Obama, Afghanistan, and the Nobel Peace Prize

C. Edmund Wright
Barack Obama did not so much get a win with the Nobel Peace Prize today as the U.S. Military and General Stanley McChrystal sustained a loss.  The Prize itself will also be a loser along with all previous winners.

The award is a not so veiled attempt to make it psychologically impossible for Obama to now send 40 thousand more American troops to Afghanistan. To do so would be to spit in the face of his most adoring audience in his favorite venue, the vague and undefined world stage.

How else can you explain the prize being given to someone who has accomplished -- in the words of the great international think tank Saturday Night Live: "nothing."  In fact, the studied consultants at SNL arrived at the conclusion that with regard to Afghanistan, things have "gotten worse."  It was the worst of the long litany of Obama failures to date according to SNL.

This Nobel award to Obama is as breathtakingly shallow as Miss America contestants' obligatory "wish for world peace" or Joe Biden's assessment that the stimulus is "working beyond our wildest dreams" statement.  There is no there there.

One wonders if Obama himself, who has after all already written (well, he turned them in anyway) two memoirs on his life, would have had the audacity to give himself this award.  Talk about the audacity of hope!

And all of this would be funny except that American lives and American security are what is at stake.   Michael Binyon with London's Time Online shared this view:

There is a further irony in offering a peace prize to a president whose principal preoccupation at the moment is when and how to expand the war in Afghanistan.

The spectacle of Mr Obama mounting the podium in Oslo to accept a prize that once went to Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mother Theresa would be all the more absurd if it follows a White House decision to send up to 40,000 more US troops to Afghanistan.

That is exactly the point of giving this award now to someone so clearly undeserving.  The Nobel Committee is aware of the dynamic going on in this country vis-a-vis Obama and his lead General in the Afghan theatre, and as Binyon points out such preemptive awards are not new to Nobel:

Some have appeared to reward hope rather than achievement: the 1976 prize for the two peace campaigners in Northern Ireland, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, was clearly intended to send a signal to the two battling communities in Ulster. (emphasis added).

It does not take an expert in world history - or even a Saturday Night Live writer - to see that this prize was a signal to Obama about Afghanistan.  The Nobel committee is making a childish gesture by putting their hopes in Obama's ability to talk any faction anywhere down off any ledge of reality without anyone getting hurt.  They admit as much according to Binyon:

The committee said today that he had "captured the world's attention". It is certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished.

Not being able to separate hopes from achievement, or shall we say hopes from reality, is the dangerous illusion liberals live under.  To Nobel's committee and many others, peace is simply the absence of war.  Reality and world history teach us that peace exists only when freedom reigns.  This is usually the result of the good guys fighting and winning a war against the bad guys. 

There were no American troops in Afghanistan on September 11th, 2001.  By the liberal definition, there was peace flowing through Afghanistan on September 11, 2001. And yet, what was going on there and what that part of the world was spreading elsewhere would hardly be considered "peace." The problem is, freedom did not reign.  And it does not yet reign there.  Until it does, we are in danger.

And if General McChrystal does not get what he has requested, the lives of the very folks putting it on the line for freedom's sake are in even greater danger. The Nobel Committee's pathetic gesture today has literally endangered American lives in the near and distant future if they are successful in shaming Obama into not supporting the General's plan.

And for that, the award should be forever discredited.
Barack Obama did not so much get a win with the Nobel Peace Prize today as the U.S. Military and General Stanley McChrystal sustained a loss.  The Prize itself will also be a loser along with all previous winners.

The award is a not so veiled attempt to make it psychologically impossible for Obama to now send 40 thousand more American troops to Afghanistan. To do so would be to spit in the face of his most adoring audience in his favorite venue, the vague and undefined world stage.

How else can you explain the prize being given to someone who has accomplished -- in the words of the great international think tank Saturday Night Live: "nothing."  In fact, the studied consultants at SNL arrived at the conclusion that with regard to Afghanistan, things have "gotten worse."  It was the worst of the long litany of Obama failures to date according to SNL.

This Nobel award to Obama is as breathtakingly shallow as Miss America contestants' obligatory "wish for world peace" or Joe Biden's assessment that the stimulus is "working beyond our wildest dreams" statement.  There is no there there.

One wonders if Obama himself, who has after all already written (well, he turned them in anyway) two memoirs on his life, would have had the audacity to give himself this award.  Talk about the audacity of hope!

And all of this would be funny except that American lives and American security are what is at stake.   Michael Binyon with London's Time Online shared this view:

There is a further irony in offering a peace prize to a president whose principal preoccupation at the moment is when and how to expand the war in Afghanistan.

The spectacle of Mr Obama mounting the podium in Oslo to accept a prize that once went to Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mother Theresa would be all the more absurd if it follows a White House decision to send up to 40,000 more US troops to Afghanistan.

That is exactly the point of giving this award now to someone so clearly undeserving.  The Nobel Committee is aware of the dynamic going on in this country vis-a-vis Obama and his lead General in the Afghan theatre, and as Binyon points out such preemptive awards are not new to Nobel:

Some have appeared to reward hope rather than achievement: the 1976 prize for the two peace campaigners in Northern Ireland, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, was clearly intended to send a signal to the two battling communities in Ulster. (emphasis added).

It does not take an expert in world history - or even a Saturday Night Live writer - to see that this prize was a signal to Obama about Afghanistan.  The Nobel committee is making a childish gesture by putting their hopes in Obama's ability to talk any faction anywhere down off any ledge of reality without anyone getting hurt.  They admit as much according to Binyon:

The committee said today that he had "captured the world's attention". It is certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished.

Not being able to separate hopes from achievement, or shall we say hopes from reality, is the dangerous illusion liberals live under.  To Nobel's committee and many others, peace is simply the absence of war.  Reality and world history teach us that peace exists only when freedom reigns.  This is usually the result of the good guys fighting and winning a war against the bad guys. 

There were no American troops in Afghanistan on September 11th, 2001.  By the liberal definition, there was peace flowing through Afghanistan on September 11, 2001. And yet, what was going on there and what that part of the world was spreading elsewhere would hardly be considered "peace." The problem is, freedom did not reign.  And it does not yet reign there.  Until it does, we are in danger.

And if General McChrystal does not get what he has requested, the lives of the very folks putting it on the line for freedom's sake are in even greater danger. The Nobel Committee's pathetic gesture today has literally endangered American lives in the near and distant future if they are successful in shaming Obama into not supporting the General's plan.

And for that, the award should be forever discredited.