Friday, October 09, 2009

What? Obama Gets the Nobel Peace Prize?

I felt like someone waking up from a decades long coma this morning as I sleepily starred at the t.v. anchor telling me that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. My first thought was, "For what?" Don't get me wrong, I like Obama and while I'm a bit pissed at him lately over this health care fight I still personally really dig the guy. I'm not sure if I'll vote for him yet again in 2012 but I'm leaning toward re-electing him barring a disaster on health care, which I'm really concerned over.

Anyway, despite my admiration for the man I don't think he's done enough for peace in the less than a year that he's been in office to warrant such a prestigious prize. He struck the right tone, however, this morning when talking about the award in saying he felt he didn't deserve it. As well as stating how he wants to share it with the world who have collectively done so much for peace. What else could he say? He would have appeared rude to decline it and had he accepted it without feeling humbled; he'd be accused of having a messianic complex.

The candidate that I would have chosen would be the 82 year old Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh who was nominated in 1967. He was nominated by his friend the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his work to peacefully end the Vietnam war. At the time King, Jr. made the comment, "I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk from Vietnam...I know Thich Nhat Hanh." Nhat Hanh is using the peaceful message of Buddhism to effect harmony in the world.

In his native Vietnam a fledgling order of monks was established by him a few years ago, which is now being broke up by the religious police of the Communist dictatorship there. They have used violence to remove the peaceful monastics from the temple monastery yet because of Nhat Hanh's peaceful example these monastics were able to remain calm, peaceful and loving despite being treated so poorly.

That all said I feel sympathy for President Obama because I know he feels awkward about this prize as seen in his body language and words at the press conference. However, it must be said that the Nobel committee should have waited to see what all Obama was going to do with his presidency before awarding him this prestigious recognition. Hopefully now he will use this as more motivation to use his time in office to bring about peace and reconciliation with all peoples of the world. Unfortunately this award with give his critics more ammunition to call him the king with no clothes. The Nobel committee didn't do him any favors by saddling him with his recognition, which undoubtedly will take the message off health care.

---End of Transmission---

1 comment:

libhom said...

I would have given it to Cindy Sheehan myself.