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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 10 October 2009

What the fuck is it for?

I was going to blog today about bridges and people who jump off them and putting up fences to stop it, but I struggle to think about the subject when I've been so massively distracted by the decision of five fucking maniacs in Norway to give Barack Obama the fucking 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. I don't mean this as a dig at Barack Obama but what the fuck has he done to get a Nobel? I'm not saying he's a shite president - I'm not hugely optimistic going on what we've seen so far, but then I wasn't months before he won and it was still a three way between him, McCain and Billary*. Besides, the world may catch a cold when America sneezes but he's not my President. If the most powerful man in the world turns out to be good, bad or indifferent we may all be affected but whether to their credit or shame (or indifference) he's really America's. No, I'm having a go at the sycophants on the Norwegian Nobel Committee that decide who to honour with the Peace Prize, and who've chosen this year to award it to a head of state so new that he and his missus are probably still looking at swatches and pondering how to redecorate parts of the White House.

So how come he got the nod? Apparently this is why.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has 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. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
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. 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.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
The award announced yesterday, 9th October, comes less than a year after he won the election and only 263 days since taking office. Is it not just a little bit premature to go giving the guy a fucking Nobel when we have no idea whether what he's done so far is actually going to work? Even the Yanks, including some of his supporters, seem to feel that that's a bit on the quick side. And yet there's nothing, not a fucking sausage, in that citation to say why the Committee have honoured Obama so soon after he became President. And that makes it a massive 'what the fuck' moment for, well, like him or not most of the world. Even if you accept the guff about
'...efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples'
- which, if it advances the interests of the American people, is arguably part of his fucking job anyway - there hasn't fucking been enough time to know if any of it is actually going to make the world a more peaceful place. You can't just award people for wishful thinking, can you?

And then there's the
'...special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons'the vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations'.
Wait, what? You can get a Noble prize for having a fucking vision? Woohoo! Give me first class tickets to fucking Oslo, baby, because I get 'em too. Admittedly mine are about personal liberty which sadly doesn't sound like it's going to swell many dicks on a committee made up mostly of lefties and centrists with a token classic liberal. So let's make it one big world party because fucking loads of people have a vision about all sorts of stuff, and if there are incompatibilities so what? It might be a shit answer and a shit attitude but it seems to suit the Committee itself:
[New Commitee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland], asked if the committee feared being labeled naïve for accepting a young politician’s promises at face value, shrugged and said, “Well, so?”
Oh, fucking cracking answer, Thorbjorn, just fucking cracking. Look, sunshine, it's one thing to say that on a blog, but even then you really ought to be able to back things up with something more solid. Now when it's widely believed that politicians' promises aren't the most reliable things in the world and you and your committee have given a politician, a fairly young one at that, a huge honour based on little more than optimism both about what he says he intends and his ability to do it, and you've been asked if that was really a good move I think you really ought to come up with better.

Still, back to the awarding of a Nobel for 'vision'. Okay, this vision is of ridding the world of nukeywukey bombs and stuff, which I concede is quite a biggie even if not exactly original when you consider all the CND types who had it first and felt strongly enough about it to chain themselves to fences. And of course there's Barry O's 'work' as well, isn't there? Remind us how that's going. India and Pakistan bosom buddies are they? Iran and North Korea completely opened up and leaving us all in no doubt that they're not after the bomb? Errrrr, no. The Obamessiah may have made some good speeches but merely being less divisive and taking a slightly more conciliatory approach, if you can even say that with a straight face about a guy who once said he'd send troops into Pakistan if he thought he had to and during campaigning called for more to be sent to the 'Stan. Hardly justifies any kind of peace award, much less the fucking Nobel.

