Obama should seize historic opportunity, say “No, thanks” to Nobel

Barack Obama has a tremendous opportunity now to recapture lost political capital, unify this country behind his leadership and increase (if that’s possible, in light of today’s development) his international prestige — all of which would be an enormous boost to the things he’s trying to achieve:

He should say, “Thanks, but no thanks” to the Nobel Peace prize.

If he does that, everyone will think more of him. That is to say, everyone who is susceptible to being influenced. The Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks who make a good living from criticizing him will still do so, but no one but the nuttiest fringe types would still be listening. Everyone with a scintilla of fairmindedness would be impressed if he declined this honor.

If he doesn’t do it, this award will simply be another occasion for the Right to hoot and holler and deride, and the Left to dig in its heels and defend Their Guy, and the crazy polarizing spin cycle will spin on, while health care and everything else gets lost amid the shouting.

I got a foretaste of this this morning. I was about to get out of my truck to go in and have breakfast when I heard the news that had stunned the White House and everyone else: Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In the next few moments, I quickly filed the following three tweets:

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize? The White House is stunned, and so am I. Isn’t it a tad premature or something?

What did Obama win the Nobel FOR? Good intentions? I mean, seriously, the man just GOT here…

Hey, I LIKE Obama; I have hopes he’ll EARN a Nobel one day soon. But he hasn’t had the chance to do so yet…

Then, when I walked in to get my breakfast, I ran into Steve Benjamin and Samuel Tenenbaum, and asked them if they’d heard the news. They had. I expected them to share my shock. I mean, I saw one report (which I haven’t been able to confirm yet) that Obama was only sworn into office TWO WEEKS before the nominations for the Nobel had to be in. The president himself knows better than to claim he’d earned it. Here’s what he said this morning:

Mr. Obama said he doesn’t view the award “as a recognition of my own accomplishments,” but rather as a recognition of goals he has set for the U.S. and the world. Mr. Obama said, “I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize.”

But Steve and Samuel — especially Samuel — felt like they had to defend the president’s receiving the prize. And here’s why: While I had just heard the news and was naturally flabbergasted, with no other stimuli acting on me, Samuel gets up at 4:30 every morning, and has usually had several full cycles of spin by the time I leave my house. He had already heard right-wingers attacking the award on the airwaves, so he was in defensive mode.

This is what the whole Left vs. Right thing gets us: We can’t even agree when something wild and crazy happens. And the president of the United States getting the Nobel Peace Prize for what he MIGHT do, for what he INTENDS to do, for his POTENTIAL, is wild and crazy.

Face it, folks: The Nobel committee gave him this prize for Not Being George W. Bush. This is a measure of how much they hated that guy. I didn’t like him much either, but come on… (While I haven’t talked to my friend Robert Ariail today, I can picture the cartoon already: Obama clutching the prize to his cheek saying, “They LIKE me! The really, really LIKE me!…”

Here’s where the opportunity comes in. The president was on the right track with the humble talk, but he should go a big step further: He should decline the prize, insisting that he hasn’t earned it yet.

This would transform perception of Barack Obama both domestically and internationally. If he simply takes the award, no matter how eloquent his words, he’ll be seen as an ordinary guy who can’t resist being honored, whether he deserves it or not. The Right will go ape over it and keep on going ape over it, and the Left will ferociously defend him, making all sorts of improbable claims to support his receiving it, and those of us in the middle will see the Right as having the stronger point at the same time that we’re put off by their meanspiritedness, and nothing will be accomplished.

But turning it down, saying, “Not yet; wait until I’ve earned it” would catapult Obama to such a state of greatness that he would overarch all ordinary partisan argument. No one could say he was wrong, and most people would be blown away by such selflessness. It would give him tremendous amounts of juice to get REAL health care reform instead of some watered-down nothing, which is probably what we’re going to get.

Internationally… well, if they love the guy now, they’d be ecstatic over him if he turned it down. I mean it. Think about it: What do they love about this guy? His perceived nobility and humility. They hated Bush for what they perceived as his arrogance, and they love Obama for what they perceive as his humility before the rest of the world. If he just took the prize, the world would just shake his hand and that would be that. But if he turned it down, suddenly Iran would be negotiating with a guy with more respect than anyone in the whole wide world has had in a long time. And maybe we’d get somewhere — with Iran, with Russia, with China, in Afghanistan, in Palestine, take your pick.

