logomancer: Xerxes from System Shock 2 (Default)

I honestly don't know what the Nobel Committee was thinking when they gave Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. In my mind, he hasn't really done anything concrete to deserve it. Yes, he gave some impressive speeches; he's good at that. But there have been people -- including former US presidents! -- who spend literally years, or decades, working toward peace, and have been denied this. Barack Obama's in office 9 months, and he gets one of the most prestigious awards in the world right off the bat,

It seems like a lot of the reasons the Committee gave him the award boil down to 1) his reported foreign policy views (i.e. the US should consider the views of other countries for a change), and 2) to repudiate George W. Bush. While repudiating Bush is something I heartily agree with, there are better ways of doing that. They don't need to cheapen a rather important prize for that; he's not worth it.

As for the other point: The administration has existed for a mere nine months. I don't think anyone has a clear grasp of what Obama wants to achieve other than Obama, and maybe his staff. Giving him the prize for what they perceive as his ideas on foreign policy smacks of wishful thinking; for all we know, he could be lulling the world into a false sense of security while he continues on with the proud American tradition of beating up small developing nations so that Americans can save a nickel on a gallon of gas.

On that point: those who applaud Obama's foreign policies should take a look at his policies on extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, and torture. And what he's doing in Afghanistan. Bagram Air Base is no better than Guantánamo.

Unlike some Republicans, I don't think Obama is the Antichrist, but giving him this award is a cheapening of what it represents -- a recognition of one's seminal work toward peace. Obama hasn't gotten there...yet. I am open to the idea that he might. But there were more deserving people that have worked toward peace this year, and it would have been better to give it to one of them.


logomancer: Xerxes from System Shock 2 (Default)

January 2015



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