Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, A Lesson in Peace and Hope, or Simply Ridiculous?

posted by Brad Hirschfield

I first read that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in a five a.m. e-mail from a friend, not a fan of the President’s, and I assumed my friend was joking. Reading the cover of this morning’s Washington Post, I realized three things: he was not, the judges were badly misguided at best, and that their decision may actually make a mockery of an otherwise noble prize.
Or, and I really hope this is the case, Obama getting the Peace Prize represents a quantum leap in our understanding of the relationship between nurturing hope and making peace, be it in the world or our own individual hearts. If that is the case, then Obama’s prize might bring a gift to all of us with a teaching from which we could all benefit. To be fair though, both possibilities should be considered. I prefer to get the bad news out of the way first.
Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama might seem ridiculous and can even be shameful, if the award is to have any real meaning. And I write that as one who voted for Obama, and would likely do so again if he faced the same competition in the race. But awarding this prize, at this time, to President Obama may actually be a bigger embarrassment than having awarded it to Yassir Arafat.
Arafat, even if he was insincere in many of his claims about making peace with Israel, and continued to support terror against Israel, did transform the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, putting peace concretely on the agenda of both sides. With all that one can say about how badly Arafat behaved, even after having won the prize, when the history books are written, they will all record the sea change brought by his decision to negotiate with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. Love him or loathe him, Yassir Arafat changed the game on peace in the Middle East.
In terms of changing the game on international peace, Obama has simply not done that, at least not yet. That is not an attack on him, perhaps no one could do so given the short amount t of time in which he has been in office, and given the challenges we face. But the bottom line remains that he hasn’t done so, and unless the purpose of this award has been redefined, as being to better position a potential peace-maker, it should not have gone to him.
President Obama getting this award threatens to demean the process, past recipients, and may indicate that the judges are the worst kinds of panderers who some have previously accused them of being. But there is another way to look at this.


A brighter possibility is that the award committee gave him the prize for being black, or more accurately for being the first black president of the United States, and for the healing which that accomplishment represents. But if that is the case, the award should go to the American public because it’s about his presidency, not his personal accomplishments in the area of peace-making.
In fact, the words of the award committee indicate that this may have indeed been their purpose. Heralding Obama as a transformative figure in U.S. and international diplomacy, the committee said: “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future”.
It is not what he has done, but who he is, that inspires hope according to the people who gave the award. And there is no question that hope and peace are closely related. One could even argue that it is not peace which leads to hope, but hope which leads to peace.
Perhaps, when it comes to making peace and so many others of life’s challenges, a leap of hope is required. I am not talking about naively making one’s self needlessly vulnerable, but about daring to imagine that things really could be different if we took steps in the direction we wanted to go. Isn’t that what hope is all about?
Peace-making of all kinds requires hope, and if by instilling hope one effectively lays the groundwork for lasting peace, then perhaps there is a degree of wisdom in choosing Obama for the Peace Prize. But that is a claim which should have come from the committee which awarded the prize, not a commentator like me who is trying to make sense of an otherwise strange turn of events.



  • Henrietta22

    Reactions from different people are always….so different. My first reaction to President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize was Perfect! The Europeans and the Scandinavians look at life differently than most Americans, unless they are Europeans and Scandinavians, or descents. ;) He deserves it, even if he so humbley received it.

  • mike

    The sublime: President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
    The ridiculous (but wholly appropriate): BELIEFNET Kingdom of Priests blog host David Klinghoffer being named a “honorary” Legionnaire of Christ.
    Congrats to both!

  • http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176 Steven Earl Salmony

    After 8 long dark years of denial, duplicity and death-dealing, it is surely a breath of fresh air that President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Finally, leadership with vision and hope has been restored to a lost world. Perhaps now we can be encouraged by this great man so that others will exemplify his kind of new leadership; so that, as the Nobel Prize Committee stated to and for all in the world, more leaders will stand up, speak out loudly and clearly for “diplomacy…founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.” If ever there was reason to hope for a good enough future for the children, it is now. The vision of what is best for the majority of humanity and not for a malignantly narcissistic, pathologically arrogant and extremely greedy minority, is something easy to apprehend and even easier to actualize in democracies in which the majority does really rule. The majority of people in too many democracies in our time have been surreptitiously manipulated by a remarkably tiny group of super-rich and powerful people who appear to have maniacally exploited democratic principles and practices for their own selfish interests….come what may for the majority of humanity, the future of children, life as we know it and the integrity of Earth.

  • Albert the Abstainer

    I see it as aspirational, and as a statement to provide a further push towards peace. Sometimes pushing at the right time to foster and encourage the basis for a wider peace is necessary, even if the recipient of the prize has not been proven by outcome. I see the award to Obama from this frame, and it is a legitimate choice by the Nobel jury for this reason.

  • Judy may

    Albert (above) sees the award to Obama as aspirational; I think it’s inspirational: A global YES WE CAN. Kudos to the Nobel Committee’s vision and dreams.

  • budcath

    I am on the Obama email list and got this today. How anyone can find fault with Obama is beyond me. It wasn’t his decision and this is a wonderful response.
    This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.
    To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.
    But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.
    That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.
    This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.
    So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.
    Thank you,
    President Barack Obama

  • Mykl Du Fer

    I believe that the EU was/is throwing down a gauntlet to Mr. Obama,and, (at the same time,) the American people, in the issuance of this prize in order to say, 1. “Thank God the Bush era is over”, and, 2.”welcome back to a hopefully sane reality, and, now, can you make good on a promise of a safer world for the rest of us to live in by getting your hysterical Right Wing to back off of its typical stance of ultra-paranoia?”
    The ball’s in OUR court! Get behind YOUR Pesident, or S.T.F.U!!!

  • Your Name

    President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize because he deserved to win it. He is a young man who exudes the love of his fellow man and a human being who truly wants what is best for all humanity. He has worked tirelessly in the ten months that he has been in office and has always shown himself to be a man of good character irregardless of the crass, crude, and seemingly endless opposition of those who wish him to fail. The rest of the world recognizes the ability and sincerity of President Barack Obama and he will persevere.

