Tag: Matt Taibbi

One Of Us!

by on Oct.13, 2009, under Politics

Plenty of people have offered reasoned assessments of why it was too early to award Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. Plenty more have responded in an even more appropriate manner, a kind of combination faceplant-and-sputter. And Big Josh pointed to a few alternatives who make much more sense.

But this, from Matt Taibbi, is the first thing I’ve seen that goes to some effort to decode the Peace Prize…

Even when the award is given to a genuine dissident, it tends to be a dissident hailing from a country we consider outside the fold of Western civilization, a rogue state, “not one of us” — South Africa from the apartheid days, for instance, or the regime occupying East Timor.

You never, ever get a true dissident from a prominent Western country winning the award, despite the obvious appropriateness such a choice would represent. Our Western society quite openly embraces war as a means of solving problems and for quite some time now has fashioned its entire social and economic structure around the preparation for war.

…and make a strong, positive argument for why Obama was a fitting recipient:

This is what Barack Obama did to “earn” the Nobel Prize. He put the benevolent face back on things. He is a good-looking black law professor with an obvious bent for dialogue and discussion and inclusion. That he hasn’t actually reversed any of Bush’s more notorious policies — hasn’t closed Guantanamo Bay, hasn’t ended secret detentions, hasn’t amped down Iraq or Afghanistan — is another matter. What he has done is remove the stink of unilateralism from those policies.

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