As I said, I like Obama, and I want him to succeed. But I know he hasn’t earned this honor yet. And I’m firmly convinced that turning it down would afford him the greatest opportunity to succeed with his agenda that he’ll ever have.

50 thoughts on “Obama should seize historic opportunity, say “No, thanks” to Nobel

  1. Lee Muller

    Obama is an ordinary guy, totally unqualified to the two offices he has held.

    Like Harry Truman, he was selected by local power brokers because he was a nobody with no record.

    No patriotic American who understands the agenda of Barack Obama and the radicals who have molded him, guided his political career, and now fill the White House as his advisors and czars, can hope he succeeds. They created this economic recession and are making it worse. They want America to lose prestige in the world, and retreat from fighting terrorism.

  2. Karen McLeod

    I suspect that refusing it, would possibly appear as a rebuff to those who are genuinely delighted to see a move toward diplomacy on the part of the US. The previous administrations ‘my way or the highway’ approach cost us a lot on the world stage. We’ve been seen for too long not as a leader, but as a bully. I think his statement today was an appropriate response to this honor.

  3. Lee Muller

    You don’t think President Bush engaged in diplomacy to get those 38 other nations to join in the war in Iraq? They must have really seen a clear and present danger.

    How do you think Hussein Obama should diplomatically ask for the prosecution of the French, English, Germans and Russians who help Saddam Hussein evade the UN oil sanctions?

  4. kbfenner

    Brad–Sometimes I think you’ve drunk the sweet-tea–the SC equivalent of the Koolaid everyone talks about.

    Only down here are you considered a moderate. In the rest of the civilized world, you are far to the right. Bush was considered somewhere between bully and buffoon by most folk outside the South and a few “flyover” states. Ask your French friend. Obama looks like Jesus Christ and Mohandas Gandhi rolled into one to the rest of the world incomparison.

    Yes, The State reflected its readers. Sweet tea, indeed.

  5. BillC

    I overheard a co-worker’s cousin’s neighbor say that Obama is now going to be honored with the Medal of Honor (he’s going to award this to himself in the Oval Office at a date to be named later) for thoughts of his heroism in both Iraq and Afghanistan; a Daytime Emmy for excellent teleprompter reading; and is being considered for the Heisman Award… he never played but thinks if he would have he would have been an All American. If “vision” is the reason for the Nobel Peace Prize, every motivational speaker needs to get in line for next year’s award.

  6. Lee Muller

    This prize was not for accomplishments, because Obama has none. This is an enticement, to influence Obama to yield more of American influence to the European Union. The Nobel committee said so.

    Obama was nominated for the Nobel Prize before he even took office. All he has done since then is make an Apology Tour for American superiority.

    It doesn’t bother me. The prize became a bad joke when Jimmy Carter got it for giving us all that peace in the Middle East.

    This is more evidence of how the One World Government crowd sees Obama as one of them.

  7. Brad Warthen

    Kathryn, as an Obama supporter, you don’t think this is extremely awkward?

    I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’d kind of like Obama to be able to deliver on health care, and defeating the Taliban, and stopping Iran from getting nukes, and a whole lot of other stuff.

    And all this does is provide fodder for his opposition to deride him. It gives us something else for the shouting heads on 24/7 TV “news” to natter about.

    We really need for our president to be successful at the things he’s trying to do, and this just turns up the yelling and the outrage several more notches.

  8. Lee Muller

    Obama is not trying to improve health care for most Americans. He is trying to take control of them by controlling their access to treatment, and diverting all that insurance and medical money into the hands of bureaucrats.

    Obama is not trying to defeat the Taliban, much less Al Qaeada. Democrats started the war in Iraq, then wanted Bush to lose it, then claimed the real war was in Afghanistan. They had no intention of fighting terrorists.

    Obama is laughed at by Iran. Because he is a weakling, Israel will be forced to make a pre-emptive strike, messing up all the progress Bush made with the rest of the Muslim countries.

  9. Brad Warthen

    Also, Kathryn — let’s say W. was evil incarnate. Let’s say the whole world was absolutely right to hate him.

    Do ya think it’s a good idea to give his successor the Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up? Which, let’s face it, that’s all the poor guy’s had time to do, God bless him. He’s still trying to get his hands around all this stuff. He hasn’t accomplished anything like, say, what Jimmy Carter did at Camp David. He’s just figuring stuff out. He might do wonders before he’s done, but let’s give him a chance to…

  10. Lee Muller

    Yeah, with 48 years of no accomplishments, and suddenly you’re president because of you look like the prototypical black politician made for shallow, guilt-ridden white liberals, blacks will vote for any black, and rich Arabs finance you… now you have to learn it all on the job.

