The Nobel Cause

Calls are heard from around the globe demanding that President Obama be stripped of his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.  Indeed, awarding the price — which was originally intended to mark "the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses" — to the president of a country fighting two foreign wars was always controversial.  But now, the argument goes, with the U.S. Air Force taking part in bombing Libya, Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is becoming an outright farce.

President Obama himself disagrees and claims that "the American people don’t see any contradiction in somebody who cares about peace also wanting to make sure that people aren’t butchered because of a dictator who wants to cling to power."  (Obama didn't specify whether he had in mind the Libyan strongman, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, or Obama's buddy Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain.)

There is no secret that when the Norwegian Nobel Committee was announcing its 2009 decision, they were thinking more about Obama's potential to advance world peace rather than his accomplished deeds.  This is a constructive approach.  So instead of distracting the American president with talks about stripping him of the Peace Prize, other Nobel Prize Committees should consider awarding Obama with Nobel Prizes in their respective fields — to promote the president's good intentions elsewhere.  For example, given the circumstances, Obama's June 4, 2009 Cairo ("A New Beginning") Speech would be an indisputable candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.  The Nobel Prize in Chemistry could go to the abandoned "cap and trade" legislation on greenhouse gas emissions.  Obama's health-care reform definitely deserves The Nobel Prize in Medicine, whereas his 2012 budget proposal is a great match for the Nobel Prize in Economics.  Finally, the Nobel Prize in Physics could be awarded for Obama's successful application of the "black hole" theory to the treating of terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay camp. 

As for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, there is no doubt that the clowns from the Norwegian Nobel Committee will entertain us again with their next choice.  Khodorkovsky anyone?  

About Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov is a PMI-certified Innovation Management Consultant who helps organizations increase the efficiency of their internal and external innovation programs.
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28 Responses to The Nobel Cause

  1. Виктор Кривчун says:

    “Не будет ли это кто-нибудь типа Ходорковского?”
    И к бабке не ходи: именно “узник совести” М.Б. Ходорковский как раз и будет очередным кандидатом в лауреаты Нобелевской премии по экономике. Именно он со товарищи придумал уникальную схему ухода от налогов: налоги платились за доходы от продажи нефти по мизерной цене в начале цепочки продаж нефти от добывающих компаний ЮКОСа дочкам ЮКОСа же, но зарегистрированых в офшорных зонах. И с каждой перепродажой цена нефти становилась всё выше и выше и достигала максимума при продаже иностранным потребителям и эта маржа ложилась в карманы МБХ и иже с ним. Готовые всегда выслужиться перед США,клоуны из Нобелевского комитета не станут ломать над этими хитросплетениями голову, а дружно проголосуют за кандидатуру “белого и пушистого” МБХ.

  2. Eugene says:

    То, что Ходорковского ВЫДВИНУТ на премию, сомнений нет: выдвигают обычно десятки человек, один лучше другого. ВЫБЕРУТ ли или нет, посмотрим: могут найти еще кого-нибудь даже посмешней.
    Относительно делишек Ходорковского норвежские ребята, я думаю, просто не в курсе. Клоуны — они и есть клоуны, взять с них нечего. Я хотел еще к слову “клоун” некое прилагательное добавить, но постеснялся: все же меня жена и дети иногда читают…
    А вот более серъезные люди относительно Ходора иллюзий не питали, и мнение о нем здесь было очень нелицеприятное — несмотря на все бабки, что он здесь раздавал. Это уже потом, когда его посадили, а Путин всем разонравился, оказалось, что он хороший парень, борец за права человека и жертва.
    Приходите еще. Всего Вам доброго.

