So, President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Isn't that special.
I remember thinking, this morning, as the news came that the prize would be given today, that in a thoroughly perverse world, President Obama would get it for promising things that would never happen.
Surprise, surprise, surprise.
The reason for the award?
It is to be given to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.
Key words: shall have done.
According to the Committee, he was awarded it for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.
Key words: for his extraordinary efforts
In other words, the prize is no longer given for actual achievements, but for efforts.
"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," the committee said. "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."
The committee said it attached special importance to Obama's vision of, and work for, a world without nuclear weapons.
"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," the committee said.
In other words, President Obama has received the Nobel Peace Prize for working against America's interests, for working for the abandonment of the idea of American exceptionalism, and for the idea that the US should bow to international opinion in terms of forming its policies. That those who lead must do so on the basis of the values and attitudes shared by the world, and not just those of the US: that multilaterism trumps US interests.
Which is not only extraordinarily dangerous for US interests, but if anything makes the world a more dangerous place.
Which makes the awarding of the Prize worthless.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been continually weakened and downgraded over the years, reaching a low point when Carter and Arafat won the prize. Awarding it to Al Gore for his propaganda efforts had made it quite clear that the Nobel Peace Prize has largely been made ridiculous: there are serious folks who deserve the award, who have actually achieved things, but who are not politically correct and hence would never receive one.
Now the award is purely about political correctness.
President Theodore Roosevelt truly deserved the Prize: he was the one who got the Russians and the Japanese to stop fighting in 1904. That was a right and proper awarding of the Peace Prize.
President Woodrow Wilson truly deserved the Prize: he was key to the development of the League of Nations, that first attempt at a supranational body that when it was awarded - 1919 - looked to be a real accomplishment, before the US failed to ratify the League and it collapsed under the many problems that the League labored under.
President Carter did not deserve the Prize: he was awarded it for trying to solve the problems of the Middle East, and trying isn't the same as doing. If President Carter had actually achieved peace, it would have meant something: instead his work led to further conflicts.
And now we have a President receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for simply trying to talk.
What comes next? Shall the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to those who merely have the idea of peace? It could be collectively given to all the academic pacifists in the world for wishing there was more peace and none of those mean, nasty and decidedly patriarchal wars. It's all men's fault anyway, surely that will thrill the Committee.
Pathetic: this has further cheapened a nobel sentiment. And yes, that pun was deliberate.