THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's Nobel Is a Boomerang

You don't need to be a die-hard Michelle Malkin fan to wonder what exactly President Obama has done to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Such doubting would not need to negate Obama's capacity for peace-promoting and desire for a more peaceful world. I am sure that the President both wishes for global peace and is willing to work hard to get there. But the inescapable truth is that so far no indelibly tangible achievement in that respect can be highlighted (maybe the Nobel folks should have waited a couple of years?). So the award doesn't say much about Obama. Rather, it could say a lot about the Nobel. And it could say things that may actually turn out to hurt Obama, not to mention drastically imperil the reputation of the award itself. By granting him the Nobel, the Scandinavians may have done the Hawaiian and themselves significant damage.

As is well known, the Peace Prize has long been condemned by conservative pundits and observers as a leftish propaganda putsch, a tool whose sole purpose is to advance the agenda and ideas of certain individuals typically favored by the international left. While it is undoubtedly true that some of the awardees couldn't be further away from lefty territory (see Henry Kissinger for instance), if one looks at, say, the past three decades it is possible to find a disproportionate presence of Nobelists who could reasonably be labeled as "progressive icons," individuals that have typically enjoyed the enthusiastic support of those who choose to position themselves in the left-wing side of the political aisle.

Amnesty International, the UN, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Rigoberta Menchu, Kofi Annan, and the Palestinian cause (symbolized by Yasser Arafat) would most certainly belong to the left camp, avidly defended by global progressives the globe over. So in that sense, perhaps conservatives should be forgiven for arguing that the Nobel Committee has, at least in the recent past, displayed a tendency to lavishly reward those who share non-conservative political views.

This is a free country and Malkin or Rush Limbaugh may think what they like. But their opponents have until now been in possession of an argument that seems persuasive: think what you will about all those "lefty" awardees and their merits, the truth is that in many of those cases it is possible to pinpoint actual tangible contributions to peace. You may hopelessly dislike those persons and institutions but you can't deny that, at one point or another, many of them at least tried to contribute to peace, demonstrably. So the Nobel may not be a ruthless, unjustified political act after all. Those awardees would have earned the distinction on their own merits, and not because of their perceived political identity.

The problem with the Obama award is that it may diminish the power of such defensive arguments. By having so blatantly showered the Nobel on someone who can't (so far) boast an irrefutable contribution to a concrete peace initiative or process, those Scandinavians have added untold amounts of ammo to the conservative gun. Who will now stop the right 's campaign to belittle and ridicule the Peace Prize as nothing more than a leftish cabal? Certainly things have not been helped by the fact that Obama is the current global symbol of progressiveness and that he is utterly despised by conservatives at home. The Nobel Committee could not have thrown more red meat to Limbaugh et al even if it had tried.

President Obama will most likely prove to be a great contributor to world peace (and such undertaking may require the use of stronger military force for a while), and thus would have made for a great candidate to the Peace Nobel in 2012. But not in 2009. Obama supporters will no doubt enjoy the glory for a few days, but this Nobel may be transformed into a Trojan Horse: an excuse to forever demean the award as merely a propaganda affair, an alibi to further denounce Obama as the leader of the (purportedly anti-American) international leftocracy. It seems to me that by rushing things a bit too much, those Northern Europeans have shut themselves in the foot.

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