Few people wholeheartedly applauded Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. Many on the left and right came together to shake their heads in collective bewilderment and disapproval, with some even calling for him to turn it down. So it could hardly come as a bigger surprise that Bill O'Reilly--typically one of the president's most vociferous critics--has lept to the Obama's defense, calling it "a win for the country" with which "there's no reason to be upset."
Now if you listened to talk radio today, some are very agitated the president is being honored by the Nobel committee. [...] Well, critics rightfully point out President Obama hasn't really done anything concrete to bring peace to the world. The Nobel people say it was Obama's mostly pre-presidential rhetoric that brought him the award. His attempt to bridge the divide, for example, between Muslims and the West, among other things. And certainly, that's a legitimate point. Is it enough for the award? Well, you make the call.
Now, on the other side, Mr. Obama is a predator drone kind of guy. His administration's blowing the hell out of terrorists in Pakistan from the sky. Justified but not exactly peaceful. The president's also waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Again, justified, but brutal. So on paper, the Peace Prize looks to be a political prize.
Having a U.S. president honored with a peace prizes is good for the country. It's as simple as that. We should want the world to think we're a nation that gives peace a chance, because that's what we are. In the past, teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, they won the Nobel Peace Prize. Carter after he lost office. Yasser Arafat also won the Nobel Peace Prize, if you can believe it. But again, so did Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Theresa. There are times when what's good for America should trump partisan politics. President Obama was honored today. And deserved or not, the world is hearing America and peace in the same sentence. That's good.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.