Remember When Nobels Were Won For Actual Accomplishments? + More

Posted on Mon 10/12/2009 by


The Foundation

A Nobel but worthless prize

A Nobel but worthless prize

“[L]et them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” –Thomas Jefferson

Political Futures

“This year’s awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama can only hasten the decline in prestige of an award that has already gone to people like Yasser Arafat, UN General Secretary Kofi Annan (who presided over the Iraqi oil-for-food scam) and the fabulist Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu. For this year’s Nobel, the deadline was February 1, barely ten days after Mr. Obama had assumed the presidency. Though the Nobel committee of five Norwegian politicians presumably considered the evidence over the summer, it’s fair to say their award represents little more than wishful thinking that Mr. Obama’s diplomatic efforts will ultimately bear fruit. Other U.S. Presidents have won Nobels, but for actual accomplishments. Teddy Roosevelt helped broker a peace treaty between Russia and Japan. Woodrow Wilson worked to build a lasting peace after the end of World War I, however unsuccessful that effort later proved. Even Jimmy Carter won the Peace Prize in 2002 after more than two decades of humanitarian efforts as a former president.  (New – More images than before! Enjoy!  —ed)

The Nobel Committee is said often to make its final decision at its last meeting just before the announcement. If so, President Obama has gotten a consolation prize for the failure of the U.S. to secure the 2016 Olympics. But that won’t take away the sense that his award has more to do with political correctness than the realities of peace. Reading the Nobel Committee’s explanation of its decision, President Obama appears to have won this year’s prize because he’s not his predecessor, George W. Bush.” –Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund


“It is absurd and it is embarrassing. It would even be infuriating if it were not such a declaration of emptiness. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has embarrassed itself and cheapened a great award that had real meaning. It was a good thing, the Nobel Peace Prize. Every year the giving of it was a matter of note throughout the world, almost a matter of state. It was serious. It mattered that it was given to a woman like Mother Teresa in 1979. … Her life was heroic, epic, and when she was given the Nobel Peace Prize, it was as if the world were saying, ‘You are the best we have. You are living a life that should be emulated.’ … Some Peace Prizes have been more roughly political, or had a political edge, and were of course debatable. … It was always absurd that Ronald Reagan, whose political project led to the end of the gulag and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and who gambled his personal standing in the world for a system that would protect the common man from annihilation in a nuclear missile attack, could not win it. But nobody wept over it, and for one reason: because everyone, every sentient adult who cared to know about such things, knew that the Nobel Peace Prize is, when awarded to a political figure, a great and prestigious award given by liberals to liberals. NCNA — no conservatives need apply. This is the way of the world, and so what? Life isn’t for prizes. Yet even within that context, the giving of the peace prize to President Obama is absurd. He doesn’t have a body of work; he’s a young man; he’s been president less than nine months. He hopes to accomplish much, and so far — nine months! — has accomplished little. Is this a life of heroic self-denial, of the sacrifice of self for something greater, of huge and historic consequence, of sustained vision? No it’s not. Is this a life marked by a vivid and calculable contribution to the peace of the world? No, it’s not. This is an award for not being George W. Bush. This is an award for not making the world nervous. This is an award for sharing the basic political sentiments and assumptions of the members of the committee. It is for what Barack Obama may do, not what he has done. He hasn’t done anything. In one mindless stroke, the committee has rendered the Nobel Peace Prize a laughingstock.” –columnist Peggy Noonan

Opinion in Brief

“The whole business of a bunch of Scandinavian worthies doling out the profits of a long-gone dynamite maker’s fortune has always smacked of the worst sort of self-satisfied plutocratic worthiness. But this takes the biscuit. President Obama remains the barely man of world politics, barely a senator now barely a president, yet in the land of the Euro-weenies (copyright PJ O’Rourke) the great and the good remain in his thrall. To reward him for a blank results sheet, to inflate him when he has no achievements to his name, makes a mockery of what, let’s face it, is an already fairly discredited process (remember Rigoberta Menchu in 1992? Ha!). That’s not the point. What this does is accelerate the elevation of President Obama to a comedy confection, which he does not deserve, and gives his critics yet another bat to whack him with. Shame on the Norwegians.” –London’s Daily Telegraph chief political commentator Benedict Brogan

Obama Sham Awards Cartoon


“After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.” –French historian Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)


“A pattern has emerged. Liberal citizens and politicians during the Bush years were permitted to speak out against the Iraq war, root for an American defeat, and cheer with the news of each dead American, and they were labeled patriots. An American speaks out against Obama’s socialist policies and he is labeled anti-American. A liberal is able to chant anti-Bush slogans and compare him to Hitler and he is exercising his right to free speech. An American questions Obama’s judgment both domestically and on the international stage and he is called a racist. I have attempted to point out to liberal friends and family that if they simply took the vast majority of offensive statements, policies, or actions of Obama over the past nine months and imagined them emanating from Bush, they would see the hypocrisy in their stance — to no avail. They are content to sit back and watch this administration gut the Constitution, usurp power wherever it can find it, ignore the intent of the founders of this country and the successes of the free market economy which helped lead us to the position of the only world’s superpower. But they will wake up in a few years to find that their children are not safe from harm’s way, their grandchildren will be working off the enormous debt incurred by this government and will never achieve the economic success of their grandparents, and when they need medical care, they will be waiting in line like the Europeans and Canadians who used to turn to the US in times of emergency. Yet they will have their civil rights, for as long as Bush is not the one authorizing the wiretapping of their cell phones, all is good. Another bottle of champagne anyone?” –columnist Lauri Regan