    Life ain’t fair.

  11. Burl Burlingame

    I had the exact same first impression as Brad — this was awarded because Barry O is no George W. Apparently, to the rest of the world, this seems to be a step in the right direction.
    The award probably should go to the Americans who voted Obama into office.
    (Now, someone will chime in about how those voters weren’t “real” Americans.)

  12. Lee Muller

    October 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    The question you are trying to finesse your way out of is, “When did Obama stop being a radical socialist?”

    Tell us when and where Obama rejected 40+ years of Marxism.
    Document it.

    Maybe all the Marxist rhetoric in his book, “Dreams of My Father”, is due to the fact that Bill Ayers actually wrote it.

  13. Maude Lebowski

    He didn’t ask for it, expect it or lobby for it – yet he has to deal with the backlash of the Nobel committee agenda. The right would’ve rained just as much shit on him if he had declined it.

  14. kbfenner

    I have to say, given the snarky environment this has become, I’m a bit afraid to write, but here goes. The prize was for inspiration. He also actually wrote two books, one of which clearly espouses the goals of the Prize. I believe the citation said it.

    I know that I and many many others felt that partisanship was lessening, unlike with H. Clinton’s or Edwards’ campaigns, that Obama sought and continues to seek to build bridges, to mediate instead of “decide.” Many of us on the left would like to see more of our goals put into place, now that we control both houses and the White House, but Obama is trying to build a consensus.
    Personally, I am torn between my desire for progress on policy fronts and my desire for “group hug.” This is why I am genuinely dismayed by the venomous divisiveness peddled by the extreme and not so extreme right. I do believe it is nastier and more heavily armed than that put forth against Bush. We did not like Bush. We certainly found him embarrassing as a speaker, and rude as a diplomat–invade first and ask for support later. Obama is not these things. He will not be these things.

    This is prize-worthy. He gave a lot of us, in America and in Europe–I hear on NPR about elsewhere as well–hope for a better world than the one Bush left him.

    And no, I did not want Bush to fail. I did not want this country to fall apart. I was fearful, however, that it would. Disastrous tax cuts for the rich and middle class combined with military spending–guns AND butter–ran up a far greater deficit than any stimulus plan, and health care reform is predicted to save money.

  15. kbfenner

    SNL’s skit said in jest, I believe, that Obama’s great achievement was getting a white cop and a black professor to sit down and have a beer together. Sounds pretty peace-making to me.

    Aung San Suu Kyi has not brought peace or freedom to Burma/Myanmar either. Is she less worthy of the Peace Prize? Is she more worthy just because she has been under house arrest?

    I believe McCain might well have deserved a Peace Prize, too, had he chosen a different running mate. He has shown admirable peacemaking skills throughout, even calling to task many of the extremists. Lindsey Graham comes to mind as a much better candidate than Palin! He, too, has been far more of a peacemaker of late.

  16. Libb

    “Maybe all the Marxist rhetoric in his book, “Dreams of My Father”, is due to the fact that Bill Ayers actually wrote it.”

    I’ll bet Lee also thinks the Stephen Colbert show is not satire.

  17. Randy E

    Brad, the “he’s not W” analysis is far too simplistic because it overlooks the specific steps he’s taken to establish a new approach to engaging the world as the super power with all its influence. His speech in Egypt was historic. W offended the Muslim World and Obama attempts to embrace it. The willingness to push for a world without nukes is a profound effort to bring to life a concept normally relegated to the bumper stickers of tree hugging college kids. His courage to pull back from the missle defense system in Poland may be the most telling effort to change course.

    From Alfred Nobel’s will regarding the criteria for a recipient of the Peace Price: “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. These are very global foci that he is uniquely positioned to address. The intent of Nobel was clearly a movement so using Obama as a proxy makes sense.

    Brad, your concern and suggested reaction in response regarding the venemous reaction of the right actually helps reduce the issue to politics as usual. By acknowledging and taking to heart his role as proxy for peace, Obama is again showing mastery of an issue.

    One final note, the GOP talking heads are self-satirical by taking sides with Hamas and Osama on this issue. We were un-American by questioning the need for the Iraq War but it’s acceptable to cheer against the US winning the right to host the olympics and for jeering our predident winning this award.

  18. Burl Burlingame

    Good to remember that this award isn’t generated within the U.S. It’s made from the outside looking in.

