No one who's been reading this blog for any decent length of time will ever mistake me for some sort of Obama-hater: on the contrary, despite the fact that Obama's politics and mine differ considerably, I have repeatedly made clear on here how much I despise many of those who oppose him for supposed reasons which are merely thinly veiled covers for racist animosity.
Having said this much, I also think the opposite tendency holds true to a great extent, and Barack Obama is seen in some people's eyes as some sort of modern-day messiah, either simply because he isn't the "devil" George W. Bush, or because of what Obama's skin color supposedly says about the "progressiveness" of America and of those who engage in hero-worship of the man: it is clearly these two tendencies which are at root of the frankly inane decision to award the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to the sitting US president, whose tenure in office has as yet been marked by hardly any foreign policy achievements whatsoever, and yet of whom the commitee can say
"Only rarely has a person such as Obama captured the world's attention and given his 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," the citation said.
This is idiotic on multiple levels; not only is it a deification of shallow celebrity based on little more than the image of a black man in the White House, but it endorses the utterly stupid idea that the right basis for diplomacy is to appeal to "values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population". Does the Nobel commitee really believe that a great leader would agree about the need for women to get back in the kitchen, or for religion to define politics? And yet these are precisely the sorts of "values and attitudes" which are held by the vast majority of the world's population which lives outside of the OECD countries!
It may be that Barack Obama will one day be truly deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize for his foreign policy efforts - though the naivete displayed in his initiatives so far suggests to me that this is in fact unlikely to happen - but as of today all this award signifies is that a few left-leaning types in Oslo wanted to establish how "cool" and "with it" they were by associating themselves with Cool Brotha Barack, in other words, the worst sort of patronizing "right on" politics. It is an absurdity to award a prize for peace-bringing to a man who hasn't actually done anything yet.