How'd That Aspirational Peace Prize Thing Work Out?

Remember the whole 'the Nobel Peace Prize is aspirational' line? Kevin Drum wonders how that work'd out?

On Tuesday Barack Obama will announce a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan. A week later he'll be in Oslo accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. Pretty good timing, no?
I support the President's policy in Afghaistan. I did not support the Nobel Committee's idiotic granting of its award to President Obama. With regard to the Peace Prize, I think events have proven me right. Hopefully events will prove me right also with regard to the President's Afghanistan policy.

Speaking for me only

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    I hope you will soon explicate your views (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:22:47 AM EST
    on the Afghanistan policy.

    Don't you suppose our host will (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:24:42 AM EST
    set forth his views after the President's Tuesday speech at West Point?  "What he sd."

    Poms poms at the ready (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:27:07 AM EST
    Poms poms? (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:46:17 AM EST
    Or is it pom poms?  Or perhaps poms pom?  (And is the singular pom pom, pom-pom, pompom, or pompon?)

    What's with all the pom-poms today? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:38:37 PM EST
    "Briefly putting away the pom poms..."

    "The Village blogs are getting the pom poms out..."

    "But the Village Pom Poms will insist ..."

    "The Pom Pom Brigade"

    "Poms poms at the ready .."

    Too much weekend football perhaps.


    Let's not forget (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:26:26 AM EST
    the land mine treaty that we announced we won't be signing!

    Makes me unhappy. Greenwald (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:27:53 AM EST
    is too busy with Evan Bayh to address the land mine treaty issue.

    Plenty of time for both. n/t (none / 0) (#22)
    by oldpro on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    Who did sign it? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:53:09 AM EST
    Well (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:38:56 PM EST
    According to Charles Lemos at MyDD:

    More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty's provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Apart from the United States, other holdouts include: China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.

    India? Surprising. But I guess if (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:41:37 PM EST
    Pakistan won't sign, neither will India.

    La dee dah (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:13:23 PM EST

    Over 150 nations have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It pains me that our great nation has not. But in the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas.

    Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban.

    Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban.

    and further down:

    Is Senator Obama perfect? Of course not. Nobody who voted for 2005's wack-ass energy bill is perfect. Nobody who voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act is perfect.

    But of the two remaining Democratic candidates, one decided her vote on Amendment No. 4882 according to a political calculation. The other used a moral calculation.

    I hope people realize today not necessarily that Obama is a horrible evil disappointment, but that THEY WERE NUTS when they were hailing him as the greatest most pure and inspirational thing since sliced bread.


    Sounds like (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by jen on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:27:36 AM EST
    it will be another one of those speeches where everyone will hear what they want.

    dday over at FDL

    Obama's Tuesday Speech To Have A Non-Exit, Non-Strategic Exit Strategy

    My depressed thought for the day (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:58:53 AM EST
    occured when I got a call from my spouse's office mate seeing how we were doing without spouse.  He is retiring now, deployed three times and he says that was enough.  He is an excellent officer, very very knowledgeable and skilled....a very good leader.  And if three deployments exhausts our best minds and most skilled, I don't know how we will get through this.  I'm always surprised by the tenacity of those who serve though.  He'll probably retire, get bored, deploy as a contractor.

    Having never read or heard (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:31:14 AM EST
    what Obama's Afghanistan policy is exactly, I remain uncommitted to supporting it. We're no longer after OBL, so what are we trying to accomplish? We already have the 9/11 mastermind in custody.

    I can only pray I don't hear that we are there to liberate the Afghani people.

    I think we will hear U.S. military is there (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:42:24 AM EST
    to get Afghan police and army in shape to take over so we can leave.

    there is something to be said (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CST on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:50:25 AM EST
    for the fact that you shouldn't just invade a country, dismantle it's gov't and then say "see ya!".  That was always my problem with the "get out of Iraq now" folks - we never should have been there in the first place - but I definitely felt to a certain extent "you break it, you bought it".  There is certainly a legitimate debate as to whether or not it is possible to accomplish these goals, but I do think they are important goals to have.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:52:36 AM EST
    it's been 8 years since we invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban, so pretending like any of the current alternatives would be tantamount to just saying "see ya!" is a little absurd.

    how many of those years (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by CST on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:57:36 AM EST
    were spent with anyone in charge actually paying attention?

    to clarify (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by CST on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    I think we said "see ya" to Afghanistan when we invaded Iraq.

    Whether or not it is worthwhile to say "we're back" is a seperate issue - one that I personally think is worth trying if done right.


    Oh, it will be done right, (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:46:34 PM EST
    this time:)

    Why is that our problem (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:05:00 PM EST
    didn't they vote?  What is Karzai doing?

    Are we to stay until the place is "perfect," or even in our view manageable?


    FEW (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:59:46 AM EST
    Could not have sd. that better myself. (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:11:49 PM EST
    I was young (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:25:50 PM EST
    btu i beleive that is what I heard we were doing in S Viet Nam.  Vietnamization I beleive it was referred to at the time.

    And isn't that what we are doing in Iraq now, in addition to paying off the Sunnis to remain calm?


    I think that we will hear several reasons. (none / 0) (#41)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:32:25 PM EST
    If the past is any guide, they may even be conflicting.  Of course, we know the rationale for the Iraq War changed by the minute (WMD, spread democracy, oil, fight them there not here, Saddam gassed his own and ---fill in the blanks).  The Gulf War had its own, from Saddam slant drilled, Kuwait nurseries were raided, the elite Republican Guard was on the border of Saudi Arabia, oil, jobs, and April Gillesby made a bad mistake.  So, look for the array, but also, look for the new way to plan a war escalation--we have defined benchmarks for Karzai to meet, or else! (maybe, no more pretty capes). And, of course,  the "off ramp".   Do not expect any serious discussion of other alternatives such as leaving now and the results v leaving in a year (the resurgence of the Taliban in the north after reducing troops should be a  clue, but it will not).  

    Funny blog headline on TL sidebar: (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:43:08 AM EST
    Obama to host beer summit with the Tiger Woods and FL law enforcement.

    What policy? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:46:16 AM EST
    More of the same is not a policy. And what Obama will do is more of the same. For it not to be, the military would need to be transformed completely from the anti-creative, anti-imaginative institution it has long been. That transformation would take decades.

    Sorry, it is time for America's imperial ambitions to end. For good. And to suggest we are not a military empire is to live in utter denial. We are a nation gleefully destroying ourselves, both at home and abroad. Utter madness.

    I await word of his exit strategy (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:52:07 AM EST
    to make a judgment of that.  But it better be good, as getting more than 100,000 troops out of there -- the level he is planning -- won't be easy, as some of us can remember from the Vietnam years.  

    Can we say . . . quagmire yet?  (I have been saying it since 2001, even before we began these wars.)


    It is madness (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:07:19 PM EST
    Tax rich people to pay for it and it will stop.

    Tax all people to pay for it, (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:48:20 PM EST
    and it will not start.

    that puts you in league (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by cpinva on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:47:12 AM EST
    I support the President's policy in Afghaistan.

    with about 5 other people, the world over, none of whom are either particularly bright, or have any actual "at risk" in the conflict.

    of course, in fairness, aside from wasting 20-30k more troops there, the president's afghanistan "policy" is unknown, to all but his closest advisors. when and if you figure out what it is, do please let the rest of the class in on it.

    until then, his "policy" appears to be nothing more than a continuation of the bush "policy": do nothing intelligent, and hope no one notices.

    Imagine a Peace Prize for LBJ in 1964 (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:48:50 AM EST
    before he ramped up the troops in Vietnam -- to the levels that we now will have in Afghanistan.

    When Obama entered office, we had fewer than 40,000 troops.  Within little more than a month, he sent another 25,000 to 30,000 (reports vary).  For some reason, that won him the Peace Prize, it seems.

    So Obama's commitment of another 30,000 to 35,000 troops will put the total over 100,000 in Afghanistan -- not yet at levels in Vietnam by the end of 1964, but there is time. . . .

    And with 100,000-plus troops there, expect some serious levels of fatalities in the near future.

    I doubt we ever lose the number (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:34:01 PM EST
    of soldiers in Afghanistan that we did in Vietnam.  This in my opinion doesn't make Afghanistan something that we should take lightly though either.  Tactics are very different though.  And due to medical improvements you are far more likely to survive even if when it is all said and done you end up wishing that you hadn't.

    I have never seen (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 02:42:41 PM EST
    any backup for the oft-heard claim that the Nobel committee can only consider actions which occurred prior to the nomination date.

    You are correct (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 02:56:26 PM EST
    From the Nobel website

    The candidates on the short list are then considered by the Nobel Institute's permanent advisers. In addition to the Institute's Director and Research Director, the body of advisers generally consists of a small group of Norwegian university professors with broad expertise in subject areas with a bearing on the Peace Prize. The advisers usually have a couple of months in which to draw up their reports. Reports are also occasionally requested from other Norwegian and foreign experts.

    When the advisers' reports have been presented, the Nobel Committee embarks on a thorough-going discussion of the most likely candidates. In the process, a need sometimes arises to obtain additional information and updating from the group of advisers, especially if any of the nominees are involved in current political affairs. The Committee has as a rule reached its conclusion by mid-September, but has been known not to arrive at a decision until at its very last meeting before the announcement of the Prize at the beginning of October.

    The Committee seeks to achieve unanimity in its selection of the Peace Prize Laureate. On the rare occasions when this proves impossible, the selection is decided by a simple majority vote.

    Empahsis mine - so the Committee actually looks for updates with current political figures.


    These points were beaten (none / 0) (#55)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 05:14:40 PM EST
    to a pulp back in the posts the day of the announcement.

    Obama speech leaked! (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:53:14 AM EST
    A brilliant find, Ben. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:00:03 PM EST
    But so sad.  Think I'll go listen to the song Names on the Wall again, and remember so many classmates gone.

    Oh, my -- 1964?! (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 04:39:54 PM EST
    I am sorry to hear that you are among so many with such loss from that war, too.  And . . . so soon?  Wow.  Btw, I bet you know that it really was a Thirty Years' War, too, as the first serviceman from this country to die in Vietnam did so in 1945.

    Let us hope that we do not repeat such horrors -- that we do not, decades from now, mourn ongoing losses of women and men not even born now.


    The direct care method is growing (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:53:57 AM EST
    Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District in recent months has been offering area residents full-menu primary medical care for just $30 a month at its clinics in Snoqualmie, North Bend and Fall City. Patients also pay a $45 set-up fee, along with $5 for each doctor visit.

    Snoqualmie Valley is now the second local hospital, after Swedish Medical Center, to adopt the low-cost "direct care" model, which has patients paying doctors directly for medical care rather than paying indirectly through third-party insurance.

    Direct care is seen as a source of inexpensive basic medical care for people who are uninsured or who have high-deductible insurance. Its adopters see direct care as an efficient way of delivering primary care as the cost of health insurance continues to climb.

    Qliance Medical Management Inc., with clinics in Seattle and Kent unattached to a hospital, pioneered the low-cost version of this model in 2006, and now has nearly 3,000 patients. It charges between $39 and $79 a month, depending on age.

    in the Puget Sound area. Swedish Medical Center is the facility that Nancy Pelosi was out here touring immediately following the House vote on HCR.

    Ooops....meant to put this in Open Thread (none / 0) (#28)
    by Inspector Gadget on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:01:27 PM EST
    please delete :)

    Last I heard (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:55:03 PM EST
    it was a free country and I could express my opinion on the issue.

    For example, the Nobel Committeee's decision was idiotic. You are free to defend it in terms you prefer.

    BTD, your opinion rests on an assumption (none / 0) (#56)
    by Politalkix on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 06:53:43 PM EST
    The assumption ofcourse is that the majority of Europeans see the issues in Afghanistan in the same way that American liberals do. IMO, the assumption may not be entirely valid.
    Europe is generally less tolerant of issues undermining secularism than America is. Headscarves for Muslim women is not tolerated in France, minarets in mosques are being frowned upon in Switzerland, the fear of a rising Islamic political identity is ascendant across much of the continent, even in countries such as Denmark and Netherlands that are considered to be liberal bastions. Europe, in general, disliked the war in Iraq, not only because it was waged under a false pretex but also because (1) it viewed Saddam Hussein as a secular force in Iraq who kept religious zealots in their place and (2) of suspicions that America was after Iraqi oil. In Afghanistan the situation is different; the country does not have oil for America to exploit, besides the forces that America is fighting are those of religious fundamentalism. To many Europeans, America is fighting a noble war in Afghanistan! The Nobel committee may therefore have viewed the AfPak war in a different light than other wars (Iraq, Vietnam, etc).

    I just hope (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by kidneystones on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 07:44:50 PM EST
    the troops stay safe. Pretty clearly they're going to be put hard at work.

    Dems made a huge mistake, IMHO, pre-judging the surge. I opposed the surge and was convinced it couldn't work.

    Had a better politician being running in 2008, Dem opposition to the surge would have been the issue, not an imaginary vote on Iraq that never happened.

    Dems are sending US troops into harm's way. Afghanistan is now officially a Dem war, no matter what the spinners tell us about Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. There are twenty-six other countries in Afghanistan.

    No matter what personal reservations some Dems may rightly have about the decision to commit more troops to Afghanistan, to outsource to Blackwater, to leave troops in Iraq, these are Dem decisions all made before 2010.

    Iran is promising to build ten new nuclear facilities. Israel is ready to pull the trigger now. The right, across Europe and in the US is breathing fire right now on a host of issues.

    Anyway, God speed to all the troops from all the countries and a special prayer for the ordinary Afghans who, we hope, just might see some improvements in their daily lives.

    Aspirational Peace Prize (none / 0) (#12)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:46:20 AM EST
    On Tuesday Barack Obama will announce a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan. A week later he'll be in Oslo accepting his Nobel Peace Prize. Pretty good timing, no?

    Makes perfect sense.  Obama has the peace prize to prove it is the right course to take to make peace.


    Just how will we win in Afghanistan? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Saul on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 11:53:59 AM EST
    Anybody know?  AFG is bigger than Iraq. Fighting in AFG is three times harder than Iraq.   No other major power that has fought them ever won there.  AFG is a grave yard of losers gong back to Alexander.  

    So just how specifically will America be the exception?  

    Just how many extreme muslin's are there in the world that will die to kill any and all Americans.   911 was carried out by only a handful of them.  Seems to me you would have to eradicate all the Islam extremist to be successful in AFG  

    So the real question is just how much time, treasure and blood are the American people willing to put on the line to say they won in AFG?  IMO you would have to be in AFG forever.  

    Doesn't  the American voter have anything to say if they want this war or not?  Remember Vietnam that was a useless war IMO.  It accomplished nothing.  I am a Vietnam veteran.

    I rather invest all this money in super protecting  and fortifying  the US. but only within our borders.  No one or nothing comes in to the U.S. without a  severe inspection.  

    Just my 2 cents

    Well, we are told that Afghanistan (none / 0) (#38)
    by KeysDan on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:05:53 PM EST
    is critical to our security. However, you do have a good point about security close to home. On Thanksgiving Day, 33 Cuban refugees came ashore, appropriately enough, at the Turkey Point Nuclear Reactor Plant, located south of Miami.  The refugees apparently called the nuclear power plant for assistance after wandering around the plant's cooling canals and mangroves for several hours.

    It honestly is quite an embarrassment (none / 0) (#40)
    by tigercourse on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:19:19 PM EST
    for everyone involved. The Noble people should just go with "Oh no, not that Barack Obama, we meant a totally different Barack Obama and as soon as that guy calls us back we'll give him the prize. What a mix up!"

    Obama should pretend to break his foot or something so he can't fly for 6 months.

    Pom poms (none / 0) (#58)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 09:18:47 AM EST
    Ha. I read it as porn porn. My glasses must be dirty. Getting out the Grey Poupon now.....

    As for Afghan policy and hopeful Nobels: both idiotic and harmful to living things. Not to mention mine bans and all the other formerly Bushian policies our great leader has adopted as his own.