Yes, the Nobel Peace Prize. And yes, I know, questions abound as to what was done to deserve it. You don’t have to say it.

Personally, I think the award should be for “accomplishments” not “expectations”, but one thing was mightily clear… the strongest explanation as to why President Obama received the NPP boils down to one thing: “He’s not George Bush.” And that’s it in a nutshell. So despised was the former President by the international community (as well as many of us here at home) that simply by virtue of President Obama talking about “international cooperation”, “rejecting torture”, “pursuing peace in the Middle East” and actually sitting down and TALKING to Iran… the first Administration to do so in over 30 years… rather than simply saber-rattling with threats of war… alone makes him worthy of the Prize. I would add to that, being the first President to broadcast holiday wishes during Muslim Holy Days such as Ramadan, also went a LONG way to promoting a positive image of the United States within the Muslim world. I’d dare say that the anti-Ahmadinejad riots following the stolen Iranian election had more to do with young Iranian voters, encouraged by President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world, voted against the reigning hardliner Ahmadinejad in favor of a Moderate (Mir Hossein Mousavi) who campaigned on “better ties with the West”.

Lumped together, a stronger case can be made for President Obama deserving the NPP so early in his presidency. Still premature for sure, but not wholly undeserved.

But you know who I can’t stop thinking about? George W. Bush. Poor George, sitting at home watching the TV, listening to pundit after pundit… including members of his own administration… agree that the “primary reason” Obama won was because “he’s not George Bush” or “it was a repudiation of George Bush”. That’s GOTTA sting… that is, if you’re not a soulless sonofabitch that doesn’t actually care what the rest of the planet thinks of you.

Friday, the very Conservative BBC World news had on (big surprise) Bush’s (never confirmed) choice to be Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, to comment on President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Repeating something he said in an Op/Ed for the National Review, Bolton was asked “why only Democrats win the Nobel Peace Prize?”:

“The Committee is preaching at Americans. It’s saying, ‘Jimmy Carter in 2002, Al Gore in 2007, Barack Obama in 2009. ‘Do you Americans get the point yet?'”

His comment is ASTOUNDING in so many ways. First off, despite the fact he recognizes the message, Bolton clearly doesn’t “get the point yet”. To him, Europe should bow down before us and Thank God that the U.S. is there to protect them. His dislike for Europe and THE NERVE of them to think of themselves as EQUALS to the U.S., is clear from the get-go. And this is the guy George W. Bush chose to be HIS AMBASSADOR to the UN. They wonder why Europe doesn’t honor any Republicans with a Peace Prize???

Anyway, so the Nobel Committee has… at the very least by many measures, “prematurely” awarded President Obama the Peace Prize. Why “now“? Why not after a year or two, with some results behind him?

Why? Because of the upcoming decision on whether or not to send more troops into Afghanistan. I believe the Nobel Committee is hoping to influence the President’s decision on whether or not to expand the war in Afghanistan (not necessarily a bad thing.)

A couple of weeks ago, reports leaked that the current lead General of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, would be asking President Obama for as many as 40,000 additional troops, even saying in a Press Conference that if he did not get the extra troops, “the War in Afghanistan was likely to fail.” Republican hawks quickly jumped on the bandwagon. After years of neglecting Afghanistan for Iraq, suddenly every armchair general in the GOP was OUTRAGED at the very idea that the President might do anything other than give his Generals on the ground EXACTLY what they ask for. How DARE President Obama substitute his judgment for that of his Generals!

Uh, hello? Anyone remember how many times President Bush swapped out Generals until he found one willing to do EXACTLY what HE wanted in Iraq? If President Bush didn’t like what one of his Generals was telling him, he didn’t hesitate to replace them, and the Right didn’t say “Boo” when he did. I compiled a list. If I forgot anyone, please let me know in the comments:

(I’d also like to point out at this time that President Bush had no problem replacing U.S. Attorney’s, members of his own cabinet, and anyone else that wouldn’t do his bidding. But that’s a topic for another day.)

And now Republicans are DEMANDING that the President give his generals everything they ask for without question. What on Earth gives the President the right to second-guess his Generals? HOW DARE HE! (Do these guys have Alzheimer’s or something? Clearly, you can’t be a Republican unless you have either NO short-term memory or a “complete and total lack of shame” about disregarding history when it proves inconvenient.)

Now, why on Earth might President Obama pause to consider whether or not to give McCrystal his additional 40,000 troops when the consequences could be so dire?

In case anyone forgot, President Obama DID send more troops to Afghanistan… 21,000 to be exact… just last April. Did the fighting there getter BETTER or WORSE? Afghanistan’s inept and corrupt puppet government, installed by the Bush Administration, did little to nothing to stop the Taliban from retaking control of more than half the country and even infiltrate the Karzai government. The war in Afghanistan took a backseat to the war in Iraq during the Bush Administration, floundering with roughly 1/4 the number of troops in Iraq (42,000 vs 168,000). And though the Taliban continued to retake more and more of the country each year, the lack of news coming from Afghanistan had Republicans already planning a “Victory Party” for the War in Afghanistan prior to the 2006 mid-term elections.

Last week, Republicans criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for challenging Gen. McChrystal’s demand for “40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan”. For daring to oppose the General’s assertion that without more troops, all is lost, The Misogynist Party (aka the GOP) said “General McChrystal needs to put her [Pelosi] “in her place“. Pelosi responded correctly that, “I’m IN ‘my place’. I’m Speaker of the House of Representatives.” It is NOT her place to take orders from the military.

There is a reason the Founding Fathers put the President… a civilian elected official… in charge of the Armed Forces. The military is a sword. “Diplomacy” is a scalpel.

“The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done.” — George W. Bush, Greeley, Colo., Nov. 4, 2006



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