Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize -- Just Republicans Who Are Skeptical?


Even liberal Peter Beinert is flabbergasted that the Yasser Arafat Peace Prize went to a man who has actually accomplished nothing.

I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce. He’s done nothing to deserve the prize. Sure, he’s given some lovely speeches and launched some initiatives—on Iran, Israeli-Palestinian peace, climate change and nuclear disarmament—that might, if he’s really lucky and really good, make the world a more safe, more just, more peaceful world. But there’s absolutely no way to know if he’ll succeed, and by giving him the Nobel Prize as a kind of “atta boy,” the Nobel Committee is actually just highlighting the gap that conservatives have long highlighted: between Obamamania as global hype and Obama’s actual accomplishments. (Moonbattery h/t)

The Times Online has noticed the "Life imitates the Onion" quality of awarding a Nobel Prize to an over-rated narcissist who has accomplished Jack Squat.

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. (Ibid.)

Reformed Chicks point out something many miss, that is:

His name had been mentioned in speculation about possible winners, but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early for him to take the award - he took office only two weeks before award nominations closed.

FreedomDogs expands on Reformed Chicks point:

Let’s take a look at the president’s first 12 days in the White House according to his public schedule to see what he did to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize:

  • January 20: Sworn in as president. Went to a parade. Partied.
  • January 21: Asked bureaucrats to re-write guidelines for information requests. Held an “open house” party at the White House.
  • January 22: Signed Executive Orders: Executive Branch workers to take ethics pledge; re-affirmed Army Field Manual techniques for interrogations; expressed desire to close Gitmo (how’s that working out?)
  • January 23: Ordered the release of federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries. Lunch with Joe Biden; met with Tim Geithner.
  • January 24: Budget meeting with economic team.
  • January 25: Skipped church.
  • January 26: Gave speech about jobs and energy. Met with Hillary Clinton. Attended Geithner's swearing in ceremony.
  • January 27: Met with Republicans. Spoke at a clock tower in Ohio.
  • January 28: Economic meetings in the morning, met with Defense secretary in the afternoon.
  • January 29: Signed Ledbetter Bill overturning Supreme Court decision on lawsuits over wages. Party in the State Room. Met with Biden.
  • January 30: Met economic advisers. Gave speech on Middle Class Working Families Task Force. Met with senior enlisted military officials.
  • January 31: Took the day off.
  • February 1: Skipped church. Threw a Super Bowl party.

So there you have it. The short path to the Nobel Peace Prize: Party, go to meetings, skip church, release federal funding to pay for abortions in foreign countries, party some more.

Verum Serum adds to the plot:

Here’s a rundown of who he beat taken from their respective Wikipedia pages:

  • Piedad Cordoba – Senator Córdoba has been a constant supporter of legislation addressing discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and race. She is an outspoken critic who has opposed several of the controversial policies implemented by [Colombian] President Álvaro Uribe.
  • Sima Samar – Dr. Samar publicly refuses to accept that women must be kept in purdah (secluded from the public) and speaks out against the wearing of the burqa (head-to-foot wrap), which was enforced first by the fundamentalist mujahideen and then by the Taliban.
  • Ingrid Betancourt – a Colombian-French politician, former senator, anti-corruption activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 23 February 2002 and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later on 2 July 2008. The rescue operation, dubbed Operation Jaque, rescued Betancourt along with 14 other hostages (three Americans and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers). In all, she was held captive for 2,321 days after being taken while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green.

Even if you take for granted, which I do, that the Nobel Peace Prize is basically an award for liberalism, you have to question whether Obama was a better choice than these women.

And finally, Vulcan's Hammer hits it:

Here are some worthy people that I think should have received this award and that are certainly far better picks that Barack Obama:

  • Burmese monks whose defiance against, and brutalization at the hands of, the country's military junta captured the attention of the Free World several years ago and continue to bravely resist their government. The prize should have been awarded to Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and other Zimbabwe opposition leaders who were arrested and in some cases beaten by police back in 2007 while protesting peacefully against dictator Robert Mugabe. The Prize should have gone to Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest in Vietnam arrested in 2007 and sentenced to eight years in prison for helping the pro-democracy group Block 8406. The prize should have gone to Wajeha al-Huwaider and Fawzia al-Uyyouni, co-founders of the League of Demanders of Women's Right to Drive Cars in Saudi Arabia, who are waging a modest struggle with grand ambitions to secure basic rights for women in that Muslim country. The prize should have gone to the people of Iraq, who bravely work to rebuild and reunite their country amid constant threats to themselves and their families from terrorists who deliberately target civilians. And finally, if the Nobel committee had any real moral rectitude, it could have awarded the prize to the people of Iran who resisted and protested against a corrupt voting process in their country.
It is pathetic that the Nobel committee chose to give the Peace price to someone who has done nothing to deserve it.