  • Cully

    How quickly we forget the Hope we felt when we heard the words that we had dared to whisper being said by another. All these people who so freely and openly deride our President and the strides he is working to accomplish, have forgotten how much America was derided and disliked just one short year ago. When Barack was elected we truly saw and felt how much America – the land of Hope and Opportunity… the land of Milk and Honey (as my uncle, who immigrated here alone at 16, used to say) – had been missed by the rest of the world. And, they have forgotten to give thanks that they live here today, where they Can say what they will and Not be “disappeared”. The Peace Prize has been being given out since 1901, it is not given out because Peace has been accomplished but rather because the Hope of Peace as a [real] possibility has been shown and accepted and striven for because of the acts of others (a person or group). BTW, there were years since 1901 when there were no receipients of the Nobel Peace Prize – the award money, in part or in whole, was turned back in to the Special Fund of this prize section. You can check it out at Nobel.org . We can not [ever] have Hope or Peace if we do not have Compassion… Barack has been in office for 9 months – 9 Months! He has eight years of arrogant and stupid self-righteousness to clean up. Actually, we all have to clean up the mess of the last eight years, and it’s not going to be easy if we are busy trying to lay blame and refusing to work together and acknowledge the accomplishments of others. For me, a born and raised American citizen, this is another moment in the history of the United States of America that makes me proud. It brings tears of joy to my eyes, and makes me thank God that we are able to start wiping away the tarnish that has dimmed our torch. And, I can’t stop smiling because people all over the world are cheering for us.

  • Shmuely

    Obama winning is both absurb and ridiculous! I actually wrote a letter of complaint to the Nobel Prize Committee as a protest. Here is my letter:
    To Whom it may concern,
    I find the decision to give Mr. Obama the Nobel Peace Prize both shocking and absurd. What real peace has he worked for? All I have seen is Mr. Obama’s blatant apologizing for the American People and pandering to islamists and terrorists alike. Mr. Obama does not have the support of the majority of American people nor do we condone his apologizing on our behalf. His Policies have done nothing short of plung us into recession and put the US on the fringes of bankruptcy. No real peace has been accomplished only small talk. We the American People vehemently call for the Nobel Peace Prize Committe to rescend and reevaulate Mr. Obama’s Award. Obama’s win takes away from the true spirit for which the Award was created.
    Sincerely and Unapologetically,
    Shmuel E. Firm
    On Behalf of the Majority of the American People

  • Cully
  • Joseph C. Moore, Cpo USN Ret.

    The Nobel Peace Prize is now being awarded for perceived good intentions and NOT for concrete accomplishments. This is a blatant misuse of the noble, Nobel award. Furthermore, this president is NOT a friend of Israel or the Jews as a whole. Awake to what he is doing and to the associates of him. How blind are the people who voted for him.
    I am disgusted.

  • http://www.unravelingtheword.info/ScripturesOfTheDay Sean Rhoades

    This reminds me of the following verses
    Jer 8:11 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
    1 Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

  • Juliet

    Disclosure: I did not vote for Obama and am not a fan. But I think it’s valid to wonder how the nobel committee can place him in the same category as Nelson Mandela, or Sadat and Begin, or Mikhail Gorbachev. The actions of those men had a great and lasting impact on the world. Hope is laudable, but there are thousands of people out there whose actions make them far more deserving of this prize. Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea) comes to mind. Let Obama accomplish something first. I believe the nobel committee has seriously devalued the peace prize when they give it to someone just because he’s not George W. Bush.

  • David

    The very prospect of Obama even being considered for the Nobel Peace prize is beyond absurd. Admittedly, he has done nothing to warrant receiving such an acknowledgment.
    The Nobel Committee has again demonstrated it’s far-left ideology and diminished the essence of what this award stands for.

  • Emily Rose

    Obama should have declined the prize. Then I would really have respected him. As it stands now, there is nothing significant that he has
    accomplished towards bringing peace to the world. Of course Quaddaffi
    et al, like him, they sense where his loyalties lie. If I were him I’d be embarrassed to be liked by Chavez, Quaddaffi and other low lifes, and I certainly would never have accepted the Nobel. He admitted that he did not deserve the award in his acceptance speech. He should have declined it, then and there. That would have been a display of humility, leadership and moral integrity.

  • Joy

    To give a man the Nobel Prize because he is black or gives good speeches it to blatantly disregard the purpose and integrity of the Nobel Prizes in general.
    I heard on the news that he was given the prize because he is trying to bring healthcare to everyone in America. They are now spinning the prize to forward their agenda. As a Medicare recipient, I can tell you that this program isn’t working and look at the care veterans receive — when the Congress and President remove their exclusion from this universal plan, then I may believe in it.
    That is a change I can believe in — all else is as phony as this prize!!!

  • Your Name

    Amazing how Rahm managed to fast-talk the NP committee to lend his boss this award.
    What a sham this POTUS is and the above glowing comments show me how BLIND some American democrats are.
    Open your eyes people!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This poor excuse of a politician was in the job

  • InChicago

    DISCLOSURE: I voted for him and support the bulk of what he’s trying to do.
    That said, exactly why is he receiving this award? For not being GWB? Premature at best, and ludicrous at worst.
    If the award is for 2008, all I can say is that peace had a crappy year if a man who spent the first 10 months getting elected and the last two trying to contain the economic meltdown receives an award for peace. If President Obama did the most for peace last year, then nobody should have gotten the award!
    If the award is for 2009, and the nominations were closed on Jan 31, I don’t recall that there was any kind of sea change in BHO’s first eleven days in office or in the first month of the year.

  • Gerard Nadal

    My young children get trophies each year just for participating in dance class and sports. No accomplishment needed. It’s a participation trophy. Now we give them to sitting Presidents who haven’t even been on the job a year, who were only on the job 12 days by the deadline for nomination. I’d love to see that nomination and its stated rationale.