Or what about
'Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting.
Don't even get me fucking started on how meaningless that is if the whole thing turns out to be bullshit doing nothing but funnelling money into Big Eco. But assuming, just for the moment, the whole AGW isn't just the latest thing humanity has dreamt up to scare itself silly with or the religion for the modern age, what actually has Barack Obama achieved? Publicly signed up to the AGW trope? Come on, even Dubya was a believer. The greenies never forgave him for taking the US out of Kyoto, even though Clinton and their beloved Saint Gore of the Blessed Gulfstream (that'll be the plane, not the ocean current) never bothered to put it before a Congress they knew damn well wouldn't ratify it. If you ask me it was realpolitik for Dubya as much as the fact that it would just hamstring his country and let others off the hook. So again, what has the Obamessiah achieved that moves things on from that point? Ummm, well actually so fucking little his Wikipedia page doesn't even have a section on his policies in that area. Wikipedia has no shortage of AGW believers contributing to and editing its articles so I'd find it very hard to believe they'd overlook any significant contributions from the One. Worth a Nobel prize for 'initiative [in] playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges', huh? Even if I was an AGW believer I'd be calling bullshit on that.
Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
Oh yeah? They 'are to be' strengthened, future tense. As in they are not necessarily now being strengthened or have been strengthened, but they are to be strengthened. Bear in mind that the head of the Nobel committee said that he prize was being awarded to Obama
... not for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year.
Well, eight months to be picky, but the point is that you can't fucking turn round and tell the whole world that you're recognising him for things that 'are to be' done and in the next fucking breath tell us that it's not for what might happen in the future at all, just for stuff he's already done (and that itself is up for debate, of course). In any case, when democracy ends up being the tyranny of the majority (53% of Australia voted for the ALP in the last federal election) or even the tyranny of the minority (22% of Britain voted for NuLaborg, and because of the Westminster system only 24,278 actually voted for Gordon Brown as an MP - which is 24,278 more than voted for him to be PM of course**). I think one of the best tunes the Devil has ever played points out that there's nothing intrinsically good about democracy. As for strengthening human rights, how? Are young girls in the third world no longer having their genitals mutilated and women in countries run by religion inspired misogynists able to get the same education as men? Fuck, forced marriage is still going on in industrialised nations. Of course he's done nearly fuck all because, most powerful man in the world though he is, there's a pretty hard limit on what he can do outside his own country. And what about his own country, now we come to mention it? Has he torn up any of the more egregiously authoritarian measures introduced by his predecessor? In short, no. Of course the human rights isn't quite the same as individual rights, but even then I can't see what Obama is supposed to have achieved.
Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention...
Would it be inappropriate to paraphrase Ali G and ask is it because he is black? No aspersions about his skin colour intended, but he'd captured a fucking shedload of the world's attention way before becoming President just by being the first black candidate for Presidential nominee of a major US party that looked in with a real chance of winning. Hillary Clinton might have hoped for a similar effect due to being the first likely female candidate who looked like she had a real chance of getting the nomination had she, like Obama, been just another Senator and not already been known as First Lady during the Bill days. As it was there was a bit of a buzz about the chance of America being able to choose to vote for a female President. That says nothing for or against either as people or as politicians - it's just that by being the first likely Presidential candidates of respectively their race and gender made them pretty newsworthy, and that was bound to have continued whichever one secured the Democratic nomination and if that person had gone on to become President. In other words, of course he's captured the world's attention - the fucking world was even keen to know what breed the First Family were going to choose to be the fucking First Dog. And what the fuck difference does it make how much attention someone gets anyway? It's called the fucking Peace Prize, not the Media Attention Prize.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
That's fucking odd, because according to Alfred Nobels' last will and testament (my emphasis):
The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes... The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: ... one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
And Obama qualifies how? As I said earlier the world feels pretty fucking similar peace and fraternity wise to how it did this time last year, and the Obamessiah has done more or less fuck all that I've heard of in persuading anyone to reduce, much less abolish, a standing army. Oh, I expect that we're all spending less on defence than we were before the One became President, and certainly he's cancelled the controversial anti ballistic missile program. But how much influence that's had elsewhere is pretty questionable and the US still has, in very approximate numbers, a bunch of big fuck off great aircraft carriers, a fucking shitload of planes, a fucking shitload of tanks and armoured vehicles, a motherfucking shitload of other equipment, guns and personnel, and a shitload of nuclear weapons. More or less what you'd expect from the nation with the world's greatest expenditure on defence and which is still shooting in Iraq and the 'Stan. Sure, he's probably reduced expenditure and I expect so have other countries, but in the middle of a financial crisis money needs to be saved and defence spending is always a popular cut. Unless Barry O wants to take the credit for the recession, which again has causes that predate even his decision to run for President and possibly even to go into politics, I think that's stretching things. So all that really leaves that fits in with Alf's will is holding and promoting peace congresses, and while he certainly rocks up and is very good about saying that not killing each other would be nice I don't know that really qualifies him for receiving a Nobel Peace Prize awarded at such unprecedented speed.

