Friday, October 9, 2009

What President Obama Should Do With the Nobel Prize Money

As many could probably predict, I disagree with Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. Obama has slightly reduced military action in Iraq, and has started the process to close the prisons in Guantanamo Bay, but he has dramatically escalated the Afghanistan War, spread it into Pakistan, expanded the ability of the NSA to spy on American citizens, started major saber rattling with Iran, and supported a deposed would-be dictator in Honduras. I joked on Facebook that maybe it should be renamed the Nobel War Prize. Despite my unheard objections, the Nobel committee has given the Peace Prize to our warmongering President. That's water under the bridge. But since President Obama has promised to give the $1.4 million prize to charity, he could do something really meaningful with it. May I suggest he give it to one of the nominees that really deserved it. (A few here and here.) I would give it to either Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition, Denis Mukwege, or Sima Samar. By empowering one of these worthy causes, Obama would have done more for peace and human rights than anything he's done so far.

To be fair to President Obama, though, I don't think many politicians deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Nelson Mandela deserved it for his efforts to end apartheid, but few others. For the most part, politicians create war and oppress individuals, and free people acting out of love improve the human condition. That should be acknowledged.

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