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Posts Tagged ‘hmmm.’

People for Peace

Isn’t it incredibly fascinating how schizo-fucking-phrenic conservatives are? Last week, loads of Republican media personalities celebrated America losing the Olympics last week, despite Bush pushing for Chicago’s bid himself just a few years back, and claimed it as some sort of bizarre world rebuke of the President. This week, Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and they are suddenly “How dare they give him an award when all he has done is give speeches? Eleven days, star power, blah blah blah!”

I think there are several ways to look at the opposition. First, they’re crazy. Second, they’re morons. Third, they do not care for the concept of America whatsoever, which I really wouldn’t mind if they weren’t such rank hypocrites. Fourth, maybe they should see this as a rebuke of themselves, since the world finds Obama’s rhetoric world-saving compared to the shameful violence and bullheaded-ness of the previous eight years.

Ignoring insane Republicans, there is a legitimate question of whether Obama really deserved to win. I think the people questioning it are completely right, but at the same time I see this particular decision as unique. Pretty much anyone else who had won would not have received the amount of attention that Obama will receive. Usually the recipient wins, gets some articles written up, there’s debate in a few circles, time passes, people forget.

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama is obviously premature. It is also fucking brilliant. It holds the President to a higher standard. It reminds him (and everyone) that the American President serves his country, but he also serves the world. It’s the most influential position on Earth. Simply having a President who isn’t insane, who engages in dialogue with other world leaders, who is willing to look at a situation like Afghanistan and ask questions instead of delivering pre-determined answers is truly a Godsend to the rest of the planet. They too are affected by the decisions of the American executive. By giving Obama the prize, the committee made a conscious decision to send a message: we value the rhetoric of a man who says he will work for peace. We value the opportunities which are uniquely present right now, especially as we are facing certain unprecedented life-extinguishing threats. Instead of waiting till the danger has passed, instead of waiting till the war is over, instead of waiting till the work is done and declaring a verdict, the Committee chose to involve itself in a new way and value possibility. Everyday, President Obama will realize he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hopefully, he will feel a need to live up to that. Plus, dudes, who wants to run for president against a Nobel Peace Prize recipient??

So my take is ultimately, yes, obviously Obama has not done much to earn this award. But I think the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has done a subversive thing: they have chosen to be proactively involved in the peace process. They have chosen to encourage a particular narrative and to not sit on the sidelines, but to themselves participate. I find that to be remarkable.

Also, to the complainers, one or two things.

Henry Kissinger, that distinctly un-charming human being, won the Nobel Peace Prize. This while pushing decidedly war-mongering policies in Cambodia. Please, just, just stop.

Also: it’s their award to give. Not ours. Sorry the rest of the world thinks Rush Limbaugh is a gasbag and George Bush is an idiot. Try putting forward some real leaders, and not imperial figureheads uninterested in other people. Because if you’re not interested in others, you’re not interested in peace. That’s what selfishness gets you. A big ranch and a sports franchise perhaps, but certainly not global respect or the gratitude of histoy. Or, in other words, you snooze/you destroy thousands of lives, impoverish people, and decimate the planet’s resources… you lose.

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