Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, 09 October 2009

2009/10/09

Okaaaaay. So, the President has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [1] Inevitably, there are also commentaries arguing both for and against his receiving the prize. [2] As for where I stand on the issue, at best, I think the award is premature; at worst, well.

What is, perhaps, most disconcerting for me is that according to the CNN article, nominations for the prize must be postmarked no later than 01 February (as the article points out, this is a mere twelve days after his inauguration). I realize that he and his administration made no secret about their efforts to get started right away, but seriously? What could he have done in twelve days that would have convinced someone to nominate him? Given that the President had absolutely no foreign policy experience prior to being elected, what in his record could possibly warrant consideration for the award?

To his credit, the President has made much of his desire to engage in open dialogue with nations whom we previously regarded as “adversarial,” at best. [3] Fair enough, but what tangible results have his efforts yielded? Much, indeed, has been made about how little progress his gestures have thus far engendered; [4] there are, perhaps, the seeds of progress in place right now, but they have yet to produce anything substantial. Has the President been awarded the prize simply because of his good intentions? I’ll note that there is an old saying about a certain road being paved with those. [5] Perhaps, his policies will yield positive results somewhere down the road, but right now? I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it. As such, the award seems even more befuddling to me; as I said, at best it is premature. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a lowly peon, er, citizen, of the Republic, after all.

Notes:

[*]: In case you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, the title of this post employs NATO Phonetic Alphabet (military types will certainly recognize what it means). You can look up the alphabet here (Wikipedia article).

[1]: CNN article, 09 October 2009.

[2]: Arguments for and against; CNN commentaries, 09 October 2009.

[3]: Depending on your perspective regarding his methodology, this may or may not be a good thing. From my view, most of his efforts look more like appeasement than true give-and-take diplomacy, but history will decide whether or not this is truly the case.

[4]: True, most of these criticisms have come from his opponents, but one may also note that we are little closer to establishing stable peace in any of the hotspots around the world where we have currently entangled ourselves.

[5]: No, I don’t necessarily think that we’re on the road to Hell right now; I’m merely pointing out that good intentions sometimes have unintended negative consequences. See note 3 above.

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