Category Archives: Nobel Peace Prize

Question Of The Day: What Is Carol Swain The Tennessean Smoking?

Seriously, is this the best person The Tennessean could find to write an op-ed opposing President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize?

Carol Swain’s piece in today’s fishwrap reads like the greatest hits from Michelle Bachmann’s cult of crazy. For example:

Everything that we know about President Obama causes one to marvel at his extraordinary good fortune. The odds against his election were enormous. No other president has been surrounded by a shroud of secrecy that includes sealed birth, educational and travel records. These sealed records have made it difficult for him to garner the military respect needed for a successful commander-in-chief.

You can just hear where Swain is going with this “it’s awfully suspicious isn’t it” tack. Yes, Obama was pretty “lucky” (wink wink) to rise to power, wasn’t he? Strange, isn’t it? And now a Nobel Peace Prize on top of that? (You know, that “prize” awarded by “foreigners”?)

Oh, there’s more:

A great fear is that the prize was given to influence future presidential behavior. That it could serve to curtail military options. Already some people fret about weakening national sovereignty, reductions in domestic freedoms through increased surveillance of citizens, and a thumbing of the nose at traditional American values.

“Some people fret” — like who? The UN black helicopter crowd? Those people? Apparently, yes:

The peace prize has gone to a president who engaged in what some called an international apology tour for past U.S. behavior. Under his watch, U.S. military officers ordered the burning of Bibles in Afghanistan, and he told a Muslim audience in Turkey that the United States is no longer a Christian nation. In words and deeds, some see a rejection of American exceptionalism.

OMG!!!1!!!1!!!ELEVEN!!! It’s a Muslim conspiracy!!!! Where’s the outrage!

Perhaps the U.S. military didn’t think it helped the war effort when some Fundies took it upon themselves to convert the Afghan population to Christianity. Maybe that church should have checked with someone before going to all that trouble. Sorry but you’ll have to proselytize without the help of the U.S. military. (Fact check note: Via Black Gold 68 in comments, this incident happened during the Bush Administration and was merely confirmed after Obama became POTUS.) And no, the U.S. has never been a “Christian nation.” I really don’t want to have that argument again.

And finally:

A cosmopolitan man, who has worn an American flag pin with great unease, has been awarded a Nobel Prize. Where he takes America, God knows.

Oh Carol Swain! Just come out and say it already: you think President Obama is an America-hating secret Muslim installed into the White House as part of some conspiracy by “foreigners” who hate Jesus. He could be the Antichrist!!! OMG!! Don’t dance around it, you lay out your “evidence” pretty well. Just tell us what you think.

I cannot believe this crackpot is a Vanderbilt University professor. What an embarrassment to that institution.

Even worse: I cannot believe The Tennessean assigned Swain the anti-Nobel Peace Prize column. I have heard some actual legitimate arguments questioning the Nobel Committee’s decision (personally I think the entire thing is ridiculously overblown, but that’s just me). But fear-mongering that it’s an attempt by foreigners to control the president and trotting out “he’s a super scary secret Muslim” conspiracies from the campaign are not among them.

Is The Tennessean trying to make conservatives look stupid by giving column inches to the right’s most wacked out voices, people like Carol Swain and Phil Valentine? Or is this really what the conservative movement has become? Crazy conspiracies about Manchurian presidencies and intolerance for the poor?

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Filed under Dr. Carol Swain, Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama, The Tennessean

>Four Out Of Five Terrorists Object To POTUS Prize

>The right-wing response is entirely predictable, and very hilarious. Rush Limbaugh will be comedy gold this afternoon. However, what the fuck is wrong with Reuters?

While the award won praise from such statesmen as Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev, both Nobel laureates, it was also attacked in some quarters as hasty and undeserved.

Afghanistan’s Taliban mocked the award, saying Obama should get a Nobel prize for violence instead.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said it was absurd to give a peace award to a man who had sent 21,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to escalate a war.

“The Nobel prize for peace? Obama should have won the ‘Nobel Prize for escalating violence and killing civilians’,” he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

The Taliban? The Taliban? You got a fucking quote from the Taliban?

You know we’re at war with them, right?

That’s the best you could do? That’s who’s on your speed-dial?

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Filed under media, Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama

>Yeah, The World Hates Him

>Hey, Republican National Committee: how many Nobel Peace Prizes have your presidents and vice presidents won?

Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama unexpectedly won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to be awarded the prize, following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former President Jimmy Carter won in 2002 and former Vice President Al Gore received the prize in 2007. None of the organizations or analysts who follow Nobel awards predicted that Obama would win.

