Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Prize Committee Back From Future, Maybe?

I don't want to spend too much time on this Nobel Prize nonsense, but there are a few points worth mentioning. First of all, the correct response to Obama's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize seems pretty obvious to me. Say, "Congratulations, but this seems kind of premature, doesn't it?" and move on.

That, of course, is not what's happening. Erick Erickson--the son so uninspiring they named him twice--made a hilarious joke about institutional oppression, and how it's not a big deal except to pussy-ass liberals. He made a hilarious and very intelligent joke/point today:

"I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news."

Hahaha, oh boy that's rich and smart. You see, Erick(2)son makes the correct point that a black man could never win a Nobel Peace Prize except out of White Pity, which is also true about the accomplishments of oppressed classes in general. Erick(2)son believes what I wrote in that last sentence, and finds it hilarious, because he a hateful, empty man.

Then, on what is aggravatingly called "the other side"--which is to say the Democrats, even though what's on "the other side" of the GOP is something far, far to the Left of the Democratic Party--engaged in some equally idiotic hyperbole. From the War Room:

""The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists – the Taliban and Hamas this morning – in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement referring to Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's criticism of the award."

Come on, now. For one thing, that kind of empty, Bush-era rhetoric doesn't mean anything; it is childish and stupid. Not to mention that simplistically equating Hamas with evil is horribly reductive, which is an ironic thing to do on the day Obama is being honored (rightly or wrongly, which we'll get to in a minute) for working for peace. One can't help but think that referring to the elected government in Gaza as evil and scary isn't doing much to elevate the dialogue in the region.

The reactions aside, bestowing this award upon Obama is completely unwarranted, and I find the Nobel Peace Prize committee's actions both irresponsible and potentially destructive. Though it is true that America is now "the most admired country in the world"--a fact that, frankly, I find astonishing and depressing, to put it mildly--it is also true that we are a country occupying two Muslim countries, participating with eyes wide open in the occupation of a third (Palestine), and reserving our "right" to bomb into oblivion a fourth (Iran). (I stole "right" with quotes from GG--it's just too accurate not to use)

We have no serious plan or motivation to leave Iraq, and this week Obama claimed that an immediate withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan was not even being considered. Though Obama has called for the growing of Israeli settlements to cease, he has not called for the removal of all settlements from Palestine. Despite Israel's continued refusal to follow the wishes of the Obama administration, aid continues to flow there. Recently, Mahmoud Abbas, under heavy pressure from the US and Israel, abandoned the "resolution requesting the Human Rights Council to forward Judge Richard Goldstone's report on war crimes in Gaza to the UN Security Council for further action." This tells Israel, loud and clear, that the Obama administration doesn't want to hold them accountable for the massacre of Gaza that happened last year. Not to mention that the Obama administration hasn't taken the appropriate steps involved in attempting to restore the democratically elected leader of Honduras to his rightful place, as requested by the OAS and the EU. But none of that is being talked about today.

That's the danger in all this hoopla. If the behavior of the Obama administration is rewarded on the global stage, after a week that has delivered horrible news from both Afghanistan and Palestine, then what reason do we have to believe that the continuing aggression and occupations will come to an end? Unmanned drones continue to kill civilians in Pakistan, yet the commander-in-chief gets to play the pacifist. Obama correctly said in his acceptance speech that he,

do[es] not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.

That's fine, but they don't give out the Nobel Prize for Literature based on a promising synopsis. It would be insane to think of an author saying, "this prize will really spur me on to finish my novel." Well, yeah, ok, but I thought that's what the goddamn prize was for in the first place. Why is it less important to have actually accomplished things when we're talking about human lives?

I haven't listened to today's Democracy Now! yet, but my guess is that many of the same sentiments expressed here will show up there. Naomi Klein and Tariq Ali--both of whom are absolutely invaluable as critics--are guests. That can be heard here.

As but one humble suggestion for who the prize could've gone to instead, browse the website for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. I heard a woman from that organization speak the other night, and it was informative and enlightening. And as far as I know, their organization isn't occupying any sovereign countries.

1 comment:

The Leez said...

Nobel invented dynamite, so it kind of makes sense that his prize would go to a man that blows up other countries. But the peace one? Really?