Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Barack Obama: A Modest Defense

--Richard E. Vatz


If you’re like me, you woke up to the stunning news that President Barack Obama did not win the 2009 Nobel Prize for literature. The award went instead to Herta Mueller, the Romanian writer who wrote of atrocities she suffered under Communist rule in Romania. To believe the Nobel Committee could overlook President Obama’s Change We Can Believe In, a work that adumbrated the changes that have already brought us a booming economy and peace in our time...well, it is just the historic discrimination against African-American writers.

Slightly compensatorily, President Barack Obama did win the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

Without adequate reflection, the naysayers immediately protested, "What has President Obama accomplished?" If he was nominated within two weeks of the onset of his presidency, how could he qualify for a peace prize that had gone to such Nobel personifications of peace as Elie Wiesel (1986), Desmond Tutu (1984), and Lech Walesa (1983) ?

First of all, any such a comparison is arbitrary...the Nobel Peace Prize has also gone to Jimmy Carter (2002) who brought us lasting peace with Iran through his calling off a rescue mission for American hostages which would have got the Iranians really angry, and Yasser Arafat (1994), and who doesn’t know what lasting effects he has had for peace in the Middle East?

Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, petulantly accuses the Nobel Committee of giving President Obama “a ribbon before the race,” arguing that the President has not yet accomplished much regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the impending nuclear weaponizing of Iran, the manifest nuclear weaponizing of North Korea, pacifying Afghanistan, and stopping the atrocities in the Congo or the conflict in Darfur.

Picky, picky, picky.

Moreover, Mr. Gerson, President Obama has “hope,” and if one looks at the history of world conflict, one can see the consistent effectiveness of leaders who hope. I suppose Mr. Gerson was similar to those who in 1939 denied a Nobel prize to Neville Chamberlain, who through the Munich Agreement in 1938 kept peace for a full year.

In addition, even if his nomination occurred within two weeks of the beginning of his presidency, President Obama was “hoping” long before he became president. The Audacity of Hope was written over three years ago.

Yes, President Barack Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, and, if I must be specific, it is not just for what the Committee calls his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" or his call for a nuclear weapon-free world. (The accomplishment of the latter is probably just months, if not weeks, away.)

It is just as compellingly for his being troubled regarding Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weaponry and North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and, equally, for his resolution in the Afghanistan conflict wherein he is going to make sure that we have a policy soon.

May I suggest a slogan that does honor to the peaceiest leader in the world, our newest, most deserving Nobel Prize winner:

“Peace for a Short While.”



Professor Vatz teaches political rhetoric at Towson University

3 comments:

Chester Peake said...

Dear Professor:
I bow to your vast knowledge on the matter!
(Isn't bowing to others a prerequisite to such an award?)

Certainly you are correct that His Holiness deserves such an outstanding award from such a prestigious organization.

I stand ever-so-humbly corrected!

Tongue firmly in cheek,
Chester P.

atg13 said...

Dear Prof.Vatz,

Even before I read your short "In defense...", I immediately recalled the infamous promise of "peace in our time" made by not so lucky ( with respect to both history and unresponsive Nobel Committee) N.Chamberlain.

Moreover,in 1938 the exciting reaction of all the Western European "democracies" was not very different from the present-day jubilation.

And now, as in the past, it is caused by a fear of a very dangerous enemy ,who does not even hide its goals, which are similar the one of the National-Socialist Germany-this time the New Religious Order and not only in Europe but in the world.

In addition, this wide -eyed jubilation is also driven by their hatred and envy of the powerful and prosperous United States, combined with the ever-present European Anti-Semitism.

So, it seems appropriate to quote the prophetic words of another Nobelist, W.Churchill, "They had the choice between a humiliation and war, they have chosen humiliation and they will get the war" .

Those who forget ( or simply do not know ) their history are doomed to relieve its tragedies. And this will befall mainly on the population of their countries.

They forget , or simply do not know, that the Roman Empire lasted 1000 years, because their motto was "Para pacem, Para bellum".

In short,

Only the supreme being intervention is going to save this country.

Thanks a lot for your sober voice pouring cold water over the unfounded decision of the NObel Committee and the following it stupid enthusiasm of the press.

Sincerely,

Alex G.
I will appreciate hearing from you

Bruce said...

Not too Swift.

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