Friday, October 09, 2009

Cheapening the Nobel Peace Prize

Is lutefisk hallucinogenic?

That's the question that first sprang to mind when I heard on NPR this morning that the Norwegian Nobel committee had awarded its peace prize to freshman President Barack Obama of the United States, a person who has been in office for too short a time (not even 9 months) to accomplish anything of lasting significance in the pursuit of international peace.

The Bloomberg news service inadvertently expressed the same sort of incredulousness with this headline:

Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to U.S. President Obama (Correct)
The deadline for submitting nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize was February 1 -- just days after President Obama's inauguration. Did he really do so much in a fortnight that he bested other contenders with far more experience and a longer record of achievements?

The last U.S. President to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was Jimmy Carter (in retirement), which will no doubt lead to more and more explicit comparisons between him and Obama -- in terms of their naivete and their mismanagement of U.S. foreign policy.

Both Obama and Carter share a Wilsonian idealism -- that is, they lack a sense of Realpolitik -- that is also appropriate, since Woodrow Wilson won his Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the Versailles Treaty after World War I.

And we all know how well that turned out.

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london said...

Actually mostly i read Obama's Afghan war suddenly i read obama wins Nobel peace Prize award.. i am shocked..

constant gina said...

Congratulations to President Obama!

Anonymous said...

President Obama just won the Nobel Peace Prize, and all gay and lesbian Americans got was this lousy T-shirt ...

BTW, I think the word you were looking for was "incredulity."

limo said...

The noble peace prize on the right handed..