Friday, October 09, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize = Neville Chamberlain Award?

Some have asked me how I feel about the President's winning the Nobel Peace Prize. This comment pretty much sums it up:

I should stress that I by no means want to deny the President the Peace Prize. I think the decision reflects that the Peace Prize is a political statement, not an award for actual signal accomplishment on the path to peace; I much hope that President Obama can promote peace, and if he does I’ll applaud him for it (of course unless the peace is bought at too high a price), but it seems to me that his steps so far have been in the hope, intention, and planning phases and not in the actual accomplishment phase.

Sadly, though, the Nobel Committee has cheapened the prize so much in recent years that it's hard even to take it seriously anymore. Al Gore, who's done what for peace? Mohamed El Baradei, the most incompetent UN official ever? Jimmy Carter, who never met a dictator he didn't like? Yassar Arafat, no explanation needed? Rigoberta Menchu, whose book was exposed as lies? How these people got on a list with such greats as Lech Walesa, Mikhael Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Dr. King, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela, I cannot understand.

Know what American I would recommend for a peace prize? David Petraeus.

Update, 10/10/09: Here are some editorial cartoons on the subject. Some are funnier than others.

Update #2, 10/10/09: This from the LA Times, hardly a right-leaning paper:

For our part, we're fans of the president. We endorsed him for the job, and we greatly prefer him to his predecessor. But it's difficult to see why he deserves the peace prize so soon after taking office. The Nobel committee didn't just embarrass Obama, it diminished the credibility of the prize itself, which traditionally rotates among world leaders (Willy Brandt, Mikhail Gorbachev), charitable organizations (Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders) and humanitarians (Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa)...

It's hard to escape the impression that Obama was honored because he isn't George W. Bush.


George W. Bush freed over 30 million human beings from the yoke of tyrannical governments.

13 comments:

Fritz J. said...

I think you're wrong in equating the Nobel Peace Prize it with Neville Chamberlain. I would equate it with Vidkun Quisling, and I can make a pretty decent argument on why Quisling is more appropriate than Chamberlain. Chamberlain wouldn't fight back and gave away other countries' right to exist. Quisling actively helped those against his country just as some of the more recent Nobel winners have done for world peace.

Darren said...

I had to look up this Quisling fellow.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Nominations come from a committee appointed by the Norwegian parliment, i.e. it's a purely political choice. With that in mind I'd be surprised if Pol Pot's name didn't get bandied about at one time or another.

Fritz J. said...

I'm surprised you hadn't heard of Quisling. Then again, I grew up around Scandinavians and Quisling is a dirty word to them, so it may be that is what accounts for my being familiar with him. If you called someone a Quisling, that meant you were saying he would do any despicable thing to you as long as it advanced his own interest.

Anyhow, for those that aren't familiar with him, Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian who collaborated with the Nazis during their takeover of Norway during WW2. He is considered a traitor and was tried and found guilty of treason in 1945, and subsequently executed. Think Benedict Arnold only more successful at it.

rightwingprof said...

From Ten Reasons Why I’m In Favor Of President Obama Receiving The Nobel Peace Prize, at Maggie's Farm:

"1. Everyone should start their day with a good laugh, it scientifically proven to lead to better attitudes toward whatever we do, which is scientifically proven to lead to better results"

Demps said...

"How these people got on a list with such greats as Lech Walesa, Mikhael Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Dr. King, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela, I cannot understand."

Any list as you've provided above is lacking with Teddy Roosevelt omitted. We could use his ilk in office today.

David said...

A bit unfair to Neville Chamberlain. While he followed a naive and unwise policy of appeasement, he also invested in Britain's defenses, including the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters and the world's first integrated air defense system. I don't see much of the latter kind of behavior from Obama.

Darren said...

Dempsey, I was sticking with "recent" winners. George Marshall also won, but well before my time :-)

Ellen K said...

Norway is a homogenous, wealthy European nation that has little diversity in thought. They adhere to utopian ideals which are possible when you are small and have enough money. This prize would seem to be a bribe to the president to follow the Eurocentric socialist ideals in the face of reluctance of the nation as a whole. I can't imagine what they will think if he sends more troops to Afghanistan. And I wonder how the White House staff will spin that story to make it more palatable to the European elite to whom this award matters.

What is sadder is that there were people on the short list that were truly deserving of the prize. Mortenson, writer of "Three Cups of Tea" who has built schools throughtout remote Asian villages was certainly more involved over a longer period of time than the eleven days for which the president recieved the award. It just cheapens the idea.

Demps said...

Elen K wrote, "Norway is a homogenous, wealthy European nation that has little diversity in thought. They adhere to utopian ideals which are possible when you are small and have enough money. This prize would seem to be a bribe to the president to follow the Eurocentric socialist ideals in the face of reluctance of the nation as a whole. I can't imagine what they will think if he sends more troops to Afghanistan. And I wonder how the White House staff will spin that story to make it more palatable to the European elite to whom this award matters."

"What is sadder is that there were people on the short list that were truly deserving of the prize. Mortenson, writer of 'Three Cups of Tea' who has built schools throughtout remote Asian villages was certainly more involved over a longer period of time than the eleven days for which the president recieved the award. It just cheapens the idea."

Damn, Ellen, where were you when I was single?

Lisa said...

I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President and our country. Hopefully, this means we can end the war.

Darren said...

Lisa, the simplest and fastest way to end any war is to surrender.

Enjoy your burqua.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, MOST modern-day Democrats seem to have never heard of appeasers like Neville Chamberlain. I would bet most of those same folks have never really studied any history, either, as they keep making the same mistakes as others have before them.

chicopanther