Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Ignoble Nobel- Vol 2

President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to decrease the world's nuclear arsenal. The Committee also noted Obama's efforts to solve the world's complex problems. Now I'm as big a fan of Barack Obama as the next guy, but I'm not sure which I find more ludicrous, the fact Obama won the prize or the reasons for giving it to him.
President Obama came to power on a wave of hope and jubilation the likes of which has not been seen in world history. But the truth is that less than one year into his term some of that halo is beginning to fade away. Mind you, most of it is not his fault. He's an extremely talented and sincere man doing a near impossible job. And he's not been doing it for long enough for any of his much debated and criticized efforts to bear any real fruit. So the committee that praises his efforts to solve the world's complex problems needs to take a good look at the world again. I'm not sure which of those problems has become any less problematic than it was last November when Obama won.
As for the citation regarding his efforts to reduce the world's nuclear arsenal, America still has the world's largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, still has not ratified the CTBT and has rewarded Pakistan's freeing of A Q Khan with more cash in aid. Yes, he initiated a debate on the subject, put non-military options with Iran back on the table and has not lashed out yet at North Korea. All very good, but Nobel prize good??!! Really!! It seems to me that someone on the Nobel Committee decided that they could use some of the rockstar like popularity that Obama brings to the table or they just decided to suck up to the USA. If it was rockstar appeal they were after, I submit Paul Hewson aka Bono as an alternative candidate. He's done some real good work, has been active for much longer than Obama has and here's the clincher, he's a real rockstar. If on the other hand they were just sucking up to the US Goverment, well then, all I have to say is, "Very good choice."
For us Indians, Obama's prize also brings back that never ending question about the Nobel peace prize. Why was The Mahatma never given the prize? To which we can now forevermore add, " Is Barack Obama greater even than Mahatma Gandhi?" Well the committee sure seems to think so.

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