Thursday, September 22, 2011

After Humiliating UN Performance Obama Should Mail Back Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama speaking at U.N.
When the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to President Obama in 2009, I defended him against detractors who insisted that  he didn't deserve the prize because he hadn't done anything of note.  Still euphoric over the election of America's first black president, I saw this man of international stature bringing intelligence, courage and good sense to the most intractable foreign policy issues of our times. How wrong I was. President Obama's speech before the United Nations on Wednesday rejecting the Palestinian petition for statehood, will surely go down in history as one of the most humiliating moments in American diplomatic history. The damage has been done whether the U.S. exercises its veto in the Security Council or not.

An article on the Los Angeles Times blog declared:
President Obama urged world leaders Wednesday morning to stay out of the conflict over Palestinian statehood as American diplomats pushed to delay a vote on the question during this week's general assembly of the United Nations.

But, how can anyone forget that just a year after calling for the creation of a Palestinian state,  the President returned to the world stage gibber-gabbering about the need for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which he had failed to get off the ground earlier in his administration.  In fact, President Obama had so little clout with Israel, that he was unable to halt  the building of new Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories by religious fanatics, claiming that God gave them that land (even though inexplicably "He" signed Palestinian names on the deeds).   To reinforce the message of the U.S. President's impotence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed up in Washington, D.C., this Spring, lecturing Obama like he was a petulant school boy.

The President is doing more damage to America's strategic interests in the Middle East than his predecessors, if only because he came to office promising the Arab world that things would be different.    But in the end, Obama is just another politician grovelling for re-election.  Since moral cowardice comes with the territory, it  shouldn't be rewarded with the world's most prestigious peace prize.  

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