October 9, 2009

Cult of Personality

So Barack Obama just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? He hasn't done anything yet. Apparently he was nominated for it as early as February when he had only been president for a couple of weeks.

It's great that a sitting president of my country has been awarded this prize, and I'd certainly rather have him get it than, say, Yasser Arafat, but is it too much to ask that he first broker a peace treaty somewhere?

UPDATE: Don't miss Nick Gillespie's coverage at Reason TV.

UPDATE: I'm afraid I agree with Noah Pollak today:

Here is the test of whether Barack Obama and his senior advisers are in touch with the real world or whether they indeed have floated off into Neverland on an opium cloud of narcissism and self-regard. If Obama is capable of the slightest political sobriety, he will quickly reject the Prize, for all the obvious and sensible reasons

Posted by Michael J. Totten at October 9, 2009 1:53 PM
Comments
Well,
I guess its not too surprising when today a kid just has to show up at school and demand at least a "B" for just being there.
Hey, and why do any work when the main goal is just to feel good about yourself.
Is there a Nobel prize for "wishful thinking".
I don't know what's worse, being given the prize or Obama's acceptance.
"What a world what a world" Maybe the Nobel Committee should just melt away.
Posted by: JB at October 9, 2009 2:53 pm
The award of the Noble Peace Prize for 2009 to President Obama is most fitting and a cap to his political campaign for the presidency: "Hope and Change." However, IMHO, Obama is seeking the peace of the "forever eternal" for this country and that should not be.
The Reason.TV parody on the Obama award says it for me. A ridiculous award to a ridiculous person.
Posted by: ColdWarWarmHeart at October 9, 2009 3:48 pm
Pathetic joke.
Posted by: Paul S. at October 9, 2009 5:53 pm
Here's an excellent short summation by Daniel Pipes. See if this link works:
http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2009/10/that-nobel-peace-prize-bashes-bush-handcuffs-obama
Posted by: Morningside at October 9, 2009 6:14 pm
Pipes: "Second, the prize committee hopes to constrain Obama's hands vis-
Posted by: leo at October 9, 2009 7:17 pm
So, here's where we stand:
The inventor of dynamite established a prize for Peace which is awarded by a small committee of Norwegians.
This prize has accreted layers of prestige over the years; and, if we believe a large portion of the world's open mouthed astonishment at Obama's receipt of this...when nominations were closed eleven days after his inauguration....it seems that any value associated with it has now evaporated.
No one's silky phrases can alter that reality. The Peace Prize is now cheapened for whoever else may receive it.
Posted by: Morningside at October 9, 2009 8:06 pm
"The Peace Prize is now cheapened for whoever else may receive it."
After Arafat and Gore anything goes.
Posted by: leo at October 9, 2009 8:37 pm
I am frightened by this award. People are not separating spectacle from reality. Things are at a crisis.
Posted by: LarryL at October 9, 2009 8:57 pm
When the Nobel brain trust gave it to Arafat is when they drove their franchise into the ground. I haven't paid attention to it since.
Pipes is right - Obama should decline to accept. Shyeahh, as if.
Posted by: Li'l Mamzer at October 10, 2009 5:27 am
The Nobel Peace Prize has for a long time largely been a facade for lending support to anti-American personages or agendas.
Posted by: Squires at October 10, 2009 6:43 am
I happen to agree with Friedman on this one (which, while rare, does happen)
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/opinion/11friedman.html?em
Posted by: AO at October 12, 2009 7:34 am
And in other news ...
The pope has recently announced the canonization of several new saints, Mr. Obama among them.
/sarcasm
Posted by: Boojum at October 12, 2009 10:02 am
"sarcasm"
Do not rush to judgment.
Posted by: leo at October 12, 2009 10:12 am
My initial response (and I voted for Obama) was that it doesn't say very good things about the Nobel committee. Your original comment, Michael, is word perfect. And I can see Noah Pollak's argument- in fact as regards Obama himself I agree with it.
On the other hand, a certain part of this is a signal from a part of the European left that they are willing to look to America for moral leadership again. I think that rejecting the prize would send the wrong message to this political constituency, with potential costs for the US when we look for additional NATO support in places like Afghanistan. If it provides a little extra running room for those who want to defend the ideas of democracy and freedom against Muslim totalitarianism, it might be worth it. If it constrains them more, it's a bad bargain.
Posted by: gnana at October 12, 2009 1:13 pm
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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