Travesty Of A Mockery

Through no fault of his own, President Obama is obliged to participate in a travesty of a mockery:

Nine days after announcing a major intensification of the war in Afghanistan, President Obama arrived at Norway’s City Hall Thursday to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize during a series of events to commemorate the award created 108 years ago by Alfred Nobel. “The goal is not to win a popularity contest or to get an award — even one as esteemed as the Nobel Peace Prize,” Mr. Obama said, when asked by a reporter here whether he believed his honor was premature. “The goal is to advance American interests, make ourselves a continuing force for good in the world — something that we have been for decades now.”

He added, “And If I’m successful in those tasks, then hopefully some of the criticism will subside, but that’s not really my concern. And if I’m not successful, then all the praise and the awards in the world won’t disguise that fact.” Mr. Obama flew here overnight from Washington with his wife, Michelle, and a small group of friends and relatives.

(Emphasis supplied.) What can President Obama do? The fools on the Nobel Committee have caused this travesty, not Obama. It is their fault, not Obama's. His statement was just right imo. Hopefully it makes it into his speech.

Speaking for me only

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    It depends on who he's trying to impress (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Slado on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:25:07 AM EST
    I think he is confident he could quiet his domestic critics but was worried he'd offend internationals by not taking the prize as he fights the war in Afghanistan, tries to make them happy in Copenhagen etc... etc...

    He took this award for international reasons.  If he'd have purely thought about it in terms of domestic politics he'd have declined it.

    I'm no fan of Obama but I'm smart enough to know he didn't want this award and felt he had to make the most of a bad situation.

    Good perspective (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:40:27 AM EST
    I have to resist the temptation to want to avoid an unnecessary domestic political sh*tstorm. I forget about the damage overseas that needs to be repaired.

    Obama should've turned it down (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Dadler on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:23:34 AM EST
    Period. End of story. But that would've required being a real man. Not the cardboard cutout he is. The Nobel Committee were idiots here, Obama a vain man incapable of not accepting something he KNEW he neither deserved nor SHOULD be accepting. But the speech and the setting are just too much for him to pass up.

    F's to all involved.

    A bad and sad Nobel speech. (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 11:59:53 AM EST
    The mistake of the Nobel Committee was rivaled  by my disappointment of the acceptance lecture.  President Obama, in my view, not only missed the opportunity to speak to the Committee's aspirations for peace, but also, cloaked himself with defensiveness and placed a belligerent thumb in their Nordic blue eyes. The president's address, on the one hand, acknowledged Ghandi and King, but on the other, seemed to dismiss continued relevance of their tactics.. The speech, in effect,  redesigned the great seal of America  by re-directing the bald eagle's head from the olive branch to the arrows.  Of course, as "head of state" he is constitutionally charged to protect and defend America, but its purpose here and its reiteration seemed calculated to play down any charges of dovishness. The president tried to distance himself with statements such as "instruments of war have a role"and proclaimed moral justification for war, without seriously presenting other tactics that may avoid war.  A bright spot was his reference to Henry Dunant, the Red Cross and Geneva Conventions, only to be dimmed by the fact of his administration's defense of John Yoo's advise and counsel.

    He pointed out quite honestly (none / 0) (#67)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 03:59:21 PM EST
    that a President can't embrace the tactics of passive resistance as tools of Foriegn Policy- I mean really would a sit- in have stopped Hitler in 1944?

    Passive resistance tactics are never a tool (none / 0) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 04:34:43 PM EST
    of foreign policy?   See Ronald Reagan, Iran/Contra hostages for tow missiles (with a huge mark-up), along with Ollie North's trip to the Ayatollahs with a nice cake and a bible (although the Koran might have been better). However, the speech seemed to brush off Martin Luther King's "violence never brings permanent peace" with the base human necessity for war and pontificating about the moral justification of war. In 1944, a sit-in would probably not be effective against Hitler's  panzer divisions, it is true.  But, Obama could have touched on the aspirational issues to advance peace.  Maybe, something like, give peace a chance.  For example,, if the Treaty of Versailles had been less vindictive, if the League of Nations was implemented, if there had been a movement of reconstruction, such as  a pre-Marshall plan,  maybe even a sit-in during the 1920's,  the situation might have been different in 1944.  But then, what did King and Ghandi accomplish with their tactics anyhow?