  • windbender

    In terms of the clear need for a shift in emphasis and what we see as the focus and import of our leadership – and that of the office of President – Obama has been clear since a time that well preceeds even his own candidacy.
    To paint this as nothing more than a reaction to contrast, when compared to the “Bring it on.” leadeship of the previous administration, is to miss much of the point of the change.
    As remarkable a choice by the Committee as was ours of the man himself – both in clear recognition of more than the past and hope for the future – it stems from an appreciation of the kind of personal dicipline and sacrifice the highest aspirations demand from us all.

  • marriea

    From where I sit, Obama has been raised to practice peace and hope all his life by a very phophetic mother. True her life might not have been all that she hoped for, but she passed those possible visions down to her son.
    She introduced him to other types of life styles other than what most would consider the norm and in doing so allowed her son to understand that everyone has a place in this world regardless of one’s individual station. Let’s face it, even as digusting as maggots and flys are to us, they serve a purpose in life.
    There are many so called ‘low lifes’ in this world, always have been always will be. But the fact is we have got to learn to find a way to live in world with all of them. That’s what peace, hope and love is all about. Do I like these type of folks, hell no. But at one point or another, we have got to understand them from their perspective if we want them to understand us.
    Many times the conversation always go back to the Bible and Israel and the Palestians and the problems of the Middle East. Many get mad that there are suicide bombers and they way the fighting is done over there. I don’t approve of the the way the fighting is done, but I can understand if you feel that you don’t have approperate tools, you fight with what you got. I do feel that Israel is wrong in uprooting the Palestians from their homes to make way for their owns developements. It reminds me of our American history with the American Indians. I don’t like Ahmadendijad and his rhetorical anti Jewish comments, especially because as an educated man, he knows better. I dislike the Talibans and other oppressives regimes who feel they have to kill and hurt in order to stay in power. I dislike the feelings of any who feel that they are better than another.
    We have got to live in this world as one if we are to succeed in a world for our children and grandchildren.
    That’s what I take from what Obama is trying to do. That his skin color is black or brown has nothing to do with it. It’s the color of his heart, and the seeming fact that his is full of light is possible what the Nobel team saw.
    Let’s all make our own hearts a candle to add to that light.

  • Donald Wolberg

    The world is a strange and interesting place, much like a confusing puzzle, difficult to grasp in any usual way, with patterns either too similar or difficult to understand, or missing critical pieces. So it is with a “Peace” prize awarded to corrupt terrorists such as Araft; American Vice-Presidents such as Mr. Gore, who extoll supposed catastrophic scientific insights when they themselves never did very well in “science” in college; or failed American Presidents such as Mr. Carter and the newly elected and continuously failing Mr. Obama.
    It seems that award nominees are placed in candidacy as early as February 1, so Mr. Obama became a candidate for the Peace Prize almost as soon as he became President. The fact that Mr. Obama has about the thinnest CV any President has ever had, with a professional life that included the racist and nutsy Reverend Wright, the “retired” terrorists Mr. Ayles and Ms Dorn, a jailed realtor, a Green czar appointee who admitted to being a communist and a 9/11 doubter, an energy secretary who is an avowed socialist, and an education czar who praises pederists and writes about a gay agenda for public schools, cannot have been reasons for winning the peace prize.
    So where are the missing pieces of the award puzzle? I suspect they can be found in the left leaning European need to deny American exceptionalism, and a desire to move an internationalist agendw where America is just one more nation among many. One suspects Mr. Obama, not know to be a “deep” political thinker, does feel comfort with an international, non-exceptionalist posture. He sees gray rather than distinct hues in positions of Taliban and Hamas and us; he feels he can reason with the Iranian power elite, or “moderate” elements of the Taliban and Hamas and that they are not so different from us. Of course, women might not agree–stoning can hurt, and not getting an education can hurt as much. Israel might not agree, but then Jews in Mr. Obama’s view may not understand the “bigger picture.” The fact that he sees less of a need to defend the Poles or the Czechs that previous Presidents is part of this “new” internationalism upon which we have embarked. In this, Mr. Obama is very much in keeping with the leftist Euro-internationalist and anti-exceptionalist postures. It is doubtful, however, that any of this is in the interest of America (or the Poles, or Czechs, or Ukraine, or Israel). Unfortunately, the closest historical analogy lies in the efforts of Mr. Chamberlain to negotiate with Mr. Hitler and in the end, the modern result will be equally unsatisfactory.

  • New Age Cowboy

    Donald Wolberg,
    We considered Europe second rate for a long time, and now Europeans have higher education rates; less violent crime in European metropolitan areas; more accessible and affordable healthcare (as measured by the U.N. body that the U.S. primarily supports, and in terms of per capita GDP); and some European countries have federally mandated vacations of up to a month or more.
    The United States is #1 when it comes to folks in jail, per capita we’re even higher than China. We have a banking system milking the tit of taxpayers, while Canada was smart enough to regulate and put up consumer protections. Strangely the Canadian banks didn’t need any bailouts.
    I’m starting to think American exceptionalism is a bunch of BS. If you wanna protect Eastern Europe or go to war with Iran, why don’t you come up with a scheme to pay taxes for it and send your posterity. Or better yet, enlist.
    Charity starts at home. And our country needs a great deal.
    We’ll end up pumping a couple of trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan with little to show for it.
    Israel’s got nukes, and Iran has shown a streak of practical self-preservation. In fact, watching TV this year – it looks to me as if Iran might be on the brink of revolution. We might not need to drop a single bomb to get Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk out of power.
    War is a lot more expensive than peace. Honestly, I’d like to see multinational corporations negotiate their own security, rather than asking us tax payers to pick up the tab.
    And just think what a trillion or more spent on Iraq and Afghanistan could’ve meant for research and development of alternative energy. And a new energy infrastructure would actually employ folks Stateside and increase our hand in negotiating peace in the Middle East.
    It’s kinda odd. The same people who fear Iran so much were a lot of the same folk who wanted us in Iraq. The outcomes in Iraq have only emboldened the leaders we loathe in Iran.
    Let’s quit with “the sky is falling” bit. It’s only put us in a big hole. Let’s give peace a chance.

