Saturday, October 10, 2009
The "It's Not George" Prize
It's being greeted with derision or elation, depending on who and where you are - President Barack Obama's new Nobel Peace Prize may well be one of the most controversial choices ever.
Critics point out that he hasn't done much yet. They're right. It's early in the game and it's mostly rhetoric.
Some of us have been greatly disappointed so far; the promises of change are bogged down with heavy reality. Guantanamo is still open. We're still in Iraq. We're getting further mired in Afghanistan. The recession may be easing for those at the top, but reforms to prevent it all from happening again are stillborn. It all feels like business as usual with a more rational hand at the helm
But Europe hasn't given up on us yet and this prize is said to be a downpayment; encouragement for the new president to stick to his plan, to continue efforts to create a dialogue with the rest of the world rather than to pursue an American Empire of Democracy.
I understand the motivation, but I'm not sure the Nobel committee has done us any favors. It's a symbol of approval from the rest of the world, but it will be used as a weapon by his opponents here, another example of Obama Worship that they say has no basis in reality.
It kind of feels like the Little League game where everybody gets a trophy, no matter how they played. And much as I'm in favor of cooperation over competition, giving a prize to the kid we like best seems wrong.
The Toronto Star