Friday, October 09, 2009

The speech Obama ought to give

"I am extremely flattered by the Nobel Committee's decision, but at the same time I can't help but wonder: what have I actually done to deserve it? For far too long these awards have been given to heads of state - people like me - who have more often been obstacles to peace than proponents of it, ignoring the contributions to peaceful cooperation millions of people make in their daily lives; mothers and fathers who teach their children that no, violence is not the answer; the activists fighting alongside the downtrodden for justice; the clergy who commit their lives to helping those less fortunate. These are the people we should be honoring. So while I am flattered by the committee's decision, I must also humbly reject it, asking only that the prize be given to someone more deserving."


  1. There must be some kind of misprint. I'll bet our God-Emperor really won an Ig Nobel prize instead. Yes, that must be it.

  2. I completely agree with you Charles, but it seems as though he'll accept the Prize and force the world to listen to yet another of his famous kumbaya speeches, which the corporate media will then rave about because he enunciated all the words rather nicely. It's hard not to become a complete cynic with this type of strange event happening.

  3. You would think fighting two wars would disqualify you from winning a PEACE prize, but...

  4. Anonymous12:29 PM

    The two wars were started by the GWB administration; you don't just 'stop a war' when you get elected - anybody with any brains and knowledge of how these things work, knows that.

    As Obama puts it, it's a 'call to action' - it gives him a leg-up on carrying out his intention of bringing the troops home, but in a safe and reasonable time-line.

    Since he didn't start the wars, and has to clean up the mess GWB made, don't expect him to do this in a few months - you can't undo 8 years of damage in a blink.

    Since none of us are part of the committee who decides these things, I don't think any of us are qualified to say 'who deserves it more'.

  5. I imagine if the Nobel Committee had any members from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq -- or basically had anyone who wasn't a Northern European selected by the Norwegian Parliament -- the Peace Prize might actually have been given to someone who, you know, actually promotes peace. At the very least it wouldn't have been given to the head of the largest empire in world history.

    Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, who appears to actually have worked to further peace and reconciliation, would have been one good choice. (I interviewed her when she came to DC about a year and a half ago.)

  6. Anonymous,

    I was unaware George W. Bush had so much power -- even after leaving office! -- that he could compel Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan and expand an undeclared, illegal war in Pakistan, both actions that have killed hundreds if not thousands of civilians since he was inaugurated. It's not so much that Obama hasn't broken with the Bush foreign policy fast enough, it's that he hasn't broken with it at all.

    Also, where do you get the impression that Obama has any intention of "bringing the troops home"? More U.S. troops are occupying Afghanistan and Iraq than when Obama took office, and he is only meekly promising to follow the Bush-negotiated status of forces agreement in Iraq, which would (ostensibly) bring the troops home by 2012.

    And please, if we're not on the Nobel Committee we're not qualified to comment on its decisions? When the five Norwegians who make up the committee give up their claim to speak on behalf of the international community then maybe I'll consider you recommendation.