Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Obama’s greatest moment? Really?

Obama’s greatest moment? Really? This deserves inspection and comment to be sure. I know, more qualified people then I have already spoken to this topic but I am compelled to put my two cents in and maybe even shed some light to those of us who are unaware of some obvious facts. This is my bullshit flag raising moment for this topic.

I began my quest for information by visiting the Nobel Prize web site to gather information about past recipients, prize history, the rules for submission, and finally how the prospective winner is notified. The answers were enlightening to be sure and confirmed some of the information I had heard floating around the radio waves and the internet news agencies.

The prize was awarded to Obama for his intentions; because he represents change and hope, not for what he has actually accomplished. According to Robin Oakley, a CNN Political Contributor:

     …in the Norwegian Nobel Committee's citation that the peace prize is being awarded to Obama "for his
     extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples" and that
     they have "attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear
     weapons," and the message is clear…Unusually, this is a world statesman being rewarded not for what he
     has done but for representing a new beginning…He is being rewarded not for solid achievement but for
     creating new hope -- in effect, for not being Bush.

Now, with that being pointed out, the rules of the organization are driven by the will of the late Alfred Nobel. His will states, “The prize for peace was to be awarded to the person who "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses." The prize was to be awarded "by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting" (Geir Lundestad, Secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, 1990 - 15 March 2001). So, is he awarded the prize correctly or no? Just askin’.

I have also heard that he was surprised and unaware that he had been nominated for the coveted prize. Although I have not found any hard evidence that is incorrect, I must admit I find that allegation to be dubious at best. I base my assumption on the fact that Rush Limbaugh was nominated last year and he knew about his nomination soon afterward. Also, how many people can honestly believe Washington DC is capable of keeping a secret such as this from their messiah?

People have asked who makes the decision after nominations are made. That is simple, a five person panel made up entirely of Norwegians. This was stipulated in Mr. Nobel’s will also. “Although there was nothing in the statutes that prevented the Storting from naming international members, the members of the Nobel Committee of the Storting (as the committee was called until 1977) have all been Norwegians from the very beginning” (Para 1; then to “FAQ”, then link below third paragraph “The Nobel Peace Prize 1901-2000”).

The problem, I feel, with creating an international panel, setting the potential for political interests to block better judgment, is the rules will become convoluted and cumbersome because they will have to determine some sort of values and objectives that the entire panel can agree on and then judge the nominees’ against that long list of rules to by-laws. I don’t know, I suppose they could wade through those waters successfully but to date no one has seen the need to press the issue. I would surmise that the reason is more than likely because the panel tends to lean toward the left of center and western values so the “civilized world” accepts the panels judgment…normally. There have been other “winners” that have met with a lot of controversy but bone that I have been able to find that were awarded the prize for intentions. According to the Nobel Prize web site,

     The values that underpinned the Nobel Peace Prize were concretely defined by Norwegians, but they
     were part of a wider Scandinavian and Western context. They represented the Norwegian version of
     Western liberal internationalism. Thus, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has been a strong believer in
     international organizations, from the Inter-Parliamentary Union to the League of Nations and the United
     Nations. (Para 6; then to “FAQ”, then link below third paragraph “The
     Nobel Peace Prize 1901-2000”).

     In another quote by the same source,

     In my opinion, the prize would never have enjoyed the kind of position it has today had it not been for
     the decent, even highly respectable, record the Norwegian Nobel Committee has established in its
     selections over these 100 years (Para 2).

I agree, most of their decisions have met the criteria and have been good selections by western standards. There have been those that were very right of center and have caused people to react in wonderment also, but again, they all accomplished something. Until this rcent prize awarding, the most controversial was when a North Vietnamese negotiator turned his prize down because there was no real eace agreement made (Viet Nam war) but our negotiator Henry Kissenger did in fact take his. See 1967-1989: The Cold War and the Globalization of the Prize Para 5. then to “FAQ”, then link below third paragraph “The Nobel Peace Prize 1901-2000”.

Regardless of what one thinks or feels about the prize being given to Obama, one must consider and even wonder at any ulterior motives. I have heard it mentioned that perhaps the motive was to hobble Obama and his potential moves torward keeping troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. A kind of how can he keep what is considered by the left an “unjust” war operating. With that being said it isn’t a far stretch of the imagination to believe there are those out there who would seek to influence our nation’s foreign policy.

Below I have included the schedule/sequence of events the way the Nobel Prize is nominated and awarded and the time frame it operates within. To me even this brings suspect toward the validity of the award and the honesty of Obama and the sate run media as to whether or not he was actually “surprised to find out” he had been nominated and won the award. I have tried to represent the truthful side in this piece and I hope it has shed some light for all of us. I know I learned a few things but at the end of the day, Obama still has the prize and the 1.4 million dollar prize and his brother still lives in a mud hut in Africa somewhere wondering why his “brother” hasn’t bought Him a new house. then to “FAQ”, then link below third paragraph “The Nobel Peace Prize 1901-2000”.

"The Nobel Prize: The First 100 Years", Agneta Wallin Levinovitz and Nils Ringertz, eds., Imperial College Press and World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2001.

Below is a brief description of the process involved in selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.

September – Invitation letters are sent out. The Nobel Committee sends out invitation letters to individuals qualified to nominate – members of national assemblies, governments, and international courts of law; university chancellors, professors of social science, history, philosophy, law and theology; leaders of peace research institutes and institutes of foreign affairs; previous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates; board members of organizations that have received the Nobel Peace Prize; present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; and former advisers of the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

February – Deadline for submission. The Committee bases its assessment on nominations that must be postmarked no later than 1 February each year. Nominations postmarked and received after this date are included in the following year's discussions. In recent years, the Committee has received close to 200 different nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The number of nominating letters is much higher, as many are for the same candidates.

February-March – Short list. The Committee assesses the candidates' work and prepares a short list.

March-August – Adviser review. The short list is reviewed by permanent advisers and advisers specially recruited for their knowledge of specific candidates. The advisers do not directly evaluate nominations nor give explicit recommendations.

October – Nobel Laureates are chosen. At the beginning of October, the Nobel Committee chooses the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates through a majority vote. The decision is final and without appeal. The names of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are then announced.

December – Nobel Laureates receive their prize. The Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony takes place on 10 December in Oslo, Norway, where the Nobel Laureates receive their Nobel Prize, which consists of a Nobel Medal and Diploma, and a document confirming the prize amount.

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