  19. bud

    While it may not be enough to be the anti-Bush it is certainly a good start toward earning a Nobel Peace prize. Let’s face it, Bush did more harm to the peace process than any other human being in many a year. With all his lying us into war, taunting of brown-skinned people and general arrogance practically anyone would look like Gandhi by comparison.

    But on his own Obama has shown that he can reach out to mend the broken fences created by his war-mongering predecessor. His biggest accomplishment in the Senate was to help secure nuclear weapons in the former USSR. Even before he was sworn in as president he captivated the world with his fresh new approach to solving the problems of the world. The world is a much better place now that Obama has taken charge of the White House.

    Frankly, given Brad’s continued support of the various war-mongering fools running for president it’s hard to give his opinion one scintilla’s worth of respect. The 2004 presidential endorsement he cited in an earlier post illustrates just how much of a true war-monger he is. That was easily the worst piece of journalistic crap I’ve ever seen, yet he still defends it. Given the disaster of the Bush years with his lying and responsibility for mass dying it’s refreshing to see a true statesman running the show.

    Is that enough to qualify him for the Nobel Peace prize? Given the complete turnaround in the prospects for peace around the world I would have to say yes. Congratulations Mr. President, you’ve earned it.

  20. BillC

    The spin doctors are active this morning. You could probably be convinced that Barry Obama deserves the Heisman Trophy too.

  21. Lee Muller

    Scholars have found over 700 exact phrases, sentences and entire narratives in “Dreams of My Father” which also appear in the writings of the terrorist and mentor of Barack OBama, Bill Ayers.

    After Obama’s weakness allows Iran to develop a nuclear missile, will the Obama worshippers admit that world peace is more at risk than before Obama?

  22. Lee Muller

    President Bush built a coalition of 38 nations supplying soldiers and weapons to defeat the Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan in 2002 and then Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda in Iraq next.

    So to what nations is Obama “reaching out”?
    Libya, Iran, Syria, radicals in the Arab Emirates, Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestine…

    The UN voted overwhelmingly for sanctions on Iraq, which were violated. Congress voted 98% to authorize war on Iraq in 1998, when BILL CLINTON was president.

  23. kbfenner

    I suppose I have a tendency to be more lenient toward nuclear arms and energy as the daughter of a lifelong Savannah River Laboratory employee. One might expect Brad, as a military offspring, to have similar biases, magnified by having lived in pro-military country for so long. He has said that The State reflected its readership, which is conservative and pro-military, so true that.
    This sounds very condescending, and is, and further illustrates how far this blog has degenerated into ad hominem arguments.
    Folks, can we try harder to argue on the merits, regardless of who is saying something? Out of the mouths of babes….
    Calling someone a liberal, a socialist, a warmongerer, a Nazi, etc. does not advance the discussion one whit. It does not discredit the truth of what he or she may be saying.
    Can we all try harder, please?

  24. Lee Muller

    How about when Obama called himself a Marxist, or when he blames whites and Jews for his personal lack of success, and the failures of so many other non-whites?

    Are we educated people supposed to pretend we don’t hear Obama using the exact same rhetoric as a fascist dictator, or when his advisors tout the same failed socialist programs of modern Europe, FDR, Mussolini, and Hitler?

    If you can’t stand to intellectually examine the train wreck caused by Democrats and the lousy ideas behind their failures, just stand aside, because you are no better than the illiterate winos bussed to the polls by ACORN.

  25. kbfenner

    There’s no point debating with someone with whom one cannot even agree on basic facts.

    “From each according to his means, to each according his needs” always sounded a lot like the story of the loaves and fishes to me. Marxism is not some inherent evil like Nazism or fascism. It is also a vastly different political philosophy.

    Obama is not by any stretch of any reasonable person’s mind a Nazi or a fascist. In most universes, he is not a socialist, either.

  26. kbfenner

    The government did not “confiscate” anything. The companies begged for financial assistance and received it.Any prudent investor expects some control, no?

    There has been no additional confiscation of medical providers, beyond Medicare, the VA system, etc. that everyone who participates in seems to not want to give up.

    You are simply wrong about being card-carrying communists.

    You are also simply wrong about some Democratic Socialist Alliance.

    I cannot disprove a negative, but there is no credible evidence outside extreme right wing circles for any of your assertions.

    There are also no black helicopters; we did land on the moon and there are no alligators living in the sewers.Oh, and the earth is round.

  27. Burl Burlingame

    Even if one were a democratic socialist, why would that make them non-Americans?

    (Note to self: Stop using logic.)