  3. это к воросу о мире
    Открытое письмо украинских врачей к Медведеву Путину
    а это к вопросу о двойных стандартах ( читай предательстве)

  4. Open letter from Russian doctors in Libya to President of the Russian Federation
    President of the Russian Federation Medvedev DA
    Prime Minister of Russian Federation VV Putin
    from citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia,
    working and living in Libya
    March 24, 2011, Tripoli, Libya
    Dear Mr Medvedev and Vladimir Putin,
    Citizens of the former Soviet Union refer to you
    Today wqe are citizens of different Slavic countries – Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Despite this, we all believe that Russia is a successor to the USSR and the SOLE safeguard the interests of our countries and the security of our citizens. Therefore, we appeal to you for help and justice.
    Here there is a barefaced EXTERNAL AGGRESSION of the USA and OTAN against the SOVEREIGN STATE – Libya. And if anyone can doubt this, then we this obvious fact is well known, because all this is happening before our eyes, and the actions of U.S. and NATO threaten the lives of not only the citizens of Libya, but to us who are on its territory. We are outraged by the barbaric bombing of Libya, which currently carries a coalition of U.S. and NATO.
    The bombing of Tripoli and other cities in Libya are aimed not only and not the objects of air defense and Air Force Libya and not only the Libyan army, but also the object of military and civilian infrastructure. Today, 24 March 2011, NATO aircraft and the U.S. all night and all morning bombed a suburb of Tripoli – Tazhuru (where, in particular, is Libya’s Nuclear Research Center). Air Defence and Air Force facilities in Tazhure were destroyed back in the first 2 days of strikes and more active military facilities in the city remained, but today the object of barracks bombing began Libyan army, around which are densely populated residential areas, and next – the largest in Libya’s Heart Centre. Civilians and the doctors could not assume that common residential quarters will be subject to destruction, so none of the residents or hospital patients was not evacuated.
    Bombs and rockets struck residential houses and fell near the hospital. The building Cardiac Center were broken glass, and in the building of the maternity ward for pregnant women with heart disease collapsed wall and part of the roof. This resulted in a ten miscarriages of babies died, the women are in intensive care, doctors are fighting for their lives. We and our colleagues are working seven days a week, to save people. A consequence of falling bombs and missiles in residential buildings in dozens of deaths and injuries, which operate and revived now our doctors. Such a large number of wounded and killed, as one today, it was not for all the riots in Libya. And this is called “protecting the civilian population”?
    With full responsibility as witnesses and participants of what is happening, we state that a genocide carried out by the United States and its allies against the Libyan people – as was the case in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Crimes against humanity, carried out by coalition forces akin to those crimes committed fathers and grandfathers of today’s Western leaders and their henchmen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan and in Dresden in Germany, where civilians are also being destroyed in order to deter, to break the will of the people to resist ( Germany remembers it, and therefore refused to participate in the new slaughterhouse). Today they want in ways to make the Libyan people to surrender their leader and the legitimate government and meekly lay down their national oil wealth of the countries of the coalition.
    We understand that apply to the “international community” to save the people of Libya and we were living in Libya, is useless. Our only hope – it is Russia that has the right of veto in the UN, and specifically their leaders – the President and the Prime Minister.
    We still hope for you, as hoped in the past, when made the decision to stay in Libya, and help its people, thinking in the first place our medical duty. We have seen that after a failed coup attempt in late February, the situation calmed down in Libya and the government has successfully restored order. Everyone in Libya, it was clear that without American intervention the country will soon return to normal life. Being assured, that Russia, possessing right “veto”, will not resolve military aggression from the USA and their allies, we have decided to remain in Libya, but we were mistaken.Russia, unfortunately, has believed to false assurances of Americans and has not opposed the crime decision of France and the USA.
