Posts Tagged ‘Nobel Peace Prize’
October 12th, 2010 at 7:48 pm
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee (Finally) Gets One Right

Recently, the committee conferring the Nobel Peace Prize decided to give the award to someone who actually deserves it: jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.  Excerpts of his writings can be found in Q & A form here.  In the snippet below, Xiaobo explains the importance of continuing to pressure the Chinese regime to free its people from dictatorship:

Does your struggle for democracy in China have any significance for the rest of the world?

To eliminate the negative effects of the sudden rise of dictatorial communist China on world civilization, we must help the world’s largest dictatorship transform into a free and democratic country as soon as possible. In the great cause of global democratization, China is a key link: if China is in the game, then the game is on for everyone.

Therefore, whether to let the CPC dictatorship, which has taken more than one billion people hostage, continue to degrade human civilization, or to rescue the world’s largest hostage population from enslavement, is not only a matter of vital importance for the Chinese people themselves, but also a matter of vital importance for all free nations.

Were China to become a free country, its value to human civilization would be incalculable. It would inevitably follow in the wake of the global collapse of the Soviet Eastern European totalitarian empire to bring about another global avalanche among the remaining dictatorial systems. It would be difficult for dictatorial regimes such as North Korea, Myanmar, Cuba, and Vietnam to continue, and those Middle Eastern countries with firmly entrenched dictatorial systems would also suffer a great blow. ~ The Negative Effects of the Rise of Dictatorship on World Democratization, 2006

Now, think about this plea in light of the Obama Administration’s position that the U.S. considers human rights concerns as secondary to economic cooperation.

Do we?

H/T: MercatorNet

December 11th, 2009 at 3:47 pm
Professor Obama Goes Back to School
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Foreign Policy Initiative’s Abe Greenwald does an excellent riff on President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptace speech today on National Review’s website. The upshot: Greenwald wonders whether Obama’s stark articulation of evil’s presence in the world (and its impact on international affairs) shows a president who’s starting to rethink some of the first principles of his foreign policy.

Greenwald sees some promising signs, but still wonders whether Obama can ever fully turn the corner. In one bravura passage:

“Irving Kristol said, almost too memorably, ‘A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.’ With that definition in mind, an eminent national-security personage put this perfectly phrased query to me over the summer: ‘Is Obama too arrogant to get mugged by reality?'”

“An excellent question. What the president calls his “philosophy of persistence” looks increasingly like the vice of conceit. The new White House imperiousness explains Obama’s inability to offer full-throated praise for the Iraq War — an undertaking he staunchly opposed. It also explains his devotion to de-fanging Iran through the voodoo of his personal allure (and to his correspondent obtuseness on Iran’s democrats).”

Today’s best piece on foreign policy (apart from this one). Read it here.

November 25th, 2009 at 11:11 am
A Worthless Weekend of Presidential Travel

In spite of the dubious value of his recent trip to Asia, now comes an announcement that President Obama will be traveling to the glorified photo op that is the denuded climate change meeting in Copenhagen on his way to Oslo to pick up his Nobel Peace Prize. In both cases Obama’s presence was assured only after any meaningful criteria were removed.
The only meaningful accomplishment possible at Copenhagen is scheduling another meeting next year. And of course, no single person on the planet can claim to live in a greater state of peace after 10 months of Hope and Change. Such is the Obama approach to international relations, which is looking and sounding resolute when there is nothing able to be resolved.

October 21st, 2009 at 9:33 am
Peace at Any Price

Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal posted a great piece comparing (or rather, contrasting) President Barack Obama’s words and record on human rights. From President Obama’s recent decision to cancel an appearance at the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall to his extending money-laden olive branches to Sudan and Burma, the candidate of hope and change is summing up to be depressingly less than foreign democracy advocates anticipated.

Remember the White House’s timidity during the riots and retaliations in Iran earlier this year? There were people agitating for freedom while an American president worried what world opinion would think. Apparently, President Obama made the “right” decision, since his version of “engagement” garnered him a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s too bad that – so far – he’s more interested in securing peace with governments than peace for the people they allegedly serve.

October 15th, 2009 at 11:37 am
Boy, that Nobel Peace Prize is Already Paying Dividends
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Sane observers knew instantly that Barack Obama and his substance-free diplomacy were undeserving of this week’s Nobel Peace Prize.  But who knew that the award’s absurdity would be confirmed this quickly?

This week, in a double shot to the Obama Administration’s chin, both the Russians and Chinese undermined calls for tough new sanctions against Iran.  This is particularly embarrassing for Obama because it comes on the heels of revelations that Iran has been completing additional secret enrichment facilities, as well as the supposed “breakthrough” meeting last week between American and Iranian diplomats on the issue.  Dumping icewater on Obama’s unfounded optimism, however, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin flatly stated yesterday that it is “premature” to threaten Iran with sanctions.  And now, China has announced that it is strengthening, not reducing, its cooperation with Iran.

Russia and China constitute two of the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members, meaning that any substantive penalty against Iran for its continuing mendacity and misbehavior is unlikely.  Perhaps another Nobel Peace Prize next year will do the trick, though…

October 9th, 2009 at 12:34 pm
How “Mad Men” Relates to Obama’s Coronation as Prom Queen of the “Virtual World”
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This week, the fictional character Don Draper from AMC’s critically-acclaimed series Mad Men was somehow named the Most-Influential Man of 2009 by  That’s right – a nonexistent man is somehow the year’s most influential.

So what does this have to do with Barack Obama and his coronation as Global Prom Queen this week by the Nobel committee?  Lots.

Just as a fictional character has somehow attained the title of most-influential man, a President who has done absolutely nothing to achieve actual peace in the world has just won the Nobel Peace Prize after just nine months in office.  Indeed, last February’s Nobel nomination deadline meant that Obama was nominated no more than 11 days into office. 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy captured the essence of this absurdity last month when he mockingly referenced Obama’s “virtual world.” But as Sarkozy also pointed out, we don’t live in that virtual world – we live in the real world.  And by repeating mindless platitudes about ridding the world of nuclear weapons, Obama ignores the very real danger of nations like Iran rapidly acquiring them.  It’s possible that Obama’s Nobel will prove to be nothing but a bizarre, humorous footnote when we look back, but Sarkozy’s observation reminds us that living as if we’re in a virtual world can have dangerous implicaitons for the real world.

October 9th, 2009 at 9:25 am
Reagan Won the Cold War Without Firing a Shot… But No Nobel
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“This is the first time the award is given for wishful thinking.”

Those were the words of Israeli Knesset member Danny Danon upon receiving word that Barack Obama won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Who knew that Saturday Night Live’s parody of Obama admitting that he had done absolutely nothing so far in office would prove so prescient?

This bizarre and absurd decision by the Nobel committee, of course, follows earlier awards to such towering architects of peace as PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in 1994…  Six years before he commenced the bloody intifada against Israel in 2000.  In contrast, Ronald Reagan led the free world to victory in the Cold War without firing a shot against the Soviet Union, freeing hundreds of millions of human beings and ending the looming threat of a global nuclear holocaust, but never seemed to gain sufficient esteem within the minds of the Nobel committee.  One can only speculate about the true basis on which this now-discredited award is given, but it certainly isn’t for tangible results in achieving peace.  If that was the basis, they could just as easily rename it the Reagan-Thatcher-Pope John Paul II Peace Prize.