  28. Lee Muller

    The core principle of Americanism is a government as small as it can possibly be. Government’s only purpose is to promote individual liberty.

    The core principle of socialism is government (the dictators) controlling every aspect of life, with no individuality.

    Socialism is based on theft and slavery, motivated by greed, laziness and envy.

    I was taught those character flaws and crimes were un-American.

    All America’s external enemies are socialist nations. They hate us. They hate our innovation, productivity and freedom. They hate the American ideal of small government. Internal collaborators with our enemies are traitors.

  29. kbfenner

    Note to Burl:
    re-read note to self.

    “The core principle of Americanism is a government as small as it can possibly be. Government’s only purpose is to promote individual liberty.” –this is an opinion, not a fact. You simply equate your beliefs with Americanism and thus define away all who disagree with you.

    America’s external enemies, by and large, are dictatorships and oligarchies.Those who are countries, at least.

    “Socialism is based on theft and slavery, motivated by greed, laziness and envy.”

    Many would disagree with this assertion. Many. Worldwide, and in this country. Socialism is also not at all necessarily authoritarian. Far from it. It is usually communitarian.

    Those of us who worked in the capitalist system might say that many employers are “controlling every aspect of life, with no individuality.” Given how tied health care has become to employment, this is akin to slavery.

    Note to self, re-read Burl’s note to self.

  30. Libb

    “Socialism is based on theft and slavery…”

    The country America was created by the theft of land inhabited by the native people and practiced one of the most barbaric forms of slavery known to modern history.

    Looks like this country has been socialist since it’s beginning.

  31. Randy E

    KB, Libb, and Burl, it is an act of futility to debate with Lee.

    This is the same person who claims 75% of African-American families are single parent families because of drugs and alcohol. He also claimed that most Hispanics you know are illegals. He also claimed that failing students are the result of immoral parents.

    FYI, he also claims to be a economist, an engineer, a volunteer fire captain, an expert marksman who trains police, a volunteer in a school, and he was interviewed by WIS.

    He reminds me of Larry the Liar, a guy I knew who once claimed that he used to be 6′ tall but is now 5-10 because he had cartilage removed from his knees.

  32. kbfenner

    Randy E–
    You have so often impressed me with your perspicacity and sagacity.

    Of course no one will convince “Lee.”

    I wonder, though, about the lurkers, who may either give up on the blog in disgust that it has become Limbaugh Lite, or worse, start to believe “Lee”‘s assertions.

    Brad challenged me to defend Obama’s Nobel. I did so openly and honestly, but with trepidation. Fortunately I was not eviscerated by subsequent posters. Nonetheless, I got sucked into the Muller Vortex. My bad.

    Let’s raise the bar! Discuss issues and ideas. No personal attacks. No assertions of facts not generally agreed to by anyone else (“On what planet do you spend most of your time?”). Ignore those who do not abide by these reasonable principles.

  33. Randy E

    KB, I believe you once mentioned something about U of Chi Law? In a documentary about President Obama, Nobel Laureate (Lee, how does that sound! 🙂 it was mentioned that it is a mostly conserative school. Many of the progressive students would flock to Obama’s classes because he was a voice from the desert. Your thoughts?

  34. Lee Muller

    What makes you so willing to believe such unsubstantiated stories about your Glorious Leader?

    Obama never wrote anything on the law, but from his few comments on it, he is not very knowledgeable about the Constitution, or simply chooses to ignore it.

  35. Lee Muller

    I correct myself.
    Barack Obama did write ONE legal article in his entire life, a short and not very scholarly article arguing that the state may have an interest more compelling than allowing any fetus to reach full term and live birth.

    It begins on page 823 of Volume 103 of the Harvard Law Review, is available in libraries and subscription-only legal databases, like Lexis.

  36. kbfenner

    The U of C Law School has been noted, since at least the 70s, when Richard Posner taught there, for an “economics” approach to the law. This is essentially a free market analysis–discrimination doesn’t need to be outlawed b/c the unfair discriminator will be disadvantaged by not hiring better qualified applicants, etc. It extended to torts–“lowest cost avoider,” and so on. So, yes, where there is a political bent in the Law School, it has tended toward the right/Libertarian/free market. I can see where Obama must have been a breath of fresh air. He articulates much of what I was frustrated in trying to articulate when I was a law student at Emory, which emulated U of C. I had only 2 courses in economics, and was an English and History major, so I was ill-equipped to argue with my class mate who had a PhD in economics and a strong bent towards free market utility. He was a veritable “Will to Power” type on many fronts. I have always been drawn to protecting the weak and disadvantaged, as you might imagine.

