Powered by WebAds

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Obama's Nobel will hurt efforts to stop Iran

President Obama's Nobel peace prize could be bad news for Israel on two fronts: First, it may act to ensure that Obama will not attack Iran or go along with Israel attacking Iran (if any such assurance was necessary). Second, it will act as support for Obama in pressuring Israel to make dangerous concessions to the 'Palestinians' even if most Americans disagree with with that pressure. I will treat that second front in a separate post - this post deals only with the implications of Obama's Nobel on the effort to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

This is from Aluf Benn in Haaretz on the Nobel's effect on Iran.
Nobel Prizes are given for proven accomplishments, and not for intentions and hopes. Israeli chemist Ada Yonath won a Nobel prize after decades of effort in her Weizmann Institute laboratory. In contrast, Obama is receiving a Nobel for a research proposal, for a speech in Cairo full of promises and one at the United Nations, where he presented his vision for a better world of mutual respect and a world free of nuclear weapons.
Actually, it's not being given for either of those since they both happened after he was nominated at the beginning of February. In fact, this Nobel is being given for aspirations and not for accomplishments (unless being the anti-Bush is an accomplishment) but that's almost beside the point.
Still, the prize committee was correct in that Obama is a worthy recipient for his efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation. The world has changed over the past year, and Obama - and no one else - is responsible for the change.

In granting him the prize, the Norwegians are signaling to Obama that he should continue along his current path, that he should avoid an escalation in Afghanistan and a war against Iran; and that he should take serious steps to advance peace in the Middle East and to reign in nuclear weapons, even if there is a potential conflict between the two goals. (Depriving Iran of nuclear weapons may ultimately require the use of force.)
I disagree with Obama being a worthy recipient - he has nothing to show and may never have anything to show for his efforts. Obama is a less worthy recipient than Yasser Arafat or Al Gore, since they had something to show even if it turned out to be fraudulent (and in Arafat's case, anyone with their eyes open knew it was fraudulent). Obama is on a par with Mohamed ElBaradei (who had accomplished nothing when he received the prize and has since allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons) and with Obama's idol, Jimmy Carter (who has made a lot of noise but accomplished nothing - the Israel-Egypt peace treaty fell into his lap and in any event he did not receive the prize for that treaty).

The world has indeed changed over the past year and Obama is responsible for that, but the world has not changed for the better. The world has changed for the worse because Obama has denied America's exceptionalism and degraded its world leadership role. If that had brought the world closer to peace, that might have been an argument for a Nobel peace prize. But America's degradation has not brought the world closer to peace - it has brought it closer to war. Without a strong America, rogue countries like Iran and North Korea have confidence that no one will put them in their place and stand up to their aggressive actions. If anything, what Obama has done in the past year makes him less worthy of the prize - not more.

Benn is correct about the message that the Norwegians are sending to Obama, particularly regarding Iran. It is a dangerous message that can only hurt Israel. It will weaken the hand of those in the United States (the majority according to recent polls) who believe that the United States cannot and should not live with a nuclear Iran.

It's interesting that Benn limits the message to being a message sent by the Norwegians - a country whose elites are known to be vehemently anti-Israel - and perhaps the Nobel has to be looked at in that light and its importance should therefore be minimized. I'm sure that was not Benn's intent.

There is little doubt that this prize will hurt the effort to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, and that is bad news for Israel, which is isolated even more than before in its contest with Iran as a result.

A second post will deal with the implications of the Nobel on our 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians.'


Professor Jacobson agrees.


At 1:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The prestige stemming from the Nobel will make it that much harder for Israel to attack Iran in defiance of the wishes of a laureate.

What could go wrong indeed


Post a Comment

<< Home