BO won the 2009 Nobel Prize. Seriously. Upon first hearing the news as I shuffled into the kitchen to put on some coffee, I was stunned. A true “wtf? moment.” But then as the coffee brewed and my cats were eating their breakfast (I’d lost my appetite), I realized that this is not that surprising. I mean Al Gore and Jimmy Carter have won it (Carter probably does deserve his, to be fair, for his post-presidency work) in recent years, so what does it really mean? Does it mean that you’ve made a significant contribution to global peace by (say) ending the Cold War or tearing down the Berlin Wall or helping set up a democratic government in a former totalitarian regime? Of course not. Only evil warmongers do that sort of thing.
One has to wonder if the Nobel committee wasn’t thinking about Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the war on terror; I mean, BO hasn’t done a damn thing yet except waffle, waver, give hundreds of speeches, make his apology tour, and jet off to Copenhagen. They know that he’s currently considering what course to take, whether to troop up or get out of Afghanistan, and I wonder if they thought this might be an “incentive” to walk away. What other reason could they possibly have for awarding him the Nobel Prize?
Let’s review some of the accomplishments of the sitting presidents who have won this once-esteemed prize:
Woodrow Wilson (D): tried unsuccessfully to keep us out of WWI, did manage to keep us out until 1917 with his “neutrality” policies, finally woke up and decided that “the world must be safe for democracy,” shipped off sufficient forces to end the war in under a year (and this while the majority of our forces succumbed not to enemy fire but to the influenza epidemic). Set up the famous Fourteen Points which morphed into the Treaty of Versailles, and established the League of Nations (which we never joined, but he did it nonetheless). He also, in his spare time, set up the Federal Reserve and established Mother’s Day in 1914.
Theodore Roosevelt (R): Rough rider legends aside, Roosevelt was a shrewd politician. His “speak softly and carry a big stick” form of diplomacy was very successful and helped him negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War and establish peace in the Americas. He established the Department of Commerce, and he negotiated peace in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Morocco, He was behind the building of the Panama Canal, and he established the U. S. Forest Service to focus on maintaining, conserving, and preserving our National Parks.