This is shocking: The Nobel Peace Prize has been awared to Barack Obama. The president has served less than one year and has done nothing to promote world peace. Rather, he has invited increased aggression and hostility on the part of some of its worst actors.
This is an absolute outrage. However, I’m not going to let it outrage me because I will instead now acknowledge the obvious: The Nobel Peace Prize can now no longer be considered relevant, or valuable. The world knew the prize was losing prestige when it was awarded to the likes of Yasser Arafat (and to a lesser degree, Jimmy Carter; although, while Carter is widely acknowledged to have been ineffective, he did at least see a lasting agreement between the Israelis and the Egyptians reached during his presidency).
This decision is an insult to all previous prize winners who actually did something to promote peace. It is a slap in the face to the people of Venezuela, Honduras, Cuba, Iran and elsewhere, who suffer, or stand to suffer, under authoritarian regimes. For cuddling up to the dictatorial leaders of these countries – and would be dictatorial leader, in the case of Honduras – Obama has been rewarded the prize by this once highly respected international organization.
For conferring legitimacy and yielding leverage to America’s enemies and the enemies of Freedom, the Nobel Peace Prize committee has honored Mr. Obama. These people are not humanitarians, not defenders of freedom, not lovers of peace, not principled, not noble, not anything they have ever said they are. They have, by their cowardice and lunacy, cast lot with the world’s worst kind. I no longer hold them in esteem, and barring some dramatic shift in their constitution, will never again so long as I may live.
[UPDATE: 10/13/09: I stand by my comments here, but reading them several days later is instructive. One of the things about blogging is that sometimes – by the very nature of reacting to current events – you write in the heat of the moment and let the passions flow. I don’t know that I’d disagree with anything that I wrote, and as I said I take responsibility for my comments and won’t attempt to edit the record. Yet, I think had I written these comments 24 hours after finding out about the Nobel prize, as opposed to a few minutes, I might have presented my opinions differently. Is that a good thing, a bad thing, or simply a difference? I’m not sure. Generally speaking, restraint and prudence are key parts of wisdom and rationality. However, that’s not to say that live intensity should be exorcised from political discourse).