A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama and the Peace Prize

History will now record that on October 9, 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in Oslo, Norway announced that Barack Obama, the first African-American elected President of the United States, was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The President received the news when he woke up Friday morning; indeed, the morning news programs broke the story as soon as the announcement was made at 5:00a Eastern Time. Obama won the award, his, wait...his efforts to bring...peace to...the world? Okay, you got me! I give up!

So far, most people have reacted to the news by saying, “Thanks!” and “Isn’t it a bit too soon?” In the past, the prize has been awarded to individuals who put forth viable proposals for peace among nations and/or cultures that actually came to fruition. Obama has only been in office nine months and yes, he has reached out to other countries and cultures who might have felt short changed by Bush era diplomacy, but it’s too early to tell if his change in American diplomatic tone will amount to anything.

In a White House Rose Garden press conference later in the day, Obama admitted that he was not worthy enough to be counted among past Peace Prize recipients. However, he did graciously accept the award in the spirit that it was a call for nations to resolve their outstanding differences. The committee has defended its decision with the explanation that Obama won because of his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Apparently Obama has — in the committee’s opinion — accomplished more in nine months and a few foreign speaking tours in the name of international diplomacy than more recent American leaders accomplished in eight years. Now we know the answer to the question, “Had America’s standing in the world sunk so low that Obama only had to display his inspirational rhetoric a few times to demonstrate that his message of hope was real?” The answer, obviously, is “Yes.”

Of course, the announcement of the award has given Obama’s critics new ammunition. I was so afraid that the conservatives on talk radio would have nothing to talk about this week. Now I can sleep at night, knowing that the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck will have plenty of material to spew out their hot air.

Actually, the award was not only a gift to the conservatives, but also to liberal bloggers like me. For example, Limbaugh’s reaction was priceless! In denouncing Obama winning the peace prize, he actually put these words in this order, “I agree with the Taliban...” Now, the more unscrupulous among us will interpret this as an admission of siding with our sworn enemy. Conservatives used this argument every time liberals voiced their opposition to Bush’s war in Iraq. Now the shoe is on the other foot!

Isn’t it wonderful? It’s like an early Christmas gift. All I can say is, “Thank you, Santa!” Okay, so I’m quoting him out of context, but Limbaugh, Beck, et al do it all the time. So what the hell!

So our President wins the Nobel Peace Prize and, as far as I can tell, everyone is a winner! Obama gets an affirming nod from the international community that he is on the right track, and one of his charities will get the $1.4 million dollar prize money. Conservatives get something to gripe about, and liberals get to call the conservatives unpatriotic, among other things.

The only down side is now Obama has to actually get his diplomatic overtures put into action. Now what will he do for an encore? I’ve joked about this before, but now I fear Obama will actually have to walk on the waters of the Potomac to prove to everyone that he is the one that can bring change.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to give awards responsibly!)


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