The Nobel Peace Prize, forsooth

As I mentioned on Twitter, giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize would be like if the 1907 committee had given the Nobel Prize for Medicine to Mary Mallon.  It would be interesting to have some documentary filmmaker speak to the Afghan and Pakistani civilians who have lost family members and get their reactions to Obama’s prize.  But I guess it’s better now than after he has “convinced” Congress that Iran has to be invaded in the name of peace and democracy.

Obama gets the peace prize.  There really needs to be a stronger word than “cynical” for situations like this.

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0 thoughts on “The Nobel Peace Prize, forsooth”

  1. You both seem to have far too narrow a window. Remember, Henry Kissinger was awarded one too— it’s not as if Gore or Obama are the first choice that should make one cynical about the Norwegian’s choices.

  2. Right. Kissinger, who can’t leave the US for fear of being arrested as a war criminal. Yeah, hadn’t meant to imply this was the first or the worst of the choices.

  3. I believe this is not so much for Obama as it is embittered Europeans getting back at GW…

  4. Whether or not he should fear being arrested as a war criminal is a matter of opinion; as a matter of fact, Kissinger has left the US — he was at the Beijing Olympics, relatively recently.

    That said, sure — Obama was a bizarre choice by the Nobel Committee, and by the nominators. But it’s part of a pattern of “kicking the leg” of GWB by them; that’s at least in part why they gave it to Gore and Carter. In fifty years or so, we’ll know (well, those of us still around) how close the guy who threw those shoes at the Shrub came to edging Obama out.

    I’m anticipating the headlines: “Nobel Peace Prize Winner Sends Thousands of Additional Troops to Afghanistan” or “Peace Laureate Endorses Plans for More Predator-launched Hellfire Missiles,” depending.

  5. Wow, we do need a new word for that kind of cynicism. Let’s call it “Brustian”.

    “That post was full of Brust. Very Brustian.”

  6. As far as I can tell, our last two presidents have had very similar policies for Corporate Welfare and for foreign wars.

    The difference I’ve seen is the current president is trying hard to get Big Medicine’s version of a health care bill passed. (follow the money).

    Since Obama is following GWB’s war policies, maybe the award went to the wrong president.

  7. It does seem odd a president overseeing two wars would get the Nobel but then again, I’m not on the Nobel committee.

  8. I really think the award should go to any sitting President that hasn’t invaded a country yet. Having such a vastly huge army with the greatest technology and the finest soldiers is a hard temptation to resist. Personally, I’m a peace loving person, but if I were President I’d have invaded Canada by now. So, yes, I think Obama is a great choice. Such restraint.

  9. Geez, it’s not Obama’s fault he won the Norwegian “We Hate Bush” award by virtue of not actually being Bush. McCain probably would have won it too.

    Anyhow, the Peace Prize has always been political. Hell, it’s voted on purely by politicians (Norwegian MPs, I believe). So it’s inherently devoid of any objective value.

    Anyhow, some radical Islamic leader in Pakistan had the most neutral and sensible comments I’ve read. He said he was neither pleased nor dismayed, and that this award would simply triple the burden on the President to conduct a sane foreign policy.

  10. I saw a cartoon that agreed with Miramon about Obama getting the award for not being Bush.

    But he *is* being Bush.

  11. I guess Obama fits the following criteria then:

    “during the preceding year […] shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

    That’s Alfred Nobel’s definition for “peace”.

  12. “It does seem odd a president overseeing two wars would get the Nobel but then again, I’m not on the Nobel committee.”

    Is it any more odd that the founder of the Nobel prizes was the inventor of dynamite?

  13. “embittered Europeans”. that cracks me up. Like GW had nothing better to do than worry about upsetting those wimps.

  14. I think Cockburns comment had got it right. It is premature. Previous winners include not only Kissinger, but Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. While Obama’s body count is not bad for the short time he has been in office, they should have really waited until he has served long enough to match the death toll of previous winning heads of state and high government officials.

  15. “It does seem odd a president overseeing two wars would get the Nobel but then again, I’m not on the Nobel committee.”

    There are many arguments against Obama receiving the Peace Prize, but this is not one. Has it only taken you nine or so short months to forget that these wars were directed by Bush and his government? I have no commentary to make on the war, pro or against, but why is Obama being attacked for Bush’s wars?? Does everyone honestly believe that ending a war in a hostile territory is as easy as, “Pack it up boys! Grab what you can and leave the rest, we’re going home tomorrow!”

    As slow as we all know governments act, even drawing up plans necessary for a pull-out of this magnitude could take a year or longer, so why is everyone shocked that he hasn’t magically made all of our troops appear back home. He isn’t Harry Potter guys…

    Anyway, I also don’t think Obama should’ve been awarded the medal, but mainly because he has enough pressure as “the savior of the free-world” already, although it was most likely awarded more as a slight to George W.

    I just don’t like the hate mongers out there. If the Prize had been awarded to any of the other candidates, do you think any Obama-haters would’ve made some noise? Have you even heard any anti-Obama protestor saying that “this person should’ve won due to his humanitarian actions in Guam”? I doubt most can even list two or three other candidates (without resorting to searching the internet). They were uproarious because Obama was GIVEN an award that he himself said that he did not feel he deserved yet.