  • Donald Wolberg

    The difficulty with looking at the world with rosse tinted glasses is that you end up stepping on the thorns. If we have learned anything as a nation, it is our exceptionalism; America is unlike any other nation in history and remains the beacon for most of the world. We have avoided the multitude of disasters that befell Europe and in fact there would not be a European prosperity if not for our entrance into two world wars, the Marshall plan and the deterence to Soviet aggression that American strength carried across the Atlantic. The socialist and left of center governments of Europe have been largely economic and social failures, just as Mr. Obama’s neo-left of center troika of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Obama are driving the nation into penury and impotence.
    Numbers can be twisted: European educational, economic, medical and other social engineering efforts are also mostly failures with massive losses in productivity. Not everyone is “entitled” to higher education. Class distinctions are profound, even today. Two-month vacations are attractive but lead to economic stagnation. Socialized medicine depends on American innovation in treatment, technology and a plethora of new drugs, but also results in a shortage of treatment, doctors and unnecessary deaths. Lack of strong military forces, equipment and will, leads to a dependence on American strength and a vulnerability unseen since World War II. Sharply declining birth rates lead to a massive influx of foreign labor and unpleasant demographic shifts. Indeed American prisons are crowded, education is a shambles, and infant mortality is too high. But unlike Europe, the American population is multidimensional and the math is more complex. The Sweded and Icelanders do well in education; populations are small, homgeneous and expectations are high. Populations in Japan are large, but again, the population is homogeneous and expectations are high. Once we separatate the various strands of a very large American population, the numbers look different. Infant mortality is miserable among different segments of the multidimensional American population, as is life expectency, incarceration rates, graduation from High School, reading skills, etc. In terms of “peace” at any price, the record of the world is sadly a record of failure. To believe that the Iranian loonies in charge, ready to execute protesting students as we now learn; who are able to deny the Holocaust or the right of Israel to exist, and who provide the weapons and training to other loonies prepared to murder and maim are stopped by threats of force is about as silly as negotiating with Hitler or Stalin. Firstly, they see Mr. Obama as less than an experienced and determined negotiator. They know he has little or no experience in substantive matters, and less in military. They can continue to pursue nuclear weapons. More significantly is the divide between Western rationality and the lack of rationality on the part of the Iranian loonies. There is no fear of deterrence on their part; they simply are not rational in a Western sense. Not even the loss of the Iranian state, I suggest, has much meaning when the goal is the destruction of the very concept of nation states and the creation of an Islamic world. Those who die in that struggle gain paradise. To believe that rationality has more significance to the Iranian leadership is to misinterpret their goal.

  • Martin

    If they could give Arafat the Peace Prize while he was speaking out of both sides of his mouth, Then this award is a positive step forward.

  • dragonfly777

    Obama is none of the things people “THINK or MIGHT HOPE” he is. His past is one of Marxism, Comminusm and predudice. His agenda? To transfer the wealth of people who have earned it to those who “MIGHT” have earned it. If he cannot do this with this country, like a suicide bomber he will destroy it.
    He is ingenuis though in using Democrat greed to accomplish this. There are very hard and dangerous days coming.
    He will let Iran have nukes and let them have a presence on the world stage because he is Muslim and a Muslim sympathizer. Israel will attack (I would not blame them). Because if Iran does get nukes they will use them on Israel thinking the other in the mideast will protect them in their evil thinking.
    After Israel attacks, you will see Obama go on an Anti-Israel campaign, not doing anything to protect Israel by accusing them of aggression.
    Did none of you watch his slap of Israel during the G20 summit?? Whem the only ones who praise Obama is people like Chavez, Kaddafy and far left Europe something is wrong.
    Obama is anti-semetic! The Jewish people have already committed a wrong by supporting him. How many times and how much does it take for you to learn? How many times must this goy warn you and try to help you be vigilent?
    America is on the verge of it’s citizens losing it freedoms, one stupid Dem law at a time. NO ONE IS SAFE. You can either fight or be a sheep. Those are the choices…

  • Sanday

    The news that the Nobel Prize Committee has just awarded the coveted Peace Prize to President Barack Obama immediately put me in mind of an anecdote recounted by Margaret MacMillan in her book Nixon and Mao,
    During the Cultural Revolution, an American remarked casually on an attractive view to a Chinese diplomat, who promptly answered, “Yes, it is; but not as beautiful as it is in Beijing where the glorious sun of Chairman Mao Tse-tung shines upon the Chinese people twenty-four hours a day.” Years later, after Mao’s death, the two men met again in Tanzania. The Chinese looked at the American and said, “It is a beautiful day, but not as beautiful as it is in Beijing where the glorious sun of…” and started to laugh. “I look back often on that conversation,” he said. “By God, how stupid it was.”
    Besides being amusing, this story illustrates an important point: All cults of personality begin as high drama and end as low comedy. In Obama’s case, of course, there has always been an element of farce to his public persona. Watching his speeches may have been tear-jerking for some, but at times one could not help but be reminded of the classic scene in The Candidate in which Robert Redford’s young, idealistic senatorial hopeful sits in the back of a car mumbling nonsensical platitudes from his stump speech until he is finally reduced to incomprehensible babbling. The film also has the added benefit of foreshadowing the benefits of such an approach. “He’s not gonna lose,” Redford’s ward-boss father tells a union delegate at one point, “he’s cute.” Indeed, there is no doubt that being glamorously vacuous was key to Obama’s appeal and eventual victory.
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    Despite electoral success, however, the candidate and his supporters, indeed the entire Obama phenomenon, often seemed to have walked right out of a Monty Python sketch. The fainting, the crying, Chris Mathews’s vaguely homoerotic tremors up his leg, the slathering, worshipful press corps doing their level best to explain that the whackjob preacher and the geriatric terrorist were just local eccentrics, the exhortations about the rise of the oceans slowing and the planet healing, the acceptance speech delivered in front of a mini-Parthenon, all served to create an atmosphere in which at any moment one expected to see a rather stout gentleman in drag step out from behind the curtain and shriek, “He’s not the messiah! He’s a very naughty boy! Now piss off!” Nonetheless, there is a law of diminishing returns at work in such things, and the Nobel Prize committee may have inadvertently done us the service of finally drawing the line between tragedy and comedy. With this announcement, Obama and his supporters have officially become a joke.
    The punchline is easy enough to find, since it is contained in the will of Alfred Nobel himself, who established the peace prize with the stipulation that it should be given “to the person who shall have 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 congresses.” One assumes that the phrase “done the most or the best work” implies very strongly that the price should be awarded to someone who has actually accomplished something. In all fairness, this has usually been the case with Nobel laureates. There is no denying that the likes of Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Root, Jane Addams, Ralph Bunche, Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrei Sakharov, Mother Theresa, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, and Lech Walesa, among many others, actually did manage to do things like conclude peace treaties, expose or bring down tyrannical governments, and contribute to the health and prosperity of others on a large scale.
    Obama, by contrast, has precisely two concrete accomplishments to his credit: letting the military do its job with a handful of Somali pirates, and pumping enormous amounts of money into the American economy, thus far with inconclusive results. At best, the jury is still out on everything else he has attempted. On the issues that tend to interest the Nobel committee, this particularly apparent. His engagement of the Iranians has lead nowhere; his efforts toward peace in the Middle East have proved an embarrassing failure; his pledge to reverse Bush-era security policies and close Guantanamo Bay has been, ironically, reversed; the withdrawal from Iraq is precarious; he has snubbed fellow peace prize-winner the Dalai Lama; in regard to Darfur, North Korea, Pakistan, and other trouble spots, he has done nothing; he has made no decision whatsoever in regard to Afghanistan, and will most likely pursue not peace but an escalated war; and his relationship to European leaders is already deeply strained, to the point that the president of France, of all places, has criticized him for being too soft on the Iranian issue. Given all this, it is difficult to conclude that the Nobel committee’s decision is anything other than the final nail in the coffin of Obamamania, a “we’re bigger than Jesus” moment scripted like the final scene from Duck Soup, with the committee and all who sail in her replacing the “Hail Freedonia!”-singing matron being pelted with mud by the Marx Brothers.
    If the New York Times is anything to go by (and the Grey Lady is always good for a laugh) the committee has all but admitted as much in an unintentionally hilarious series of statements, which are only further enhanced by the fact that its chairman is a gentleman known as Thorbjorn Jagland, which cannot but bring to mind Peter Sellers’s prescient remark to Keenan Wynn in Dr. Strangelove, “Look, Colonel ‘Bat Guano’, if that really is your name….” According to both the Grey and the Lady, the committee claims to have awarded Obama the prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” and asserts that “he has created a new international climate.” Both statements, to the extent that the committee actually believes them at all, seem calculated for an immediate spit take and pie in the face from Iran, North Korea, Israel, the Palestinians, Afghanistan, the Dalai Lama, and Nicholas Sarkozy, amongst others, not to mention a couple of Somali pirates with bullets in their heads.
    To give them some credit, however, the committee’s announcement is not all slapstick. As the Times points out, “The committee said it wanted to enhance Mr. Obama’s diplomatic efforts. ‘We are awarding Obama for what he has done,’ the committee said. ‘Many other people and leaders and nations have to respond in a positive way’ to President Obama’s diplomacy.” This statement alone could stand as a model of subtle irony, since diplomacy no one responds to is, by definition, a failure and not an accomplishment. But before being yanked offstage by the cane-wielding emcee, the committee had a grand finale in store,
    Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the United States is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
    For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”
    Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.
    As should be obvious to all, this windy missive refers to absolutely nothing that Obama has actually done. At best, it praises him for such amorphous accomplishments as “giving people hope,” “capturing the world’s attention,” “stimulating” (your guess is as good as mine), and having a “vision” the committee finds amenable. None of these things amount to anything more than rhetorical flatulence, and they certainly do not qualify anyone for a Nobel Peace Prize (or anything else, for that matter). This tells us a great deal about the Nobel committee, which seems amusingly unaware of the fact that its high-flown rhetoric actually contradicts its own self-justifications and its founder’s instructions. But we should remember that this is also well in keeping with the career of the man it is honoring, whose qualifications to be president in the first place, lest we forget, were not much more impressive.
    Admittedly, the Nobel committee has given us some good laughs before, especially recently, with its prizes awarded to ineffective bureaucrats like Kofi Annan and Mohamed El Baradei, egomaniacal ex-presidents like Jimmy Carter, pseudo-prophets of apocalypse like Al Gore, and terrorists like Yasser Arafat, who promptly stole the show with his legendary win-a-peace-prize-then-start-a-war routine. There is no doubt, however, that the committee has never before produced such a perfect masterpiece of absurdist comedy as the statement above. Indeed, the only thing that even remotely comes close to it is Chico Marx’s tribute to the indomitable power of hope, faith, and the human spirit to overcome all obstacles in A Night at the Opera:
    So now I tell you how we fly to America. The first time we started we got-a half way there when we run out a gasoline and we gotta go back. Then I take-a twice as much gasoline. This time we’re just about to land, maybe three feet, when what do you think? We run out of gasoline again. And-a back-a we go again to get-a more gas. This time I take-a plenty gas. Well, we get-a half way over, when what do you think happens? We forgot-a the airplane. So, we gotta sit down and we talk it over. Then I get-a the great idea. We no take-a gasoline, we no take-a the airplane. We take steamship, and that friends, is how we fly across the ocean.
    Obama himself couldn’t – and, in fact, hasn’t – put it any better. And there is a strong possibility that the real hilarity is yet to come. It now seems likely that once the Obama era is over and the decadent, half-senile establishment that created and sustained him has finally collapsed under the weight of its own absurdity, we may well look back on the whole thing and, like the Chinese diplomat, laugh about how stupid it all was. Unfortunately, as any good comedian will tell you, comedy is always funniest because its true. The sight of a committee of diplomats reducing themselves to a blubbering gaggle of loons in the hopes of propping up a ludicrous mediocrity is momentarily hilarious, and the upcoming uninhibited goonery from Obama’s admirers threatens to outdo even this, but it is also somewhat sobering. When powerful people make fools of themselves, it behooves us to remember that when the fools are powerful, there is a strong chance that we are all in serious trouble. Obama and Obamamania are a joke that, in the end, is also on us.

  • churchmouse

    dragonfly I am going to fight…that is if the Democrats dont take guns away from its citizens.

  • Bill

    Looks like the Right Wing-nuts have stumbled into Beliefnet.

  • zenbear

    Talk about intellectual, egotistical flatulance….all I see in the comments so far is more blaming, complaining, carping and whining. I’d be far more interested in how others are able to see this and other events and situations as opportunities to make things better. I suppose my question, a la “let he who is without sin….etc” is, “what have YOU done today to promote and nurture peace, harmony and good will?”
    blessings to all
    zenbear

  • Sid

    The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure that it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.
    -Ernest Hemingway
    For a politician, there is no more dangerous combination of traits than hubris and ineptitude. In a friendly environment, the detrimental effects of these flaws can be staved off, for a time, by talented spin doctors, a sympathetic press, or the enthusiasm of one’s followers. In the maelstrom of Middle East politics, however, they tend to be almost immediately apparent, and the resulting fall from grace is often precipitous. President Barack Obama, who appears to possess both traits in unique abundance, has had to find this out the hard way; and whether he has learned his lesson or not remains to be seen.
    In Israel, however, conclusions have already been drawn, and the results are not particularly pretty for Obama. Put simply, he is the least popular American president in recent memory. The percentage of Israelis who consider him friendly to Israel has never been high, but it has dropped at various times into the single digits. Considering that the Israeli left polled 16% of the vote in the last elections, and the centrist Kadima party another 22% – higher, in fact, than Netanyahu’s Likud – Obama’s dismal numbers cannot be put down to simple partisanship. Israelis across the political spectrum are clearly convinced that Obama is indifferent and/or hostile to Israeli interests, sensibilities, and concerns.
    It is worth pointing out that Israel was a problem for Obama almost from the beginning. During the 2008 campaign, much was made in Jewish circles of his political roots on the radical left; his friendships with Rashid Khalidi, a vitriolic partisan of the Palestinian cause, and the demented preacher Jeremiah Wright; and his sometimes ambivalent statements on the subject. In February 2008, for example, Obama remarked, “I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, then you’re anti-Israel,” which is practically identical to the rhetoric employed by Israel Lobby conspiracy theorists. His statements on Jerusalem also proved decidedly bizarre, both pledging that it would remain united and asserting that this was an issue to be settled in future negotiations. While everyone is at least vaguely aware of the fact that American presidential candidates always make promises regarding Jerusalem which they have no intention of ever keeping, the suspicion among many was that the candidate was trying to solidify his American Jewish support while signaling his true intentions to his progressive base. When Obama began his administration by demanding that Israel freeze all settlement construction, including in Jerusalem, while asking nothing of the Arabs besides a vague call for “normalization,” Obama’s Jewish detractors believed that their suspicions had been confirmed.
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    These misgivings, however, were mainly those of pro-Israel American Jews. For the most part, the Israelis themselves adopted a wait-and-see attitude toward Obama, both during the campaign and after his election. On the day the returns came in, television and radio stations all over Jerusalem were tuned into the news; and several people spontaneously expressed their sentiments to me (as Israelis are notably wont to do). Overwhelmingly, they were surprisingly well aware of the historical significance of Obama’s election in terms of America’s long and tortured struggle with the issue of race, and expressed no hostility toward him. If this was the case in one of Israel’s most politically right-wing cities, one can assume that similar attitudes prevailed in the rest of the country. Indeed, some on the Israeli left were positively enthusiastic about the new president.
    While it is true that Israelis did not greet Obama’s election with rapturous celebration, as many others did, it is easy to read too much into this. Israelis tend to be ambivalent about incoming US officials in general, especially when they are – as Obama was – relatively unknown quantities. It is also important to remember that, for much of the world, the president of the United States is largely an aesthetic experience. In the Middle East, however, the policies of the chief executive can have very serious and immediate real world consequences. As a result, Israelis on the whole tend to be more guarded and sober in their assessments. Moreover, a large part of Israelis’ apprehension regarding Obama was the fear that he would end up in a clash with Benjamin Netanyahu, who seemed the likely winner of upcoming elections. This was not a judgment on Obama or Netanyahu per se, but rather the understandable desire to avoid a rift with the United States. And when the elections were held in February 2009, it was Tzipi Livni, whose campaign included the claim that she would work more easily with Obama than Netanyahu, who won the highest percentage of the vote; although due to the intricacies of the Israeli electoral system this did not allow her to form a government.
    This indicates that Obama’s call for a settlement freeze might not have had such disastrous consequences had it been handled differently. Israelis are divided on the issue of settlements, and had Obama proved flexible on Jerusalem and its nearby “consensus” settlements, which most Israelis consider essential to their security and want to retain in any peace agreement, some sort of modus vivendi might have been reached early enough to avoid a serious breach. In his insistence on a total freeze, however, Obama was demanding something that was both too much for most Israelis to swallow and Netanyahu simply could not deliver without destroying the coalition that kept him in government. Obama may have hoped for precisely that, believing that a new, more pliable government led by Livni would replace Netanyahu. If so, it was a horrendous miscalculation. Many Israelis did not vote for Netanyahu, but very few of them like to see their country pushed around.
    Obama’s reputation in Israel might have survived even this, however, had it not been for his much-hyped “speech to the Muslim world” delivered in Cairo on June 4. Taken as a whole, the speech was simply a craven embarrassment; but the references it made to Israel could not have been more alienating and insulting had they been calculated for the purpose. How Obama’s speechwriters and advisors became convinced that equating the Holocaust with the Palestinian nakba (the word means “catastrophe,” and Arabs use it to describe the establishment of Israel and its War of Independence in 1948), comparing Israeli treatment of the Palestinians to segregation in the United States, and pointing to the Jewish people’s “tragic history” as the sole justification for Israel’s existence would assuage Israeli concerns about the new administration must remain a question for history to answer. There is no doubt, however, that this single speech (which everyone in Israel watched) did more to demolish Obama’s credibility in Israeli eyes than any of his demands on Netanyahu ever could have.
