Wednesday 23 March 2011

The Peace President

I wrote the following piece for another site not long after Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. I've decided to archive it here in the light of a discussion on Blog Catalogue, and in the light of recent developments on the world stage.

Those who have read my previous blogs will know that I have little time for Obama politically. Still, I can recognise that he is a clever man, a good speaker and a public figure with a warming personality. I also thought that he had a certain degree of tactical skill. The acceptance of this award proves that he has none.

Just think: how much greater he would have looked if he had declined, if he had simply thanked the committee for its generosity but said that the goals set out have still to be achieved. But he could not, because this unexpected and quixotic decision by the Nobel people came at the end of a bad period for Super Obama, capped by a humiliating personal snub by the International Olympic Committee.

I now have a deeper understanding than ever of Obama: he is no more than a celebrity president for a celebrity age, an age where style and image have triumphed over substance and results. Having failed in Copenhagen he bounced back in Oslo. As far as the X factor stakes go he is still up there with a chance.

Now a word or two about the Nobel Committee. My first reaction on hearing the announcement-after thinking it must be a spoof- was that it says nothing at all about President Obama, nothing about his achievements, and heaps about them, about the obvious political bias of these people and, I would add, their desperate attempts at political correctness. It seems obvious to me that Obama is being awarded less for what he is and more for what he is not; he is not a Republican; he is not George W Bush. I also suspect that he was awarded because he is the first black American president, which, if true, is an act of appalling condescension.

Look back on the history of this absurd prize, to whom it was given and, just as important, to whom it was not. Did you know, for example, that Ghandi was nominated five times but never recognised? Those who were recognised included such doves of peace as Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat and Menachem Begin. And now Obama joins their company, still at the outset not at the end of his career. From this point forward he has the burden of being a peace laureate who most likely will have to take his country ever deeper into war. On the domestic stage he raised expectations that he has been unable to meet. Now on the world stage impossible expectations have been thrust upon him. Who, but a fool, would accept the role of Messiah for a day?

So, there he stands, with one disappointment laid hard upon another. He is dithering over Afghanistan while Americans die; his health reform programme slips and slips; Guantanamo Bay is still open in the face of all of the liberal hopes; he has provoked a quarrel between the politicians and the generals; he looks less and less plausible. And in the midst of all this, all the domestic and foreign problems, he and Michelle had the time to slip over to Copenhagen to put their weight behind Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics, yet another failure, another sign that ‘Obama power’ does not work.

But cast down in one Scandinavian capital he was raised up in another, a form of personal compensation. He did not get the Olympics but at least he got ‘Peace.’ I rather suspect that the celebrity President has not the wit to understand that he did not get peace either, that he is unlikely ever to get peace. It’s the triumph of pious hopes over solid achievements.


  1. AFB: You do indeed cast a black cloud over the thought process of the Nobel Committee.

    As you rightly say, a man of integrity and principle would have asked them to reconsider when he left office!

  2. Obama is gonna do what he country need, even with the nobel prize of peace, he will go to war without think twice, if Usa need it, he is not a king, he is a president and he has rules to follow. I do not understand why he receive the nobel prize without do it nothing but sometimes prizes are wrong. It will be strange see a president like Obama going to the war with the nobel prize of the peace in his pocket but it was the choice of Swedish jury. A hug. Mario.

  3. Obama is a brilliant campaigner, but an abysmal president. My personal belief is that he thought he could gallivant into the White House, flash those pearly-whites, and all would be well. But he has clearly shown that without a teleprompter, and a rehearsed speech, he more closely resembles a schizophrenic with a mouthful of marbles, than a president.

    I'm sure Obama longs for his days as a Senator when he could just vote "present" (that was if he showed up to vote at all)- but now the chicken has come home to roost, and he is still playing at being the "cock of the walk". The reality is, he don't have a clue what he is doing, and I have no idea who is pulling his puppet strings. It is true that he fashions himself as a modern Messiah; however, when it comes time to face his Golgotha, my bet is he will be playing 18 holes in Palm Springs.

    Great post as always Ana!

  4. Those nutty Scandahoovians are a hoot, aren't they? Back when they were a-Viking, where did they settle - somewhere warm and pleasant like the Cote d'Azur, or Portugal? Heck no, Iceland, Greenland!, Ireland, northern England and north-west France: dank, rainy, cold . . . and full of bad-tempered yokels. Look where they live in the US: Minnesota and North Dakota - freezing their asses off and drinking themselves to oblivion so they can stomach their national dish: old dry fish-leather reconstituted to a glue with drain cleaner.

