Monday, October 12, 2009

Just one more comment

It is time to have a break, albeit a short one, from the Obama Peace Prize story, but before I do so, I thought I'd quote something one of this blog's readers sent me: the reason for that prize being awarded to someone who has done absolutely nothing remotely relevant.

On Friday, as the world was still convulsed with laughter at the news (this is the funniest story since Cherie Blair's tearful TV appearance during which she assured us all that she is "not superwoman") CNN reported on the event during which journalists seemed to do a great deal of gasping with surprise.

The most interesting part of the justification produced by the Chairman of the Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland. After explaining that this was a Prize given to Obama for "capturing the world's attention" and giving it hope (well, not the people of Honduras, Iran, Israel, Afghanistan or Tibet but how many votes do they have?), Mr Jagland "rejected the notion that Obama had been recognized prematurely for his efforts and said the committee wanted to promote the president just it had Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 for his efforts to open up the Soviet Union".

Interesting. So, making lots of waffly speeches, trying to take over the healthcare and raising the deficit is the equivalent of opening up the Soviet Union. Did the United States needed opening up? What was hidden in the past? Were journalists and dissidents imprisoned or thrown into lunatic asylums, known as psikhushki? Had all opposition been banned? Were there no independent trade unions under a Republican Administration? Did President Bush control the media? Come to think of it, what happened to all those promises of transparency about the White House and legislation that Obama had made in his campaign?

Moving on from this strage comparison, we ought to recall what was the net result of Gorbachev's efforts. He proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the Communist system could not be reformed and the Soviet Union fell apart. Now, is this the ultimate aim of the Peace Prize Committee - the destruction of the United States, the greatest of all liberal democracies?

Given Mr Jagland's political views, that is not an altogether outlandish idea.

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