Obama’s not a ‘Nobel’ choice

Published 2:28 am Saturday, October 10, 2009

Every morning, before I come in to work, I go through my normal routine of checking various news Web sites. Friday morning, I was flabbergasted to see the top story on most of those sites — and I’m sure many of you were just as shocked to see it.

“President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Price.”

Now, no matter what your opinions about the man, I find it hard to believe that anybody can defend this choice. The selection committee picked Obama based upon, “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” Big Bird and Barney the Dinosaur have done as much.

Even more bizarre is that the nomination deadline was Feb. 1, 2009, just two weeks after Obama was initially elected. All I remember him doing in that short amount of time was filling his Cabinet with tax cheats and looking for a dog.

I don’t like Obama, but if he had actually done something worthy of receiving such a prize, I would be happy for him to have received the award. Instead, it is patently obvious the Nobel committee awarded him the Peace Prize for one reason and one reason only — he’s not international pariah George W. Bush.

If Obama had already ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and closed the prison at Guantanamo Bay, then I could understand giving him the prize (even if I would have disagreed with his decisions). But we are still fighting in the Middle East, “Gitmo” is still open and Iran is moving closer and closer to becoming a nuclear threat.

And who were some of the people that Obama beat out for the medal and its $1.4 million purse? They include Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangarai, who essentially has ended the rule of brutal dictator Robert Mugabe; Hu Jia, a Chinese dissident who was jailed for speaking out against the communist regime; and Sima Samar, an Afghan doctor and activist for the rights of Muslim women. All of these have actual accomplishments and would have been much more sensible choices than Obama.

Then again, when you have a “Peace Prize” that has gone to such illuminating figures as terrorist Yassir Arafat, and yet was never awarded to Mahatma Gandhi, it’s already lost most of its luster.

That noted American philosopher, The Simpsons’ Sideshow Bob, once asked his cartoon jury, “Attempted murder? Now, honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel prize for attempted chemistry?”

Not yet, Bob. But apparently they do give one for attempted peace.