The Obama Peace Prize by Dr. Cheryl BryantBruce, M.D.
Today it was announced that President Barack Obama has become the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Although I would have anticipated that I would have been overjoyed by such news, I found myself having decidedly mixed sentiments. On the one hand, he is the first person of color to hold the highest office in, arguably, the most powerful nation in the world. This of course gives me a sense of pride, for obvious reasons. On the other hand, our new President has committed himself to a protracted war in Afghanistan, with no time table and only the promise of more flagged draped coffins and civilian (soft targets) blasted into bloody bits by our military drone planes. His promised withdrawal of our troops from Iraq has yet to come to fruition.
It is of interest that the decision was made to hand him the award only two weeks after he took office. It has been stated that he was given the award because of the possibilities that he represents, his global out reach during his climb to the top and what he inspires in people, much like Martin Luther King or Gandhi, both recipients as well of this high honor. The thing is, both King and Gandhi won it for doing all that they could do to promote peace in the world, when all they had to fight the good fight with was their words. Our esteemed President, however, although not at all lacking in the stirring oratory department, has so much more than words. He is the captain and navigator of our Ship of State. He leads us and charts our course. With the stroke of a pen he can alter the destiny of most of the world. Americans and the rest of the world have given him a vote of confidence and now we all are waiting for this Commander in Chief, to “step up”. For many obvious reasons and some not so obvious reasons, the stakes are high.
Here’s my “two cents.” In my opinion, the award is a bit premature; although the election committee was quick to state that the Nobel Peace Prize is often awarded as an “encouragement” and to “strengthen commitment,” in other words being awarded based on promise rather than actual deeds. I’d like to think that he is receiving The Nobel for the courage of his undertaking and to believe that it will indeed encourage him and strengthen his commitment to stand strong on his purported convictions and live up to the hefty promises that he made. By his own admission, he had done nothing yet to deserve this prestigious nod.
So, what do you think? Has this ship sailed? Has our captain chartered a course for perpetual war? And… Do you think that President Obama deserves this prize?
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