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Monday, October 12, 2009

A reasoned view of the Obama Nobel award from Andrew Sullivan.

This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place, which is why the far right has become so vicious in attacking him and lying about him. They know he threatens their politics of division and rule. He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.

I like Shimon Peres' statement, reprinted in a useful compendium of world reaction at the Lede:

“Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.” Mr. Peres, who won the peace prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat in 1994 following the Oslo Accords, added: “Under your leadership, peace became a real and original agenda. And from Jerusalem, I am sure all the bells of engagement and understanding will ring again. You gave us a license to dream and act in a noble direction.”


Michael Sanborn said...

Arafat died an unrepentant terrorist and murderer. He deserved a peace prize?

I think Jimmy Carter deserved the award for bringing Egypt and Israel together.

Make no mistake, Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell ended the cold war, not Gorbachev. If Gorbachev could have won the cold war, he would have. Reagan and Powell, who orchestrated the end of the Cold War, were not nominated.

Rep. Charles Wilson of Texas, whose efforts to aid the Afghan Mujahideen and forced the Soviet retreat from the Afghanistan, deserved the prize. Wasn't nominated.

Those who achieve peace through strength are not usually awarded the prize. George C. Marshall (The Marshall Plan) was the last to do so, in 1953.

Mother Teresa deserved the award. Al Gore did not.

Elie Wiesel, Lech Walesa, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King, UNICEF deserved the prize. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho did not.

Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk deserved the prize as did John Hume and David Trimble. Aung San Suu Kyi deserved the prize as did the 14th Dalai Lama.

Wangari Maathai, Shirin Ebadi and Muhammad Yunus all have many accomplishments to demonstrate they deserved their prize. Similar recipients are Joseph Rotblat and Oscar Arias.

Rigoberta MenchĂș Tum did not deserve her prize as she was later revealed to be a liar.

Some folks deserve this prize. Some folks receive it for political reasons and are awarded not for their accomplishments but for the advancement of the Nobel committee's political views.

If Obama can use the Prize to advance his agenda, and his agenda works, it will be a good thing.

Michael Sanborn said...

Quoting the Atlantic is like quoting the National Review...c'mon Bill.

Bill Fleming said...

Sounds like you should move to Norway and get on the Committee, Michael. (wink)

Michael Sanborn said...

I'd never join a club that would have me as a member...(bow to Groucho)

Douglas said...

"Make no mistake, Ronald Reagan and Colin Powell ended the cold war, not Gorbachev"

Recently revealed presidential and soviet papers indicate Gorbachev was very puzzled by Reagan since so many of the things he said made no sense. The Russian scientists were convinced "Star Wars" could not work and Gorbachev effectively killed that kind of scientific military research in the Soviet Union.

Had Gorbachev not had the sense overlook Reagan's lunacy, there would have been an escalation of armament rather than a reduction.

Reagan's desire to reduce nuclear arms came because he watched a movie about a nuclear attack on Kansas. That was scary to people with some awareness of nuclear weapons. They wondered how Reagan could be so ignorant that it took a movie about nuclear weapons to even catch his attention.