    We, Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians, the people of various professions (mainly doctors), working in Libya for more than a year (from 2 to 20 years). During this time, we are well acquainted with the life of the Libyan people and state that few citizens of other nations live in such social comfort, as the Libyans. They are entitled to free treatment, and their hospitals to provide the best in the world of medical equipment. Education in Libya is free, capable young people have the opportunity to study abroad at government expense. When married young couples receive 60,000 Libyan dinars (about 50,000 U.S. dollars) of financial assistance. Non-interest state loans, and as practice shows, undated. Due to government subsidies the price of cars is much lower than in Europe, and they are affordable for every family. Gasoline and bread cost a penny, no taxes for those who are engaged in agriculture. The Libyan people are quiet and peaceful, is not inclined to drink, very religious.
    Today, the people are suffering. In February, the peaceful life of the people violated the gang of criminals and insane drug youth – whom the Western media for some reason called “peaceful demonstrators”. These weapons attacked police stations, government agencies, military units – bloodshed. Those who directs them, pursue clear objective – to establish control over Libya’s oil, they misinformed the international community, and that, say, the Libyans are fighting against the regime. Tell me, whom such a regime might not like? If such a regime was in Ukraine or Russia, we would not have been here and worked and enjoyed the social comfort at home and in every possible way such a regime would be maintained.
    Today this people suffers. In February the peace life of people was broken with gangs of criminal elements and the youth drugged by drugs – which the western mass-media for some reason name « peace demonstrators ». They attacked police stations with the weapon , official agency, military units Blood has spilled. Those who supervises over them, pursue clear objective – an establishment of the control over the Libyan oil; they misinformed world community, and they say the Libyans struggle against the government. Tell, to whom such regime can not like?! If such a regime was in Ukraine or Russia, we would not be here, and worked and enjoyed social comfort in the homeland and in every possible way would support such regime.
    If the U.S. and the EU t have nothing to do, let them turn their attention to the plight of Japan, the Israeli bombing of Palestine, the audacity and impunity of Somali pirates, on the plight of Arab immigrants in France, and the Libyans will decide out its internal problems themselves.
    We see that today in Libya they want to do another Iraq.Today they carried out the genocide of an entire people and those who are found with him. We perform MEDICAL DEBT and can not leave the Libyans in trouble, we do not want leave Libyans under attac of US and EU and forces anti-Libyan coalition, In addition, we understand that when all the foreigners leave and no one will tell the truth (small staff of diplomatic missions have long been silenced), the Americans will arrange here bloodbath. And because our only chance of survival – is a solid civil position of Russia in the UN Security Council.
    We hope that you, Mr. President, and you, Mr. Prime Minister, as citizens of Russia and how decent people will not allow American and European fascists of the XXI century to destroy the freedom-loving people of Libya and of those who today turned out to be with them .
    We therefore urgently request that Russia has used its right of veto, the right that was earned by millions of lives of Soviet people during World War II to stop the aggression against a sovereign state, seek immediate cessation of U.S. and NATO bombing campaign and to demand the introduction of UN troops in the conflict zone Libya.
    With respect and hope
    your wisdom and honesty,
    Citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia,
    located in Libya
    Bordovsky S., Vasilenko, S., Vegerkina A., Henry IV, Henry H., L. Grigorenko, Dragovsky A., Drobot V. Drobot, N., Yemets E., Kolesnikova, T., Kuzin, I., Kuzmenko B ., Kulebyakin V. Kulmenko T., Nikolaev AG, Papelyuk V. Selizar V. Selizar A. Smirnov, O. Smirnova, R., Soloviev DA, Stadnik VA, Stolpakova T. Streschalin G. Stakhovich Yu, Sukacheva L. Sukachev V. Tarakanov, T., Tikhon N. Tikhonov VI, Tkachev AV, Hadareva E., Tchaikovsky, O., Chukhno D. Chukhno O. Yakovenko, D. et al
    The collection of signatures under the Appeal heads Russia
    and under the request of an international tribunal in The Hague for crimes of U.S. and NATO in Libya
    As an application, attach a poem written by the mother of one of our colleagues, to which we fully subscribe:
    LIBYA (…..)
    We appeal to all people of goodwill to support our appeal to the leaders of RUSSIA and add to it their signature.
    TODAY destroy Libya, and Libyan oil CAPTURE, and tomorrow the target of aggression can become any other State.

