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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Nobel Peace Prize « Previous | |Next »
October 11, 2009

I was surprised and taken back when I heard on Twitter that President Obama had won the Nobel peace prize. Sure there is "peaceful diplomacy" in contrast to the swaggering Bush style unilateralism and regime change, but there was also Afghanistan.

How does that conflict square with a peace prize? Where is the peaceful dialogue and negotiations in Afghanistan? He's even considering sending more troops to Afghanista and has ramped up American drone attacks in the tribal regions of Pakistan where al Qaeda is headquartered.

ObamaNobelPrize.jpg Martin Rowson

Obama has promised peace but prosecuted war in Afghanistan. He should have declined the prize. He gives nice speeches but he has done little in the Middle East (what peace process?) or to reduce nuclear weapons. True, he has held off on a hardline approach to Iran (the only US approach to Iran is preventive war) so far in spite of a being surrounded by a hawkish commentariat (the Max Boots, William Kristols and John Boltons who love to hatch more wars).

The political reality is that the al Qaeda organization no longer poses a direct national security threat to the United States itself and that Obama's adminstration is full of traditional liberal internationalists who believe that it is America's mission to go out and right wrongs in the world wherever they may arise and to change the internal character of states to achieve this.

The political reality is that the US is constrained these days-- a superpower in decline. The Iraq war punctured the mystique surrounding America's superpower status and exposed its military limits. The economic limits of empire were exposed during the global financial crisis.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:29 AM | | Comments (6)
Comments

Comments

I think the Nobel Peace prize has been devalued by this.

Yes Obama gives hope to the world and missiles to Afghan children... a worthy winner I am sure.

My theory is, people see Obama and the Democratic party of the US as being progressive, but they aren't. They just aren't as batshit insane as the Republicans. When you look at what they do as opposed to what they say, Obama and the Democratic Party are about as progressive as John Howard's Liberals.

I see HSV has constrined itself to the same 6.2-litre V8 as last year. How marvelously "green" of them. They really should get a prize!!!

I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President, he was very gracious about accepting it.

The Nobel Prize Committee has completely stripped the prize of any prestige or value by constantly passing over those who's achievements actually deserve the award. By giving the award to someone who has good intentions, rather than actions, the prize has no value. Remember, Ronald Reagan actually helped to free millions of people from communism, yet never received the award - http://www.watercoolerweekly.com

Lisa,
an editorial in the Guardian says:

When the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Barack Obama yesterday something different expired – the idea that the accolade is for achievement, as opposed to potential...The reality is that the award is less a recognition of Mr Obama's achievements than a mark of thanks from the world for his not being George W Bush.

That is probably pretty accurate.