A Nobel for the Super Brat

Obama wins the Nobel Peace! “What the heck!” That was my first reaction. Later when I thought over it, there were many other reactions. One of which even justified the award to Obama.

 The Nobel Committee has perhaps used the same strategy we use to bring a naughty child under control. “Little John is a good boy. He doesn’t spill milk.” We say this when we know that little John is definitely going to spill milk. The poor kid, after the appreciation, is forced to be a good boy.

 The same is the case with Obama now. Like the kid, he will have to strive to keep up to the best boy image. He will have to spend the rest of his term trying to prove that he deserved the honour.

 Winning an award after a life long of hard work is easier than living with the pressure to show that you are worth it.

 Though the Nobel committee has not acknowledged the right person, it has played a smart game which may help bring about peace. Some of Obama’s promises are unfulfilled and some are stalled.

 The Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre still operates, even when Obama vowed to close it and ordered its review in the second day of his office. Obama had won applause from human rights activists when he promised to repeal the Military Commissions Act which allowed US to circumvent the Geneva Convention while trying detainees. After becoming the President he shocked the activists after saying that he would only tweak the law.

 There are other promises which are in progress. It was not clear if Obama would keep his word on these promises. Now, perhaps he will be forced to fulfill them.

Obama and his Russian counterpart came to an understanding to reduce nuclear stockpiles. The Startegic Arms Reduction Treaty-I (START-I), which limits the number and type of nuclear weapons each country, has. First signed in 1991, it was scheduled to expire in December 2009. Both the US and Russia have come up with a follow-up treaty which would further reduce the number of strategic war heads. The START follow-up treaty is yet to be finalized.

He did try to keep up to his promise of doubling US spending on global aid to $ 50 million by 2012. Though the budget mentioned doubling aid, it did not give any time frame. Perhaps it’s the economic downturn or some other constraint, but the step was taken in fulfilling the progress.

He had said that he would launch an aggressive diplomatic effort with Iraq’a neighbours to bring stability into Iraq. Though he had appointed envoys to the neighbouring countries, still a lot has to be achieved.

The Nobel committee might have considered the tasks that are ahead of Obama and used the mantra to make him obliged to complete them. The Nobel Peace may act as a strong catalyst to add momentum in peace making.

This piece  appeared in MiD DAY on October 12. The link to the article is



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