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The Nobel Peace Prize is a Joke

October 9, 2009

Barack Obama has been president for nine months. Guantanamo Bay remains open; we’re still in two wars.  These credentials hardly seem deserving of the world’s most prominent award for peacemaking.  Of course, the Nobel Peace prize isn’t really about peace, is it?

One would think that a man who led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women’s rights, build religious and ethnic amity, end untouchability, and increase economic self-reliance would deserve a peace prize.  Doubly so if he rid his nation of foreign colonial control.  Triply so if the man’s strict adherence to the principle of nonviolence inspired the works of Martin Luther King, a laureate himself.

But no dice.  Gandhi never won.  But Arafat did.  Yasser Arafat, a man responsible for the murder of Israeli civilians, a Jordanian civil war, monopolies of Palestinian commodities – essentially gouging his own people – and the theft of nearly one billion dollars of Palestinian money.  If there were a Nobel Dickhead Prize, I could see giving it to Arafat.  But peace?  By the time he got going negotiating with Israel, he was pretty much de-legitimized in Palestinians’ eyes, and therefore ineffectual.

Mother Theresa also won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Perhaps I am naive in assuming that her tight relationship with Haiti’s Duvalier family should have been a bar.  After all, accepting vast amounts of money from the dictator of the poorest country in the western hemisphere is essentially taking vast amounts of money from the people he took that money from.  Her grasp of the concept of “peace” seems to fall pretty far out of the mainstream, too.  Her acceptance speech was a denunciation of abortion, which has little to do with international relations.  She didn’t even provide the peace of palliative care to the inmates at her death dormitories.

Unlike the science awards, the Nobel Peace Prize apparently does not require that its recipients do demonstrable good for their cause.  This year’s award is just another example of that.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. David permalink
    October 9, 2009 11:02 am

    Why don’t you try a little tenderness for a change? Can we just let Obama have a nice day for once? Come on. People like the guy. He won an award. Give him the weekend off.

  2. David permalink
    October 9, 2009 2:37 pm

    Obama’s first name is Barry too.

  3. JoJo permalink
    October 9, 2009 5:45 pm

    I just got an email from Barack. I hope he doesn’t mind my posting our confidential correspondence here at ‘is it luck?’

    [JoJo] —

    This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

    To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

    But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

    That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

    This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

    So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

    Thank you,

    President Barack Obama

  4. Jonathan permalink
    October 10, 2009 5:56 pm

    Obama won by default. The committee gave a questionnaire out to all of the most influential people in the world with one question on it, “How do you define peace?” Obama was the only person in the entire world who didn’t define it as crushing ones enemies.

    I hope this helps to clear things up.

  5. KG2 permalink
    October 15, 2009 2:07 pm

    You never let me down, Barry.

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