    "Through no fault of his own" (none / 0) (#1)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 06:56:18 AM EST
    True - he didn't vote for himself.  But he chose to accept the award, even though it's ridiculous that he won it.  

    At least he acknowledged that it was kind of a joke:

    "And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage."

    Text of his speech (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:29:47 AM EST

    We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations - acting individually or in concert - will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

    I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago - "Violence never brings permanent peace.  It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life's work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak -nothing passive - nothing naïve - in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

    But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by....

    .... their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism - it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

    I raise this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter the cause. At times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.

    Yet the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions - not just treaties and declarations - that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.

    The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest - because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

    So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another - that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause and to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.

    So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly irreconcilable truths - that war is sometimes necessary, and war is at some level an expression of human feelings. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. "Let us focus," he said, "on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions."

    What might this evolution look like?  What might these practical steps be?

    To begin with, I believe that all nations - strong and weak alike - must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I - like any head of state - reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards strengthens those who do, and isolates - and weakens - those who don't.

    The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait - a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

    Furthermore, America cannot insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we don't, our action can appear arbitrary, and undercut the legitimacy of future intervention - no matter how justified.

    This becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor. More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region.

    I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That is why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.  

    America's commitment to global security will never waiver. But in a world in which threats are more diffuse, and missions more complex, America cannot act alone. This is true in Afghanistan. This is true in failed states like Somalia, where terrorism and piracy is joined by famine and human suffering. And sadly, it will continue to be true in unstable regions for years to come.

    The leaders and soldiers of NATO countries - and other friends and allies - demonstrate this truth through the capacity and courage they have shown in Afghanistan. But in many countries, there is a disconnect between the efforts of those who serve and the ambivalence of the broader public. I understand why war is not popular. But I also know this: the belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice.

    That is why NATO continues to be indispensable. That is why we must strengthen UN and regional peacekeeping, and not leave the task to a few countries. That is why we honor those who return home from peacekeeping and training abroad to Oslo and Rome; to Ottawa and Sydney; to Dhaka and Kigali - we honor them not as makers of war, but as wagers of peace.

    Let me make one final point about the use of force. Even as we make difficult decisions about going to war, we must also think clearly about how we fight it. The Nobel Committee recognized this truth in awarding its first prize for peace to Henry Dunant - the founder of the Red Cross, and a driving force behind the Geneva Conventions.

    Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength.

    He's right (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:33:29 AM EST
    And that is why as Commander in Chief of the US armed forces  engaged in 2 wars, the awarding him of the Nobel Peace Prize is a travesty.

    Indeed, I find the whole idea of an "aspirational" ward to be offensive. The Nobel Committee THOUGHT it could keep a President of the United States from doing his constitutional duty as he saw it by giving him a prize? That is offensive.

    The more I think about it, the worse I think of it.


    I am glad you said (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by prittfumes on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 11:14:38 AM EST
    "Commander in Chief of the US armed forces."

    Maybe it's splitting hairs, but I wish the greatest orator in the civilized world would be more specific instead of saying stuff like:

    But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of a nation in the midst of two wars.
    (emphasis added)

    As far as I am concerned, this man is not my commander, chief or otherwise.


    And you would be correct (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 01:25:10 PM EST
    Glenn Greenwald said it best:

    If I could be granted one small wish about our political discourse, it would be that reporters and pundits would accept -- as disappointing  and unglorious as it is -- that, under our Constitution and basic government design, people who aren't in the military don't have a "Commander-in-Chief."  The President isn't your "commander," and the "Commander-in-Chief" power, now synonymous in our political culture with "President," is actually extremely limited (Art. II, Sec. 2:  "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States").

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#66)
    by prittfumes on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 01:43:36 PM EST
    And their idea that this president would (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:02:15 AM EST
    be more receptive to such an aspirational award than say, GWB would have been, just makes it even more insulting, and hurts the very cause they are trying to promote.

    It's a travesty (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:16:02 AM EST
    I can not think of a better word to describe it.

    It is the perfect word (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:17:51 AM EST
    and the prize has lost whatever meaning it had for me, after seeing it used as an attempt at manipulation.

