STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Nobel Peace Prize officials were facing a formal inquiry over accusations they have drifted away from the prize’s original selection criteria by choosing such winners as President Barack Obama, as the nomination deadline for the 2012 awards closed Wednesday.
My immediate reaction was “about time!” — Obama, whatever you think of him, got the prize for his ideology, not for anything he did. After all, it was awarded only 11 months after his inauguration, and his nomination had to be submitted only 12 days after it. The official press release issued at that time said in part,
…the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. [my emphasis]
One gets the feeling that the Norwegians simply preferred his rhetoric to that of notorious unilateral cowboy George Bush.
So did they suddenly realize that they should have waited for actual results before throwing the Nobel at Obama?
Unfortunately not. The folks who found it in their hearts to let one of the most evil players on the international scene, a man guilty of causing the deaths of thousands and whose legacy of murder continues today, Yasser Arafat, keep his prize, still don’t seem to get it. Here’s the complaint against Obama’s Nobel:
The investigation comes after persistent complaints by a Norwegian peace researcher that the original purpose of the prize was to diminish the role of military power in international relations… [my emphasis]
Fredrik Heffermehl, a prominent researcher and critic of the selection process, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that “Nobel called it a prize for the champions of peace. And it’s indisputable that he had in mind the peace movement, i.e. the active development of international law and institutions, a new global order where nations safely can drop national armaments,” he said…
“Do you see Obama as a promoter of abolishing the military as a tool of international affairs?” Heffermehl asked rhetorically.
The problem for them is that Obama, who has already withdrawn from Iraq and is getting out of Afghanistan as rapidly as possible — arguably too rapidly — has not done enough. He has not decommissioned our nuclear deterrent, or forced Israel to give hers up. They almost certainly object to Obama’s use of drones to kill al-Qaeda elements in Pakistan, Yemen, etc. — one of the most precise methods there is to kill people that want to kill you with minimal damage to non-combatants (despite widely-publicized mistakes, there is no comparison to traditional warfare in this respect).
Of course, it is impossible to argue with those who simply cannot process the fact that there is evil in the world that has to be opposed by force. This is almost a religious belief for them, just as jihad is for our enemies.
Three years after, it’s clear that the non-military policies of the Obama Administration have pushed peace farther away. Its warmth toward radical Islamists in Turkey and Egypt, its lack of support for the Iranian Green Revolution, its extended efforts to engage Syria, its pressure on Israel to lift the blockade of Hamas, its attempts to force Israel into a dangerous surrender of strategic depth in return for nothing — all of these encouraged and empowered the radical Islamist forces that oppose the West, these same forces that the administration refuses to name out of political correctness!
So not only did President Obama not deserve the prize in 2009, he certainly does not deserve it now.