Re: The Left

“[Liberals lie that] America’s lower life expectancy compared to countries with socialist health care proves that their medical systems are superior. President Obama has too much intellectual pride to make such a specious argument, so instead we have to keep hearing it from his half-wit supporters. These Democrats are all over the map on where precisely Americans place in the life-expectancy rankings. We’re 24th, according to Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Barbara Boxer; 42nd, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell; 35th, according to Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson; and 47th, according to Rep. Dennis Kucinich. So the U.S. may have less of a ‘life expectancy’ problem than a ‘Democratic math competency’ problem.” –columnist Ann Coulter

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(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)    Content © 2009 Getty Images All rights reserved. (Click on White Arrow on right to close thumbnails.  —ed)

The Gipper

“This democracy of ours which sometimes we’ve treated so lightly, is more than ever a comfortable cloak, so let us not tear it asunder, for no man knows once it is destroyed where or when he will find its protective warmth again.” —Ronald Reagan

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Content © 2009 Getty Images All rights reserved. (Click on White Arrow on right to close thumbnails.  —ed)


“The White House insists that the president is hard at work on what to do about Afghanistan, and whether to send more troops to fuel a ‘surge’ like the surge that prevented a collapse of the West’s attempt to rescue Iraq from barbarism and restore a fragile semblance of civilization. The brave young Americans put in harm’s way in that godforsaken corner of the world often feel abandoned in a hopeless cause, so the president should feel the pressure to act, and quickly. But the problem is ‘multilayered,’ his spokesman says. Translated into real English, that means ‘he hasn’t yet figured out which layer of public opinion to appease, and which layer to disappoint.’ He’ll do something as soon as he figures out which disappointed layer would squeak loudest and scream longest.” –Washington Times editor emeritus Wesley Pruden

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Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan
Oct 8 2009  UPI/Tia P. Sokimson/U.S. Army Photo via Newscom    Content © 2009 Newscom All rights reserved. (Click on White Arrow on right to close thumbnails.  —ed)

For the Record

“On March 27, flanked by his secretaries of defense and state, the president said this: ‘Today I’m announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.’ He then outlined a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. … The general in charge was then relieved and replaced with Obama’s own choice, Stanley McChrystal. And it’s McChrystal who submitted the request for the 40,000 troops, a request upon which the commander in chief promptly gagged. The White House began leaking an alternate strategy, apparently proposed (invented?) by Vice President Biden, for achieving immaculate victory with arm’s-length use of cruise missiles, Predator drones and special ops. The irony is that no one knows more about this kind of warfare than Gen. McChrystal. He was in charge of exactly this kind of ‘counterterrorism’ in Iraq for nearly five years, killing thousands of bad guys in hugely successful under-the-radar operations. When the world’s expert on this type of counterterrorism warfare recommends precisely the opposite strategy — ‘counterinsurgency,’ meaning a heavy-footprint, population-protecting troop surge — you have the most convincing of cases against counterterrorism by the man who most knows its potential and its limits. And McChrystal was emphatic in his recommendation: To go any other way than counterinsurgency would lose the war. Yet his commander in chief, young Hamlet, frets, demurs, agonizes. His domestic advisers, led by Rahm Emanuel, tell him if he goes for victory, he’ll become LBJ, the domestic visionary destroyed by a foreign war. His vice president holds out the chimera of painless counterterrorism success. Against Emanuel and Biden stand Gen. David Petraeus, the world’s foremost expert on counterinsurgency (he saved Iraq with it), and Stanley McChrystal, the world’s foremost expert on counterterrorism. Whose recommendation on how to fight would you rely on?” –columnist Charles Krauthammer

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International Security Assistance Forces operate in Afghanistan
Oct 8 2009   UPI/Jonathan Lovelady/U.S. Air Force Photo via Newscom   Content © 2009 Newscom All rights reserved.

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United States Navy Birthday

On Oct. 13, 1775, the U.S. Navy was born when the Continental Congress authorized the arming of two sailing vessels with 80 men and 10 carriage guns in order to intercept British supply and munitions transports. The Declaration of Independence came nine months later, followed by the creation of the Department of the Navy in 1798. Today, our Navy is the most powerful in the world. We at The Patriot offer our thanks to all our sailors for a job well done and wish you a Happy 234th Birthday! God bless you and your families.

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U S Sailors March During U S Navy Birthday Celebrations October 13…
(Photo By U.S. Navy/Getty Images)  Content © 2009 Getty Images All rights reserved.

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The Last Word

“I can’t agree with my colleagues here on CONTENTIONS that a) Barack Obama should reject the Nobel Peace Prize or b) be embarrassed by it. The Nobel Committee chose him wisely because he does, in fact, represent the organization’s highest ideals. He is an American president queasy about the projection of American power. He is an American president who rejects the notion of American exceptionalism. He is an American president eagerly in pursuit of legitimacy to be granted him not by those who voted for him but by those who do not cast a vote and who chafe at American leadership. It is his devout wish that America become one of many nations, influencing the world indirectly or not influencing it at all, rather than “the indispensable nation,” as Madeleine Albright characterized it. He is the encapsulation, the representative, the wish fulfillment, the very embodiment, of the multilateralist impulse. He is, almost literally, a dream come true for the sorts of people who treasure and value the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s the most obvious choice, once you think about it, since Michael Moore won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine.” –columnist John Podhoretz


Veritas vos Liberabit — Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis! Mark Alexander, Publisher, for The Patriot’s editors and staff.

(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)

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