Friday, October 9, 2009

The "Stockholm Syndrome" and the Nobel Peace Prize

Wikipedia defines “Stockholm Syndrome” as a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger or risk in which they have been placed.” Coincidentally, Nobel Peace prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden meaning President Barack Obama, less than one year on the job, will travel to Stockholm in December to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently, his second trip to Scandinavia will be more fruitful than his unsuccessful trek to Copenhagen to get the Olympics in Chicago.

There is a certain irony that a psychological condition based on a cult of personality where prisoners become enamored of their captors is named for the same city where an award will be given to a person whose credentials for a Nobel Peace Prize are thin at best but seem based primarily on the fact that he is NOT George W. Bush.

Of course, this is the same group that awarded Jimmy Carter a peace prize in 2002 in recognition of his significant international peace efforts which, in my recollection, amount to the following:

1. Overseeing the fall of Iran and the resulting Iranian Hostage Crisis which was settled only upon the day of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration;
2. Inserting himself unannounced, unasked, and uninformed into various international situations;
3. Overseeing the Camp David Peace Accords, which in retrospect, seems to have been little more than a photo op because there has never been a lasting peace in that region; and,
4. Being an apologist for corrupt regimes as an election observer.

I have never been one of those who wish ill-will on President Obama, and I actually respect his political skills while most often disagreeing with his policies, goals and actions. More often than not, I find Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh and their ilk to be repugnant demagogues who do not reflect the true Republican ideology I respect.

But awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to someone because he is eloquent, glamorous, and not his predecessor trivializes the Nobel Prizes awarded to so many other recipients throughout the years, in the future, and in all of the categories.

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