Saturday, October 10, 2009

There's Nothing Noble About The Nobel...

...if you've done nothing to earn it! It was a travesty when Al Gore won it in 2007 for espousing faulty science and a bad movie. Never mind it had nothing to do with "peace" except in the most abstract of terms.

Now Obama has won it on the come. Nominations closed February 2. He took his oath of office January 20. He got the award based on campaign rhetoric. The award has been diminished to the point of being meaningless no matter how hard the committee tries to justify it.

In response to the curiosity expressed by a friend in New Zealand, here's one American's take on the whole situation. I see Obama as a man with few convictions beyond raw ambition, a vision of the country that frightens most of us, a timetable meant to overwhelm opponents into paralysis, and a man unable or unwilling to make tough decisions.

I'm going to ignore everything the pundits are saying as to how this award will help or hinder his presidency. This is what I observe. If he's not out campaigning, he's dithering. He campaigns for a concept in health care reform that has the country up in arms and his own party at odds with themselves. He campaigns for a bill that has yet to be finalized, making promises that cannot be kept.

He has abrogated responsibility to Congress. This is not leadership. Pork abounds. Threats of veto's are non-existent.

He has Czars roaming the country dictating pay for executives while ignoring contract law. This isn't leadership, this is abrogating responsibility to unelected individuals who consider their dictates to be above the law.

He sits at the head of the table while his security advisers haggle over strategy for Afghanistan. Again, there is discord within his own party. Say what you will about Bush, he was able to make a decision. Obama agonizes while troops continue to die for a cause yet undefined. This is not leadership.

If he spent as much time with health care and insurance experts defining and redefining our health care needs as he is with his national security team, I might feel better. I fear though, the reason why he hasn't is because his expertise is in selling rather than formulation.

I listened to a pundit complain about his Sunday's spent on the golf course. What difference does it make? He's not governing. I wonder how long it takes him to play a round. There are decisions to be made. How long does it take for him to decide which club to use? Or is his caddy named Rahm? He'll call the shot.

There once was a time the Nobel Peace Prize was a coveted award based on extraordinary accomplishment. Those days appear to be gone forever. Like so much else this country used to hold dear.

Never again will I be swayed by rhetoric alone. Friends who questioned my passionate defense of Obama warned me. But like the country, we saw what we wanted to see rather than what really was.

I've learned and I fear the country has too. It's going to hurt.

8 comments:

Word Tosser said...

didn't Kerry get a Purple Heart for a shot in the butt? Awards just aren't what they use to be...
Kerry's, Obama's and Gore's sure points that out to us...
yet we hear it has taken some, 30 years for the real hero's to get theirs.

Vagabonde said...

I do not agree with what you said in your post. First of all Bush never made any decision – Cheney did and as for the decision to go to war with Iraq and go ahead with torture – those were illegal, so not decisions to acclaim. As for Obama, the Europeans are recognizing that finally someone decent is at the helm in the USA, someone they can deal with and not have to bow in front of, someone who is not going to insult their countries (as was done during Bush.) Obama has been there only 9 months so it will take a while to clean up 8 years of dishonesty and unilateralism. They gave Obama the award to show approval, after all those years, for speaking to other nations with respect and dignity – something that the US had not done for a long time. Bush and Cheney loved to humiliate other countries and show their power. Maybe this was too early, but it was such a relief to hear someone with humility– you must not have traveled and seen how hated the Americans were – I usually had to say I was from Canada. I feel that they awarded him this Peace Prize not as a reward for what he has done – which he has not – but for the promise of what he can achieve – it was to inspire, to stimulate him if you will to keep his courageous efforts. Unless you are a European you have no idea how much the world despised Bush – this was done in gratitude to the American people more than to Obama (and he understands it.)

Margie's Musings said...

What the Nobel Prize is for is whatever the Nobel people want it to be for. It's their prize to give, after all, so they give to whomever they choose. The nomination of Obama for consideration occurred only twelve days after Obama assumed office, so it stands to reason that the prize was NOT given for his presidential service, but for the campaign, election, and his first steps in office. The facts that he is of mixed race, the son of a muslim and a christian, the son of an African immigrant and a white lady from Kansas, and his campaign promises to end the Iraq war and re-integrate the USA into the community of nations makes the fact of his election an unprecedented and monumental achievement. The mere fact of his election has raised the stature of the USA in the eyes of the world. I think the folks in Norway knew very well why they wanted to give him this prize, even if some other people don't.

cconz said...

amen,margie!

Sansego said...

Your comments about Obama and Gore are harsh. Like Margie said, the Nobel Committee gives their award to whomever they feel warrants it. If people don't like it, they should give out their own reward.

Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. What did she accomplish? Her party, the National League for Democracy won the election in Burma in 1990 but the ruling military junta would not honour the results. She's been under house arrest for most of the past 19 years and Burma is probably even worse today than in 1991. Yet, that Nobel Prize made her internationally famous and has probably kept her alive. The ruling Junta is scared of her power and prestige.

Its a shame that too many Americans have no idea just how hated Bush was around the world. We were like white South Africans during apartheid. They had no idea why the rest of the world hated them. Its because of being blinded by our own media. Only those who have traveled out of the country or read the foreign press understood the reality of the Bush years.

Love or hate Obama...his election is seen around the world as the best of America and what people love about our country. He is an inspiring figure for those who love American ideals. Its a shame you can't see it.

Dogwalk said...

It might do you all well do research Alfred Nobel's intent in awarding the peace prize. Compare it to the substance of the other prizes awarded.

You also assume I have no international experience. You are dead wrong.

Consider too, it's not the American people that were so hated as much as it was the policies of the government. At least there was something to hate versus nothing here to reward other than rhetoric. Not being someone else, ie: Obama rather than Bush, is lame.

I'm glad all of you find "hope" in the award. I stand by my view.

Sansego said...

The Nobel Committee gave their reason for why Obama warranted the award. They are the ones who give out the prize. Doesn't it seem rude to criticize a group's choice for an award? I don't remember Bush getting this viciously attacked for the "Freedom Awards" he gave to people like Paul Bremer, the incompetent Viceroy of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

A lot of the outrage seems misplaced to me. I often wonder if their is an underlying psychological motive in most people. Since Obama is the first non-white president we've had, and since he's been president, gun sales have spiked, death threats have tripled from previous presidents, and everything he does is hypercriticized (from wanting to give a speech to schoolkids to his address to Congress being shouted down by a Congressman to teabag rallies with racist images). It makes me think our country has simply gone crazy in this irrational criticisms of the president for every nitpicking thing.

Dogwalk said...

Oh, my, how quickly we forget. Bush was criticized soundly for many of his Freedom Awards.

I disagree with you on misplaced outrage too. I don't think Obama is hypercriticised any more than any other President. Unless the only news you watch is FOX! Lol.

Let's agree to disagree and move on.