Much has been written and said about the Nobel Peace Prize that was awarded to President Obama last week. Agree with it or not, the Nobel committee can do what it wants — it’s their money. No one outside of Norway voted for them and they didn’t tax anyone to get the money, so take it for what it’s worth. But a couple of recent newspaper columns advanced vastly different views of what the President should do with the award. First, Thomas Friedman said Obama should accept the award “on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.” He reasoned that “there is no peace without peacekeepers.” Then, Bono, frontman for the band U2 and peripatetic peace advocate, weighed in and suggested that Obama should use the prize to dedicate himself and the country toward “solving the three greatest threats we face on this planet: extreme poverty, extreme ideology and extreme climate change.” He reasoned that “an America that’s tired of being the world’s policeman, and is too pinched to be the world’s philanthropist, could still be the world’s partner. And you can’t do that without being, well, loved.”
So on one hand we have “make peace or we’ll blow you to Kindgom Come,” and on the other we have “all you need is love — Kumbaya.” I’m sure that somewhere between those poles lies the truth. Whoever can figure out exactly where that is, and how to get there, really deserves the Nobel peace prize.