We understand and appreciate what the Nobel Peace Prize committee members are trying to do. They're trying to encourage peace.
We just disagree wholly with how they're trying to go about it.
In the process, they have rendered the prize meaningless.
Nothing at all against President Obama. Fact is, we support his outreach efforts to the Muslim world.
But the Nobel committee is holding an apple festival before the tree is old enough to have borne fruit. Does the plaque say, "In grateful acknowledgement of all Barack Hussein Obama hopes to accomplish"?
"The prize seems to be more for Obama's promise than for his performance," correctly notes the Associated Press's Jennifer Loven.
Mr. Obama was in office a scant 12 days before the nomination deadline for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has been in office some nine months. In contrast, some worthy recipients such as Mother Teresa expended a lifetime of good works.
There is no earthly idea yet whether his policies will bear fruit. As Muslim radicals still kill and still target America and the West, there is no tangible evidence he has made a scintilla of difference with all his entreaties and criticisms of his country. His worthiness for such a prestigious-sounding award exists, as some subatomic particles, in theory alone.
Is the committee, then, rewarding Mr. Obama's good intentions? If so, are there not millions and millions of other deserving souls on the planet who qualify for this honor under the same logic?
BUT THE PROBLEMS with this ill-thought-out award -- often bestowed on dubious characters such as terrorist Yasser Arafat -- go far beyond one man. This decision reveals an institutional and fatal flaw in the Nobel network: Quite often, it really doesn't reward acts that result in real, just and lasting peace.
Perhaps our well-intentioned friends in Oslo mistake peace for the absence of open hostilities. The two are quite different -- and sometimes are the opposite.
Consider: True peace cannot exist without justice. Moreover, appeasement -- an unwillingness to use force to defend oneself or create security and peace -- can result in the opposite of peace. Appeasement in the 20th century brought about history's largest conflagration. And you can talk peace with the Iranian regime until you're blue in the face, but if that fails to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons and one is allowed to go off in the Mideast or elsewhere, how does that promote peace? Haven't you done just the opposite?
The maddening paradox of peace is that sometimes you must fight to get it.
WILL BARACK OBAMA be willing to do that -- especially after receiving a "peace" prize? Will he be able to bring himself to send more troops to Afghanistan -- to win that war and secure a lasting peace? Will he now have the gumption to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities if need be to protect and preserve the Mideast's only democracy (other than Iraq, which war helped create)?
Or is the prize timed and designed to discourage any acts of violence by the U.S. president, even those needed to bring about peace?
If the president is in any way impeded from doing what he must to protect and defend the interests of the United States, he should politely decline the award.
Likewise, if the Nobel committee is rewarding a president that it sees as promoting a chastened, weakened America -- and thinks that that is good for peace -- it had better be careful what it wishes for. If the folks at Nobel truly want peace, they should want the strong America that saved Western Europe in World War II and helped free Eastern Europe in the Cold War and still today throws its blanket of protection over most of the world's free peoples.
Obviously, the people at Nobel would find it counterintuitive to recognize any act of war as being good or promoting peace. But World War II did in a few years what a continent would have otherwise spent decades doing: overthrowing tyranny and fighting for freedom.
We therefore believe the Nobel Peace Prize committee has a misguided notion of what peace truly is and what is necessary to bring it about.