    Back in the oil-rich homeland, they pay 75 percent income tax so that EVERYONE can live on welfare, but the minimum wage has to be $100,000 a year so that the poor can afford it.

    Were you expecting a rational choice from these people?

  5. Good morning Ana,

    Below is a opinion/description of Obama I came across a couple of days ago. I wish I had thought of it first since it fits him so well.


    "These international crises are extraordinary complex and one is not necessarily identical to another. There is an army of armchair generals and diplomats who criticize our President's every move. It has been quite obvious to me that President Barack Obama has taken the time to analyze each of these foreign scenarios quite thoughtfully and carefully rather than going off "half-cocked". It is critical that he take the time to determine in each case the policy position which is in the best interest of the United States of America so that he may then do the opposite".

    Source: buckeyeman
    Mar 07, 08:50 AM

  6. Mark, thank you. Yes, I think he rather saw himself as Moses, parting the sea of Congress a the Washington bureaucracy. All is possible in the best of all Obama worlds. :-)

  7. Calvin, and their movies are so depressing!

  8. Cheech it's great to see you! That's a wonderful quote. I will check out Buckeyeman.

    I hope all is well with you.

  9. @Calvin: Conversion to christianity has turned the wulfs of Odin into sheep, not to forget socialism as well.

  10. I think Obama is one of those politicians for whom the goal was to achieve office for its own sake rather than for a purpose.

  11. Ana, it only gets worse. As I was driving home from a routine doctor's appointment this afternoon I heard something on the radio that made me both laugh and boil at the same time.

    The Obama administration, well known for using terms that won't upset their anti-war, sensitibve about everything else, base, has come up with a new term for the word, "War".

    Q But it’s not going to war, then?

    MR. RHODES: Well, again, I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone. Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end. …

    So it’s not a war; it’s a kinetic military action that is time-limited and contribution-limited on the front end.

    Here is the link to the conversation:

    By the way, Obama stopped by the White House today only to discover the locks had been changed. They thought he had left for good.

  12. Great post, Ana. I'm afraid Cheech's buckeyeman is absolutely correct. Obama's most pertinent traits are an unshakable faith in the tenets of Marxism, an innate sympathy for Islamists, & a raging narcissism. Not exactly the sterling qualities I look for in a national leader.

  13. Anthony, I would far rather forget socialism!

  14. Cheech, OMG, kinetic military action on the front end?! George Orwell must be dancing in his grave. :-))

  15. Bob, yes, I know. It's really quite frightening that this un-American American could ever have made it so far as the Whitehouse. I have visions of The Manchurian Candidate.

  16. You say "peace president", I say "peace duke"

    ( see )

  17. The premise was successful if not good, he convinced many he was not the stereotypical politician. I make an attempt to stand by his decisions, though he makes it more difficult every day. He needs to quit listening to the people that say "you can't say that" and go back to the attempt at honesty he had during the campaign.

  18. Dominic, i'll have a look at that. Thanks.

  19. KM, thank you. I'm not sure if it's solely a problem of honesty. Big promises almost always lead to small results.

  20. Ana, I hope all is well with you over there.

    We are thinking of coming to England in October.
    Maybe go to France first for a couple of days then over the channel by train or ferry.

    I have to start at a friend's house in the New Forest and then to Herfordshire to visit more friends. The wife will be taking a side trip to Chester to see one of her friends.

    I'm going to put out feelers on MY-t to see if anyone would like to meet for a pint in London. Either at the Black Lion Pub on Bayswater Road or a little place just off the underground in White Chapel. ( I know, but it's close to old Badger's home)

    Nothing is firm yet, just preliminary planning.

  21. Cheech, yes all is well. I hope you do come. You will be very welcome.

  22. Ana, we have yet another new word being used by the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe

    Adm. James Stavridis, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, told Congress that officials have seen “flickers” of possible al Qaeda and Hezbollah among the rebel forces, but at this point no evidence there are significant numbers within the group’s leadership.

    "Flickers". I'm startimng to wonder why we pay million or billions to fund our CIA.

    Either they have solid intelligence or they don't, not "flickers".

  23. Cheech, here is part of a contribution I made to an online debate three days ago, though the information I have predates this;

    Is it being reported in the States that the Libyan rebels include jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? “Il Sole 24 Ore”, an Italian newspaper, carried on interview with Abdel-Hakim al Hasidi, a Libyan militant, one who fought against the ‘foreign invasion’ of Afghanistan, who has been busy recruiting. Is it being reported that al-Qaeda have plundered military arsenals in the rebel zone, acquiring surface to air missiles amongst other things? Is anything being said about the politics of the rebels? Little or nothing, I suspect.

    Here we go again.