Okay, so Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize.
Okay, so he ‘ain’t done squat to deserve it yet. But maybe it’s the thought that counts.
In theory the Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to be awarded to the one individual who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
To be fair, Iraq is a Bush war, not a Barack war. And even though he hasn’t , or can’t , or whatever, stop it, doesn’t mean he has not the desire to. Remember that saying “Wars are fought for the assholes who started them?” Trouble is, when you’re knee deep in the shit, it’s hard to crawl back out. Just ask Richard Nixon.
Sometimes it’s just not that easy to stop war, even when you’re funding one. Ever try to back out of a fight in the middle of one?
I mean, Controversial nominees in the past have included Adolf Hitler, Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. There’s a cheery bunch worthy of the prize, huh?
And hasn’t President Obama been nothing short of a galvanizing and peaceful figure? Hasn’t he stopped all the bullshit and yelling and gotten the attention of world leaders, turning their heads, getting the process of peace started, or at least a dialogue anyway? At least he’s a POSITIVE figure. Shouldn’t that count for something? Even when someone TALKS peace, we should listen; John Lennon said so, as insanely idealistic as he was. Love and peace start one person at a time. “Put the word PEACE in your window. What can it hurt?” he said. Indeed.
So maybe Barack Obama is that catalyst.
I’m no fool, I don’t live in a utopian fantasy world, but I do recognize a good thing when I see it, and this Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Barack Obama isn’t the worst thing to happen. Former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson won the award in 1957. As far as I know, he didn’t stop any wars, but he was a progressive peace-seeker, just like Obama. Granted, Pearson’s track record was more established; Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for helping to resolve the Suez Crisis through, among other measures, the creation of the United Nations Emergency Force. The force was the progenitor of modern peacekeeping missions. Obama, So far, has done nothing of this magnitude yet.
So you see, there are arguments on both sides.
Perhaps this award is premature. Perhaps he doesn’t deserve it, yet. But perhaps, this year at least, he is the best candidate at this particular time, who’s doing the “best work for fraternity between nations” at this particular time.
Let’s hope he lives up to it.
David Hunter, the Toronto News Desk
End note: I know this sounds impossibly idealistic, but I truly believe in positive things for positive purposes...so lets start the haggling!