When I woke up to the news that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, I admit I was shocked. I mean, I am on the record as being opposed to nuclear proliferation, futile conflicts, and global warming, but that doesn’t mean I get a prize for it.
I was always taught that you should judge someone based on their actions, and not their words, but apparently, the Norwegian body that chooses the winner wasn’t taught that lesson. This is why my choice would have been considerably different from their’s. Who would my pick have been? It would have been Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who really has persevered through enormous odds, challenges and even brutal beatings to give his nation hope after years of enduring a real despot and tyrant. But who am I to think that forcibly starving your own people and forcibly denying any attempt at political opposition is real tyranny? Or by that same token, who am I to think that struggling through this persecution to try to make peace with your oppressor is really a sign of a magnanimous, gracious and Nobel Prize-worthy person?
It is shocking to me that in the face of constant European-led dissent that America is too powerful in the world that the committee overlooked the achievements of those in the developing world to hoist a crown on the head of a man who can be all things to all people, because he has done so little in the way of actual action. He has spoken with great eloquence, while failing to make any tough decisions that could potentially alienate one of these Scandinavian medal bearers.
Instead, I am reminded of the only Superman plot I remember, Superman IV, where Superman appeared before the United Nations General Assembly and promised to “rid the world of all nuclear weapons.” Then, the countries all said, “Superman is right,” so they shot their missiles into space where Superman collected them all and then threw them into the sun. Superman thought that he was doing right by the world, but little did he know that he was actually creating an enemy that could destroy him. Superman’s naivete was almost his downfall.
Other view’s on the matter:
The AP’s chief White House Correspondent, Jennifer Loven
Reuter’s survey of early world reaction
The Huffington Post is also questioning this one… (By the way – I am also now recommending that the Nobel Committee consider giving one of the science awards to my sister Sarah next year, because I hope she will do great things and think that if she were given the award, then she would certainly prove worthy of it with time. She has ALOT of promise.)
And from one of the Brits
My favorite, though, is John Dickerson at Slate, who points out that the Nobel Committee’s standards are a little less rigorous than Saturday Night Live and Arizona State. Hilarious!
A little off topic, but still relevant, I am absolutely shocked, shocked that the committee would vote for anyone who delayed meeting with one of the best persons in the world**, namely, the Dalai Lama, for the sake of political expediency (and feigning niceness with China). I guess the committee was willing to look over that error.
** Other finalists for the coveted title of “Best Person in the World” as awarded by yours truly include: