Cilizza: Nobel Makes It Easier For Obama To Escalate In Afghanistan

The defense of the farce committed by the Nobel Committee in awarding President Obama the Peace Prize is exemplified by Robert Naiman, who writes "the Nobel Committee is [. . .] giving an award to encourage the change in world relations that Obama has promised, and to try to help shield Obama against his domestic adversaries." Chris Cilizza agrees that it will have that effect:

Winning the Nobel Prize will allow Obama to go to his divided Democratic caucus and make the case far more forcefully that the time is now to stay united behind him on Afghanistan.

You think that is what the Nobel Committee had in mind?

Speaking for me only

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    exactly backwards (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Turkana on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:03:37 PM EST
    wow, this is bringing out the crazy, on all sides...

    No, not what they had in mind (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:08:27 PM EST
    but I think Obama is changing his position on Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan is the one area where I hope he reverses the position he and other Dems) set forth in the campaign.

    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:55:10 PM EST
    What to do in Afghanistan is not an easy issue.

    Iraq was much clearer.

    The Nobel Committee wants Obama to pull out of Afghanistan....


    As Long As There's Money to be Made (none / 0) (#49)
    by CDN Ctzn on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 05:32:23 PM EST
    in war, don't expect the policy to change any time in the near future. As long as the Military Indutrial Complex can finance election campaigns we'll see the endless war continue, if not expand to new fronts. As BTD is fond of saying, "Pols will be Pols" and our President certainly is a Pol.

    I am interested to learn whether (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:08:56 PM EST
    supporters of the President's policy in Afghanistan believe implementation of that policy will ultimately further world peace.

    What is his Afghanistan policy today? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:11:29 PM EST
    All I have heard is he wants a new strategy.  I assume th eold strategy was what he stated in the campaign and when he assign McChrystal.  

    The thing is (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:14:06 PM EST
    pretty much everyone thinks their policies will lead to peace.  Even the crazy neocons who wanted us to invade 10 different countries in the Middle East would have said that it's the only way to achieve peace.  And most of them probably believed it too.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:14:58 PM EST
    that is Cilizza's point.  He can stand in front of Congress and say, "The international community supports my goals, and the international community is deeply affected by the stability in Afghanistan, that is why we need a troop increase..."  He campaigned on sending more troops into Afghanistan, so if the Nobel Committee knew anything about him they also should've known that.

    I do (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:11:19 PM EST
    But that's not how Peace Prize organizations analyze these things.

    At least they have not in the past.

    You think they are for the escalation in Afghanistan? Interesting.


    I would assume... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:29:57 PM EST
    ... that the Committee is trying to buy influence with Obama, and that they aren't trying to influence him in favor of a larger military role. So the idea that they are offering him political cover with the left of the Democratic party seems kind of silly.

    Indeed (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:30:59 PM EST
    But the fact that we are having this discussion demonstrates how loopy the Nobel Committee was in the first place.

    I think perhaps the committee thought (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:37:40 PM EST
    drawing down in Iraq and fighting the war we should have fought from day 1 (isn't that the thinking) is laudable.  Speaking of 11 dim. chess. Or WNPPCRM.

    That's Assuming (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by CDN Ctzn on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 05:34:28 PM EST
    that they were thinking.

    hell no... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Illiope on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:39:52 PM EST
    oh, wait, you were asking people that support obama's afghan policy... oops

    Buried down in the agate type today (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:16:58 PM EST
    I am now wondering (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:21:00 PM EST
    if we will get some leakers from the Committee discussing how they came to this decision.  After all there had to have been a dissenter at some point who thought they were destroying the credibility of the prize.  Maybe we'll get a reality show.  

    And their decision was made now (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:54:25 PM EST
    and not when the nomination was made.  It is of interest that the nomination was made, by whomever, only two weeks into Obama's presidency.  But to use that as an excuse for the Nobel committee is just weird.  

    Its decision was made only days ago.  If the committee did not do its homework as to what Obama has and has not done, that makes it more of a farce.


    The Nobel Prize Committee believes (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:19:36 PM EST
    in faith based initiatives. That concept seems to have some worldwide appeal.

    The nomination's not all that suprising (none / 0) (#45)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 03:30:38 PM EST
    the initial nomination can be initiated by a ton of people,  the seconding nomination comes from the Scandanavians though.

