Monday, October 12, 2009

The Noble Peace Prize

The Nobel committee announced a few days ago that the Peace Prize was being awarded to President Barack Obama.

If there was ever any question about the honor and validity of this prize this announcement should fully answer that question. The final nail is in the coffin of that prize. It is now completely meaningless. Not that it needed another nail. There are plenty of nails in that coffin already. When a world class terrorist like Yassir Arafat won that prize – that was enough right there to discredit it.

The Peace Prize does have a controversial history if one looks at previous recipients. But some of them were quite deserving. Albert Schweitzer, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ghandi - just to name a few.

Now - Barack Obama is not a terrorist. But neither is he an Albert Schweitzer. He is neither villain nor hero. He is in fact a non entity as a peace maker. He has done absolutely nothing to in any way to advance the cause of peace. Zero.

All he has done is make some controversial speeches and emphasize America’s long held policy against Israeli settlements on the west bank of the Jordan River. Even as he has inched closer to the Arab position on the peace process he has inched away from the Israeli position. That is a zero sum game that equals no progress at all. The trick is to move both parties in the direction of peace. He has not done that at all. Not even close!

That people exist on this earth that have advanced the cause of peace and deserve to be rewarded is appropriate. But one needs to have in some way earned it. There has to be something concrete to show for it. I do not believe that even the President’s biggest supporters can point to anything to make that claim.

This is not to say that he might not someday achieve peace in the Middle East. Although I seriously doubt he will - anything is possible. But he is no closer to achieving peace today than any of his predecessors. And many of them put far greater efforts into it - and spent a lot more time trying.

It is certainly understandable that the President has no achievements. He has been in office less than a year. He has been a national figure for less than 5 years. It would have been prudent for the Nobel committee to wait at least until the end of his first term to see if there was any significant progress.

Instead they decided to give an award to a man who just a few year ago was a Illinois State Senator - with little or no accomplishments there - a prize that should represent a lifetime of achievement or at least a dramatic one time achievement. This proves to me once and for all that the Nobel Peace prize is meaningless.

President Obama is yet another unworthy recipient. The more unworthy recipients there are - the more it truly dishonors previous worthy recipients. What a shame!