October 9, 2009


In a response almost quicker than the news of American President, Barak Obama, receiving a Nobel Peace prize, came the not unexpected announcement from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, that the terrorist organization condemns the award.

Shortly thereafter, Rush Limbaugh, spokesman for the Teabag Taliban, is appopletic; HubBlog calls the award, “… silly and irrelevant,” The National Post’s Jonathan Kaw calls the award ridiculous, and Mary, at Freedom Eden blog, has already turned the issue into a racial thing. One Limey blogger asks, “Are you frickin' kidding me?

Ross Chainey, writing for Reuters, asks if Obama deserves the award, and promptly interviews Hamas, while Scott at ScrappleFace uses the award to take a shot at the United Nations.

Simon Robinson, writing for Time Magazine, posits that winning the award could hurt Obama, and Stephen Medvic, posting on PolySigh, offers that the Peace Prize will be more of a headache to President Obama than an honor, recommending the President turn it down.

Geneva based correspondent, Ronald Sexton, writing for the right-of-center blog FiveThirtyEight, says “Perhaps the happiest people in the US on this one will be the centrists - and those who wanted Obama to reshape the US image abroad.” Writing for CQ’s Political Wire, Taegan Goddard offers a roundup of opinions, many of which confirm Sexton’s comments.

My blogger favorites are rather divided in their comments, with JayG intent upon pointing out Mr. Obama’s failures while crankylitprof calls it nauseating. Interestingly, TOTWTYTR has not yet revealed his views. Perhaps once his blood pressure stabilizes…

On the other side of the sphere, FDL, C&L, Stinque, EBMisfit, and BitchPHD all seem to love the award, but predicted the inevitable right wingnut explosions.

PZMeyers is unimpressed, but HufPo has gone ga-ga over the news, with writer Jacob Heilbrunn gushing, “It would be hard to think of a more electrifying and deserved recipient of this year's Nobel Peace prize than President Obama.”

Yours truly, a slightly left-of-center political observer, thinks all of this is much ado about not much of any consequence. Obama winning a Peace Prize was to be expected. The only surprise was how quickly it occurred, but considering the deadline for nominations was February 01, 2009, only 11 days into the Obama presidency, it appears obvious that the Committee did this rather off the cuff.

I’m not surprised, but neither am I impressed. Although pleased that an American is the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, in the end I find myself in some agreement with Simon Robinson and Steven Medvic. Although I see no reason for Mr. Obama to refuse the award, the timing is unfortunate and the Peace Prize may cause more trouble than it is worth.

At best this is just another distraction.



Anonymous said...

The timing, in light of a selection cut-off date that fell nine days after he was inaugurated -- seems to back up the idea that he got it based solely on not being GWB. Now, not being GWB is a decent enough accomplishment, but Peace-prize worthy?


I broke up a bar fight last week. What do I get?

jbrock said...

Meh. I reckon this is just another Scandinavian 'take that!' to the neocons, and in that respect it's neither a Bad Thing nor particularly unpredictable.

Neither does it strike me as particularly relevant. IMHO the Nobel Committee reduced the 'Peace Prize' to a bad joke when they started handing the things out to people like Kissinger and Arafat.

Beyond that, I can't work up much reaction one way or another.

Of course Limbaugh et al are going to emit the usual spectrum of electronically processed barnyard noises. That's what they do for a living.

Ambulance Driver said...

Proof positive that the Nobel Peace Prize is no longer relevant. It's a popularity contest, nothing more.

Old NFO said...

It's interesting to be overseas right now and see the coverage from other than the States... Most of the commentary thus far revolves around whether this is a slap at Bush, or a 'hope' for things to come. None of the non-US media is saying anything about what he's done (which is nothing but talk)...

CNN International had a panel, and the one black (from somewhere in the States) on the panel immediately reverted to screaming it's racial to question the award when any of the other members or the moderator questioned what Obama had actually done to warrant this.

Hell, Clinton deserves it more than Obama, at least he has DONE something...

Mule Breath said...

Prof, I do not find it ridiculous in the least, and find that observation depressing.

NFO, IMO you are basing your opinion on results and not action. If results alone were considered, probably some half dozen or more awards would never have been awarded to deserving recipients. You observations on foreign media do not very closely match what I've found on the WWW, and certainly do not jibe with what I've received via email from friends in Ivory Coast and Brazil.

JBrock, while I might agree with you regarding Kissinger, Arafat, I think, was being rewarded for changing his stripe. Far too late, in his old age, but I suspect that to be the reason. Although Kissinger remained unrepentant to the end, there have been far too many truly deserving recipients to diminish the award for the few with whom we disagree.

AD, my comment to you is ditto what I said to CLP above.

As I said in my blog summation, I am proud the prize was awarded to an American, although this discussion validates my prediction that it would be just another distraction.

Mule Breath said...

" Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum — when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. "

barrrump bump

[H/T] - - [VIA]

Jay G said...

I asked for a list of 0bama's accomplishments, which is hardly the same as being "intent upon pointing out Mr. Obama’s failures".

I notice that no one has stepped forward with a list of said accomplishments...

BTW, "blogger favorite"? Sir, I am honored indeed!

Mule Breath said...

The (intentional) innuendo in your post is that Mr. Obama has no accomplishments so there is no sense stepping into that manure pile, and neither would any such list meet your standards, would it, Jay?

The political left takes a position with which I do not agree, but neither do I go along with the right's (your) assumption of failure. For the past several years I have found very little in the way of a right position with which I could agree.

Mr. Obama was my choice as the lesser of evils, and he is my President now so I shall not take uncalled for potshots. At the least, he is a grand improvement over the Bush years. The very fact that the Nobel committee decided to award the prize is evidence of how our President is viewed by the rest of the world. That would count as an accomplishment in any book except maybe one kept by the reactionary right.

Oh, and "blogger favorites" in no way indicates agreement with your views any more than the Daily Kos or C&L. I like much of your shooter stuff and we seem to have similar tastes in cars and music. However, I generally read your political opinions with some degree of emotion ranging from dismay to disgust.

Rogue Medic said...

The very fact that the Nobel committee decided to award the prize is evidence of how our President is viewed by the rest of the world. That would count as an accomplishment in any book except maybe one kept by the reactionary right.

Now I'm part of the reactionary right? Have you no sense of decency? Next, I'll be accused of being a NeoLib. Augh!

This is all form over function. President Bush did not pay enough attention to the views of the rest of the world, while President Obama pays too much attention to the views of the rest of the world. This is a mistake, just a different mistake, not necessarily a better mistake.

One common defense that pops up is that President Obama was gracious about accepting it. Feel free to award me a prize that comes with over a million dollars attached and don't be surprised if I suddenly start exhibiting a bit of grace. That grace is not likely to last long, given the half life of Aricept.

In other words, the reaction of President Obama is irrelevant in determining whether the award was a reward for anything significant.