Obama receives an ‘A’ for effort, nothing more
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By Artie Phillips
The first sitting president to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for his work in the negotiation resulting in the Treaty of Portsmouth that led to the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.
The second sitting president to win the prize was Woodrow Wilson in 1920 for his in founding the League of Nations the year before.
On Oct. 9, 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for absolutely nothing.
Actually, that is not an entirely accurate statement. The Nobel Prize committee officially gave Obama the award for his “efforts” and “promises” to advance global harmony, not for any concrete achievements like previous winners.
Granted, not all winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have won for something tangible: Martin Luther King Jr. won the prize in 1964 for his leadership in bringing equality to a racial minority in a peaceful manner. But at least when King won the prize, the world could see evidence of his accomplishments. He had clearly affected the world in a positive manner, and he was being duly rewarded for his efforts.
Obama, however, has achieved the peace prize with just a few promises and some poignant speeches, not with clear evidence that his words have gotten him anywhere.
That’s not to say Obama isn’t working hard. We can’t know at this point if his efforts will amount to anything. If his words and promises had already swayed the hearts and minds of billions, then this would not be an issue. But awarding the president the Nobel Peace Prize when he hasn’t even held the position for a full year yet leads people to believe that the prize committee may have jumped the gun on this one.
It would not have hurt anyone to wait year or two to see if Obama can make good on his words. But now, winning the peace prize could be the worst thing the president has going for him. For instance, if he doesn’t manage to further the cause of global harmony, no one in this world will hold high hopes for him to accomplish much of anything else during his term of office.
His winning of the Nobel Peace Prize will be viewed as unjustified, and the world will look down on him for it, despite his complete lack of choice in being awarded the prize.
Obama’s words got him into the problem he now faces, but it is going to take a lot more than a few persuasive speeches to make good on his promises. Occasionally, words do manage to speak louder than actions, but words without action mean nothing at all.