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Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's hope he's at least a little embarrassed

Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, just eight months into his Presidency.

Once he leaves office, Obama will undoubtedly write a book. They should just give him this year's Nobel Prize for Literature for that as well.

It will be interesting to see what effect this award has on his imminent decision on Afghanistan.

Will he accede to General McChrystal's advice and send 40,000 more troops, thereby making a mockery of his Peace Prize? (It's doubtful he'll want to tarnish his award.)

Will he go with VP Biden's wishes and keep a reduced force in Afghanistan, sharply focused on finding and stamping out Al Qaeda?

Or will he do the politically expedient thing and just let the war meander on as is? Maybe he figures if he just pretends to get more serious about al Qaeda, the electorate won't really notice that we're accomplishing nothing while wasting American money and lives. This way he won't really be claiming ownership of "Bush's war," but at the same time he won't be tagged with its loss, either, and thus it won't prevent him from being reelected in 2012.

My guess is that he'll do the latter. And that he won't be embarrassed about it, any more than he is embarrassed by his Nobel Peace Prize. BTW, expect a speech later today about how he "hopes to live up to" the ideals of this Prize.

(Is it possible that the committee which selected him was trying to subtly manipulate him into winding down the Afghanistan conflict? If so, then I applaud them.)


Anonymous said...

The Nobel Committee hasn't done Obama any favor.

John Craig said...

Ah -- But they think they have. What this will do is merely polarize the electorate further. His true believers will say, see, the rest of the world recognizes what a great man he is, why can't the wingnuts here do the same? Those of us who are more skeptical will just see this as more evidence of people WANTING to believe in him, just like the mass media which basically anointed him as a great President before he even took office.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. I fact, I think, this undermines the value of Nobel Peace prize. The only explanation I could think of was the committee's attempt to manipulate him into doing the "right thing".. If there is one. Can one make it happen somehow? I mean getting oneself a Nobel Prize?

John Craig said...

Not that I know of. The one thing one can say in Obama's "defense" is, this isn't his fault. He didn't campaign for this prize, it was just a bunch of guys in Sweden making a ridiculous decision. (That begs the question of whether he needed to accept a nomination beforehand, I'm not sure about that.)

Anonymous said...

From the following link:

"The Nobel Committee makes its selection on the basis of nominations received or postmarked no later than February 1 of the year in question. Nominations which do not meet the deadline are normally included in the following year's assessment. Members of the Nobel Committee are entitled to submit their own nominations as late as at the first meeting of the Committee after the expiry of the deadline".

Wouldn't it be interesting to know the date that Obama's nomination was accepted?

This is not the first time the Peace Prize has embarrassed itself. Al Gore shamelessly exaggerated the threat of human induced climate change, was a fear monger on the subject, yet won the prize.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed -- Thank you very much for that. So Obama had been in office for approximately ten days -- at most -- when he was nominated. Mind-boggling.