Friday, October 09, 2009

Charles Crawford on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

The retired British diplomat on the first American President since Jimmy Carter to win the honor:
Here is the citation for President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. One line stands out:

His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.


Michael Binyon gets in an early wallop.

John Miller at The Corner notes that nominations for this award had to be in by 1 February 2009, so Obama wins on the basis of 10 days' work!

On the substance, I always thought that democratic leaders should respond to the values and attitudes of those who elected them, not those who don't. My bad.

How do we assess the Values and Attitudes shared by the 'majority of the world's population'?

It looks like a safe bet to say that (for example) they are for the death penalty and generally homophobic. So does Obama represent them?

If a majority of the planet in a global poll voted to abolish Israel or indeed the USA, would Obama represent them?


The good news here is that to try to save a flagging Presidency sooner or later President Obama will order a tough response to some or other outrage against civilisation somewhere on Earth, and then these simpering Euro-weeny Nobelists will be left looking utterly ridiculous.

Update: a reader wittily proposes a posthumous Nobel Peace award to Neville Chamberlain.

The point being that the Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions. Delivering real progress on peace and disarmament requires not only la few days' worth of lofty rhetoric in that direction, but years of patient and wily and skilled work.

And, perhaps, some tough work which does not easily accord with the Values and Attitudes of the majority of the world's population.

Which we'll be able to asertain with great accuracy once all of them have a free vote for their own leaders and a free media so that rival views can be explored and debated.

In other words, not for a very long time.

An award which at best is a tad premature?