The news lines are buzzing with reports that Obama was just handed the Nobel Peace Prize. Seriously. This is not a joke. The accomplishment worthy of Nobel, according to the Prize Committe, is “Diplomacy” lolwut? The full citation from the Nobel committee includes such gems as:
Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations.
There is nothing exceptional or extraordinary about a Statesman practicing “diplomacy”. So it seems that Obama has been literally handed the Nobel Peace Prize for the singular virtue of not being George W. Bush.
Since the deadline for nominations was only about two weeks after Obama took office earlier this year, we can surmise that he was nominated based on what he was trying to do. Up until that point, (other than order drone missile attacks on some goat-herders in rural Pakistan) he hadn’t done a goddamn thing. Never you mind, though.
Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and a former prime minister of Norway, said the president had already contributed enough to world diplomacy and international understanding to earn the award.
“We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year. We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do.” [NYT]
With no respect due this mockery, Mr. Jagland’s two sentences here are at odds with one another, and with reality. Let’s consider Obama’s record. During the course of the past nine months, Obama has presided over the following reality:Afghanistan has not been liberated after nine years of U.S. intervention (with no end in sight). Obama’s “diplomacy” involves giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban. Obama has been escalating American commitment in Afghanistan, and today, the morning on which his Peace Prize is announced, he is scheduled to commit another 40,000 soldiers to that godforsaken quagmire. Approximately 3,000 civilians have been killed by U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan between February and August, 2009. Obama has increased the number of drone missile attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan; ordering his very first murders via drone attack in Pakistan, a mere three days after assuming the Presidency. Obama protects war criminals, sanctioning war crimes and violating the Geneva Convention rules. The U.S. still maintains and staffs approximately 700 military bases throughout the world. [wiki]
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of actions and records, any one of which I would think, ought to remove one from consideration for any prize named after peace. Welcome to 1984.