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Choking on Norwegian Nobel Kool-Aid

Obama makes the Peace Prize into a joke.

By Petrarch  |  October 13, 2009

From the snowy reaches of Norway comes this announcement:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

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."  [emphasis added]

As we've observed before, the so-called Nobel "Peace" Prize has been making a mockery of its founder's intentions for lo these many decades.  Any prize which can be awarded with a straight face to such terrorists, thieves, and fraudsters as Yasser Arafat, Kofi Annan, and Al Gore is, let us say, tarnished at best.

Until today, though, the Prize was reserved for people who had actually done something.  Like them or not, nobody can deny that Arafat, Annan, and Gore have had a profound influence on what happened in the world - their influences were mostly bad, but were clearly visible nonetheless.

What has Barack Obama accomplished?  What has he done?  He has been elected President - no mean feat, but somebody accomplishes that every four years, as regular as a calendar can tick.  He has given speeches, and speeches, and speeches; but Rush Limbaugh does that at greater length, with more regularity and higher quality, each weekday for three hours and has done so for twenty years running.

Who are the people who increased peace and freedom in the last few decades?  The top of the list goes to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul IV, who (even the Russians now admit) brought about the peaceful collapse of Soviet totalitarian communism and freed Eastern Europe from its occupying grip.  Few greater accomplishments can be found in the history of any time.

Less successfully, there are the heroes of Tiananmen Square, the various "color" revolutions of the Caucasus, and even the youth of Iran who shouted, marched, bled and died in an attempt to win their liberty from the evil Islamist mullahcracy that oppresses that unhappy land.  Did any of these worthies receive a Nobel gong?  No.

Most of the time, true bringers of or fighters for peace and freedom are precisely those who not only don't get honored with a Norwegian gold medal, but would never even be considered.

The Nobel Peace Prize occasionally goes to someone deserving - nobody would question the meritoriousness of South Africa's Nelson Mandela or Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, much less of Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama.  At least you'd think not: as it happens, Obama is the first president to refuse to meet with the Lama.

If anything, what little Mr. Obama has done has squelched democracy, freedom and peace.  He left the Iranian protesters twisting in the wind, writhing in torture chambers, and dangling on scaffolds; he sided with a would-be dictator in Honduras against the requirements of that country's own Constitution, the legal rulings of its Constitutional Court, and the democratically-expressed wishes of its legislature; and, if wars and imprisoned terrorists bother you, he has neither left Afghanistan nor closed Guantanamo Bay (though he may well end up doing both, in time).

About the only peace summit Mr. Obama has put together was the one where the professor and the cop joined him for a beer and that conference was meant to heal discord of his own making.

No, the Nobel laurels have degenerated to a highfalutin occasion for leftists to honor leftists for being leftists, actual accomplishment no longer required.  We can't help but be reminded of the Emperor Nero who did the rounds of the Olympic and other Greek games, carting home 1800 prizes including ones for events which he failed even to complete.  When you're a god, it's the thought that counts; the actual score is an irrelevant detail.

Speaking of which, as ludicrous as Mr. Obama receiving the award a mere nine months into his presidency seems, the rules and deadlines of the Nobel Committee make it clear that he was nominated for the prize no later than ten days after inauguration.  Ten days that shook the world!  No neophyte ruler in all of history has done more than Mr. Obama must have done in those ten days to persuade the international Great and Good of his transcendent worthiness!

Or maybe they just felt bad for not giving him the Olympics and didn't want to be sued for racial dicrimination.

While the rest of the world sneers in derision, Mr. Obama and his Norwegian fans will be too busy patting themselves on the back to wonder if maybe, just maybe, too much is too much.  Instead of MSNBC, both should listen to the Times of London:

The prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace... It is certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished.