Friday, October 09, 2009

Partisanship and Peace

I sincerely believe that the American Presidency should strive to be a force for peace in the world.

The awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize to an American president is a great honor. I had even been hoping that President Obama would earn the prize through years of service.

Today's announcement of a Nobel Peace Prize through me for a complete loop. The voting for the 2009 prize took place just weeks into Obama's presidency, which implies the prize was awarded for partisan reasons and not for accomplishments.

Partisanship is a primary cause of conflict and war. Excessive partisanship in the awarding the prize undermines the prize.

We live in a day when politicians are flush with good intent, but intention often run a foul of reality. One must take time to see how well the intentions are panning through.

The sources I read claim the vote for the prize came within the first weeks of the administration. There was not enough time to know if Obama's campaign promises were promises to keep or promises to compromise.

Looking through history, one finds a long list of solid attempts at creating an era of peace that failed. Mistimed peace efforts often cause or extend wars. I applaud peace efforts but realize that such efforts are dependent on timing. Thanks to the surge, the United States is in a better position to remove troops from Iraq. Had we taken the same action a year ago, there would have been a blood bath.

There is great merit to the carrot and stick approach that Obama has been taking with Afghanistan. Avoiding a hasty pull out from Iraq was also wise along with the back peddling on Guantanimo Bay. These issues have gone opposite of campaign promises and early administration intentions. Some peace advocates could claim Obama's administration is George Bush-lite.

I believe that the compromises Obama has made have been for the good of the world, yet there needed to be a year invested in the effort before judging its success.

The rewarding of the prize too early in Obama's career comes off as a partisan jab. The mistiming of the prize has the double negative affect of widening partisan divides and it diminishes the meaning of the prize for the recipient who is positioned help advance peace in the world and, God-willing, will be a catalyst for peace.

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