“The Nobel Committee has in particular looked at Obama’s vision and work toward a world without atomic weapons,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the five-member Nobel committee, said. “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics.”

So, we’re four to one. But who’s counting.

Oh, the right wing splooge spilling over the the internets today is gonna be fun, fun, fun. So much for all of that high-fiving and cheering over Obama’s failure to bring the Olympics to Chicago.

Suck. on. this.

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Filed under Nobel Peace Prize, President Barack Obama

>TNGOP Petty Party V.2

>So we finally have the reason why Republican legislators voted against locating privately-funded statues of Al Gore and Cordell Hull, our state’s two Nobel Peace Prize winners, on state capitol grounds: it’s because Gore’s not dead yet:

On largely party lines, the Senate voted Tuesday not to support a proposal to erect statues depicting Gore and fellow Nobel laureate Cordell Hull, on the basis that recipients of Capitol Hill honors should be dead. Hull died in 1955.

This, of course, is silly. Republicans named every square inch of public space after Ronald Reagan while he was still alive; here in Nashville there’s a statue of Billy Graham in front of the Southern Baptist Convention just up the street from the state capitol, and last I checked he’s still alive.

But I realize these are not the state capitol grounds and didn’t require legislative approval. Yada yada. Fine.

From The Tennessean:

Few references to Hull were made during the debate. A bust of Hull — who served as Secretary of State during World War II under Franklin D. Roosevelt and helped establish the United Nations — sits directly across the hall from the Senate chamber, and a government building near the Capitol has been named in his honor. Rather it was the idea of honoring Gore that seemed to make lawmakers balk.

Since we’re talking state capitol statues, I wonder if we will ever get around to removing the statue of devout racist Edward W. Carmack? Carmack was a former U.S. Congressman, Senator, newspaper editor and racist who was killed on the streets of Nashville after advocating the repeal of the 15th Amendment in his newspaper:

“I don’t think anyone knows who he is or why he’s there,” said attorney and professor Lewis Laska. “Edward Ward Carmack was one of the most racist politicians in Tennessee history.” Laska feels the statue should come down because of what Carmack stood for.

“He wanted the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution repealed. That’s the amendment that gave black men the right to vote. He thought that lynching was a good idea because it kept black people ‘in their place,'” said Laska.

Well by all means let’s keep the statue of Carmack on the state capitol grounds, then. And let’s make sure no Republican legislator has to gaze upon the visage of Al Gore on his or her way into work. That would be just too awful.

Meanwhile, I suggest we find another place for the Gore and Hull statues. How about dedicating a Nobel Peace Park? Yesterday I suggested the traffic circle in front of the new convention center, but any place prominent will do. Perhaps the new Riverfront Park? The Nobel Peace Prize is an international achievement; recognition of Tennessee’s honorees should be located where our city’s visitors can learn about the achievements of Tennessee’s native sons and daughters. The State Capitol? Feh. We can do better.

And as for the statue of Edward W. Carmack let me suggest a dark closet deep in the bowels of the state legislature where the rest of Tennessee’s racists remain.

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Filed under Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize, racism, Tennessee, TNGOP

>Congratulations, Al Gore!

>Al Gore shares Nobel Peace Prize with UN climate change panel:

“..for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

An Oscar, an Emmy and the Nobel Peace Prize? This not-being-president thing has worked out rather well for him, hasn’t it?

Other famous Tennesseans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize: Cordell Hull, who won in 1945, and Muhammad Yunus, who won in 2006.

Perhaps some folks can look beyond politics and marvel at the number of Nobel Laureates coming from our state.

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Filed under Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize

>Maybe He Should’ve Swam There

>Here’s a tasty bit of speculation about Al Gore that is bound to piss certain people off:

”… the San Francisco Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci is reporting that Gore cancelled an appearance today at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer in San Francisco. Boxer explained why in an email to supporters: “I just got a call from Vice President Al Gore. He told me that he needs to travel abroad tomorrow for an exciting and urgent mission that could result in a major breakthrough in the fight against global warming.”

What happens tomorrow? The Nobel Peace Prize is announced in Oslo! Of course, the award is actually presented in December, not tomorrow, so Gore’s trip is likely purely coincidental. Still, it’s fun to imagine the fits of apoplexy this will generate among the “Al Gore is a hypocrite because he doesn’t churn his own butter” crowd.

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Filed under Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize