Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Obama does not deserve his Nobel Peace Prize…

October 11, 2009 by  
Filed under News, Politics, Weekly Columns

( Speaking from the Rose Garden this morning President Obama announced that he would accept the Nobel Peace Prize. The president said that he does not view it as a recognition of his own accomplishments, but as a call to action for the international community to confront global issues.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced its decision to award President Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” The decision, a surprise to many, appears in large part to be based on Obama’s campaign for the U.S. presidency. The deadline for nominations was February 1 meaning that Obama was nominated before serving his first eleven days in office.

An excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prizes, instructs that the Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded “to the person who 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.”

So how does Obama stand up against this criterion set by Nobel? Unfortunately not well.

The prize comes at a time when Obama has had little success in the way of creating or sustaining peace. The new president is currently debating Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s recommendation to increase troop levels in Afghanistan due to increased U.S. causalities. In Iraq, 124,000 U.S. soldiers remain in armed conflict.

Further, the growth in U.S. military expenditures has continued. On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate approved $636 billion in military funding, $3.9 billon less then the White House requested. The propensity for armed conflict does not appear to be abating, which makes Obama a very odd choice for the Peace prize.

In the last few weeks, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have all but frozen under Obama’s leadership, and the threat of nuclear Iran appears to make our current president mimic the words of our last one.

Put bluntly, President Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. The current president lacks any significant accomplishment on the matter of conflict resolution with the exception of his beer summit on race relations earlier this summer.

The matter of international or domestic peace is the result of a body of work – not something accomplished in nine months. Obama now stands in a league with only two other African-Americans who have won the Noble Peace Prize: Dr. Ralph Bunche and Dr. Martin Luther King. A review of their work for domestic and international peace towers over the largely symbolic accomplishments of our current president.

There may be a time when President Obama is deserving of this award, but for now, he will have to try his best to live up it.

Written By Jason Ravin

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