  5. Dr Mahyoub says:

    we are with you against the crime of war against Libya
    we ask the russian governement to stop this tragedy immediately

  6. 7b school № 10 says:

    Dear President of the USA !
    We are group of students from a little village in Russia
    Your country and EU are bombing Libya these days and we know that a lot of children in Libya were dead ! You got the Nobel prise for Peace in the world we want to ask what for ? You bomb Libya ! Other presidents bombed Serbia , Afghanistan and Iraq !
    Our parents tell us your country wants to set Ben Laden as leader of Libya! Is it true ? Tell us please do you act with Al-Quad in this war ?
    We want to be friends with Libyan and American children and we want the peace in the whole world ! We want to sleep peacefully !
    We hope you will answer us this questions dear president !
    Diana Budko Svetlana Kuzmenko Andrey Tsukanov
    Georgyi Vinogradov Victor Pukhov Sonya Tchernikova
    Katay Zhukova Veronika Rovnieyko Svetlana Krut
    Kolya Kiselyov Neveric Sloyan
    Eduard Kondratov Irina Sumtzova
    7 “B” school 10

  7. 7b school № 10 says:

    Dear President of the USA !
    We are group of students from a little village in Russia
    Your country and EU are bombing Libya these days and we know that a lot of children in Libya were dead ! You got the Nobel prise for Peace in the world we want to ask what for ? You bomb Libya ! Other presidents bombed Serbia , Afghanistan and Iraq !
    Our parents tell us your country wants to set Ben Laden as leader of Libya! Is it true ? Tell us please do you act with Al-Quad in this war ?
    We want to be friends with Libyan and American children and we want the peace in the whole world ! We want to sleep peacefully !
    We hope you will answer us this questions dear president !
    Diana Budko Svetlana Kuzmenko Andrey Tsukanov
    Georgyi Vinogradov Victor Pukhov Sonya Tchernikova
    Katay Zhukova Veronika Rovnieyko Svetlana Krut
    Kolya Kiselyov Neveric Sloyan
    Eduard Kondratov Irina Sumtzova
    7 “B” school 10

  8. Igor says:

    Hi, Eugene
    Just happen to read this your piece. Very sarcastic – I approve 🙂 (although it made to remember the opinion of our friend , Dale, about the future of the planet – or more precisely – about the future of the peace on it. )

  9. Eugene says:

    Hi Igor,
    Thanks. Don’t remember what our friend Dale said on the future of the planet — I mean, in this particular context. Please remind.
    On a non-related issue: how do you like the letter above? I’m pleasantly surprised that a “little village in Russia” may have at least 10 schools (given the number of this particular one). Besides, the students from the 7″B” are blessed with a great English teacher, are they not?
    No question, life is getting better in Russia.

  10. Kurwastan says:

    Nice “Samantha Smith” letter from village kids, who are probably still using Soviet-era textbooks even though they are “blessed” with a great English teacher. But truthfully, this kind of propaganda doesn’t resonate very effectively nowadays outside of Russia. Call me cynical, but anyone in Surkov’s office could have written a “USA bombs Serbia” letter on behalf of schoolchildren.
    Also, the “Hands off Libya” letter from “Slavs” is also baffling. Wonder what the Bulgarians, also “fellow little brother Slavs,” actually think of Qaddafi.

  11. Eugene says:

    Thanks for your comment. I’m not as arrogant as to believe that someone from Surkov’s office will be posting on my blog. But I have no illusions that the people who wrote the above “letter” are long past the school age.
    The very idea that there could be even one school (save for ten) in a “little village” in Russia where kids write such a beautiful English strikes me as hilarious. So I don’t even consider this letter as a propaganda; looks more like a pre-Fools Day prank.
    Come back again.
    Best Regards,

  12. On the other hand Eugene & Co., here’s a substantively more detailed piece on the subject matter at hand:
    Regarding left of center punditry, I prefer Sasha over the more establishment accepted Christopher Hitchens. Ditto Christopher’s brother Peter who leans more to the right.

  13. Igor says:

    Hi, Eugene
    Oh, when pressed, he just replied that he looks into the future “darkly”. In the context, it was unambiguous.
    English of this piece is, indeed, strange & very far from good. But, true, probably, too good for a rural school – certainly, not copied from Google Translate. The school #10 can be “overdoing it”, but equally, a “small village” could have been a small (by Russian standards) town. What is really missing for such letter is the name & location of the school. Next time they might do it better 🙂
    BTW – a nice piece on the subject|head

  14. Sergey says:

    re the school numbers – aren’t they numbered according to the school districts, which correspond to the standard ones (районы и районо)? For sure no one uses numbers in villages, but they do exist in papers.
    I suspect it was the English teacher’s project – to give kids write something about “real life”, and the teacher wanted the letter to sound as official as possible. And for sure no teacher would have passed the letter along without correcting it.
    Can you imagine a teacher in a village with twenty years old worldview? Well, I can hardly imagine any other teacher in a village school.
    You are way too suspicious.
    And BTW, didn’t Obama offer to TALK to Iranians? Sure enough, for a president of a country that used to do lecturing only, that alone was good enough for the Peace Prize!

  15. Eugene says:

    Thanks for your comment. I don’t know about your particular background, but I’m old enough to remember the Soviet Union habit to write “collective” letters on occasions. This letter reminds me of one of those — stylistically at least.
    However, if I’m wrong and the level of public activity in Russia is so high that “little village” kids now routinely write letters to U.S. presidents, then great! I only hope that they find enough reasons to write to the Russian president as well — with the hope of their Russian literature teacher, of course.
    Best Regards,

  16. Poppy says:

    “However, if I’m wrong and the level of public activity in Russia is so high that “little village” kids now routinely write letters to U.S. presidents, then great!”
    Errr… Could it be that they’re just mimicking the Reporters sans frontiers and Medics sans brains, not to mention other garbage collectors like Transparency analysts?
    They mught have heard of those.

    • Adriana says:

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  17. Mark says:

    A very powerful piece, Eugene, and obviously it has attracted some who see what we cannot. Fascinating stuff, with a whiff of the front lines!
    I’m very disappointed in Obama; I still think he’s preferable to any candidate the Republicans could field today (Palin, Romney or Huckabee give me chills, although I understand Huckabee has all but announced he’s not running, and Bachmann should not even be running around loose without restraints), but he’s turning out to be indecisive and easily rolled. Many sources suggest he was against intervention, but was persuaded into it. Bad decision, although, ha ha, it wasn’t actually a decision at all, but a surrender. As much of an idiot as Bush was, at least he was decisive. And he was always wrong – what could be simpler? Think of what Bush would have done, do the opposite, and don’t entertain any arguments.

  18. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Thanks Mark,
    I’m too very disappointed in Obama. I’m also puzzled with his decision making process in general and with this decision in particular. Two best foreign policy minds in his administration — Biden and Gates — were apparently against the Libya involvement, but he went along with HRC, Rice and Power. Nothing sexist on my part, just trying to see what I’m missing here.
    But you’re right: with such a weak Republican lineup, no matter what Obama does, he doesn’t seem to risk too much. Too bad: the presence of a good opponent usually shapens up the mind of a politician.

  19. Mark says:

    Obama’s detractors say he is naive, and I thought it was just a lot of jealousy, but perhaps there is something to it. He has a childlike belief that once you win, people have to like you because you won, and you can co-opt old enemies with your powerful niceness. Appointing HRC SecState was a mistake – not only is she susceptible to the sycophant flatterers who whisper to her that it should have been her, her actual grasp of foreign policy is weak and she is further weakened by a fear of seeming weak and girlish. This makes her unnecessarily aggressive and causes her to grab for a military solution without really thinking it through, because she thinks it makes her look tough, like “Iron-Balls” Thatcher. In fact, Maggie Thatcher (whom I also didn’t care for) really was tough, but she also had a nice sense of the right amount of force to get the job done, and never actually used force when the threat of it would do.
    I think Obama made quite a lot of appointments with a view to what a smart, magnanimous power broker it made him appear, rather than who had any real flair for the job. It’s no worse than Bush’s abject cronyism (remember “Heckuva Job” Brownie?), but in the end neither approach put the best people in positions where they could use their talents for the national good. Obama seems to have hoped some of the people he appointed would “grow into” the job.
    Gates is great in his present appointment, but he would have made a great SecState too.

