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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

From SNL to Stockholm

From SNL to Stockholm

The Saturday Night Live parody of President Barack Obama was funny because it is true.  Even liberals can smile at the lack of any substantive “accomplishment” by the new Administration.  Conservatives can join in the laughter and, at the same time, breathe a sigh of relief.  

Thus far the ill-conceived government takeover of the health care system is stumbling.  The job killing Cap and Trade (cap and tax?) legislation dealing with an ever more scientifically dubious “climate change” issue (formerly “global warming”) seems to be going nowhere.  The big political payoff to the union bosses’ “card check” bill has been checked.  

The troops are still in Iraq and the President is “committed” to the war in Afghanistan.  Guantanamo is not closed.  The Patriot Act is still in place.

Just what is it that justifies giving the Nobel Peace Prize to an unaccomplished, new President who has served less than 9 months in office?

Perhaps it is just as FOX anchor Chris Wallace has said, “He’s not George Bush.”
What great fun!  The Nobel Peace Prize committee has provided comic relief for decades.  With only a few exceptions, the list of Nobel Peace Prize recipients reads like a “Who’s Who” of nut cases and screw balls:
  1. 1925 – Austen Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who made a deal with Hitler that sold out parts of Eastern Europe for “peace in our time.”  Appeaser without parallel.
  2. 1927 – Ludwig Quidde, German Parliament Member who attended various peace conferences designed to end future wars in Europe.  So very nice.
  3. 1929 – Frank Kellogg, ex US Secretary of State who successfully got the European nations and the US to sign a pact outlawing war.  That obviously worked well.
  4. 1931 – Nicholas Butler, President of Columbia University, for promoting the Briand Kellogg Pact.  Another brilliant choice.
  5. 1934 – Arthur Henderson, former English Foreign Secretary and Chairman of the League of Nations Disarmament Conference.  Stopped WWII.  Well, maybe not.
  6. 1935 – Carl Ossietzky, journalist and pacifist, first cousin of Adolph Hitler (I made that last part up). 
Note there were no Peace Prize awards between 1939 and 1944.  Just too much peace had broken out all across Europe and around the globe thanks to the Nobel Peace Prize awardees.
  1. 1950 –Ralph Bunche, Harvard professor who brought peace to Palestine.  Oops.  Maybe not.
  2. 1959 – Phillip Noel-Baker, English MP, “life-long ardent worker for international peace and co-operation.”  Me see no evil, me hear no evil, me do no evil.
  3. 1962 – Linus Pauling, with a great peace plan:  Let’s unilaterally disarm the US in the hopes that the Soviet Union will follow suit. 
  4. 1973 – Le Duc Tho, North Vietnam, for negotiating the Vietnam peace accord in 1973, which North Vietnam (who brought about the war through aggression in the first place) proceeded to break.  Great choice, guys.
  5. 1982 – Alva Myrdal, Swedish writer about peace.  How nice.
  6. 1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev, USSR dictator who presided over the break up the Soviet Union (another peacemaking organization) brought about by Ronald Reagan.
  7. 1994 – Yasser Arafat, the pistol packing Chairman of the PLO terrorist organization. 
  8. 2001 – Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, Mr. “Skim a little off the top for me and my family.”
  9. 2002 – Jimmy Carter, the fellow who successfully destabilized both the Middle East and Latin America when he was President.  The nice touch was his trashing the US and George Bush in his acceptance speech.
  10. 2007 – Al Gore, for something or other.  Inventing tin hats with antennas on them?  Founding the Flat Earth Society?  Something great, I’m sure.
Although this list only covers a few of the nut cases and screwballs who have received the Nobel Peace Prize, I do want to note that on rare occasions the Nobel Committee got it right.  Some of their better choices include Lech Walesa (1983), Mother Teresa (1979), and Andrei Sakharov (1975), along with a few other truly notables.

All things considered, I think that the selection of Barack Obama in 2009 is a good choice.  It is in keeping with the common sense and practical approach of the majority of past recipients.  The President should feel quite comfortable in the company of such distinguished and successful peacemakers.

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