The prize is not just leftist fatuity, but a naked attempt to influence Obama

Here is Daniel Pipes’s view of the prize:

Even the Nobel committee’s citation does not pretend Barack Obama has actually achieved anything. Rather, it was given to him “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” That’s efforts, not achievements.

Reading carefully through the entire citation suggests that Obama is being celebrated for two reasons. Its chatter about “a new climate,” the United Nations, a “vision of a world free from nuclear arms,” and “great climatic challenges” points to his being the anti-George W. Bush.

Second, the prize committee hopes to constrain Obama’s hands vis-à-vis Iran. It lauds him for not using force: “Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.” This is obviously gibberish: whereas Bush did not use force against North Korea, Obama does not rely on dialogue in Afghanistan. But the statement does pressure Obama not to use force in the theater that counts the most, namely the Iranian nuclear build-up.

So, from the Leftist Norwegian point of view, it’s a twofer—bash Bush and handcuff Obama.

My prediction: The absurdity of the prize decision will harm Obama politically in the United States, contrasting his role as international celebrity with his record devoid of accomplishments. Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, notes that Obama “won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.” Expert to hear much more along those lines.

[end of Pipes article]

Here is the citation from the Nobel Committee. Reading it, I think Pipes’s interpretation is correct. The prize is not a recognition of accomplishment, but a scarely concealed attempt to direct America’s policy the way the Nobel Committee thinks it ought to go. It’s as though the Committee were standing over Obama’s shoulder trying to get control over Obama’s head. “We’ve given you this honor, now you must conform yourself to what we want.”

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons. [LA comments: As someone has pointed out, even while Obama calls for a nuclear free world, he has surrendered to the development of nuclear weapons by a country which has repeatedly threatens to use them to destroy another country.]

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. 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.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Oslo, October 9, 2009

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 10, 2009 01:15 AM | Send

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