Monday, October 12, 2009

Would Alfred Nobel Be Proud of Obama's 12 Days of Accomplishments?

By now, the whole world knows that President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. This dubious (and I use that word in its truest sense) honor was based upon only the first 12 days of Obama's presidency. Let's see just what Obama accomplished in his first few days of office:

Day One (half day really): He was sworn in as president, then went to a parade, and later attended a huge "party".
Day Two: He asked bureaucrats to re-write guidelines for requesting information and held an "open house" party at the White House (for certain "invited" guests only??)
Day Three: He signed a few Executive Orders, among which was one requiring Executive Branch workers to take ethics pledge (Oh, yeah? That's not working so well, is it?), another was for re-affirming Army Field Manual techniques for interrogations (and later added the requirement of Miranda rights to be given in the field of battle!), and yet another was to close Gitmo Detention Center within one year (but no one wants to take the prisoners - so, now what?).
Day Four: He ordered the release of federal funds to pay for abortions -- in foreign countries (WHY?), and then had lunch with Joe Biden before meeting with Tim Geithner later in the day.
Day Five: He held a budget meeting with his economic team. (Here comes the "fundamental transformation" of our monetary system!)
Day Six: Whew! He was so tired from all that activity, he skipped church.
Day Seven: He gave a speech about jobs and energy, then had a quickie meeting with Hillary Clinton before attended Geithner's swearing in ceremony.
Day Eight: He took time to meet with some Republicans and later hopped on Air Force One to go speak at a clock tower in Ohio.
Day Nine: He sat through economic meetings in the morning and then met with the Defense secretary in the afternoon.
Day Ten: He signed the Ledbetter Bill which overturned a Supreme Court decision on lawsuits over wages. Then it was party time in the State Room. And, he met with his buddy Joe (Biden - not the plumber!) before the end of his workday.
Day Eleven: He met with his economic advisers, gave speech on the Middle Class Working Families Task Force, then met with a few senior enlisted military officials.
Day Twelve: He took the day off, (Even Presidents are actually due one, you know!) And stayed pretty much hidden from public view.
Day Thirteen: Being off yesterday wasn't enough rest, so Obama skipped church again, but he threw one heck of a Super Bowl party from all reports.

So, with the honor of the Nobel Peace Prize being bestowed upon Obama based upon those "accomplishments", one can't help but be in a quandary about why he was selected when there are many others who have the "credentials" usually associated with a Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Nobel Prize, according to the site, has been awarded for "humanitarian efforts and peace movements... for work in a wide range of fields including advocacy of human rights, mediation of international conflicts, and arms control." (Somebody please give me some concrete examples of just how Obama has fulfilled these things?)

Let's face it. It actually speaks volumes on the Nobel Committee's politics rather than their humanitarianism, and thus in my opinion, it is not at all flattering to the Nobel organization and even cheapens their integrity. (If you're one of those who think perhaps they were including his accomplishments up to and including his first 12 days in office. Just as a reminder, he was one of the best "present" voters in the Senate prior to campaigning for President!)

Awarding Obama this once prestigious award (specifically based on those first twelve days) just says that words count more than actions. (But let's face it, Obama can read a speech that someone else has written better than just about anybody out there. We know he doesn't use original material, he even had to borrow parts of his campaign speeches from his friends to make some of his points - even if he didn't remember to mention it to the friend beforehand.)

Because the Nobel Committee gave this award to an "as yet tested or proven" nominee simply because of the implication of politics involved, it casts a shadow upon the award for those previous award winners who certainly proved their qualifications. (So, it's politics, not actual effort?) That is not to say that any of those individuals didn't deserve to earn their awards (except perhaps Al Gore, but granted, he has worked hard on his global warming shtick that is now being called climate change!). It is to say, however, that previous winners had done some really meaningful things to earn the respect of the world. Those winners truly deserved the kind of recognition the Nobel Prize once stood for, and therefore, the award should remain reserved only for those who have spent considerable time impacting the world.

So, again in my opinion, this award granted to Obama was based upon literally no accomplishments of that caliber, and further -- and worse -- has lessened the true value of the prize that has been enjoyed by the special few since 1901. Indeed, it has served to undermine the prestige of both the committee and the prize.

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