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Friday, October 09, 2009


I swear I thought I was reading "The Onion"

I quite literally couldn't believe my eyes when I saw today's headline:
In a surprise, Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
The article just made it more likely the Onion was at work:
President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.
One hypocritical speech, backed by quite literally nothing in the way of action, and one equally hypocritical "attempt" accompanied by the refusal even to acknowledge the existence of the second biggest nuclear threat to the world (Israel, for the non-quick-witted), and he wins the Nobel Prize. Meanwhile, the prize in Physics is awarded for actual work that was done forty years ago.

Way to devalue the Nobel Prize, prize voters. Not that there haven't been outrages before (cough - Henry Kissinger - cough), but this sets a new standard. You no longer need actual accomplishments, you just need to talk about what you're going to do. What's next? The physics prize for gedanken experiments?

Update: And of course I haven't even mentioned the very unpeaceful things he's actually done, including escalating the war in Afghanistan, escalating the U.S. policy of assassination (by drone), ignoring the Goldstone report which attempts to hold war criminals responsible for their crimes, issuing constant threats of hostile action against Iran, and I'm sure I've forgotten some others.

Update 2: Actually, thinking about it, I may have been too harsh to gedanken (thought) experiments, which can actually be useful in physics. This is more like awarding the physics prize for a grant proposal.

Update 3: Obama says he'll be donating the $1.4 million prize to charity. Think there's any chance he'll donate it to an actual peace (or antiwar) organization, like ANSWER? How about donating it to the victims of his wars in Afghanistan or Gaza? In the former case, it would be most welcome. In the latter, I'm afraid that $1.4 million wouldn't go very far. $1.4 billion would be more like it.

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