The Nobel Peace Prize has now become, like the American literary Pulitzer, a certification of political correctness. The Nobel nominating process closed a mere two weeks after Barak Obama took office. With less than a year in office, Obama's prize can not be based on anything except campaign rhetoric and dubious liberal expectations. The award also will be interpreted as a repudiation of the Bush era. Out of over a hundred candidates, a man with little or no actual achievements has been coroneted. When you examine the context, the award is not that much of a surprise; and, like scoreless soccer, this award fairly drips with irony.
The prize is endowed by the estate of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite; related portable explosives arm every terrorist in the world today. Consider also the venue: Scandinavia. This is that portion of what is now the European Union that; either capitulated or declared they were "neutral" in the face of the National Socialist menace in the last century. Indeed, for the most part, Norway and other countries of northern Europe sat out WWII and let others die for the freedom and prosperity that Scandinavia enjoys today. The Nobel Peace Prize is the only one in the series that is presented in Oslo. The city that gave us a new word for "collaborator" is still pandering; Vidkun Quisling's tradition is alive and well in Norway's Nobel Committee and the European Union.
It is very difficult to criticize any politician's good fortune, especially an award with a four million dollar kicker. Just as surely, any criticism is bound to be dismissed on the Left as sour grapes. Nonetheless, the circumstances of this prize do not bode well for peace or achievement. Indeed, as every child with a "stage mother" will testify; there is no burden heavier than great expectations.
When announcing the award, Thorbjorn Jagland, former Prime Minister of Norway, made no secret of his expectations and the leftist slant of European politics. These expectations include; the endorsement and enhancement of the United Nations and their "central role" in world diplomacy; the olive branch for Islam, including Iran; and the reduction or elimination of nuclear weapons. Never mind that the UN has become a virtual soapbox for oligarchs, tyrants, and bigots. Never mind that the Islamic world is an aggressive exporter of terror, and collectively, the most egregious venue for human rights abuses worldwide. Violations like child abuse, slavery, and misogyny; all of which are defended as "cultural sensitivities" requiring "mutual respect". And never mind that aspiring nuclear states, like Iran, are only ones threatening to "wipe other nations off the face of the earth".
In the end, the Nobel committee hasn't done Obama or the prospects for peace any favors. Indeed, for many, this certificate of premature adulation may validate suggestions that Obama is a one trick pony, a multicultural version of Jimmy Carter. A previous peace prize winner, former president Carter has painted himself into a corner as a latter day Arab partisan, devoid of any sense of fairness or impartiality.
Put aside for a moment the Norwegian pandering and the absurd attempt to influence domestic American politics. If Obama keeps his eye on the prize; the opportunity costs could be enormous. These would be: the fate of Israel; two militant religious sects armed with nuclear weapons; and another series of theocratic coups in the Muslim world. Political prophylaxis is seldom safe, frequently ineffective, and it invariably dulls our important sensitivities.