The Leftist Of The Year Award
October 19, 2009
By Humphrey Stevenson
All hail Obama the peacemaker! Yes, in a scant nine months, President Obama has done more than anyone else to bring peace in our time. That is at least the determination of the Nobel Peace Prize committee in awarding him this prize. President Obama was selected over two hundred and four other nominees. Because of Nobel committee rules, we will not know who the other nominees were, at least not for fifty years. But there is no way anyone can say with a straight face that there was no one on that list more accomplished in the area of promoting peace and more deserving of this award than Barack Obama.
Tim Marshall suggested in his SkyNews blog that the Nobel Peace Prize has lost much of its impact in recent years for awarding institutions and joint winners. Awarding it to Barack Obama guarantees headlines worldwide and the Nobel Committee may have hoped it would regain some of its luster. Marshall also suggested that such a stunt could cheapen the award.
Members of the Nobel committee attempted to justify their choice in the face of a fire-storm of criticism. Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the AP that the President was given the award because of "Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe." The problem with that statement is that prior to being nominated for an award, the nominee has usually accomplished something for which to be recognized. For example, before a singer is nominated for a Grammy, they have recorded a song. (Milli Vanilli notwithstanding) But the deadline for nominations for this year's Nobel Peace Prize was February 1. At that point, Barack Obama had been President all of eleven days and done neither of the things Jagland points to as accomplishments. So why was Obama even nominated?
Peace does not come because you hope for it. It does not come because you make speeches about it. Peace comes because you defeat those who would cause war. Given this, I would submit to you that George W. Bush has actually done more to promote peace than Carter, Gore and Obama combined.
During the eighties, President Reagan was called crazy and a warmonger because of his belief that the Soviet Union was a menace to peace and a danger to free people everywhere. The media cringed at the "bombing starts in five minutes" line. They said he was insane for challenging Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." Ronald Reagan faced up to and defeated the greatest force for evil of his time (maybe of all time). He accomplished this without firing a shot. That is real peace. Alas, he did not receive a Nobel Peace Prize.
There have been many others who have brought peace to the world and did not receive the Peace Prize; Winston Churchill who stood against the murderous Nazi regime in the beginning, alone, Franklin D. Roosevelt who came to the aid of Churchill and entered the war once we were attacked by the Japanese or Harry Truman who finally brought an end to World War II. None of these men and so many others, who brought actual peace to the world by defeating those who would have war, ever received this so-called peace prize.
Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News program that we should be proud that President Obama won because it was a sign that the rest of the world likes this President. Several years back there was a push to promote soccer in this country and deemphasize the more traditional American sports. The main reason given was that soccer was the most popular sport in the world outside the U.S. Now I have nothing against soccer, but I could not and still do not understand how that fact made soccer more worthy of promotion than baseball or football. I don't wish to sound rude but outside of a very few places I really don't care what the rest of the world thinks. The President of the United States is just that and not President of the world.
So, what are we to make of this award our President has received? Given President Obama's accomplishments (or lack thereof) prior to receiving the prize and considering the last two American recipients, Jimmy Carter in 2002 and Al Gore in 2007, it would seem that the Nobel Peace Prize is nothing more than the Leftist of the Year Award.