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The Affirmative Action Nobel


All my life, said Voltaire, I have had but one prayer: "O Lord, make my enemies look ridiculous. And God granted it."

In awarding the Nobel Prize for Peace to Barack Obama, the Nobel committee has just made itself look ridiculous.

Consider. Though they had lead roles in ending a Cold War lasting half a century, between a nuclear-armed Soviet Empire and the West, neither Ronald Reagan nor John Paul II ever got a Nobel Prize.

In 1987, Reagan negotiated the greatest arms reduction treaty in modern time, the INF agreement removing all Soviet SS-20s and all U.S. Pershing and cruise missiles from Europe.

Other than hosting the "Beer Summit" between Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police and Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, what has Obama done to compare with what these statesmen did to make ours a more peaceful and better world?

What has Obama accomplished to compare with what the other sitting presidents to receive the Nobel Prize accomplished?

Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 for the Portsmouth Treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese War. Woodrow Wilson won the 1919 Nobel Prize for getting Germany to accept his 14 Points as the basis for an armistice that ended the bloodiest war in all of European history.

And what about Richard Nixon?

In 1972, he made his historic trip to China, ending a quarter century of hostility, negotiated SALT I with Leonid Brezhnev, limiting ICBMs, and ended U.S. involvement in Vietnam. True, Nixon persuaded Hanoi to sign the Paris Peace Accords only after 13 days of "Christmas bombing."

Yet that did not deter the Nobel committee from giving the 1973 prize to Henry Kissinger and Hanoi 's Le Duc Tho.

Early in the week his award was announced, Obama snubbed the Dalai Lama, the 1989 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who has spent 50 years as a courageous voice for the rights of his Tibetan people, who have endured half a century of Chinese communist repression and cultural genocide. Which of these — the Dalai Lama or Barack Obama — seems more deserving of a Nobel Prize for Peace?

Since the news broke, the president has been a national object of mockery and mirth. In fairness, this is not his fault. There is no evidence he lobbied for the prize; no evidence he knew it was coming.

"Is this April Fools' Day?" said one startled aide.

In accepting, Barack was properly humble, saying that he did not belong in the company of previous recipients, that he would try to live up to the expectations his Nobel had created.

It is the members of the Nobel committee who have made fools of themselves and further devalued their prize, if that is still possible.

For how many Americans could, without Google, identify Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Muhammad Yunus and Martti Ahtisaari? Who are they? The 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 winners of the Nobel Prize for Peace.

In that company at least, Barack, for his willingness to talk to America's adversaries and enemies, is not outshone.

Indeed, looking down the list of other recipients in this decade — Jimmy Carter in 2002, Muhammad ElBaradei in 2005, Al Gore in 2007 and Obama — the committee should probably rename it the Nobel Prize for Peace ... and Stick-It-to-George Bush Trophy.

By 2002, Carter, who should have been included in the 1978 Nobel that went to Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat for the Israeli-Egyptian peace he brokered at Camp David, had become a global pest, bedeviling Bush, as he did Bill Clinton, in violation of the tradition of ex-presidents, all the while accomplishing nothing.

While the International Atomic Energy Agency was right about no atomic weapons or programs in Iraq, ElBaradai himself regretted not having been more courageous in opposing the war. As for Gore, his prize was the committee's way of providing publicity for a campaign against global warming that is a front for the latest scheme to advance world government.

As for Obama, he got the award because he is the quintessential anti-Bush. Yet, the Nobel committee did him no service.

They have brazenly meddled in the internal affairs of the United States. They have reinforced the impression that Obama is someone who is forever being given prizes — Ivy League scholarships, law review editorships, prime-time speaking slots at national conventions — he did not earn. They have put him under moral pressure to mollify a pacifist left. They have brought him to the point, dangerous in politics, where a man becomes the butt of reflexive jokes, as did Bill Clinton in the Monica affair.

These Norwegian groupies, acting out of "adolescent adulation," writes the Financial Times, have exposed themselves as "an annex to the left wing of the U.S. Democratic Party" with a "deeply misguided act" that will "embarrass (Obama's) allies and egg on his detractors."

The committee did something else. They ensured that their Nobel Peace Prize will never be taken as seriously again as once it was.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at



2 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... The peace prize this year was substitution of hope for reality... The reality is that as much as any king, or emperor, the president is the prisoner of his circumstances, which, because of our natural, and national insanity, have been badly managed... We would not now face a world that wants to kill us all, even to the child in the womb if we had guided our behavior by the statement in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal... We have let our wild economy take us for a ride, and have squandered the resources of the world in the process...We have let enough of the world into our universities so the rest now know how we are living on all of our theft... We all use God to cover our personal and social immorality, but it fools no one... And then we do stupid stuff like starting wars against countries on the excuse of individual criminality... We do not know our limits, but this military failure has shown us what they are in a hurry... It was not as much the oppulant life styles of the Romans that brought them down, but trying to be cops and slave catchers around their world...How long does anyone think that we will buy all this niggardliness of our government in this land while they squander all good will, and all our money trying to protect what we no longer have... We are going broke...We are losing all our wealth and property while the government looks away, and it dare not tax the rich to pay for the wars they start... Mr. Obama is having a smoke in a fireworks factory...He does not have a free hand, and his general staff, and the whole officer corp would like to run this place... I would not give him the peace prize...I would give him the booby prize... Only one thing will make this country be what it should always have been... We need to tear it down, save what we can, and build a beacon to humanity in a fortress to human freedom with what is left...If we were a horse, our question would be, how long can we wait for our rider to get us to food and water, and when will we be forced to buck them off, and leave them for dead... Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:00 AM

As a boy of the 50's & 60's, I feel like Rip VanWinkle upon his awakening. Nothing at all makes sense anymore.
Black is white...up is down..a Marxist is in the Oval Office.
When I heard that Obama had been awarded the Nobel, I was at first shocked witless. Then, I felt steamed. Then I harkened back to that bastion of all that is good in this world, Albert Gore, another "deserving" recipient. At least there is recent precedent for awarding the Nobel to the undeserving. Then, bingo, it occurred to me that this Nobel was nothing more than an attempt to bribe this year's recipient into being yet more passive and appologetic for "his Country". I have never been more embarrassed for my Country, nor disdainful of this "peace prize".
Chip Martin
Comment: #2
Posted by: Chip Martin
Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:27 AM
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