Yes, the world loves him and his words and approaches and his apparent high-roaded intentions, but I have to admit the world does not seem a more peaceful place since he has taken office. The US is meandering out of a troop investment in one war whose purpose is confusing into another one whose goals seem to me to be equally unclear.
Yes the most people in the world seem to admire the US more under his administration than under the previous guy, but let's face it: George Bush is an easy act to follow. He was arguably the most disliked and distrusted president in history.
“The question we have to ask is who has done the most in the previous year to enhance peace in the world,” the Nobel committee chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland, was quoted as saying in the New York Times yesterday, “And who has done more than Barack Obama?”
That question has had me thinking yesterday and today. Selecting Obama, was clearly a statement of hope more than achievement as critics have charged. And they have a point. But who has done more for world peace in the last year than he has.Perhaps it was just a bad year for wold peace and no one stood out.It would seem better to award the Nobel to someone who seems to be trying than no one else.
Who more than Obama?
Well, I came up with one name, someone who until June of this year we had never heard of and someone who was no longer with us by the end of the year: Neda Agha-Solton, the 27-year-old student gunned down during the unrest that followed Iran's highly tainted June 12 election. The video [below] of her assassination has been seen by millions of people all over the world. If you have seen it, you probably will not forget it. It is a moment that that is etched in the minds of all sorts of people everywhere.
But so what? Why suggest her worthiness for the Peace Prize? Freedom protesters have been slaughtered by the score in every year of the planet's history. In her part of the world, children are being raised and prepared to blow their own bodies in the name of a God that taught peace, yet has disciples who believe in killing on his behalf.
First, because we saw. Social media has not been present before when such atrocities have occurred. Such slaughters have not even made paragraphs of copy in newspapers, because until social media and handheld devices and students who understood technology better than their governments could not spread the word of what was happening like they can today.
Governments, like Iran's can kick out the free press; but they cannot silence people anymore. Now when they use Gestapo tactics on the people they are supposed to serve, the world will be watching. People will know. Neda did not give her life willingly as a warning to oppressive regime. She was just as student on the street who thought her vote should count. Yet because of the horror of her extermination, governments are now forewarned that the world will see what they do and may think twice about such action.
Second is the issue of many children of the Muslim world; children being raised see Iran's theocracy as a role model; as the type of government worth fighting for, worth killing for; worth dying for. And now,because of Neda, they have witnessed what young people of Iran think of that role model government and how that role model government treats its own young people.
The esteemed Nobel chairman asked, who has done more for peace this year than Barack Obama. I think perhaps Neda has and she has sacrificed far more than he has as well.