  20. “In fact, Maggie Thatcher (whom I also didn’t care for) really was tough, but she also had a nice sense of the right amount of force to get the job done, and never actually used force when the threat of it would do.”
    One of her biggest if not biggest blunders was former Yugoslavia. This was in part due to her reliance on a UK based person of Croat origin (Steven Cviic) who recently passed away.
    In one form or another, ethnic lobbying clout can make a difference.
    As war in Bosnia was about to get into full swing, Thatcher said that during WW II, the Crotas and Muslims (Bosnian Muslims) were on the side of “liberty.” While it’s true that not all of them were Ustasha or Hanschar, it’s also true that the Serbs during WW II were (on the whole) considerably more anti-Nazi. In the post-Tito era, Thatcher and some others readily bought into the inaccurate anti-Serb propaganda which distorted a number of Serb positions, while downplaying the wrongs of some others.
    Russia without nukes could very well be in a similar predicament as Serbia.

  21. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Your description of HRC is very good, I totally agree! Besides, she is still trying (deliberately or subconsciously) to keep her powder dry for a possible presidential run — her claims about retirement notwithstanding — and doesn’t want to give ammunition to a potential Republican rival.
    However, in defense of Obama, appointing her wasn’t his choice. For the sake of Democratic party unity, he HAD to give her something of importance in his cabinet. Besides, for a while, he managed to keep her out of all important foreign policy decisions. Yet, having been overwhelmed with domestic issues, he gave in and let her take over.
    On more general point, Obama is a “domestic” president. Foreign policy for him is a mean to make life easier at home. In this respect, he reminds me of Medvedev.
    One more point: Obama was Senator, a job that doesn’t require a lot of decisiveness. That’s why many (myself included) prefer former governors as presidents.

  22. Eugene Ivanov says:

    I agree with your last point. Unfortunately, as many folks have already mentioned, what happened to Libya is very bad for non-proliferation. Libya gave away its WMD program and was attacked. The moral: create your own bomb ASAP.

  23. Political correctness aside Eugene, might makes right.
    This point relates to the high profile, not so consistent and (to a good extent) misleading humanitarian driven stances taken by Samantha Power, Christiane Amanpour, Roy Gutman and some others.

  24. Eugene says:

    Well, I just think that our Libyan adventure — and its very uncertain, at this point, repercussions — is too high a price to pay to cure Ms. Power from her Bosnia syndrome.

    • Igor says:

      As I recall, Spain tried this beorfe and had a huge backlash from motorists. Maybe this time it will stick.Getting 55 mph here is a long way off. I remember the be nifty, drive 50 in the 70s any motorist who adhered to this soon found discovered the definition of Road Rage.I think 55 mph is a futile gesture. If we had a nation wide max of 35 mph then I think we could actually buy some time to deal with a PO transition. At 35 mph we could dispense with most crash protection considerations (of course two 35 mph head on is a catastrophic 70 mph crash) and start using Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (glorified golf carts) combined with mass transit (ie Plan C). Many could be recharged with a home PV system. Bicycles and velomobiles might actually be tolerated on the common roadways.But, I’m dreaming again most unlikely it is going to happen until collapse is around the corner.

  25. Eugene,
    For quality control sake, she shouldn’t be in the position she assumed to begin with.
    I think you might’ve already seen this one:
    Those who’ve given a more accurate Bosnian Civil War accounting (include yours truly) had pot shots thrown at them from safe distances.

  26. Miftahul says:

    Stalin? Hitler? Che? Qaddafi? Bin Ladin? Anyone Billy?Do you have an intelligent thhuogt in your head Mr. Long?I guess the special ed classes at Greenwood were just good enough for you to fool enough people that you had what it takes to be a Congressman.

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