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Friday, October 09, 2021

one moment
This didn’t flash through my mind when I learned of President Obama’s stunning Nobel Peace Prize win last night, but it should have:

Did the Nobel committee get their nominations mixed up with those of the Ig Nobel Prizes?

Not to hop on the knee-jerk negative backlash, which looks to warp this Nobel into a paradoxically damaging liability to Obama’s policy efforts. But truly, awarding it on the basis of promises and (at best) building-blocks amounts to draping dead meat on a skeleton. Not to mention the overarching motive:

“The Prize has to be seen as a political statement by the Nobel committee - meant to hail the change in U.S. policy represented by President Obama’s approach to foreign policy as opposed to that of his predecessor George W. Bush,” says [CBS News White House correspondent Mark] Knoller, who notes that Mr. Obama took office less than 10 days before the Feb. 1 deadline for Nobel Prize nominations.

“This is a Prize meant as an expression of hope that President Obama’s speeches and policy statements will translate into actual accomplishments,” adds Knoller. “The Prize is honoring an expression of aspirations for peace, rather the achievement of it.”

So really, this is less an award for Obama than it is an award against George W. Bush. There’s some irony in wielding a peace prize as an ideological weapon.

It always kills me when these international processes are “revealed” as “political statements”, much like last week’s 2016 Olympics site selection. News flash: Such events always involve politics, because they are, at root, political actions…

Does this set a precedent — that good intentions and rhetoric, when delivered from the most powerful political position in the world, count for more than any finished product? If this gives Obama added incentive/pressure to follow through — without giving him a Federal deficit-sized ego — then the Nobel folks will deserve an assist. If the U.S. is still in Afghanistan and other hotspots a year from now with no prospect of resolution, then the Nobel will have lost some of its luster (to be restored by several subsequent years of safe choices like scientists, missionaries, etc.).

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/09/2021 02:05 PM
Category: Politics
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