Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama Wins Gorbachev's Peace Prize

[Dutch translation available here.]

I've said it here before: Obama is the new Gorbachev, the smiling face behind the crumbling imperial façade, the personable, non-threatening loser. Gorbachev got his Nobel Consolation Prize in October 1990; a little less than a year later the USSR was no more and he was unemployed.

In awarding him the Peace Prize, the Nobel committee actually did some good: by reaffirming his legitimacy as a leader, it helped to weaken the hand of the conservative forces within Russia, which later staged an unsuccessful coup in an effort to reclaim control of the dissolving empire.

Gorbachev certainly deserves credit for making sure that the USSR disintegrated with a whimper and not a bang. May Barak Obama be just as successful in completing the dissolution of the USA, quietly and without any undue bloodshed. Moving forward, I wish him a long and happy unemployment.

Gorbachev wins Nobel peace prize

By Jonathan Steele in Moscow
Tuesday 16 October 1990
guardian.co.uk

"President Gorbachev yesterday won the world's biggest consolation prize. He took the Nobel peace award for losing the Cold War, becoming the first communist leader to win the trophy worth £360,000 after dismantling the system his party spent 70 years creating.

"The Nobel prize committee in Oslo did not quite put it that way. It cited Mr Gorbachev for "his leading role in the peace process" which today characterises parts of the world....

"In Moscow, hit by shortages of basic foods and consumer goods, the mood was more reserved. When the president of the Supreme Soviet, Anatoly Lukyanov, announced the news to MPs, they applauded for barely five seconds. Gennady Gerasimov, the foreign ministry spokesman, said: "We must remember, this certainly was not the prize for economics..."

...Nor is it the prize for economics this time around! If anything, the financial hole the USSR left behind was a whole lot smaller.

Now, some people think that Obama isn't doing a good job. He isn't. That's because it's not a good job. It's not even a bad job. It's a downright terrible job. But somebody's got to do it, and that somebody just won a Nobel prize, so he must be doing something right.


22 comments:

lagedargent said...

Congratulations, Dmitry!!!
You've just been nominated for next year's Nobel Prize for Irony.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm, I think he's dead serious . . . ;-)

William said...

Heh. I imagine you're familiar with the Onion headline "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job".

kollapsnik said...

I am.

Anonymous said...

Dmitry, you took the words out of my mouth, that is, you thought exactly the same thing as I did when I first heard the news. A second-hand prize! Is Obama aware of the ridiculous role he increasingly plays?

He surely cannot have desired this recycled prize at all, can he?

Bridget said...

I'm not sure Obama's role is so ridiculous. Somebody has to do the job. I think Obama is a decent man and probably desires no prizes at all. I'm disappointed he didn't turn out to be a great leader.

What will be will be. Difficult to save a sinking ship.

I appreciate that Dmitry wishes him a long and happy unemployment. I wish the man well.

Jerome K Jerome said...

Bridget: A sinking ship can't be saved. They always go down; that's why they're called "sinking".

The only honourable outcome is for the captain to go down with it, along with whatever booby prizes he has been handed while in office.

Was it HL Mencken who said no person of integrity would accept an honorary degree – because he hasn't earned it?

Same with the Peace Prize. He hasn't earned it, but Obama got into a phone booth immediately after being awarded it and excitedly chatted to his wife about it, with all the gravitas of a kid in a candy store.

It's political theatre, but the audience is growing increasingly restive as the storm clouds gather on the horizon.

Andrew Butt said...

I hope that the dissolution of the USA towards the FUSA goes as well as the FSU. It would be safer for all of us non-Americans.

President Obama is well-educated, personable, and generally respected outside his own country. Very similar traits to Mr. Gorbachev.

Dmitry - who would have been the Russian equivalent of Sarah Palin? (:^)

kollapsnik said...

Sarah Palin is a lot like Vladimir Zhirinovsky with lipstick on.

lagedargent said...

Hi again, Dmitry. I translated your post into Dutch and put the result on my own blog, with due references, of course.
The Obama/Gorby resemblance is too striking to restrict it to the Anglo-sphere, don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

So do you think there is anyone on the chorison who could be Yeltsin?

nosuchthingasshould

kollapsnik said...

Before deciding who could be Yeltsin, we'd have to decide which part of the former USA would be analogous to Russia.

USSR = Russia+
USA = ???+

Kirk said...

USA = Texas+

If Dmitry turns out to be correct, then perhaps it can be said that the USSR won the Cold War after all.

thomas saranacas said...

Loved your work for awhile. But this takes the cake(devils food, all I could afford), simply marvalous perspective.

Anonymous said...

"Sarah Palin is a lot like Vladimir Zhirinovsky with lipstick on."

At least Zhirinovsky would provide free Vodka while the bodies were hitting the floor. This would be highly unlikely with Palin and her followers due to religion semantics.
(i.e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Daniel%27s)

prack45

Anonymous said...

Yup, I was thinking the red states really are the 'real America' just like Palin said, because-as per Obama, people have only their guns and religion to cling to, and what even he didnt dare mention, their shauvinism.
And who sais truth isn't in the middle?
I also did think Texas will be the new center, with their oil industry, ethnicaly motivated loyalty in Dixie, military bases galore, probably their own Chechnia on the mexican border and a series of black gasa strips to keep the ethnic core population rooting for the boss. I suppose the south shall rise again.

nosuchthingasshould

gylangirl said...

Seems everything in the FSU was dictated by the Russian elite.

To determine the answer to Dmitry's equations, we could ask what portion of the USA has sent the rest its marching orders?

The US south and Texas sent us the wacko leadership that sent us into unwinnable wars and sent us into deficit spending land. ie Johnson and Bush. Tom Delay as Yeltsin?

Or California. They sent the rest of us the property tax revolt that set our state governments on the path to insolvency. They sent us the Reagan Revolution that deregulated the markets. Ahnold as Yeltsin?

Or New York. They sent us the fraudulent investment schemes and the treasury looting banksters.
Giuliani as Yeltsin? Bloomberg?

Shane said...

Don't go forgetting the classic Simpson's quote from Sideshow Bob "They don't give out Nobel prizes for attempted chemistry!".

nosuchthingasshould said...

Gylangirl, you've got a point. We can only take analogies so far. USA, being a fake nation lacking a discernable core, may simply disintegrate by all the major parts gradually paying less and less attention to oneanother. Each will follow their separate interests, without any Yeltsin having to make grand pronouncements, while probably each continuing to claim true american-ness for themselves.

Having said that however, to me it does feel like it's the 'red staters' that represent the center, the 'Real Americar'. As I said before, they are the most likely to be used to keep core teritorry under control and conforming to some form of american identity, because that's all they've got left.

Earth Bound said...

...and he also ended a war in Afghanistan...

The difference is that there is no Yeltsin yet. It was Yeltsin whose ambition was the catalyst of USSR collapse.

Palin is way better looking than Zhirinovsky...

Tony said...

Dmitry, I really enjoyed this one, but I had thought you'd mention a barely-reported piece of news: global carbon dioxide emissions were down last year; way down in the USA. Hence, we can state conclusively that a declining GDP is good for the global environment (nothing new there, really). But hearing it on the radio reminded me of the equation I = PAT, where I is Environmental Impact, P is Population, A is Affluence, and T is Technology. In this case, we have a situation where A goes down, while P and T are holding constant - thus I declines as well.

As the Transitionistas say, let's go down that energy slope! That seems much more tractable than trying to reduce P in a humane, voluntary and quick way.

angel-suriel said...

I completely agree with you. Obama is like a clone of Gorbachev. Same mistakes, same YesMan type. Just this time China will be in the role of Reagan:)