    Do we know their intentions (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:28:22 AM EST
    in awarding it or are we just making assumptions?  A more benign view would be that they awarded it out of hope that he would generally ratchet down the tensions created by Little Georgie's cowboy version of "diplomacy" worldwide, which he was pretty much guaranteed to do.

    I rather suspect if they could have awarded it to the American voters for picking Obama and not Mr. Belligerent McCain, they would have.

    I take it more as the expression of a huge worldwide sigh of relief than as an actual attempt to manipulate.

    (I agree, btw, they should not have done it, but I'm just dubious that a half dozen Norwegian legislators were so deluded as to think they could actually manipulate a U.S. president's defense policy, or that of any other major head of state, by doing this.)


    I think the point is (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:36:46 AM EST
    Historically, the prize was given for actual work done in the name of peace - not what the Committee would "hope" someone would do. In fact:

    On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes. As described in Nobel's will, one part was dedicated to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

    I thought that way at first (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:48:27 AM EST
    and it is a fine line. I read a lot of reactions like this that made me think it was tending toward the manipulative side.

    The committee wanted to be "far more daring" than in recent times and make an impact on global politics, said Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the International Peace Research Institute

    That is their right of course - I'm sure I would prefer their impact on global politics more than Dick Cheney's. But maybe they should register as a PAC.


    My students want aspirational awards! (none / 0) (#63)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 01:15:32 PM EST
    Okay, A's to all of them, no final exams needed, because they aspired to know American history.

    Whew, that just freed up the next few weeks of my life, too.  No grading needed, no inputting needed (multiply 250 students times all the clicks and ticks and sends and resends and really, really resends to confirm grades, sigh).  

    I like this system.  Thanks, Obama.  Aspire on!


    There's a lot more (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:30:32 AM EST
    But it was too much to post here.

    Well (none / 0) (#33)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:37:41 AM EST
    Personally I cannot find much to disagree with there.

    He almost makes it sound like... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 10:32:52 AM EST
    America is being bombed and attacked daily or something...I guess I just have a very different definition of "grave threat" and "self defense"...and no concept of "occupy for peace".

    When is the speech? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:30:47 AM EST
    I'm watching the af/pak discussions on cspan, only because Josh is still asleep.

    He already gave it (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:39:58 AM EST
    I'll have to watch it when I get home (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 07:47:50 AM EST
    I just saw a blurb on cnn

    Good speech in my opinion. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Addison on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:00:21 AM EST
    It's a JFK "strong America" speech. At times it drifted a little, or repeated itself, but over all I liked it (I read it, didn't see/hear it).

    well (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:07:53 AM EST
    I partially agree with you. He certainly didn't give himself the Nobel but he is responsible for how he handled it. He should have followed your advice and just not taken it. Why is even showing up and giving a speech? Yes, it is a travesty but why participate in the travesty if you dont have to?

    I really don't think (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:15:19 AM EST
    in hindsight, that he had a choice. Not taking it would not have made things better.

    I think he did the best he could do with the situation, as far as I can tell.

    Easy for me on blog to say 'don't take it.' Hell, he is getting crap for not fully participating in the festivities in Norway.

    I think he handled it as best it could be handled.


    If (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:18:57 AM EST
    you're getting crap for not fully participating then why not just take the full crap and forget about it. I think he had the choice of not taking it but his ego got in the way of that one and now he's once again, trying to split the difference but making himself look silly in the end.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:20:40 AM EST
    I agree that not taking it would not have made things better but he wouldnt at least look silly and foolish like he does now.

    And how does that advance our interests? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:35:39 AM EST
    Ah, but the world knew that about us already. . . .

    I felt that way too (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:15:51 AM EST
    but then I realized it would be like asking my dog not to eat an offered second bowl of breakfast.

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:19:35 AM EST
    Funny but unfortunately true.

    Well (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:21:06 AM EST
    he made a speech about why he is escalating in Afghanistan, basically.  I think it's a travesty for the Committee and the future of the award, but in terms of having a platform to make a speech about an international action - what could be better?

    I thought the section on human rights was good.


    If he needed (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:23:47 AM EST
    to make that kind of speech then he should go to to UN to make it. He looks foolish showing up and making that kind of speech there.

    well (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:25:59 AM EST
    I can't argue with that.  Although I do think the Committee looks way more foolish than Obama does.

    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:29:32 AM EST
    they do.

