Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Misplaced Praise

It has become more and more difficult to surprise the American people with the praise that President Obama has been receiving from the international community, but it appears that there are still groups out there that are willing to rise to the challenge. This last Friday, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It would not have been a surprise if the award had come a year from now, and many of Obama opponents would have agreed with the decision to award the prize to the current sitting president. The President has done many good thing in bring the world together. For example, the President recently spoke to the UN General Assembly in which he called for a new era in international cooperation. The one thing that really has many Americans concerned is the fact that these efforts have been just that, recent.

To receive a Nobel Peace Prize, you must be nominated. Those nominations are due by February 1st, only two week after the President took office. Are there really that many people that believe that the President accomplished enough goals to be awarded the Peace Prize in a meager two weeks?

Let us take a step back in time and think about what was happening in January. If you leave out the pomp and circumstance that is associated with the inauguration of a President of the United States there was a substantial list of things that needed to be done on the domestic front that were considered a much higher priority than international relations. The housing market had collapsed and along with it, the entire economy. Jobs were being lost, the Auto-Industry was on the brink of collapse, and the government was scrambling to pass a trillion dollar piece of legislation to try to prevent the country from entering a second Great-Depression, not to mention the thousands of positions that needed to be fill in President Obama's Cabinet. The President did not have the time to focus on international peace. The only thing he did was call the Heads-of-State of our allies.

It is clear that the President is a celebrity on the international stage. The last time that it was news that the President was taking his wife too dinner on their anniversary was back when John F. Kennedy was President. It seems that all the international community cares about is that of his celebrity status and keeping Obama's reputation clean in the international community.

Do not misunderstand, this was not the fault of President Obama or should he be personally ridiculed for the award. Rather, we should be concerned with the fact that those lacking basic requirements are being awarded the most respected award in the world, and suspect of the political motivation of those who give the award. They admit that the award was given in a political move, but does that undermine the underlying intentions of the awards?

That is a question that is not so easy to answer.

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