The president got his prize as an encouragement. Here's how he can rise to the occasion
The world has noted the irony that President Barack Obama is delivering his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize after launching an escalation of the Afghanistan war. Of course, the critique is a little misplaced, since the prize is for a specific policy success, not for being a pacifist.
Still, Obama was clearly given the prize to encourage him in the direction of peace. It is the tragedy of the sole superpower that it is unconstrained by peers and so can launch wars of choice and shatter international law at will. It can be counseled but not blocked. He was awarded this honor as a counsel.
So here are the things Obama can do to redeem his prize.
1. Get out of Iraq on schedule. We can’t stop their low-intensity conflicts, and they are more likely to compromise with each other if we are not there.
2. Resist calls for Iran to be bombed. Such a raid would guarantee that Iran would start a crash program to develop a nuclear weapon, and there would be no way to stop it short of full-scale war.
3. Stop allowing the CIA to operate drones with which to assassinate people. It is illegal and shameful. The U.S. military must be in charge of defending the country by force or we are a police state.
4. Get the Palestinians a state by the end of 2011, even if by unilateral recognition. Palestinian statelessness is the biggest human rights scandal in the world, since citizenship is the right to have rights. This step alone would solve the bulk of U.S. problems in the Arab world and would deal a deadlier blow to al-Qaida than capturing Osama bin Laden.
5. Stick to the plan of beginning a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in summer 2011. Karzai and the generals will attempt to embroil us in a decades-long quagmire. No one will remember his Nobel Peace Prize if President Obama lets that happen.
More Related Stories
- Steamy lesbian-sex movie has Cannes abuzz
- My text blew up in my face
- Stop what you're doing and go watch "Borgen"
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Boy Scouts end ban on openly gay boys
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- New York chef serves up eight-course meal around "Arrested Development" jokes
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- HLN: Jodi Arias "pleading for her life" got us a ratings win!
- In IRS scandal, new GOP tactic is ignorance
- Twitter beefs up security measures
- Code Pink activist berates Obama at national security speech
- Man arrested for sending Craigslist sex party to neighbor's house
- Michael Ian Black on Maron feud: He "considered me a poseur"
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11