    Not really... (none / 0) (#23)
    by Addison on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:26:49 AM EST
    ...they give the prize for them for their own personal political reasons. He uses the forum for his. Fair trade off in a stupid situation. Obama -- as an American president in today's context -- used the forum pretty masterfully, in my opinion. After reading the speech (I assume you've already done so) not quite sure what there is to gripe about except for what's already decided and past, the window-dressing, and the gossipy bits.

    He (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:30:25 AM EST
    looks like he's trying to explain himself to them in the speech. He would have been better just making this speech somewhere else IMO.

    "Goal is to advance American interests" (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:33:47 AM EST
    hardly is in alignment with the award's goal of international peace, it would seem.  So Obama really has participated in a travesty of a mockery of the peace movement.  What a way to start my day, but he seems to be having a nice one.

    I do give him kudos for using the forum (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:23:49 AM EST
    well, but I still wish the whole thing had never happened. He would have had no problem finding a different forum for this speech.

    Hmm, what would President Cheney do? (none / 0) (#71)
    by beowulf on Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 12:06:03 AM EST
    The very morning of the announcement he'd won, President Richard Bruce Cheney would have called in the Norwegian ambassador and told him that not only did he decline his award and offer of large sums of currency but that the United States Government was forthwith declaring the ambassador personal non grata, and must leave immediately

    Simultaneously, his (our) Ambassador to Norway would insist on an audience with the KIng to inform him he'd been summoned home, but he had the President's assurance him that the Norwegian cabinet and Royal Family would very likely be taken off the US no-fly list-- as soon as the entire Norwegian Nobel Committee resigned (those sad sacks, of course, would never get off the no-fly list or past a US Customs station).

    I dare say that approach would garner more public support than Obama's sheepish acceptance.  It was Cheney-level boorish for the Committee to have publicly announced Obama's award without, at the very least, inquiring of  our Embassy in Oslo if the President had any objections to receiving their award and large check.  For Uncle Sam, in turn, to award them no fly list status would serve them right. :o)


    And of course (none / 0) (#24)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:27:07 AM EST
    always an homage to him:

    I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago - "Violence never brings permanent peace.  It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life's work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak -nothing passive - nothing naïve - in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

    Well, he is a past winner (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:35:12 AM EST
    and the foremost American advocate of non-violence. Entirely appropriate.

    I know some will take issue (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:36:27 AM EST
    with "foremost" but you know what I mean. In his day, he certainly was.

    The commenter... (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Addison on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:47:18 AM EST
    ...was implying that when Obama referenced Dr King's work on civil rights -- the result of that work being that blacks had a greater voice in American society -- as impacting his own life, Obama was giving an homage to himself. Seems sort of a petty thing to bother with, but that's what the commenter was talking about.

    Obam can't ever (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:57:07 AM EST
    give a speech without doing it.

    Personally (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:06:35 AM EST
    I see it as humble to acknowledge that you stand on the shoulders of giants.

    Obama (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:32:44 AM EST
    and humble are never two words that are used in the same sentence.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 10:11:55 AM EST
    Well, if you come into it with a preconception that Obama is unfailingly arrogant, then I suppose I'm not surprised you managed to detect arrogance in this particular speech.  

    No, I meant (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:45:33 AM EST
    Obama always seems to get an homage to himself in every speech.  I have no problem with the King reference - but it always comes back to Obama.  Now, I understand that he won the prize, so I guess it IS about him, but it's just an annoying habit of his.

    He is the first African-American president (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Lacey on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:56:53 AM EST
    So I think when discussing King's life's work, he would be remiss in not stating that he would not be president if it was not for the struggle of King and many others. Seems to be a petty point to make.

    Good grief (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 10:07:44 AM EST
    This is getting ridiculous.  I'm no Obama fan, but how in God's name does acknowledging that but for King, he would not be where he is constitute an "homage" to himself?

    Sorry, I misunderstood. (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 08:49:49 AM EST
    It is what it is (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by CST on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:06:58 AM EST
    It's a little rediculous to ignore the fact that he is the first black president - and that would never have happened if not for the work of Dr. King.

    It's acknowledging the result of these men's work - and he is the result.  It might not seem like that big a deal to you, but the fact is, it is actually a very big deal.  Just as electing Hillary as the first female president would have been a very big deal.  And I would have expected her to acknowledge that fact every once in a while.