The Pres Himself Agrees (Founding Bloggers h/t):
Upon hearing that President Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, people from all quarters offered their opinions on why the Nobel committee would do something even the President admits he “does not deserve” (White House Communications Chief Anita Dunn :55).

I wanted to get all my Nobel Prize posts in one blog to make the search a bit easier for those coming over from THE WORLD ACCORDING TO KIMBA: LIBERAL BLOGGERS A "PAJAMA PARTY?", there may be an issue with IQ? (*wink*) So I added some extra content from UrbanGrounds, a site I will add to my blog roll. I think some "in-your-face commentary can be found at a couple of sites:

Al Gore Won the Prize for a PowerPoint Presentation -- It Should Have Been This Hero

Here is that great commentary by Urban Grounds I mentioned:

So, who came in second to President Zero Accomplishments in the running for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize? Who out there that has been toiling for and affecting real peace through very real personal sacrifice in often life-threatening situations — yet still lost out to a guy who merely “hopes” for peace?

Moonbattery has a list of some of the other nominees that lost out to The Won:

As a bonus, let’s consider who the Nobel Committee considered less worthy than Barack Hussein Obama to receive to Nobel Peace Prize:

  • Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia – imprisoned for campaigning for human rights in the PRC, not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.
  • Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China’s communist system. — not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama. (Not to mention the symbolic value of awarding a Chinese dissident on the 20th Anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.)
  • Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years – not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.
  • Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a philosophy professor in Jordan who risks his life by advocating interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims, also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.
  • Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar. She currently leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and serves as the U.N. special envoy to Darfur and is apparently also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Ace piles on:

But come on. Not a single one of them has ever been on the cover of People Magazine.

Update: Someone mentioned this (forget who) — Thank God the Nobel Committee didn’t use its power of publicity to highlight the travails and triumphs of those people, and use the spotlight to illuminate human rights abuses, or anything.

Thank God Himself they gave the prize to someone who really needs a bit of additional media hype.

You know what? At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood awards Obama an Emmy for all of his fine television work this year. And you might as well give him a Pulitzer and a Nobel Laureate for all of those damned fine speeches he wrote…And rumor has it that next week Vancouver is going to award Obama a gold medal in the 2010 Olympic Games.

SNL Even Piles On:

Here's a "Top-Ten" list:

  1. With David Letterman somewhat distracted, I thought I’d solicit nominations for a top 10 list. Here’s a few to start off:
  2. Consolation prize for losing the Olympics
  3. Who gives a rat’s you-know-what about Afghanistan, anyway
  4. The Nobel Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology were already taken
  5. “We couldn’t give an ‘un-prize’ to George W. Bush, and this was the next best thing”
  6. For extraordinary diplomacy at the Gates-Crowley “Beer Summit”
  7. UPDATE: “Obama? I thought we were giving it to Osama
  8. The Norwegians wanted to honor one of their own, and the committee discovered that Obama was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker.
  9. ONE MORE: Norway needed to stimulate its prize industry, and Obama was willing to trade in an older, less efficient prize.
  10. AND FROM THE COMMENTS: He was the 10th caller.

(click cartoon for video source)

Am I awake?

The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline. Obama’s name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president…

The Nobel committee praised Obama’s creation of “a new climate in international politics” and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. The plaudit appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama’s predecessor for resorting to largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.

“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,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said.

In other words, they gave him a Nobel for … being Hopenchange-y. And you thought Mark Halperin’s grade inflation was bad. This makes three times, incidentally, in just seven years that the committee’s turned the Peace Prize into a “f*** Bush” award by bestowing it on a liberal American Democrat. The Goracle got it in 2007 and Carter received it in 2002, making today’s announcement yet one more reason to consider The One his presidential heir.

...(read more)...

OSLO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world "hope for a better future" and striving for nuclear disarmament, in a surprise award that drew both warm praise and sharp criticism.

The decision to bestow one of the world's top accolades on a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, was greeted with gasps of astonishment from journalists at the announcement in Oslo.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." But critics -- especially in parts of the Arab and Muslim world -- called its decision premature.

Obama's press secretary woke him with the news before dawn and the president felt "humbled" by the award, a senior administration official said.

When told in an email from Reuters that many people around the world were stunned by the announcement, Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, responded: "As are we."

The first African-American to hold his country's highest office, Obama, 48, has called for disarmament and worked to restart the stalled Middle East peace process since taking office in January.

"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," the committee said in a citation.

...(read more)...