Slightly premature: pity the peace prize committee’s wives

9 Oct

The Swedish jokes are over. Now I’ll just mock Norwegians for awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. When you award a prize, shouldn’t you give it to someone who has accomplished something? I’ll readily admit Barack Obama is a great improvement over Bush. But when you’ve sunk that low you can really only go up.

Don’t get me wrong. Barack seems like a decent, well-intentioned guy. I hope he does some good in the future. But let’s be clear, he has so far accomplished nothing:

But maybe I just misunderstood the exact nature of the Nobel prize. I now think it requires deep cultural understanding of the Norwegian context. In school ski races the Norwegians award the “ideal time” prize to the cross-country skier whose time is closest to the exact average of that of all of the other competitors. Since most of us have done nothing to further the cause of world peace, maybe Norway just gave Obama the “ideal” peace prize for an exemplarily average contribution.

Sweden, here’s your chance. You can create the new “Nobel Peace Price For Actual Achievement”. This is in your prerogative. Nobel was, after all, a Swede. And then may you, in a grand (albeit uncharacteristic) show of intelligence, award it to Obama when he has:

  • Closed Guantanamo
  • Got out of Iraq
  • Got out of Afghanistan
  • Stopped settlement of occupied Palestinian territories and brokered peace
  • Repealed the Patriot Act and stopped domestic spying
  • Reinstated habeas corpus as a universal right even applying to suspected terrorists
  • Prosecuted the CIA torturers
  • Provided decent and affordable healthcare to all US residents
  • Sufficiently regulated Wall Street to avert another greed-and-stupidity fueled meltdown
  • Signed onto the Geneva convention
  • Signed onto international climate change conventions
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