My irregular musings on city life, politics, baseball, roller derby, and whatever happens to be getting my goat today.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Apparently they're giving them out like Halloween candy now

You could call it a WTF moment. I mean, I like Barack Obama and all, really I do. But a Nobel Peace Prize? For what? He hasn't done anything yet. His goals are right on, and if he managed a peaceful resolution to the Iran nuclear confrontation, finds a way to get out of Afghanistan without it collapsing back into full scale civil war, negotiates an arms reduction treaty with Russia, passes climate change legislation and negotiates a global climate treaty, and facilitates a lasting peace agreement in the Middle East creating a Palestinian state, then yeah, sure I suppose he'd deserve to be a Nobel laureate. But he hasn't done any of that stuff yet, and do you really believe all of those things will actually get done? Because I didn't think the prize was just for good intentions.

Hell, in some ways Bush had fairly good intentions too, his means were just awful and anti-human. The President of the United States has a lot of power to make things better, so a lot should be expected before you give one a Nobel. I mean, aren't we still at war? Aren't we still holding a bunch of "detainees" we basically kidnapped and now have no idea what to do with, at Guantanamo and CIA facilites around the planet? Or did that change in the past week while I've been too preoccupied with the baseball playoffs and my own health issues and vacation plans to pay any attention to the news?

The President himself, from my inbox:
To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who've been honored by this prize -- men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I've said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.
I'm glad he realizes he doesn't deserve it, but I wish he had declined it, saying, "I am puzzled by this decision" or something like that. It's not that I don't like Obama or support most of his goals, I just think giving the award out like this devalues the award more than honors the recipient.

I understand that you have to give out the Oscar every year even when there were no good movies, and maybe nobody has done that much for peace in the last year. It's certainly possible, you certainly hear a lot more about people blowing stuff up than working for peace. But obviously, if stuff is on fire, the media will be there. But I don't think that changes my point, if you give the award out without it being earned, then you end up devaluing the award.

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