BLOG: Obama's Nobel Prize even more ridiculous in hindsight

Tom Jackson
Nov 30, 2010

President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in October 2009, looks even more ridiculous now than it did at the time.

The president has made it clear that he intends to stay in Afghanistan for years.

My editorial page colleague Rufus Sanders, writing on our editorial page  on Oct. 25, predicted that by 2012 under President Obama, “the war in Afghanistan will be over.”

Pastor Sanders agrees with me that the U.S. should get out of Afghanistan — he wrote a column laying out his own views that ran in July and remains on our Web site — but I’m afraid his prediction turned out to be optimistic.

Obama and other NATO leaders reached an agreement Saturday that they will remain in control of Afghanistan’s security until the end of 2014.

The New York Times article on the agreement, headlined “NATO Sees Long-Term Role After Afghan Combat,” stressed that 2014 is just a goal, not a promise.

“NATO and American officials also warned that if Afghanistan had not made sufficient progress in managing its own security, 2014 was not a hard and fast deadline for the end of combat operations,” the article stated.

There have been 451 U.S. military fatalities in Afghanistan so far this year, more than in any other year since our war there began in 2001.

I can’t see how the decision to spend several more years in Afghanistan differs from what a victory for the McCain-Palin ticket would have produced.

In looking back at Obama’s peace prize, it’s worth remembering what it was supposed to stand for. Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896 and set up the prize in his will, wanted it to go to the person who has “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.”

How’s the “reduction of standing armies” coming along in the U.S.? Don’t look for hope or change.
Globalissues.org says that as of 2009, U.S. military spending accounted for 46.5 of the world total. (China is in a distant second place at 6.6 percent).

It is apparently politically impossible, even in an age of huge federal deficits, to talk about whether the U.S. could settle for 40 percent of the world total, or 30 percent. An October article posted at The Daily Beast’s Web site, written by Leslie Gelb, says that President Obama and his defense secretary, Robert Gates — a holdover from the George W. Bush administration — plan to actually increase military spending.

A couple of sentences from Gelb’s article: “The Obama administration is requesting $738.7 billion for the current fiscal year (beginning Oct. 1, 2010 and ending Sept. 30, 2011). That is not a reduction from the previous year. It’s actually an increase.”

It seems to me that real change in U.S. military policy, including an end to endless war around the globe, must come from a coalition across the political spectrum. Liberal Democrats such as Dennis Kucinich can’t do it alone, because they don’t have the numbers, even in their own party.

They need help from libertarians (such as Ron Paul), conservatives and moderates. No one has to embrace the entire liberal Democratic agenda (unless you want to, of course) but if peace is the goal, only a coalition can win.

It would also help if everyone seeking a more peaceful world could support an organization working for that end.

Here are a couple of useful Web sites. Antiwar.com represents a variety of political opinions, although it is run by peace-minded libertarians. It includes articles written by conservatives. Leftists may feel more comfortable at Tom Hayden's  Peace and Justice Center. Both sites offer e-mail bulletins, blog feeds and so on.

Both reported well before the mainstream media did on Obama’s plan to stay in Afghanistan for years.

Comments

Return of Dragon

Anybody not a Conservative or Libertarian is a Leftist?  Tom you are better than that.  The opposite of Conservative is Liberal not "Leftist".  Dust off that Poly 101 book to use the correct vernacular.  Comments like that make you sound like that conspiracy theorist guy that the Register has blogging for them.

Pete

And the Liberals will flock here in droves!

I do have one question, kinda related to the previous post:

What is opposite of "Fiscal Conservative?

Edit: Is the correct vernacular Socialist?

Return of Dragon

The proper term for Fiscal Conservatve is a Unicorn (they don't exist)  Reagan was fiscal conservative and he tripled the national debt in 8 years.

Pete

Revised Headline:

Obama even more ridiculous in hindsight!