As I said at the very beginning I'm not having a go at Obama here. Well, maybe a little but it's obviously not his fault that the Nobel Peace Prize has come his way so incredibly - and it's incredible in the most literal sense of the word - quickly. I suppose it could be seen as a little rude if he'd turned it down but I'd have given the guy full remarks if he'd simply said that he'd barely started his work and would prefer to be judged at the end of his Presidency. I might not be an admirer of his policies but that would have been worthy of much admiration for the man himself. Granted, it comes with a cash prize which he's giving to charity and I doubt his pockets are so deep that he could simply chuck US$1.4 million at his favourite charity every day of the week, so perhaps that's fair enough (and if I was a cynic, which I am, I'd have to add that it comes with the chance to be all philanthropic about it for the media). I will give the guy credit for being man enough and honest enough to say in public that he thinks he hasn't earned it, at least not yet. False modesty perhaps, but I'd give him the benefit of doubt and assume that even he's probably thinking that 8 months is a tad on the fast side. I may not like his politics but I have to concede that anyone bright enough to get into the White House might be many things but retarded probably isn't one of them. He knows bloody well that it's come out of the blue, and he knows bloody well that for every person who thinks it's right to recognise his achievements there'll be a bunch more who think that 263 days is way too short for anyone to achieve anything meaningful and that the Committee have hugely devalued the prize by being so quick to hand it to the new boy (arguably not for the first time but probably more so than ever before). And if you stop to think about it what happens if the guy is a massively successful President and really does achieve a significant step forward for world peace. He's already been given a Nobel when he's barely had the time to warm up the toilet seat in the Oval Office dunny, so if he manages to broker a lasting and real peace between Israel and the Palestinians or something where the fuck do you go? How can you just give him another Nobel for such a big deal when the last one you gave him was for little more than making some good speeches and not being Dubya? And since the US President throughout most of 2009 'not being Dubya' is something that anyone with a room temperature IQ could have fucking predicted with 100% accuracy any time after November 2004 and would have applied just as much to McCain or Billary doesn't that devalue the Nobel even further as far as Barry O is concerned? And if next year's recipient is a great philanthropist being recognised for their lifetime's contributions and maybe a personal Crowning Moment Of Awesome it'll look a bit fucking lame when we all remember that the 2009 prize was basically a fucking merit badge for being flavour of the month.

The whole thing seems politically motivated, not to mention massively sycophantic and revoltingly obsequious, and just comes across as the fellatiObama queue having now got as far as some of the Righteous of Norway. It's slightly amusing because I imagine it must have royally fucked off Gordon Brown. Poor old Gordon. I can just picture him stomping around his office hurling Nokias in every direction and yelling that it was his turn to slurp at the schlong - haven't these fucking Norwegians heard about the 'special relationship', dammit? If so at least he's keeping quiet about it and settling for sending a private message to congratulate him, which makes him look..... well, better than if Downing Street had done a press release heaping praise upon the One but not as good as if he'd had the sense to just shut the fuck up altogether. Actually growing the balls to question it would have been way too much to expect, but at least others, including some previous Nobel laureates, are doing it. Still, maybe that means the award of a Nobel at the embarrassing speed of Sycophant Factor 9 will actually have one positive effect. Maybe, just maybe, the world will stop giving President Obama such a soft ride from now on and instead be as quick to point it out when he fucks things up as they were with the dickhead he took over from.

UPDATE: It's actually even more ridiculous than I realised. Via the Thylacosmilus I see Obsidian notes that the Obamessiah had been President for - wait for it - 11 days when the nominations for the Peace Prize closed. 11 days... I've had colds that lasted longer than that. It certainly gives the lie to any statements about honouring him for what he's done that hoped for future accomplishments if he was nominated not even the length of a decent holiday into his term.

UPDATE 2: Sweet. H/T Obo.

* That could be read another way, couldn't it ...... ugh, mind bleach time.
** Only fair to compare Obama's support. He apparently got 53% of the votes cast, but with a turnout of only a little over 60% of eligible voters that means about 2/3 of America did not support him. So much for democracy, though in fairness that seems about par for the course in the US.
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