Saturday, October 10, 2009


I'm having a mooch day. No writing (except for this, of course), no editing, just mooching.

It's raining, again. For the eighth day in a row. Yesterday, following work, I got down on my hands and knees and cleaned out the frelling street drain. Chockers, it was, of leaves, sticks, gravel and earthworms. Pulled a gor'amed muscle, too.

So, today, it's mooch day. My TBR pile is getting out of control. Time to cut it down by one or two.

* * *

Oh, a little rant:

Okay, under what criteria does President Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? Where are the long-term examples of peace-making?

"for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" Nobel cites, and yet, he's done nothing to stop North Korea or Iran from their aims at gaining nuclear technology. Empty rhetoric and lecturing the rest of the world as if we're naughty children doesn't count in my book. Let's not forget the inaction on Afghanistan, the failure to support Iranian protesters, the ill-informed judgement on Honduras, the arm-twisting on 'global stimulus initiatives', lecturing Israel, the naive flitting off to Copenhagen, the acting like a popstar in foreign countries and apologising for America's past indiscretions.

Was there no-one with more visible impact? Morgan Tsvangerai for trying to rebuild his country with peaceful reconciliation in Zimbabwe for example? Doctors sans Frontiers?

Is this a popularist vote? He's been President for eight months and I've seen nothing to warrant this kind of award. If anything, he's reduced America's global influence. You don't get a peace prize for continuing conflicts, you get it for ending them.


Pandababy said...

As the Nobel committee observed, some of the Peace Prize awards are for performance and some are for encouraging future action, and this is more in the latter category.

As Obama said, there are many more worthy. He is donating the one and a half million dollar award that comes with the Peace Prize to charity. I have to admire someone who is so willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Jaye Patrick said...

It's not the money - though it will come in handy for many charities.

This couldn't have come at a worst time for President Obama, and I think the attempted manipulation of him by the Nobel committee is appalling.

Does Obama try to live up to the Award's reputation, or send more troops? Does he keep talking to North Korea, Iran, Israel when those countries pay lip service to him and maintain their agendas, with increasing violence?

Would the committee have made the same decision if Hilary was President?

Pandababy said...

I agree this may send the wrong message to belligerent new nuclear powers such as Iran and North Korea, however the chances of those countries negotiating in good faith was practically nil anyway, and there is always hope that the Peace Prize will give added gravitas to Obama's efforts among other countries, whose collective will can be imposed upon the aforementioned belligerent powers.

Intellectually, there is more substantial history in Obama's resume than his detractors want to admit, yet not enough to support an award on anything but encouragement for future action, such as when the Peace Prize was awarded to Desmond Tutu, long before he had accomplished his goal of ending apartheid.

Does the Nobel committee then get applause for its track of far-seeing awards in the past? or raspberries because some people don't believe Obama will live up to the award in his future? (and then there are those who don't want him to live up to it, the war profiteers, the power-mongers, the rich who wish to keep their 'entitlements'...)

Jaye Patrick said...

What bothers me is the hypocrisy and political motivations; the subtle nod to Obama for what he might do and what the Norwegians want him to do, not what he has done.

Bill Clinton ended the war in Bosnia quite emphatically. He said to the Serbs "if you don't lay down your weapons and stop the abuse, I'll send in the troops".

Because the UN and NATO were busily sending in unarmed peacekeepers who could do nothing but witness the atrocities, the Serbs thumbed their noses at the U.S., thinking it was all rhetoric - until they saw U.S. warplanes overhead. Then they laid down their weapons and the war ended.

Why did Clinton not be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? Because he pissed off the Europeans by going against their 'let's keep talking about this, the Serbs will see reason' appeasement. Clinton stopped the slaughter within a week. Now that is peacekeeping!

As for Desmond Tutu, he spent a lifetime trying to end apartheid and was rightly awarded the prize. It wasn't long afterwards that apartheid was gone (in theory, but not in reality).

Awarding President Obama for bringing hope to the world and opening a new era of diplomacy doesn't, in my book, constitute a reason - but it is a beginning.

Pandababy said...

With Clinton's track record of the peace talks between Israel and Palestine at Camp David, being the first to bring the leaders face to face for a meeting, and his efforts to bring peace in Ireland, and all his powerful backers lobbying for years for him to be awarded the prize, you'd think he would have won it.

I have wondered if his being the first president since WWII to bomb a European capital to cinders might have anything to do with it? 78 days of bombs landing on Belgrade - and yes, it did finally topple Milosevic.

But Europeans were upset when the electricity plants, oil reserves and other industries were blown into the Danube, and the acid rain from the fires ruined crops in other countries, such as the asparagus crop in Bulgaria which was banned throughout Europe due to contamination.

The biggest hypocrisy to me though was for NATO to use depleted uranium in the bombs. sorry but I can never accept what the West did to Belgrade and surrounding region.