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“…a giant F#%! YOU to George W. Bush.”

Kari Chisholm at Blue Oregon muses about the err… surprising news that President Obama has, only months into his Presidency and with no particular achievements to speak of, been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He comes to the conclusion that

… the Nobel committee sometimes awards the Peace Prize as a way of noting something they want to encourage.

Second, it’s crystal clear to me that it was the Nobel committee’s way of issuing a rebuke to the previous administration; a giant F#%! YOU to George W. Bush.

Err, alright then. I suppose that very well could be, though one also suspects that Mr. Chisholm could be engaging in a certain amount of projection. In any case, after tossing in some boilerplate stuff about Obama’s “collaborative” approach to international affairs being superior to Bush’s “cowboy diplomacy”, he concludes that the Nobel committee may be a bit “premature” in giving President Obama the prestigious award.

Quite.

On the other hand, at least now the President can claim to be in the same league as such world-historical figures as Henry Kissinger and Yasser Arafat, to whom awarding the Nobel Prize no doubt counted as a “giant F#%! YOU” to the world.

  1. http://Www.Csisangiuseppe.It

    Oregon Commentator » Blog Archive » “…a giant F#%! YOU to George W. Bush.”

  2. hesingswithfrogs says:

    Obama earned the Nobel Peace Prize by throwing out an entrenched political party that had bastardized what American Values means to the rest of the world.

  3. Vincent says:

    For what it’s worth, you’re the only person in this thread to use the word “progressive”.

  4. notnietsche says:

    I assure you that no progressives believe that Obama deserved the prize. Kari Chisolm is not a progressive.

  5. Vincent says:

    Thanks for replying, Kari.

    I agree with you that Obama’s decision to end “enhanced interrogation”, or whatever the euphemism was, is worthy of accolades — it’s one of the things he’s done since becoming President that I unreservedly agree with.

    Whether or not that’s “enough” to “qualify” him, or whether we have to resort to talking about things like “promise” and “potential” and being the signifier of “a different country with different attitudes and approaches to the rest of the world,” as Barnhart puts it, I’m not equipped to answer. In fact, I’m not sure it even really matters. As you note, there is no strict set of criteria governing who gets the award and who doesn’t.

    My point is mostly that I think the Nobel Peace Prize is, in part because of the very shakiness of the criteria involved, largely meaningless and amounts to little more than a mutual admiration society. After all, in hindsight few men were less worthy of the Prize than Yasser Arafat or Henry Kissinger, regardless of what they may or may not have been up to at the particular time at which they were given the award.

    Seriously, the notion that Arafat ever had “peace” as a goal — regardless of how he was interpreted in the West — has become increasingly laughable as the passing years give us more and more perspective on the legacy that he actually left. And regardless of his role in winding down Vietnam, anyone who’s read Hitchens’ book on the man will find that there is little to celebrate about Henry Kissinger.

    In any case, if merely “standing for something” or “signifying a change” or what have you is sufficient, irrespective of any serious efforts toward “peace” (and I think few of Obama’s supporters would seriously to make the case that he’s really done much on the international scene aside from signing an executive order repudiating one of his predecessor’s more unpopular programs) is enough, then so be it. But then let’s not act as if it’s anything more meaningful than a stamp of vague approval.

    Perhaps they should start honoring people with the Peace Prize only after they’re safely interred and can’t tarnish the already somewhat sullied legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize any further.

    —-

    On a completely anecdotal note, a Zimbabwean colleague of mine expressed shock that Morgan Tsvangirai, who helped bring her country back from the brink — at some personal cost to himself, one might add — was passed over in favor of Obama, whose accomplishments she was somewhat at pains to enumerate.

  6. You should also read TA Barnhart’s post about this on his new personal blog. Best explanation I’ve read yet.

  7. Actually, the Arafat example is more apt than you realize. For Arafat (and Peres and Rabin), the award was given in order to encourage something that was underway – but not yet completed. The Nobel committee does that fairly regularly, actually.

    So, yes, it is about “potential” – and that’s perfectly fine. It’s their award, they can award it for whatever reason they want.

    I spend a lot of studying the Heisman Trophy process over my other project StiffArmTrophy.com – and the criteria is similarly vague and malleable from year to year. Who’s the “best college football player in America”? Ultimately, the answer is: whoever the voters think it is.

    As for Obama, I do think it’s worth noting that it’s not 100% about potential. There is one thing that Obama accomplished in that first 12 days: he ended the practice of torturing prisoners. Among other things, it was that Bush era practice that offended the world so deeply.

    There’s a reason why people in over 70 countries took to the streets to celebrate on the night Obama was elected.

  8. C.T. Behemoth says:

    How about a Nobel Prize for Potential? It could be awarded with a self-destruct device implanted…in case any potential was not realized. Plus, they get to keep the same acronym.

  9. Vincent says:

    I think it’s just more evidence that the meaninglessness of the Nobel Peace Prize is entering into “Country Music Awards” territory.

  10. C.T. Behemoth says:

    It’s ALL projection…what’s been going on since the news that Obama won shot across the interwebs. People who love him call Bush an ass and make it all about Bush being gone (lame), people who hate him say he didn’t “earn” it (even though it’s rarely awarded for a long list of accomplishments), and people who just don’t know shit about the NPP rail on and on about whatever ideological fantasy du jour is banging around inside their cavernous skulls.

  11. JMB says:

    I’m not going to make any comment about whether or not Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, but I disagree with the tone and implication of the last paragraph:

    “at least now the President can claim to be in the same league as such world-historical figures as Henry Kissinger and Yasser Arafat, to whom awarding the Nobel Prize no doubt counted as a

  12. Yeah, they calculated VERY recently that it took Barack 11 days of actual work to ‘earn’ it?

    Makes you think that anyone after Dubya could just show up and walk away with such a coveted artifact.

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