    Don’t understand it. If you don’t like Obama, shouldn’t you be happy with this as-of-yet undeserved award? If he lives up to it, that means he has made the world more peaceful for a great number of human beings, and can anyone argue that that would not be fortunate? If he does not, then he will most likely not be elected as President for a second term, once again clearing the way for a conservative, older, rich, white male to lead the most powerful country in the world.

    So, in an incredibly oversimplified way, its either an improved world or a Republican government in three years!

    P.S. I still hope this health care plan fails pretty completely… I love living in a democracy, and am not too keen on socialist policies =/.

  16. >but why is Obama being attacked for Bush’s wars?

    Because they are now Obama’s wars. He is expanding in Afghanistan. Pakistan is his war, not Bushes. And he has not plan for ending U.S. involvement in Irag – at most for a long term reduction that will still leave about a third to half the troops there. So he has no plan to end any of the wars. Incidentally, I don’t see why ending a war can’t be fairly simple. Maybe an argument can be made that measured withdrawal should take a year or eighteen months. At the nine month mark, that means we should be halfway to 2/3rds there. Incidentally, as to health care reform hurting democracy WTF? Lot’s of capitalist demoncracy’s have much single payer or all-payer health care, let alone the minor tinkering at the edges the Democrats propose.

  17. Socialism is an economic system, demoncracy (no typo there) is a political one.

    The US is already a marxist utopia (read the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto and see just how many the US has already fulfilled or surpassed!) . This proposed “Subsidize the favored Insurance companies or face prison” plan that the orator in chief is pushing is indeed more statist than even the socialist system we now endure. Still, why are the effective and responsible options off the table? Notice how only state run medicine (either directly as “single payer” (who comes up with these dishonest labels anyway??) or through increased regulation) is being considered? No consideration of lifting of the regulations and legal barriers, which themselves lend enormous cost to medicine. This is a radical change in degree, not mere tinkering, but it is not a change away from socialized medicine.

    As for the peace prize, Teddy Roosevelt, a died in the wool hawk also received it so clearly the vision that Nobel had for promoting peace to make up for his invention, was lost more than a century ago. What has changed with Notbush getting it is that all of the others had some hint of peace making effort prior to the award. Notbush did not even have that, in fact his record when nominated was of initiating aggression against Pakistan, and of course voting for continuing funding the wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq as a senator. Sure he preached peace, but if you listened to Bush, he did as well, just not as eloquently so as to distract sufficiently from the actions which were not peaceful.

    Obama did nothing to deserve the prize, will do nothing to deserve the prize, and will be responsible for the deaths of countless thousands if not millions. Now if only he might feel some slight remorse over his actions and ideology….

  18. And here I thought only ‘liberals’ hated America. Was it the promise of cookies, Storm?

  19. Storm makes a good point. Why is only Obamanation’s idea even being considered? Why can’t we just simplify the process, get rid of the government, get rid of the lawyers, get rid of the insurance companies and let the doctors and patients decide their care on their own? It would significantly lower the cost of things. Doctors wouldn’t have to have a complete staff just to genuflect to the insurance companies,

  20. coelacanths laughing @ 20 and Bawrence @ 21:
    That plan stops working when you get a serious and / or rare illness/disorder, and need expensive medications. Getting rid of the insurance companies won’t make the medications much less expensive, if any; they’re expensive primarily because the companies need to recoup the cost of the research and development. Medications for common problems have a larger base over which to spread that fixed cost, so they’re less expensive.

  21. @Nolly: That cost is currently assessed disproportionately on the citizens of the US, other countries’ citizens get the same medications for much less.

  22. Baw, That is because other governments* fail to protect the individual and so dictate what the prices will be. The market is not allowed to work, so cost here stay higher than they would be without these political limitations, regulations, and impediments.

    *as does the US government but not so much in this area yet
    Drop government interference and control and the cost of health care goes down while innovation and discovery go up along with the quality of life.

  23. We are very limited in our ability to change the rules in other countries, especially on the scale it would require in this instance. We can only address what is within our sphere of influence. You want the market to work? Eliminate the middleman (health insurance) and let the health services consumer negotiate directly with the medical services provider.

  24. Eliminate government interference and insurance companies will once again be subjected to the market forces. I happen to deal with my doctor directly, with no insurance company in the way. It can be done today if you want to, though of course the current administration is trying to throw you in prison for seeking to deal directly with your provider.

    I am no fan of insurance companies, but anyone who is familiar with economics and politics knows that without the weapon of government, the only power that insurance companies (or any company) has is that of persuasion. If they can convince you to pay $100 for a $50 service, then shame on you, not them.

    Never-ending patents, regulations, litigation, and all other aspects of government interference cause FAR more expense than insurance companies can. But hey, why not do both.. abolish the current political nonsense, as well as the current insurance company-government marriage, and let people take responsibility for themselves and each other? Worked amazingly well in the past.

  25. Eliminate government ‘interference’ and we’ll have child labor, hazardous working conditions and company script instead of cash in record time.

  26. Guess we know what you wish you could do legally.. That is all you are telling us with such appeals to emotion.

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