moral authority and military power in service of its own interests or those of democracy - at least in a way that is not endorsed by an international "consensus."

It is possible, I suppose, that this approach might lead to a greater degree of world peace. But there is not much historical reason to think so. And there is reason to believe that it will lead much injustice to go undeterred. As Jonah Goldberg observes, there is an irony to today's announcement:

The only thing that really bothers me is that this comes just days after
the Obama administration turned a blind eye to the Dalai Lama and told the world
that it's at least considering a separate peace with the Taliban. That's
grotesque. Meanwhile, there are real peace activists and dissidents out there
whose dungeons will stay just as cold and dark for another year because of this.
Indeed, this news comes during a year when the Iranian people rose up against
tyranny and were crushed. Surely someone in Iran — or maybe the Iranian
protesters generally — could have benefited more from receiving the prize than
a president who, so far, has done virtually nothing concrete for world
peace.




And what is - precisely - that this "response" or statement of support is supposed to accomplish? Is the President supposed to be guided by the sentiments of those who honored him? Are world leaders supposed to be more favorably disposed to Obama initiatives (if there any) as if Iran would have developed a nuclear weapon but, since a Nobel laureate asked it not to ....

11 comments:

Super Id said...

"Norway loves Obama"

Too bad Denmark doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes in the vineyard.

Dad29 said...

Babbin (Human Events) is not sure that the Taliban is a threat to the national interests of the USA, and neither are others--myself included.

The threat is AlQuaeda.

Maybe Obama got this one right.

apexcutter said...

Truth is stranger than fiction. Obama gets Peace Prize ... you couldn't have made it up if you tried. Well, at least is will make the Clintons apoplectic.

bus said...

Well congratulation but i am not happy.

Anonymous said...

You lost me when you dropped Jonah Goldberg's name.

3rd Way said...

He has given some speeches that, depending on your perspective, present either a "kinder and gentler" America or a weaker one unwilling to assert its moral authority and military power in service of its own interests or those of democracy

Ha-ha... if the only existent perspectives are between a sane person, or an irreconcilable wingnut cynic projecting their worst prejudices onto anyone to the left of Reagan.

Then the classic Esenberg hedge:

at least in a way that is not endorsed by an international "consensus."

constant gina said...

Congratulations President Obama.

jp said...

I think the Taliban are not a threat to our national interest now.
However, I suggest we keep the predator drones at the ready.
Good grief that sound like Biden’s suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I echo Constant Gina's comment. Congratulations to our president! This is an honor for him, for our nation, and for all of the people on whose behalf he accepted it. May it inspire us all to work for peace.

limousine hire said...

I am really happy for Mr. Obama...