Sunday, October 18, 2009

Obama's Nobel prize

Guam Diary steps timidly into the ring of opinion on Oslo's awarding the 2009 Nobel prize for peace to the US president Barack Obama [BHO]. Little did the august, restrained circle of judge misread the reaction. In the US, it caused a tempest of derision and scorn and cynicism; an award to a new president who has hardly had time to test his mettle. The bile and etching acid of criticism has come mainly from BHO's reactionary detractors, mainly Republican, and even some from the scolds on the left. One lefty equated the nomination to Bertold Brecht's receiving a Lenin peace prize! The right wingers have poured ice water on BHO's nomination with no amount of silly advice, and even the so called middle, read the 'New York Times' gassy Thomas Friedman has tilted towards putting acceptance off till BHO has done something worthy of the man. Others have called for outright refusal. Which betrays historical shortsightedness. Jean Paul Sartre refused his prize, but for the year he won it, he is still listed as recipient with in parathesis 'refused'.
To Guam Diary, it seems, the Nobel peace prize marks a decisive shift from fearing the specter of a unilateral, single superpower throwing its weight around arrogantly with little or no regard for the world, as exemplied by George Bush & co. bank of blind avenging angels. BHO has as a herald of high moral hopes and a message of cohering the US with the world at large. Called it the biblical 'balm of Gilead', if you will; it's comparatively speaking in the same league as the youthful JFK whose election like BHO's brought a universal feeling of youth and change, even though the potential might remain short in reality.
The detractors in the US, for all the Colonel Blimp patriotism they wear on their sleeves, they fail to recognise that the US in the person of BHO, is being honoured and restored to its own image as a beacon of hope and liberty and freedom. In this sense, they bear the onus of 'anti American', which at every turn possible they try smearing everyone else but them.
Like it or not, BHO is the 2009 holder of the Nobel prize for peace.

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