Less than a year into his current term, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; Obama would do well to keep his eyes on the prize, as, almost four years in, he has virtually nothing to show for it at all.
OSLO — President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.
As Jackson Diehl recently pointed out in the Washington Post, little if anything has come from Obama’s grand promises on several fronts.
… the results to date hardly seem prizeworthy. The New Start nuclear arms agreement with Russia merely ratifies warhead reductions already underway in Russia, while imposing a modest cut on the U.S. arsenal. More ambitious multilateral initiatives by Obama — to control nuclear materials, for example — have made little progress, despite an elaborate summit the president hosted in 2010.
To date, Obama has written letters, dispatched envoys, held summits and even shaken hands with Chavez. For his efforts, Hugo Chavez has pronounced Obama a “clown.”
Jackson Diehl: In his first year Obama dispatched two letters to Khamenei while keeping his distance from the revolutionary Green movement. He shook hands with Hugo Chavez. He launched a “reset” of relations with Russia’s Vladi mir Putin and dispatched envoys to reason with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. He delivered a sweeping address to the Muslim world from Cairo. The results have been meager.
Still, Obama’s two greatest failures may be his failure to grasp the significance and timeliness of the pro-democracy movement sweeping through much of the Middle East, as well as his complete mishandling of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
True, by mostly following in Bush’s footsteps when it comes to the War on Terror, Obama may have helped himself by silencing some critics on the right. But that’s hardly the thing his Democrat base gets all worked up about. On almost every count of the sweeping foreign policy vision Obama laid out when he was elected, there’s no other conclusion to be drawn than that Obama has been a dismal flop, often looking more naive than statesmanlike in the eyes of the world as a whole. And that, according to the Washington Post.