Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama’s Prize

Written : Oct. 13, 2009

Just a mention of the Nobel Peace Prize used to give me a feeling one could achieve anything if given a chance. Of course, like a lot of young people years ago, I confused “Nobel” with the English word “noble”. The prize is actually named for Alfred Nobel, a Swedish entrepreneur, who lived his entire life in the nineteenth century (1833-1896). You might be surprised to learn (as I was) that Nobel experimented with explosives like nitroglycerine, is credited for inventing dynamite, blasting caps, and various blasting powders, started his own explosives company, and as a result became quite wealthy. Nobel, the businessman, knew several peace activists in his life and specified in his final will that a peace prize be given to people or groups promoting peace.

Many previous recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize received the award out of something they did to further peace in the world. The current U.S. president, Barack Obama, was awarded the prize after only nine months in office – with no tangible measure of success for peace, at least not yet. According to the Nobel Committee’s rules one must be nominated by Feb. 1 of the current year in order to become eligible. In President Obama’s case, this would have been just after spending twelve days in office!

The questions requiring answers are, “Does Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?”, and, “Was the award given for political reasons?” For example, if the Nobel Committee were comprised of mostly liberals, was it possible they awarded the prize to Obama because they agree with his politics or policies? If so, was such action fair, or was it politically biased? Should the award only be given to liberals?

What is peace, anyway? Is it kindness? Is it the absence of war? Is it the absence of conflict of any kind? Is it the feeling of “peace of mind” one gets when one is completely protected? Is “peace” provided when someone else (or another country) will not attack you out of fear of reprisal? On Hannity, on Oct. 12, 2009, Mark Steyn said that if you define peace as the absence of American power on the world stage, then Obama definitely deserves the prize.

I used to respect the Nobel Peace Prize and its committee, but I respect them no longer. If the prize was used to take a stab at George W. Bush and /or his policies, which protected the U.S. and its citizens, then the prize is a joke. At the very least the committee should have waited until Obama had actually accomplished something peaceful in order to award the prize to him. If the committee had done it that way instead, it would have been much more respectable. Donna Brazile, a liberal commentator, was in favor of Obama being awarded the prize. Of this, her comment on “This Week” on Oct. 11, was, “Now [that he got the Nobel Peace Prize], he has to earn it!” But, doesn’t that go against the idea of a prize? First you earn it, and then after you earn it, you may be recognized for your action!


Scott Martin #1

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