A truly absurd decision, with no basis, no material support, and no justification whatsoever save the decision to bandwagon in favor of a political figure whose personal popularity may well be transient, and who has achieved nothing tangible whatsoever to deserve the Peace Prize. There is nothing about Barack Obama’s efforts to “strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” that can in any way, shape, or form be called “extraordinary,” in large part because no American President can do anything diplomatically within the first ten months of his/her first term that can be called “extraordinary.”
Ronald Reagan also famously had a “vision of a world free from nuclear arms.” Why didn’t he ever get the Nobel Peace Prize? Indeed, why give the Peace Prize to anyone for the belief that nuclear weapons–which have in fact kept the peace by serving as a deterrent to the commencement of massive conventional land wars in the past–ought to be abolished?
The pretext for the prize was Mr Obama’s decision to “strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. Many people will point out that, while the President has indeed promised to “reset” relations with Russia and offer a fresh start to relations with the Muslim world, there is little so far to show for his fine words.
East-West relations are little better than they were six months ago, and any change is probably due largely to the global economic downturn; and America’s vaunted determination to re-engage with the Muslim world has failed to make any concrete progress towards ending the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
There is a further irony in offering a peace prize to a president whose principal preoccupation at the moment is when and how to expand the war in Afghanistan.
And this, of course, says it all:
Two key White House aides were both convinced they were being punked when they heard the news, reported ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
“It’s not April 1, is it?” one said.
Of course, it goes without saying that the hordes of unthinking Obamaphiles will be willing to accept and applaud this decision without any semblance of critical analysis whatsoever. It also goes without saying that there is nothing “unpatriotic” about thinking that Barack Obama did nothing to earn the Nobel Peace Prize, and that only liars, fools, and liars who are fools would be silly enough to publicly posit otherwise.
UPDATE: Dan Drezner gives us the transcript of the meeting that led to the award of the Peace Prize.