Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nobel Prize - No Domestic Peace

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barak Obama has really stirred the pot in his own country!
Some say it's rather premature. Others see it as a huge snub to ex-Prez Bill Clinton, widely thought to be overdue for the prize. After all, he did help promote Northern Ireland peace, put in major effort on a Middle East deal (albeit unsuccessfully), created the Clinton Global Initiative to combat worldwide problems, and is the UN special envoy to Haiti. Yet the tres-PC long-memoried Nobel committee bypassed him... perhaps because of the Lewinsky affair?
But the US domestic outrage is more depressing than the award is surprising. Remember the inspired millions joyously filling Washington DC on Obama's Inauguration Day? Nine months later, many Americans seem convinced this same man has personally slighted them (over such things as the bank bailout, car industry rescue, health care, not closing Guantanamo Bay detention camp, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq...).
Meanwhile military top hats worry the peace prize will make it harder to reinforce Fortress Middle East.
Conversely Europe generally sees Obama not just as a turning point in history, but as a step in the direction of survival and away from the Cold War mentality. Maybe this Nobel Peace Prize should be viewed as a chance to recall the optimism felt less than a year ago.
Perhaps Bo the First Dog is the only one with a righteous reason to be unhappy about the Nobel Prize: when the Obamas got the news, it completely overshadowed Bo's first birthday celebrations!

1 comment:

Will McPherson, NJ said...

It should have been more a 'watch this space' approach. Obama has made some nice speeches and i believe his heart is in the right space, but its way too early to say whether he's actually been successful. Maybe he should have been considered at the end of his first term. By then we'll have known his worth.