    Considering the civil rights movement was led by a man who promoted non-violence, and he's accepting a peace prize, I find it entirely appropriate.


    Do other countries (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:22:39 AM EST
    who have other than a middle-aged male from their majority race dedicate the entire reign to the people needing to draw attention to it?

    I'm not really sure (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by CST on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:31:09 AM EST
    what you're talking about.  This doesn't make sense to me "dedicate the entire reign to the people needing to draw attention to it" as a sentance.

    I do know that no other country has our history, or our stature and prominence.  It's silly to pretend that being elected the president of another country is the same as being elected the president of the U.S.  The whole world watches us in a way that no other country is watched.  And frankly, some of them have much better histories regarding elections of people who aren't middle-aged men from the majority race than we do - so it's not quite as big a deal.  And in other countries, electing a middle-aged man from the majority race is a big deal (Nelson Mandela).  I think you are trying to compare apples to oranges here.

    Finally, it's not like he spent the whole speech talking about this.  He gave a quick acknowledgement and moved on.


    Why people are complaining (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:34:19 AM EST
    about this is absolutely beyond me.  

    I know there is nothing weak -nothing passive - nothing naïve - in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

    This is certainly true and one of the most peace-related thing he said in the entire speech.


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by CST on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:37:43 AM EST
    they are complaining about this:

    "As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life's work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence"

    which I don't get... since it's also true.


    oh sorry (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:41:54 AM EST
    didn't write that comment well.  I meant why are people complaining about the whole MLK reference in general.  What you cite is true too.  Obama is a living testament to the work of MLK.  This is a good thing.

    My point was (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:42:57 AM EST
    He does this in every single speech he gives.  We got it - it's transformational - he's the first black presdient - we are a good country now that we have done this.  Can we please move on to something of substance now and stop talking about the wonderfulness that is Obma?

    You are so right! (4.25 / 4) (#54)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:45:45 AM EST
    Look how many times he referenced MLK in his health care speech!  It's just ridiculous!  <snark>

    Deliberately missing the point again (none / 0) (#56)
    by jbindc on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:59:44 AM EST
    I'm not talking about MLK (but you know that).  I will let you ramble on about things not related to the actual topic that I was discussing.

    so nice of you! (none / 0) (#57)
    by lilburro on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 10:06:23 AM EST
    and I will let you ignore the fact that the health care speech is a policy speech and does not include any of the "homage to self" rhetoric you claim all his speeches have and indeed ends with:

    But that's not what the moment calls for. That's not what we came here to do. We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it. I still believe we can act even when it's hard. I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress. I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history's test.

    Because that is who we are. That is our calling. That is our character. Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.

    Yeah this speech was so arrogant (none / 0) (#68)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 04:05:27 PM EST
    seriously, what do you want him to do- what exactly did he say that was so bad this time injbindc's house o' crazy?

    From a war president, that phrase (none / 0) (#64)
    by Cream City on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 01:20:04 PM EST
    doesn't sound jarring?  Just downright weird?

    MLK was antiwar. . . .


    Our stature and prominence (none / 0) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:39:26 AM EST
    Wow....that's the Ugly American image.

    You've never been outside the boundaries, have you?

    The celebration over his half blackness was conducted on election day. It's lost it's luster and now he needs to depend on his decisions for his legacy.


    I most certainly (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by CST on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:50:53 AM EST
    Have been out of this country.  Which is how I know we are watched.

    Whether we are doing good things or bad things, we are constantly in the international public eye in a way that no other country is.  And personally, I think it's silly to pretend that we aren't.

    There's a difference between a celebration and an acknowledgement.


    What a suprise (none / 0) (#69)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 04:06:31 PM EST
    InspectorHater didn't like it- I'm shocked! Shocked! I tell you.

    Toys 4 Tots is getting more news time (none / 0) (#43)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:17:25 AM EST
    here than today's travesty. He barely got mention on the morning news, but they did focus on Michelle's furroughed brow while she and their friends and family looked on.

    I continue to believe that the Nobel committee gave him this consolation prize simply because they were unable to make him their President.

    The travesty will escalate through the years right along with his handling and escalating of the wars in the Middle East. In the months since the announcement, what movement has he made toward aspiring to live up to the honor?

    wait (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Dec 10, 2009 at 09:36:14 AM EST
    Norway has a city hall?