Today’s announcement of President Barack Obama as the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” illuminates the organization’s preference for lofty talk over worthy actions. Heretofore, President Obama has failed to make progress in Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea, but Nobel voters have rewarded his apologetically deferential rhetoric anyway.
Gone are the days of victories, verifiable accomplishments and winners, because western society now prioritizes effort over results.
Arafat promoted peace as he prepared suicide bombers to attack Israel. Mohammed el-Baradei, former head of the IAEA, inspected, and now Iran is as close as it has ever been to possessing nuclear weapons. Al Gore talked a good green game, as his home consumed twenty times the electricity of an average American home. All of these men were awarded the Nobel Prize for peace, because for the committee, accomplishments don’t matter—politics do.
Clearly, Obama’s ‘cookie diplomacy’ has had quite an impact, not only with American liberals, but with elites in Western Europe. To understand this complex ‘cookie diplomacy’, one need not look to Iran or North Korea, but to Sudan. Yes, the poster children for bad behavior have become the latest subjects for the Obama policy of unconditional engagement. The U.S. envoy to Sudan, Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, senses change sweeping the only country led by an indicted war criminal, and despite the millions of displaced and dead Darfuris, the Maj Gen. sees ‘cookies’ as a way to end the hideous atrocities perpetrated by the Arab Sudanese against the African Darfuris. Yes. Cookies.
“We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration, who was appointed in March. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”
These policies are more apt to work in Neverland than in Sudan. And they aren’t simply doomed to fail, they are doomed to exacerbate an already tragic situation. Experienced diplomats and rebels fighting the government have tried to educate Gration in the ways of the Sudanese regime.
Again from the Washington Post:
John Prendergast, co-chairman of the Enough Project, a human rights group advocating tougher, multilateral sanctions against Sudan, said Bashir and his top advisers respond only to pressure. “They do not respond to nice guys coming over and saying, ‘We have to be a good guest,’ ” he said. “They eat these people for dinner.”
Adam Mudawi, a Sudanese human rights activist who has seen envoys come and go, put it more bluntly: “In six months, he’ll find out,” he said. “They are liars.”
Appeasement, ‘cookie diplomacy’, call it what you will, it’s everywhere. Last week, another Nobel winner, the Dalai Lama visited Washington D.C, and for the first time in ten visits, a sitting U.S. President rejected a meeting in order to gain favor with the Chinese. Apparently, budget deficits and healthcare reform rank higher than human rights on Obama’s curious priority scale.
Imagine winning the Cold War, WWII or the Korean War with a box of Nestle Tollhouse…it would have been nice. I’m afraid that until Obama’s foreign policy grows up, we’ll all—save the lefties—be eschewing cookies in favor of a nice swig of Maalox.