Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Noble Perspective That Most Americans Found Incomprehensible

Last year, when announced that President Barack Obama was to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the thunder from his many critics was loud and clear: What has he done to deserve it?

At the time, the Huffington Post wrote, “The five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee – four of whom spoke to The Associated Press, said awarding Obama the peace prize could be seen as an early vote of confidence intended to build global support for the policies of his young administration.”

“They lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease U.S. conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen its role in combating climate change.”

It was precisely this contrast between the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration, where President Obama demonstrated that America intends to conduct foreign policy in a non-belligerent way, and who renewed America’s relationships with other nations, that triggered the Nobel Committee to select President Obama.

Apparently, the Nobel Committee’s vision was more acute than those Americans who objected to the committee’s decision. On April 13, in Washington D.C., President Obama concluded a nuclear proliferation summit with forty-nine Presidents, Prime Ministers, and senior officials from nations around the world. The summit’s emphasis was to inject important momentum toward the goal of securing all nuclear weapons-usable material within four years.

President Obama’s Nuclear Posture Review, a congressionally mandated report that outlines the administration’s nuclear strategy and nuclear arsenal policy, according to news reports, evidently indicates that the new strategy does not contain any radical changes from previous administrations’ policies.

Then there is the “New” Start Treaty between the US and Russia, where each committed to reducing deployed strategic warheads by thirty percent. President Obama and President Medvedev signed the new agreement in Prague on April 8, 2010.

Yet, despite this, his critics have not given up. Sarah Palin weighed in with Sean Hannity on Fox News saying, “It's unbelievable. Unbelievable. No administration in America's history would, I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out President Obama is supporting today. It's kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, "Go ahead, punch me in the face and I'm not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want with me."

Her remark is sophomoric, to say the least. Sarah Palin simply did not do the homework necessary to respond intelligently.

And, Newt Gingrich denounced Obama's policy. On Fox’s Sean Hannity's program the former House speaker said, "If there was a biological attack, which killed over a million Americans, is this president really saying we would not retaliate" with nuclear weapons? "That's what he [Obama] said," host Sean Hannity replied, “I agree. It’s what he said,” acknowledged Gingrich.

However, it is not what President Obama’s policy statement said. The revised nuclear doctrine states that the United States would not retaliate with nuclear weapons if another country attacks providing they are not in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the attacker has no nuclear weapons.

Do Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and other dissenters even believe that it is an exigency to reduce world inventories of nuclear armaments?

On this issue alone, who in their right mind would ever entertain voting for a prospective U.S. President with the mindset and perspective of a Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin?