With the Nobel Prizes being awarded this week, I thought I’d revisit President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize – a year later.
Last year, I wrote an article, “I’d Like to Cure Cancer. Seriously, I Would Really Like to Cure Cancer.” In that piece, I expounded on my virtues in wanting to cure cancer even though I’m not a doctor and have absolutely no idea how to go about curing anything. I argued that I had good thoughts and, therefore, deserved the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Sadly, no one has submitted my name to the Nominating Committee.
Accomplishing nothing but having good intentions seems to have been the only qualifications necessary for last year’s Nobel Peace Prize. You’ll remember when President Obama was nominated just a couple of weeks after his inauguration, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it was trying “to promote what he stands for and the positive processes that have started now. It lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama’s calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change.” What a mouthful! I truly believe the members of the Committee saw President Obama as the Messiah who was going to lead all peoples and nations out of a world of hatred and war and into a world of peace, harmony and understanding.
So, let’s look at his record since then.
Well, President Obama did sign an arms treaty with Russia agreeing that each country would reduce its nuclear arsenals by one-third. However, he acknowledged a nuclear-free world was probably unlikely in his lifetime. These types of treaties always remind me of gun control laws – they only apply to the good guys who obey the law. The bad guys don’t follow the law and always have the guns. I’m not saying Russia is one of the “bad guys” but her intentions and ties to Iran – who has its own nuclear program – are highly suspect in my book.
Although President Obama outlawed torture, I’m sure the Norwegians are not thrilled that he has maintained our rendition program.
The President’s attempt in March 2009 to reach out to Iran to resolve “serious differences” and his commitment to “diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community” was a complete failure. It was nothing more than a showing of weakness by our President which resulted in the Iranian regime going forward with its nuclear program. In a poll from last year, the Iranian people hoped for U.S.-Iranian diplomatic relations to resume but only 16% of the Iranian people had any confidence that President Obama would do the right thing in the international arena.
It was President Bush’s vision and the military surge (opposed by then Sen. Obama) which resulted in the end of combat in Iraq this year.
If anything, the war in Afghanistan has escalated. President Obama sent an additional 30,000 troops there for a total of over 100,000 troops. He has escalated the air war and has upped the number of unmanned drone strikes throughout the year and has now authorized drone strikes in Pakistan. Although President Obama has set 2011 to start withdrawing troops (always a good strategy to let your enemy know when you’re leaving), Gen. David Petraeus has said he won’t be bound by that target date but rather as “conditions permit.”
Our men and women continue to be in harm’s way in Afghanistan, a war which, despite the escalation, I believe President Obama wishes would just go away so he could continue to transform America into his view of Utopia.
Despite President Obama’s 2009 Apologize for America Tour, jihadists still want to kill us. We’ve had two terrorist attacks on our own soil since he took office – Ft. Hood and Little Rock – and near misses in Times Square and in the skies over Detroit by the underwear bomber on Christmas Day last year.
And, finally, the State Department just this past weekend issued travel warnings to U.S. citizens traveling in Europe because of increased risks of terror attacks.
It doesn’t look like he’s done much to change the “mood” of the terrorists here and around the world, does it?
So, after almost two years, what has President Obama actually accomplished in the peacemaking arena? He won the prize as a result of his “star power” not because of any meaningful accomplishment.
All this reminds me of a great line in the movie, “The Ten Commandments,” when Dathan, played by Edward G. Robinson, questions Moses when he comes down from the mountain. I’d ask the Nobel Peace Prize Committee members the same thing, “Where’s your Messiah now?”
So, a year later, I still have good thoughts and still want to cure cancer but still don’t get why I haven’t been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine but, if you do, God bless you.