On President Obama's Nobel
by Farai Chideya
When I found out that President Obama had won the Nobel prize, based on diplomacy and anti-nuclear proliferation work, I immediately sent notice to my circle of friends, and then went onto the social media space to see what the other instapundits were saying. One of them -- a real, actual paid pundit -- wrote, "I'm perplexed at Obama getting the Nobel Peace Prize. He's done good work, but it does seem premature. What do you think?" That would be Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, who has, among other things, been writing of late of the value of women in international development and diplomacy.
I tweeted back that the Prize cites Obama's diplomacy for embracing "values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." In other words, the Nobel seems to be a "thank God you're not trying to be a big swinging dick of a unilateral superpower" rather than a "thanks for getting rid of the nukes" letter. (If they had left the nuclear weapons out of the granting of the prize, it might actually have seemed a stronger statement.)
While we are struggling mightily to come up with a strategy for the wars launched by the Bush Administration in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little question that the level of domestic threat under this president has not skyrocketed -- the leading argument against his election by some hawkish conservatives. Being the international bad cop apparently does not always make you safer.
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