    Israelis come in many political colors, but very few of them believe that if the Jews had not suffered a Holocaust, they would not deserve a state. Zionism predates the Holocaust, and it holds that the Jewish people have an inalienable right to self-determination in their homeland, regardless of their historical sufferings. In claiming otherwise, Obama revealed not only a glaring ignorance of Israeli history and sensibilities, but also the depressing tendency of many American liberals to reduce everything to do with Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people to the Holocaust; as though several thousand years of Jewish civilization never occurred. Obama’s remarks about segregation were perhaps less egregious, given that they had some precedent in the words of Condeleeza Rice; but they were disturbingly similar to the notorious 1975 UN resolution that declared Zionism a form of racism. By far the most damaging statement, however, was Obama’s equation of the Holocaust with the nakba. It is true that 1948 was a catastrophe for the Palestinians, and many thousands of them were displaced – voluntarily and involuntarily – as a result of the war; but for many Jews (and many non-Jews) the equation of this to the Holocaust was not only morally appalling but served to minimize a genocide that is still within living memory, and did so in front of an audience that often claims it never happened at all.
    Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the speech, however, was that Obama clearly believed he was saying things about Israel that were positive. The impression he gave was of a man who was not merely spitting in Israeli faces, but chose to do so because he thought they would like it. In a certain sense, this was even worse than a speech that was forthrightly hostile, because it implied that Obama was perfectly capable of damaging Israel out of the belief that he was actually doing it “for your own good” – a signal that the new president of the United States simply had no idea what he was doing.
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    This was devastating for Obama’s standing in Israel because, in a place like the Middle East, with its sudden shifts and unexpected eruptions of violence and instability, there is no greater sin than idealistic incompetence. Those who commit it are not simply considered dangerous, but tragically farcical. As a friend of mine, whose sympathies lie mostly on the left, told me a few weeks after the speech, “He’s just like Bush, running around the world thinking he’s going to change things…” Israelis have learned through long and bitter experience that lofty dreamers tend to be crushed under the weight of the real world, especially in the Middle East. A president who does not know this, or thinks it does not apply to him, is bound to be regarded not only with skepticism, but with outright contempt and suspicion.
    These suspicions were mostly confirmed after the Cairo speech by Obama’s total failure to wrest any concessions whatsoever out of the Arabs. No moves toward normalization have been made, and they appear more unlikely with each passing month, leading Israelis to believe that they are correct in assuming that the Arabs, even when they are offered what they supposedly want, are more interested in making life miserable for Israel than in making peace. The Palestinians, for their part, have made it clear that nothing short of a complete settlement freeze will satisfy them. Given that a complete settlement freeze is not going to happen under any foreseeable circumstances (even a Livni government would probably find it politically impossible to enact one) this means, in effect, that Obama’s even-handed approach is stillborn. The Arabs have left one hand empty, and his relationship with the Israelis is now so damaged that Netanyahu probably could not sell further concessions to the Israeli public even if he wanted to (which he most certainly does not). For Israelis, the entire situation smacks of grotesque ineptitude.
    Obama himself seems to have at least partially grasped this fact. He has been quietly backing off some of his demands, and at his September 22 meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas, he spoke of “restraining” settlement activity, rather than a complete freeze. Whether he is trying to pressure the Palestinians into making some offers of their own or trying to improve his standing in Israeli opinion polls is not clear; but what is clear is that it may have finally dawned on Obama that his attempts at changing the face of the Middle East through grand gestures and soaring rhetoric has had precisely the opposite effect. If anything, it has simply confirmed that the Middle East is not going to change anytime soon, and progress will have to come on the region’s own terms, if at all.
    In all likelihood, however, it is already too late. Indeed, it is difficult to fully convey the depth of Obama’s failure on this issue. The presidents who have been most successful in the Middle East have accomplished their goals by slowly building up confidence, relationships, and political capital with the major players in the region, and then trying to piece together some sort of rapprochement between them. Sometimes even this has proved impossible, and rapprochement has been abandoned in favor of simply lowering tensions and attempting to reach a workable status quo with a minimum of violence. In trying to forgo this simple but difficult process, Obama has not only failed to achieve any tangible gains, but may have destroyed the possibility of his ever doing so. Less than a year into his presidency, his credibility with both sides is already shot, whatever political capital he had has long since been spent, and he has personally alienated America’s closest allies in the region. As a result, it is quite possible that Obama’s role in the Middle East for the rest of his presidency will be exactly what it is now: He will make grandiose statements and hold occasional photo-ops, and the parties involved will go through the various motions required to appease the president’s immediate demands; but barring some breakthrough between Israelis and Palestinians working on their own (which is unlikely, but not impossible) this will simply produce more of the same. For a president who entered office pledging to change the world, this cannot be seen as anything other than an unmitigated disaster.
    There are probably two main reasons for the early collapse of the Obama administration’s ambitions in the Middle East; one regarding Israel and one regarding Obama himself. In regard to Israel, Obama failed because of his inability to grasp Israel’s attitude toward the peace process in the post-Oslo era. The trauma that Oslo represents for Israel is difficult to fully convey to foreigners. It was both the first peace agreement that failed and the first time Israel gambled on peace and lost. For nearly a decade, Israel struggled through political division, assassination, terrorism, and potential civil war, only to see it all end with the most brutal terrorist war it had ever encountered. Even more traumatizing, perhaps, was the reaction of the rest of the world. Throughout the Oslo process, Israel believed that it was taking an enormous chance for peace, and that the world would acknowledge and understand this if the process failed. This faith was most fervently expressed at the 2000 Camp David negotiations, where Ehud Barak made an offer to Yasser Arafat that crossed many of Israel’s previous red lines in regard to Jerusalem, territorial concessions, and holy sites. When Arafat turned it down, and the second intifada began shortly afterward, most Israelis felt that their efforts for peace and the dangerous position they had put themselves in would at least be acknowledged by others. Precisely the opposite happened. Condemnation of Israel was more violent than it had ever been in the past, and a worldwide outbreak of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment followed. As a result of all this, Israelis looking back on Oslo feel, more than anything else, betrayed. They have lost their faith and trust in the Arabs, in the international community, and to a great extent in the peace process in general. While they are still willing to negotiate and make concessions, they feel that they should not be asked to take an Oslo-sized gamble again.
    Obama’s opening gambit seemed, to many Israelis, like precisely that: Oslo resurrected as farce. Once again there were the dreamy, grandiose pronouncements about peace and change. Once again there seemed to be scant regard for Israel’s legitimate security concerns. One again Israel was being asked to make major concessions for what appeared to be little in return, and to an enemy Israelis did not trust. Once again Israel was being condemned for its supposed intransigence and obstructionism. Once again there were the assurances that the international community had Israel’s best interests at heart. Once again there were the admonitions that it was necessary to take risks for the sake of peace. And once again, there was the specter of an unfriendly American administration forcing Israel’s hand, just as George H.W. Bush forced Yitzhak Shamir into the Madrid conference in 1991, the first step toward the Oslo process. Whatever Obama’s personal and political charms may be, they could not possibly overcome Israel’s unwillingness to go back down that particular rabbit hole.
    During the February 8, 2008 conversation mentioned above, Obama said, “If we cannot have an honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we’re not going to make progress.” In a way, Obama got his honest dialogue with the Israelis, but he didn’t want to hear what they had to say. This failure is entirely his own. Perhaps he thought that his closeness to aides like Rahm Emanuel gave him some special understanding of the Israeli mentality. Perhaps all those years hanging out with Rashid Khalidi and Jeremiah Wright blinded him to the possibility that Israel is not an all-powerful military juggernaut, but a small country deeply apprehensive about its future. Perhaps he thought that Israelis would be as enraptured with him as the 78% of American Jews who gave him their votes. Perhaps he simply wasn’t interested or didn’t care. In the end, this kind of speculation is irrelevant. Obama has lost the Israelis, possibly for good, and he has no one to blame but himself.
    This speaks to the second reason for Obama’s failure in the Middle East. Ironically, it was illustrated quite well by Rahm Emanuel in a September 25 article in Haaretz, the day after the Obama-hosted Abbas-Netanyahu summit. “Both Israel and the Palestinians must ’seize an opportunity,’” Haaretz quoted Emanuel, “because they are faced with ‘a unique moment in time in the region.’” Obama’s chief of staff went on to claim that this was because of the strength of the Israeli and Palestinian governments, a claim that is somewhat untrue of the former and entirely of the latter; which simply emphasizes the fact that there is nothing particularly unique about this moment; and there is certainly nothing particularly auspicious about it. Abbas is weak and largely discredited among his own people. Hamas is still dedicated to Israel’s destruction and still firmly in control of Gaza. If free elections were held in the West Bank, Hamas would have a good chance of winning them. Hezbollah is gearing up for another war in the north. The reaction to the Gaza operation had solidified Israel’s total lack of faith in the goodwill of the international community. And over it all, the Iranian theocracy is still pursuing nuclear weapons, and has shown itself perfectly willing to do so over the dead bodies of its own people. It is a fool’s game to try and predict the future in the Middle East, and Obama may find a way to resurrect his failed policies, or events may suddenly turn in his favor; but at the moment, the situation here is largely as it has always been: dangerous, unstable, and unforgiving.
    However Emanuel may try to spin it, his (and we must presume Obama’s) conviction that, against all available evidence, the Middle East is now in an unprecedented position to achieve peace is the kind of wishful thinking that has typified Obama and his advisors since his candidacy began. Put simply, they really do believe that Obama is a transcendent leader whose emergence represents a change in the workings of human history itself. By simply being, President Obama changes the world. The problem with this is not just that it is absurd, which it is, but that it leads to perhaps the worst delusion that a politician can suffer from: The refusal to acknowledge that the world is neither bad nor good, but simply indifferent. It does not care about what we want it to be or what we think it should be. The world is stubborn. It resists change. And when it does change, it only through the same processes that made it what it is: The slow, often agonizing accumulation of tiny adjustments, often painfully achieved, with results that are always unsatisfying.
    In other parts of the world, a persistent refusal to accept this is not necessary an immediate problem. In places like the United Nations, it is positively an asset. But in the Middle East, indeed anywhere brute realities are inescapable and the willingness to acknowledge and deal with them literally a matter of life and death, it takes its toll very quickly. Israelis have been broken by the world more than a few times, and as a result, they have become strong at the broken places. As Hemingway pointed out, however, “those that will not break it kills.” Judging by the degree to which a fervent belief in its own transcendent capacity to effortlessly change the world has typified the Obama phenomenon from its origins, and the results this has had in the Middle East, there seems to be a strong possibility that, in the end, his administration may well be counted among the casualties.

  • Myx Yyx

    Wow! What a fowl wind got bowing in here!? Seems like some folks were looking for a home address and used Google to find it, under, “Right Wing-nuts”.

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