Saturday, October 10, 2009

Did the Nobel Prize Committee Just Try to Checkmate Obama?

The news of President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize caught most of the world off guard. Even Obama looked surprised, acknowledging that the prize was not a recognition of his accomplishments, but a "call to action."
In awarding the Prize, the Committee expressed ‘hope’ that Obama will continue down the path of world peace and international co-operation and reasoned:
“Obama has as President, created a new climate in international politics. Dialogue and negotiations (emphasis ours) are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts”.
It would be really ironic now, if Obama’s “call to action” is to allow for an escalation of troops in Afghanistan, expanded operations in Pakistan and most importantly a military strike against Iran. Does the world really believe that India, China and Russia are going to sit back and enjoy a massive military buildup in their backyard? Would they take kindly to the U.S. controlling important gas pipelines, oil complexes and trade routes to Europe? Would the Middle East and Asia be more stable and peaceful, with a massive U.S. military presence encompassing Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia? Obviously not.
It is no wonder that the chatter about diversifying away from the dollar (as a trading and reserve currency) has been increasingly coming from the Middle East and Asia. It is their weapon against further subsidization of U.S. military actions in the region.
So perhaps the Peace Prize was the Committee’s attempt at pre-empting further military escalation by check-mating Team Obama. Given the timing of the announcement, coming before a decision to increase troops in Afghanistan, this seems plausible.
But despite altruistic motivations, this attempt is sure to fizzle out. So far, President Obama has displayed no ability or willingness to stand up to the corporate interests (military, financial, energy, healthcare to name a few) that control American policy. War has always been America’s way of distracting the public from the economic crisis at home, and this time will be no different. President Obama’s “peaceful” reputation is probably at its peak. He should take a moment and bask in its glow, because it is soon going to ride off into the sunset, without him in tow.
As for the Committee, we suggest it refrain from using the Peace Prize as a tool to influence world politics. Their past track record (awarding the prize to likes of Arafat and Kissinger) has been poor at best. All it does is dilute the value of the prize. They would better serve humanity if they award the Prize for ‘actual’ rather than ‘potential’ achievements.

1 comment:

John said...

That is an interesting observation, others that I've heard: Norway wants the President to visit, Miss America will be nominated next year and words speak louder than actions.

On a more serious note, I seriously doubt the ability of the Nobel committee to have any sort of lasting influence over Middle East activity. It is by and large out of Obama's hands; he has very little foreign policy experience and even less military prowess. Exiting because you are the recipient of a Peace Prize would exacerbate the situation and I don't think his staff would be that short sighted.