Saturday, October 10, 2009

BTW, Congratulations Mr. President

You see I've been spending time arguing that the 2009 Nobel Peace Price recipient, President Barack Obama, is a good one. The gist of the counter argument seems to be that the award is simply premature. I'd say to a certain degree, yes, it is. However, President Obama has already fostered an amazing environment on the international political scene because he says that the USA is ready to work with the world again. (The only problem with that is the next president of the USA could be another idiot on the international politics front and mess it all up again.) Also, amongst Americans I saw some pretty amazing things that I thought I'd never see including a fair number of people crossing party lines to vote for him. Also, just having the energy of positivity and hope back to the USA was nice to see.

There are also practical things like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the gradual drawing down of US troops in Iraq. We've still got plenty of challenges like how to handle the war in Afghanistan. However, all three of these things: Guantanamo Bay, the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan are things he didn't start. He inherited them. It takes time to make errors on a massive scale like this but it also takes time to fix.

My critique of the other side is that it's the same negative and cynical vision that the USA has had for the last 7 or so years. When you take a negative view of human nature and expect that worst, usually, that's what you get. The people on the other side of the debate, of course, are heartily offended that I've said that. I say it because that's how I see it.

When you don't look at the history of the Nobel Peace Prize in the context of previous winners, you can miss that other people in the midst of their incredible work got the prize. My belief is it's done in those context to give the people momentum and to encourage them to keep up the good fight. Sometimes they fail and, unfortunately, there is a big hateful group of people who want to see Obama fail.

Even if you aren't against Obama, you can still think that the award is premature. However, I'm noticing that there are people who really don't know the history of the award and don't know this has been done before. In fact, it's been done by the Nobel Prize committee many times before. For all of those saying that now the award has no value, then the award hasn't had value for a long time.

Rachel Maddow, whose got a great show but whose podcast I've stopped watching, summed it up nicely. I guess I resubscribe now too ;) (the link takes you to the iTunes page, so don't click it if it's not installed on your computer.)

Thanks Rachel.

More links:

Newsweek: Obama Not First Surprising Nobel Peace Prize Winner: Seven Controversial Recipients

(yes, the code, still buggy and me, still busy...the "Read More" link is just there for show and confusion)

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  1. I had similar things to say about this whole thing:

  2. I don't see this "read more" link you keep talking about..

  3. Ms. Cho,

    If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? My answer has always been a very firm "yes" because I don't think that a human has to experience anything to make something real ;)

    It's the same here. You're accessing my blog through direct links, and you're not clicking around from the main page.

    If you go straight to the blog, you won't see it. You're hitting my blog through links maybe via Facebook or Twitter.

    However, if you go straight to the blog's main page, it shows up there. Try it.

  4. Thanks for the comment Kelsey!

    That's the thing. You're welcome to think it was premature.

    I think it was premature but not inappropriate considering the climate he's fostered and the actions he's taken thus far.

    I find a lot of the people screaming about this don't even know that Desmond Tutu got his Nobel Peace Prize 10 years before apartheid was abolished.

    As the commenter on your blog mentions (or, in his words, given to warmongers), there have also been awards where the goal wasn't reached. Is the award only for accomplishments or can it also be for massive efforts? It's definitely for effort.

    Maddow mentioned Carl von Ossietzky, the man who won it because he was fighting against the rise of Hilter. He lost his fight and Hilter went on to cause a worldwide war, but the fact that he stood up against what he saw rising up in his nation is significant.


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.