 

Taxed Enough Already

 I admit I didn't read the article only the headlines but it's not any more ridicules than Yasir Arafat being given the Noble Peace Prize.

Kimo

On the way out of Iraq, stop in Afghanistan and pick up those troops.

Time to declare a victory.

Ok, we won, time to go home....................

citizen

Tom- The only Sandusky Register "columnist" that gives me a greater laugh than you is good 'ole Rufus.  I live out of town and noticed that you gave a hyperlink to one of Rufus' columns from July... Is there anywhere on the SR website that publishes Rufus' musings on a regular basis?  I do truly enjoy reading them to see how far off he is...

6079 Smith W

@ Mr. Jackson: 

The Greeks, the British, the Soviets and now the Americans and their allies all have failed to control Afghanistan. History is against us succeeding.

Culturally, the Afghans love to fight. If they don't have an outside force to combat, they fight amongst themselves.

We may indeed have to "pull a Vietnam": Declare victory and leave.

Unfortunately, if a terrorist friendly regime regains control and again threatens the West, returning to destroy them will be very difficult - same goes for Iraq.

IMO, we need to do a 180-degree turn in our foreign policy and return to our military isolationist roots and be a neutral player - not unlike Switzerland or Sweden.

Fiscally, our country is broke and we need to extricate ourselves from many of our alliances and military adventures that we can no longer afford.

Historically, every great nation or empire eventually borrowed and spent themselves into second or third class status and usually byway of being involved in expensive military adventures – we are no different.

Afghanistan is a tar baby – easy to get in, hard to get out.

 

mikel

just waiting for brutus to comment and then the games will begin!

by the way i am the only one who finds it crazy that the left winged fanatics criticized bush for his spending in iraq yet obamass is doing the same or worse in afghanistan!  where is the outrage over this from you lefties? 

AJ Oliver

    Several comments on Mr. Jackson's blog:  He is correct that the costs of empire are an unsustainable burden.  The military-industrial comlex that Prez Ike warned against has come to pass.  "Defense" (actually, offense) - related companies, now have huge lobbying efforts designed to influence Congress to spend really BIG bucks for weapons we do not need and militaristic adventures.  They are bankrupting the country and dragging us into endless wars. 

   Second, although Prez Obama's peace record is disappointing, and he in no way deserves the Nobel, McCain-Palin would likely have been even worse.  Had they been elected, we would probably have attacked Iran by now, and perhaps North Korea as well. 

   Third, I too would recommend "Antiwar.com".  They even publish my stuff once in a while. 

   I'm a Vietnam vet and a member of Veterans for Peace, which is dedicated to ending war as an instrument of national policy.  It's a daunting task, but one that real patriots have to work toward.  If not us, who will do it? Check us out on the web. 

   Lastly, I enjoy Dr. Sanders contributions to the Register, without always agreeing with him.   The right wingers who are trying to get him kicked off the editorial page are the same people who complain loudly about "political correctness".  They love to trash and name-call Prez Obama, but cannot take it when someone like rufus gives it right back to them.  They can dish it out, but not take it. 

brutus smith

 A.J. Oliver says:  "The right wingers who are trying to get him kicked off the editorial page are the same people who complain loudly about "political correctness".  They love to trash and name-call Prez Obama, but cannot take it when someone like rufus gives it right back to them.  They can dish it out, but not take it."

 

Amen A.J., Amen.

Pete

President Barack Obama is considering at least a short delay to the start of his holiday vacation in Hawaii so he can try to work out a deal with congressional Republicans on the Bush tax cuts that expire December 31, CNN has learned.

He is just overworked and underpaid!!!! Poor little Chairman Maoboma!

6079 Smith W
@ AJ O:   I too enjoy reading Mr. Sanders’ screeds and would like to see him back on the SR website.   As for giving it "right back”; I think not, because as with most Marxists, Mr. Sanders largely justifies using only emotion and tends to lack any solid reasoning in his thinking.