Thursday, October 15, 2009

He's Neither MLK Nor Arafat/Peres

For every Martin Luther King Jr., who expressly created grand change toward peace, there’s a President Woodrow Wilson. While President Wilson did lay the framework for the League of Nations by the time he won the award, the League was not a functioning body at that time. In fact, it failed about as fast as it came into existence. Wilson, for all of his efforts, was not even able to get the US to join the League. Sure, it can be said that the United Nations arose from the ashes of the League, but I struggle to find a proper way to give President Wilson credit for that. That would be like giving credit for discovering penicillin to the person who left a cheese sandwich out overnight (that cheese sandwich story isn’t even true, but the fable fits so well here that I feel comfortable admitting to an untruth for purposes of highlighting a point. I digress…).

Additionally, it is difficult at best to fit Al Gore’s work on climate change under the umbrella of “peace.” Sure, I can make the argument (the gift and curse of law school is that I can make a logical argument for practically anything), but to do so is a fundamental stretch for sure. Furthermore, I’m not sure how Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres can be awarded anything regarding the word “peace.”

My point is that President Obama is not the first winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who’s actions have left something to be desired, and he surely won’t be the last. If his victory is in fact the direct result of an end to former President Bush’s failed foreign policies and diplomatic non-actions (if there are tea leaves here, my reading of them suggests that such an act occurred), I’m fine with that. Reasonable minds may differ.

And not to be esoteric, but the politics involved in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize places an understanding of whether President Obama “deserves” the award in the realm of ultimate subjectivity. The only objective statement that can be made at this point is that President Obama is admired and respected more by folks in other nations than in his own (shout out to the Birthers). That fact may explain the controversy in its entirety, or at least much of it.


Brother Smartness said...

"Shout out to Birthers"


joshuaaltback said...

But i hope it would be interesting...your cheese sandwich story..