Friday, 9 October 2009

Say What Now?

Couldn't let today go by without mentioning how ludicrous it seems to me that Obama won the Peace Prize. Glenn Greenwald sums it up pretty well: you might just be able to get away with giving it to someone who hasn't done much yet but looks like he will, and you could even give it to someone who authorises bombing runs that have killed hundreds of civilians (I guess it all depends how much "peace" was generated elsewhere), but it's pretty difficult to swallow both at once.

Still, it's not like they could ever have gotten worse than Kissinger, right?

Update: Steve Benen points out that the Nobel Peace Prize is sometimes awarded in order to support ongoing efforts towards peace, rather than for successfully attaining it. Maybe, but colour me unconvinced. The post mentions the fact that Desmond Tutu was awarded the prize ten years before apartheid was entirely abolished in South Africa. This fails to take into account that Tutu was already twelve years into his struggle by that point [1]. It's been less than five years since Obama even reached the US Senate, and whilst he apparently worked on the non-proliferation issue even then, no-one was discussing the value of that push back before he set his sights on the White House.

[1] Full disclosure: I know almost nothing about that particular period in history, and have gained the twelve years figure from Wikipedia; so treat it with caution.

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