Obama Wins Nobel Prize, Stirs Controversy

He’s Only the Fourth President to Win the Award

Obama wins the Nobel Prize: For world peace or Miller Time? (Photo: flickr.com)

Obama wins the Nobel Prize: For world peace or Miller Time? (Photo: flickr.com)

Theodore Roosevelt (1906), Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Jimmy Carter (2002) preceded him in winning. Now President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. This time, however, some people are skeptical. The Norwegian Nobel Committee says he won due to his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” but it remains to be seen whether his nuclear disarmament efforts will bear fruit. And with the rate at which taxpayer dollars are being used to bail nearly everything and everyone one, we may need a short term personal loan or two to fund the missile disposal.

Jump the Shark Lately?

If you ask the Taliban (and I know they’re the first people most of us consult in matters of peace), Obama’s choice as the Nobel Peace Prize recipient is questionable. Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid exclaimed to Reuters via telephone, “The Nobel prize for peace? Obama should have won the ‘Nobel Prize for escalating violence and killing civilians.'” Of course, you can’t please everyone all the time. But perhaps we should have waited to see if peace is the actual result before giving President Obama the award. That’s reasonable, and I’m not Taliban.

Some World Leaders Agree

Japanese President Yukio Hatoyama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appear to look at the Obama Nobel Prize from the standpoint of possible future gains. They think it should encourage other nations to assist him in achieving the nuclear disarmament goal.

Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat sees it as a sign for the Middle East that peace in their time is possible. He’d like to see a return to the Israel/Palestine borders that existed in 1967, where Israel would withdraw and Palestine would be left to exist as an independent state with Jerusalem as the capital city. As Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sees it, the Obama Nobel Prize should enhance the America president’s ability “to contribute to establishing regional peace in the Middle East and a settlement between us and the Palestinians that will bring security, prosperity and growth to all the peoples of the region.” Just exactly where the lines in the sand would be drawn with such a settlement tends to fuel the flame of conflict, however. We’ll see what Obama can do there, if anything.

Hamas Has a Bone to Pick

What a shocker! Despite Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck’s contention Barack Hussein Obama is a pal of radical Islam, Hamas is up in arms over the Obama Nobel Prize. I hope Glenn doesn’t see what they’re saying about Obama’s policy, because he may not have enough tears to go around. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told Reuters that “(Unless U.S. policy changes regarding) recognizing the rights of the Palestinian people, I would think such a prize would be useless.”

“Waiting For Deeds, Not Words”

That’s what Lebanese Hezbollah parliament member Hassan Fadallah had to say about the Obama Nobel Prize. Unfortunately, that’s what many Americans are saying about President Obama on the domestic front so far, but I’m willing to give him more time. Being president is just among the toughest jobs imaginable, and for that reason I’m not quite so willing as some to jump on the “bash George Bush” bandwagon as others. President Obama certainly doesn’t lack in oratory skills, but I believe we need to let the sand of time pass before we even begin to talk about his legacy. I still think he’s in his “probationary period,” to use corporate talk. There’s much to do in a world gripped by financial difficulty.

But Expectations Are Rising

Will the Obama Nobel Prize raise the pressure on America’s president? Irene Khan of Amnesty International thinks so. “We look to him for decisive action to pursue peace with justice in the Middle East, end the rollback on human rights in the name of counter terrorism and reinforce the fight against poverty at a time of economic crisis,” she said.

Other notable world figures like Poland’s Lech Walesa and South Africa’s Desmond Tutu see promise in Obama, but they tend to agree that we need to see how things play out.

What Won Obama the Nobel Prize?

To cast so levity on the Obama Nobel Prize situation, humorist Andy Borowitz wrote that it was “Beergate” that tipped the tap. The beer summit between President Obama, Henry Louis Gates and James Crowley (invite Aleister and you would have had a different summit altogether) supposedly swayed the Nobel Prize Committee. In Borowitz’s version of events, a Nobel official claimed that “someone brought up the beer summit, and we all agreed that that was awesome.” Not only that, but it was “a tribute to the healing power of beer.”

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So long as you aren’t going to drive or operate heavy machinery and you have a vital political summit to host, perhaps the healing power of hops can set you to stepping. If recessionary economics set upon your budget, perhaps a short term personal loan can help with the morning after.

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