    So you think you can be a Nobel Peace (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:44:33 PM EST
    Prize winner?

    great minds.... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:51:52 PM EST
    I was thinking more Real World: Oslo (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:02:52 PM EST
    or some Big Brother type show

    So you think you can be a Nobel Prize winner (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:47:59 PM EST
    I hope to god (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:47:02 PM EST
    that the frickin' Nobel Prize has no effect whatsoever on our foreign policy.  

    And that it has no effect whatsoever on how anything Obama does is received in Congress, one reason being that any reaction in Congress has a disproportionally equal and opposite reaction.

    Not that peace is not my goal (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ruffian on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:55:34 PM EST
    Just that the fact that you have a Nobel Peace Prize does not give any individual action you advocate any more credibility, in my mind. All policies should be judged on their merits. No caucus should just say 'Well, he has a Nobel Prize, he must know more than we do. Let's do what he says.'

    Didn't seem to enhance Carter's (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:01:43 PM EST
    reputation here!

    Was the Nobel Peace Prize a consolation (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:54:06 PM EST
    for Chicago not getting the Olympics?  

    No. n/t. (none / 0) (#51)
    by sallywally on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:29:43 PM EST
    No. n/t. (none / 0) (#52)
    by sallywally on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:30:06 PM EST
    Sorry for double post....n/t. (none / 0) (#53)
    by sallywally on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:30:34 PM EST
    My thought exactly... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:06:53 PM EST
    If Obama gets a peace prize for not ending any ongoing wars, and escalating another, it seems like he would expect to receive Knighthood, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire $1,000,000.00 prize, the Oscar, the Golden Globe, and the Irish Sweepstakes if he bombs somebody new.

    North Korea?

    The future is bright.

    Not too far fetched (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:18:41 AM EST
    Seems to me that the inauguration once in the past was nominated for a tv production award. He could be nominated for "best lead actor in a reality show". Hollywood does love him.

    Terrorists! (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by DancingOpossum on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:08:01 PM EST
    The DNC is saying that Republicans and others who criticize Obama's getting this reward are just terrorists! Just like the Taliban!

    So y'all are throwing your lot in with GOPers and the terra-ists. And the prog blog is cool with that -- over at Digby's they're adding that you might also be a racist if you oppose this thing.


    Okay, I'll admit when I heard this (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:10:52 PM EST
    I had a momentary day dream where Obama was suddenly blessed with enough public love and political capital to either send all the troops to Afghanistan that he needs to build a working Afghan government within the protection of, or he said....we GO HOME now.  It was a day dream I had, and he was riding a pony.  But everybody here knows I always want to believe......my rationality prevents me from permanently ever going over the bend but I live in a perpetual state of grieving.

    Was actually waiting (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Steve M on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:12:23 PM EST
    for your thoughts on this development.

    Me too. (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:31:11 PM EST
    Isn't it ironic that Obama got the Nobel Peace (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by steviez314 on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:25:40 PM EST
    prize the same day we declared war on the Moon?

    Maybe the committee was telling him, ok the Moon, but don't you dare rocket attack Mars.

    These people are nuts (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by lilburro on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:49:12 PM EST
    RedState.com's editor Erick Erickson tweeted this morning: "I did not realize the Nobel Committee had affirmative action quotas it had to meet."


    We're going to see some really bad (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 03:31:29 PM EST
    comments come from the right on this one.

    it seems (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    the jokes about Obama and the Nobel Peace prize are writing themselves much like the Cheney hunting expedition did.

    Cilizza has it backwards (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by semoto on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 03:08:22 PM EST
    I would argue that after General McChrystal recently spoke out, lobbying for 40,000 more troops and an extended presence in Afghanistan, the Nobel Committee could be seen as lobbying for the opposite:  fewer troops and a shorter American presence.

    In other words, by recognizing Obama as a peacemaker, The Nobel Committee is hoping he will live up to it.

    I think Cilizza has it backwards.

    Cilizza's (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by CoralGables on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 07:14:38 PM EST
    is at his best discussing DC area coffee shops, and Catholic University Field Hockey. He goes downhill from there.

    The Peace Prize is so debased (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Sweet Sue on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 08:28:15 PM EST
    Bill Clinton has worked through his CGI to relieve poverty and deliver life saving medicines to suffering and needy people through out the world.
    Wake me when Obama comes close.

    Didn't ya know? (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 09:04:05 PM EST
    Bl*w j*ob$ lead to war.  When have they ever led to peace :)

    Here's the relevant section of Chris' piece: (none / 0) (#7)
    by vicndabx on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 12:14:11 PM EST
    Have ideas of your own on what the Nobel Prize means for Obama's political prospects?

    Footnote should read: They need not make any sense, we'll post 'em here anyway.

    Actually, that wouldn't surprise me. (none / 0) (#25)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:03:50 PM EST
    You think that is what the Nobel Committee had in mind?

    Not much anyway.

    Not Really (none / 0) (#31)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:22:24 PM EST
    Among Obama's accomplishments is that until he took office the United States Government was snatching people and the torturing them, sometimes to death.  He ended this practice by the most powerful country in the world.  While most of us here agree that he should go further and prosecute the torturers, ending torture is not nothing.  It is certainly as great an accomplishment for peace and justice as Desmond Tutu, Oscar Arias, Rigoberta Menchu or Jimmy Carter ever accomplished.

    If anybody (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Emma on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 01:33:14 PM EST
    in Congress, including Obama, had any balls at all they could have ended the torture long before Obama (allegedly) did so as President.

    Apparently (none / 0) (#36)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:00:47 PM EST
    Hillary had no ovaries.

    Go to the Dr. (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Emma on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 08:50:26 PM EST
    You have something called CDS-by-proxy.  It's where any time anybody posts anything critical of Obama you whine:  "But Clinton did it tooooooo!"

    Not (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kaleidescope on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 11:22:23 PM EST
    The commentator said that "if anyone in Congress had the balls. . ." Well obviously HRC (a great Secretary of State, by the way) was in Congress. I simply mention her since this site is a Clinton site.

    In actuality I think what the commentator said is bull pucky.  Congress -- especially given its composition -- would never have stopped the Cheney Administration from torturing people.  And no individual congress person -- be it HRC or BHO -- could NOT have stopped Cheney from doing what he did.

    Which meant that someone -- some Democrat -- had to run for president and stop the torture.  I would've been delighted if HRC had run and won and stopped torture and had then been awarded the Nobel Prize.

    My simple original point was that stopping the U.S. Government from torturing people, sometimes torturing them to death, was something worthy of the Nobel Prize given what other recipients have done.

    Someone else tried to denigrate that achievement.  And given that this is a Hillary site, it seemed obvious that the person denigrating Obama's accomplishment was suffering from ODS. All because Obama had beaten that person's favored candidate.

    Pretty frickin weird if you ask me.

    Sometimes I think people at Talk Left are like a bunch of Republicans.  Though I didn't see it, I wouldn't have been surprised to see metaphorical high fives over Chicago losing the Olympics.  It would've been of a piece for the folks here.


    I don't know how anyone can say (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 12:16:17 AM EST
    with confidence that we have stopped torturing prisoners.  Seriously, we didn't know about it before until well after it happened.  History would suggest that it is wise to hedge your statements.

    We haven't emptied Gitmo Bay, have we?  We haven't emptied the prisons in Iraq or Afghanistan, either. , , ,


    I agree with you, rendition has not stopped! (none / 0) (#61)
    by suzieg on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:02:47 AM EST
    The World of Diplomacy (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by christinep on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:48:16 PM EST
    I have to admit to surprise when hearing the news this morning. After reading bits and pieces of world reaction as well as comments from the Nobel committee and after having some time to reflect I say now--fully aware of the very real concerns about the dangerous deepening in Afghanistan--that the committee may have made a strategically brilliant move.  'Near as I can tell the message to the President from Norway is: We admire your
    stated intent and early steps in the direction of a reflowering of diplomacy from the United States; and, we strongly encourage leadership from the US in the international reengagement that you demonstrated in the earliest months with your extraordinary words in Cairo, discussions with students in Europe, dismantling of the confrontational "shield" near the Russian border, renewed push for peace in the mideast, essential assistance on the international economic stabilization front, etc.  President Obama's stated open, unabashed push for DIPLOMACY as the primary mode of US leadership got a vote of confidence on the international level.  Looked at especially from a northern european perspective (recalling that the committee is Norwegian), the change in the MACRO VIEW from that of his predecessor is--in the almost overused word of the day--stunning. In the case of this award, the tenor of world reaction is more significant than usual because it may reflect the worldview of critical steps toward peace. Read: The committee endorsed the opposite of the neo-con thrall in the strongest terms. It is possible that such an accolade could cause the President to "recalibrate" aspects of the approach in Afghanistan (ala behavior theory.) Maybe or maybe not. Today, I choose to be optimistic about the prospects of full-scale, world-stage diplomacy.

    If true (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Upstart Crow on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:56:38 PM EST
    It's a huge exercise in wishful thinking.

    Policy in another country isn't that easy to manipulate and direct.


    Where Is the Factual Basis for This? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by BDB on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:36:52 PM EST
    There is none.  The Administration claims to have stopped waterboarding.   Okay.  But we're still engaging in other types of torture.  We're still engaging in rendition where people are tortured. And, just as Bush did, the Administration argues for the right to move people from anywhere in the world to Bagram.  

    Just because a lot of the "left" no longer feels the need to object to these practices now that they aren't being done by Bush, doesn't mean they aren't still happening.   And just because Obama says we are a nation that does not torture doesn't make it true.  I mean, we've all heard that before haven't we?


    As far as I know Rendition is still on the table (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:19:24 AM EST
    And I really don't like to rain on (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 09:26:48 AM EST
    parades but Bagram is the new Gitmo, with more oversight.  And we do something called preventive detention.  Which I'm fine with now that I know how it is going down, but don't get it mixed up with your rights.  And understand that you are running a prison for Islamic Extremists that we suspect could be involved in or assist in some way what we would deem terrorist acts in Afghanistan and around the world, protected by a very limited number of troops.  It's pretty secure at the moment under the currently existing conditions and......AT THE MOMENT UNDER THE CURRENTLY EXISTING CONDITIONS.

    has anyone ever rejected a Nobel award? (none / 0) (#37)
    by pitachips on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:01:57 PM EST

    Le Duc Tho (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by A little night musing on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 03:37:39 PM EST
    Yes. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:13:04 PM EST
    Satre (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:43:34 PM EST
    sartre (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 02:43:58 PM EST
    Including the Peace Prize (none / 0) (#47)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 03:33:11 PM EST
    and not just the Lit Prize noted by others.  See previous threads for discussion of Peace Prize.

    Young Bill should have got it first? (none / 0) (#54)
    by NealB on Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 06:46:54 PM EST
    My first thought was that giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama was to shame Bill Clinton. It's a farce certainly that Obama won it, whether I know deeply what a "Peace Prize" really means or not. It's easy for even simple folks to see that Obama may have potential to make peace in the world; there's not much evidence that he has yet. So, he gets this award, like capitalists the world over for the past hundred years, in advance of their actual accomplishment.

    Still, it works for me. Clinton's failures as world leader are so pervasive that it works for me if only as a slap to his face.

    It works for me too to make the prize more meaningless. Peacemakers don't need prizes; they need to stop suffering. They need to make the world, like Michael Jackson said, a better place for you and me.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 08:17:08 AM EST
    I would consider it more a slap in the face to people like Jimmy Carter and Al Gore than Bill Clinton. They've literally degraded the accomplishments of people who have won the award and turned the award itself into the butt of jokes.

    The bottom line here is that (none / 0) (#66)
    by hairspray on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 01:57:04 PM EST
    the peace prize is totally politicized and has lost its value as a reward for incredible effort on the part of an individual or individuals.  Are people who have been in the trenches working for  peace many years happy?

    Breathtaking Ignorance (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Politalkix on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:47:55 PM EST
    If it is any consolation to you, let me break the news that the award of Nobel Prizes from its earliest days (particularly peace, literature and economics) have always been controversial and realpolitik been involved in many decisions. Just go and ask people in Central and South America how they view the award of the Peace Prize to Teddy Roosevelt or the people of former British colonies why Winston Churchill (the unapologetic colonialist)had a better claim to the Nobel Prize in literature than many accomplished writers and poets. Even Gandhi never won the Nobel Peace Prize because the British scuttled every effort in that direction!
    If the Nobel Peace Prize did not lose its luster in previous years because of controversial awards, it is silly to think that it has "lost its value as a reward" owing to it being awarded this year to Obama. Obama has a better claim to the award than many others who have received it over the years.

    To put it in clear view (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 03:03:35 PM EST
    how many people, from how many countries, with what life experiences, and nothing to gain are part of the selection committee?

    Bottom line is that the winner of the award is selected by what percentage of the world population?