Nobel in anticipation
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam on Nobel Peace Prize to President Barak Hussein Obama
The history of Nobel awards has been replete with controversy. Henry Kissinger, whose ideas and moves have very little to do with peace, got a Nobel for peace soon after the carpet bombing of Kampuchea and devastation of Vietnam.
Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, who was a functionary in Irgun terrorist gang in Palestine (before the creation of Israel), also got a Nobel for peace. He shared his prize with Yasser Arafat.
Nobels in economics have been often as controversial as in literature. Boris Pasternak and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel would not possibly have come their way if they had not been anti-Soviet. Similarly, V.S. Naipaul’s Nobel came at the height of the West’s anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic propaganda. Naipaul’s Nobel coincided with that anti-Muslim crescendo and his anti-Muslim vituperation rhymed well with that.
When we look at the Obama Nobel in this context we have less to be surprised about. Interestingly, Irving Wallace describes a meeting with a senior official of the Swedish Academy that awards the Nobel.
The official told Wallace simplistically that Eienstein’s Nobel in physics was also driven by Europe’s guilt over the Holocaust. (However, nobody would disagree about the rare merit of Einstein that richly deserved the Nobel in any case).
Coming back to President Obama, let us imagine for a while that he has been awarded in anticipation for the work that he will do in future to make world more peaceful. So far his work in that direction does not seem to be very promising.
For all we see, the foci of violent conflict, aggression and dispossession that were there in President George W. Bush’s time still remain there. Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan are still bleeding. US claims of pacification of Iraq seem to justify a further surge in Afghanistan. This is exactly in line with the planners of the war against the Muslim world. It must be kept in mind that President George W. Bush’s key advisor Carl Rove had declared at the beginning of Obama presidency that he would carry forward President Bush’s legacy.
Another point to remember here is that President Obama had given a deadline to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year that he would force Iran to comply with US-Israeli demands on Iran’s nuclear programme by September. That has already been done and Iran has relented. However, President Obama failed to extract a similar commitment from Netanyahu on Palestinian statehood.
All said and done, Obama presidency stands where Bush presidency did. However, we must admit that Bush’s fist-in-the-face, belligerent rhetoric has changed to a more mellow rhetoric. That is all. Whether that is enough to deserve a Nobel is debatable. g