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The Nobel joke

Posted by Richard on October 9, 2009

Having served ten eleven days in office when nominations closed, President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I think he was nominated by Joe Biden. For being so clean and articulate.

The Nobel committee lost all credibility when they awarded the Peace Prize to the murdering terrorist Arafat. But that was disgusting. This is just so utterly absurd that you have to laugh.

UPDATE: I'd love to have been a fly on the wall when Bill Clinton got the news.

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6 Responses to “The Nobel joke”

  1. David Bryant said

    You know, I’m not going to defend the actions of the Nobel Peace Prize committee. I’m not even sure old Alfred Nobel was in his right mind when he wrote his will. Still, there are a couple of things a dispassionate observer should keep in mind.

    — The committee is composed entirely of Norwegians. From what I’ve observed of Norway’s conduct of foreign policy, they have a distinctive way of looking at the world that doesn’t always make sense to the rest of us.

    — We don’t know who nominated Obama, or exactly when. In any event, I’m sure the campaign rhetoric during 2008 had as much to do with the committee’s decision as anything that has happened since he took office. Remember, too, that he inveighed against the war in Iraq more than seven years ago. Might that fact have influenced the committee’s decision?

  2. David Bryant said

    This is a follow-up. James Taranto has some really hilarious stuff about the committee’s selection in his ”Best of the Web” column. Highly recommended if you like to laugh.

  3. Rick Shultz said

    Well let’s see now. These people have given this prize to a barbaric terrorist, and now they’ve given it to an African Colonialist

    Marxist niether one of which ever did a damn thing to deserve it. I think if I could ask them one question it would be the same

    one a hapless Southern consituant asked the Confederate Congress in a letter to them during the Civil war. “Pardon me, is the

    majority always drunk?”

  4. rgcombs said

    David, if inveighing against the Iraq war is the criterion, they should have given it to Cindy Sheehan. But I liked the Taranto column.

    Rick, they’ve also given the prize to Mikhail Gorbachev, Khofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, and Al Gore. Among the people who were nominated, but did not receive it are Winston Churchill, FDR, and Gandhi (who was nominated half a dozen times).

    Mary Katherine Hamm pointed out some of the nominees who were passed over this year in favor of Obama. I believe the first one, Afghani women’s rights activist Sima Samar, was also passed over in 2007 in favor of Al Gore.

    The Nobel Peace Prize has been a joke for some time. Might as well enjoy the laugh. George Stephanopoulos at ABC News collected what he calls the best Obama-Nobel jokes. There are better ones in the comments. But I like the line about the Beer Summit.

  5. Rick Shultz said

    You’re right Richard. The joke collection was fairly good but the comments were funnier. I’m still LMAO over the one posted by

    the guy named “joe” who said: “Was he, like, the tenth caller or something?” Now that’s funny!

  6. David Bryant said

    When the Second Continental Congress made their unanimous declaration, they spoke of “a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind”. Such respect is in critically short supply in contemporary America. Opinions ought to be grounded in facts — those that are grounded in superstition or misinformation will probably do more harm than good.

    Rick said ”These people have given this prize to a barbaric terrorist, and now they’ve given it to an African Colonialist Marxist niether” (sic) ”one of which” (sic) ”ever did a damn thing to deserve it.”

    Besides the bad spelling and the improper use of the impersonal relative pronoun, I see two errors of fact in this statement.

    — By “these people” I suppose that Rick is referring to the members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. But the composition of the committee has shifted radically since 1994, so that only one of the current committee members was directly involved in the decision to split the prize among Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasser Arafat. If Rick had checked his facts, he might have said ”this person (Sissel Ronbeck)” instead of ”these people”.

    — By ”barbaric terrorist” I suppose that Rick is referring to Mr. Arafat. But Mr. Arafat was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — in the words of the committee, he received 1/3 of the prize in 1994, as did Mr. Rabin and Mr.Peres.

    Richard said ”if inveighing against the Iraq war is the criterion, they should have given it to Cindy Sheehan”.

    I didn’t say that opposition to the Iraq war was a criterion for awarding the prize. I said that Obama’s opposition to that war might have influenced the committee’s decision. Since we’re talking about criteria, we might as well state explicitly what they are. Alfred Nobel’s will (translated into English) established two alternative criteria (“the ”’most”’ or the ”’best”’ work”) relating to three factors:

    — fraternity between nations;

    — abolition or reduction of standing armies; and

    — holding and promotion of peace congresses.

    Personally, I can’t see that Mr. Obama has done much to abolish or reduce standing armies. He has proposed reductions in the stockpile of nuclear arms, which may, in the committee’s judgment, be more or less the same thing.

    I think it’s clear that Obama has done quite a bit to promote fraternity among nations. He traveled to Europe during the primary campaign — this drew a lot of flak in the United States, but he was received enthusiastically in Berlin, in particular. He made a long speech in Egypt about establishing better relations with the Arab nations. And he did promote direct talks with the Iranians about their nuclear program, which have not yet borne any fruit, but which probably qualify as a “peace congress”.

    Richard also provided a link to [ Mary Katharine Ham’s post] about people the committee “passed over”. Now I’ve researched the nomination process carefully, and I do not believe Ms. Ham has any actual knowledge of who was nominated for the prize. The nominations are secret, and they won’t be published by the committee for fifty years. I’m not denying that the people she mentions have done outstanding humanitarian work. I am saying that her blog post is inherently misleading, because she provided the headline ”Meet the People Who Were Passed Over for Obama” as if these five people, and one coalition, were actual nominees. She doesn’t know that for a fact — the reporter for her source, The Globe and Mail, was at least careful enough to say ”A doctor, a politician and a freedom fighter were believed to be among the candidates for the prestigious Peace Prize won by Barack Obama”.

    In sum, I don’t begrudge other people their opinions. I do care about the quality of political discourse in the United States, though. Frankly, too much of it is rooted in ridicule and prejudice, and not enough of it incorporates a decent respect for the opinions of mankind.

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