Thoughts on President Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize

Posted: 2009-10-10 in Politics
Tags: , ,

Today, our President won the Nobel Peace Prize. Upon first hearing the news I thought “what for?” Many people were asking the same question. However, as the day went on the tone of the question changed. It has become partisan.

Supporters of Pres. Obama often argue that he won it for not being Pres. Bush and seriously putting forth a policy of diplomatic engagement with countries who are not our allies. His detractors argue that he has won it for making good speeches and/or being popular with “socialist” Europeans.

All of the vitriol aside, both may be correct. However, I think it is President Obama himself who called it correctly. It IS a call to action.

The United States is the only country on the planet with the ability to act unilaterally (militarily) anywhere on the globe. Our power projection capability is unmatched. There is little another nation or group of nations could do to stop us. If you are not the United States, how do you temper “the beast?”

You temper the beast through engagement. Giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize before he has “earned” it is a brilliant manuever. President Obama wants to earn it. I’m not saying he will place earning the prize above US national interests. But the desire to earn it may be enough to push him towards peace during a critical time when everyone around him will be clamoring for war or disengagement.

Specifically, in the not too distant future, bombing the uranium enrichment facility near Qum, Iran could be a decision he will have to make. Secondly, he may need to persuade Israel not to bomb the facility. The possibilities are endless.

My point here is that the prize adds another voice in his head to push for peace.

I think he will earn it. It will take time and it will be difficult but diplomacy always does.

One final point here. Regardless of whether you think he deserves it or not, he didn’t nominate himself for it, nor did he campaign for it. So let’s stop berating him for it. Instead, let us help him earn it through reasoned, unemotional, and non-partisan public discourse.

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