    My friends and colleagues whom I admired who are U of C Law alums are
    not all leftys, but are all strong reasoners, good legal minds. My husband and his classmates who are also U of C alums are in the Computer Science and Math departments, and vary from classic left wing academic to a sort of TS Eliot kind of conservatism. Not quite sure how to describe it–traditionalism?
    My BFF in Chicago, an alum, whose father is also a U of C Law alum, was more or less a Republican,as was her dad, and they both are ardent fans of Obama and his politics and books, etc. She would have been Law ’83 and he would have been mid 50s, I’m guessing. He’s a gazillionaire businessman now. Go figure.
    Yes, a voice in the wilderness indeed!

  37. Maude Lebowski

    “you don’t get to define a ‘fact’ by whether you and your ilk ‘agree to it’. Reality is reality.”

    Be the change you wish to see in the world. (Whitey Righty translation: practice what you preach.)

  38. Lee Muller

    Obama didn’t win the Nobel Prize.

    It was given to him, as a gesture, a hope that he might finally do something, in the spirit of Affirmative Action.

  39. Burl Burlingame

    Again, “Lee” is having you all on. He’s a blog troll deliberately trying to make conservatives appear crazy (note how much he claims to represent “a lot of Americans.”)
    No one could possibly be this monomaniacal and agenda-driven and humorless and just plain nasty. He monitors this site 24 hours a day. He’s more of a presence here than Brad is! It’s all about the shouting.

  40. bud

    Charles Kraugthamer’s article this morning speaks volumes about the failure of journalism to assess the merits of American foreign policy. He continues to say that the surge in Iraq was an unqualified success. Fact is the surge has not resulted in the full-scale withdrawal from Iraq that is crucial to both our financial well being and our prospects for a peaceful middle east. Hundreds continue to die from insurgent bombings each month. Billions are still spent on maintaining a huge military presence in Iraq. Oil production is little more than before the war. Yet Kraugthamer and others speak of the success of the surge as though it was an accepted fact.

    The same sort of reporting occurred in regard to Afghanistan in 2002. That was considered a huge success also. So here we are 7 years later continuing with that quagmire.

    Folks don’t get fooled by the conservative bullies in the media. The Iraq surge was nothing but an expensive diversion. Iraq continues to be an unstable place with little improvement in oil production or basic living standards for it’s people. Violence is down but by no means is that messy place a normal State. If only the media would cover the story in it’s entirety would the public understand just what a failure the whole Iraq misadventure is. Any reasonable cost/benefit analysis would quickly reveal what a huge mistake that was. Sadly it is not important for the media to fully expose the Bush lies. And folks continue to die.

    Sort of like the old ditty about a tree falling in the forest. If people in Iraq die and nobody says so, does that mean they’re still alive? Charles Kraughamer must think so.

  41. Randy E

    bud, I am afraid you are right about Iraq – especially it being a distraction. Afghanistan is such a third world country that it would take an incredible amount of time to turn it around. In late August a UK general spoke of a 40 year presence there.

    kb, you evaluated Toreno well. He and BillC are angry men venting on this blog.

  42. Bart

    If the Nobel committee were to go by the actual definition and apparent intent as described by Nobel in his will, Obama is indeed qualified and meets the criteria by which those receiving the peace award should be judged. From Alfred Nobel’s one page will:

    “and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” This is from the original will, not the revisionist verson on Wikipedia.

    The problem is that the committee, by its own admission, deviated from the criteria and injected their own. That is, a still lingering hatred of George W. Bush and a clear repudiation of America for the past eight years. Some of the same reasons they used to award the prize to Carter and Gore, knowing it was a “kick in the shin” of America for electing Bush. I still wonder who the committee was trying to embarass or “poke in the eye” when the award was given to Yassar Arafat.

    If you consider the award of the peace prize to so many questionable recipients in the past several years, what was at one time a distinct honor has become nothing but a slightly more sophisticated version of the annual Publisher’s Clearinghouse awards. “Congratulations [insert name here], you have been named as a winner……”

  43. Lee Muller

    ‘I cannot accept this award … but’
    New York Times
    Oct. 11, 2009, 7:31PM

    The Nobel committee did President Barack Obama no favors by prematurely awarding him its peace prize. As he himself acknowledged, he has not done anything yet on the scale that would normally merit such an award — and it dismays me that the most important prize in the world has been devalued in this way.


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