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alex
09-10-2009, 10:29 AM
Yea, so apparently he did. I wasnt even asked this year, jokers those Nobel people.

IdleRich
09-10-2009, 11:10 AM
Bit early no? He's still got at least three years in which to go mental and nuke China.

petergunn
13-10-2009, 07:59 AM
for what?

firstly, let me say, i like obama, but he hasn't really done much...

this seems sorta racist, like all the liberal europeans on the commitee just were SOOO happy those backwards americans elected an articulate black man that he deserves an award... seems sort of patronizing, b/c i cannot think of an active leader given the award w/ less of a resume than obama...

if he actually brokers peace somewhere in a few years, do they give him a SUPER nobel peace prize?

i guess they gave him the award just for NOT being gw bush...

Martin Dust
13-10-2009, 09:45 AM
Seems strange to give this award after only being in/pres for 15 days, it could do more harm than good. I like Obama but he's got a long way to go yet.

routes
13-10-2009, 10:23 AM
so, as if peacemaking wasn't stupidly hard enough already he's now going to have to contend with belligerent regimes trying to bite off trophy chunks of the Nobel peacemaker's hubris in full sight of the world. nice. no really, good job Nobel people..

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 11:30 AM
Where does this fit (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/13/hillary-clinton-dmitry-medvedev-talks)in the great peacegiver's record? Regrettable but necessary manoeuvring in a bigger game? Or cackhanded confession of American weakness while mired in two unwinnable wars and tending a knackered economy?

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 12:34 PM
For the past five years, researchers in a modest office overlooking the New Haven green have carefully documented cases of assassination and torture of democracy activists in Iran. With more than $3 million in grants from the US State Department, they have pored over thousands of documents and Persian-language press reports and interviewed scores of witnesses and survivors to build dossiers on those they say are Iran’s most infamous human-rights abusers...Many see the sudden, unexplained cutoff of funding as a shift by the Obama administration away from high-profile democracy promotion in Iran, which had become a signature issue for President Bush...Obama officials have argued publicly for a less-confrontational approach than Bush, in the belief that the Bush administration’s vocal support for democracy activists made them targets in Iran and stirred up fears of regime change.

story (http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2009/10/06/us_cutoff_of_funding_to_iran_human_rights_cause_si gnals_shift/)

@ Cracker: your first question seems accurate, though yeah it's a bit of both. (obv it pains me to say that but hey.)
nice oppositional BTW ;)

tbf re the thread question, i'm not too bothered. we know from Kissinger in '73, or, say, Arafat in '94 that the prize does not always go to the most morally credible recipient, we know that Aung San Suu Kyi won it in '91 and the junta are still w us, that the campaign to ban landmines won it in '97, and ad infinitum etc.
i'm down w the whole statement of optimism thing, the tone changing and shifts that have occurred in relations btwn some pretty powerful countries since he took office (and way before he took office and momentum was w him on the campaign trail the rest of the world was hoping he would get in, as it was obvious from what he was saying that there would be certain cleavages w the then-incumbent POTUS), the visiting of Africa, the directly addressing the 'Muslim world', all that, and disagree w the 'backwards Americans pat on the back from liberal Europeans' although of course there's an element of "he ain't Dubya", but it's just a small part of the whole.

tbc, i would've loved it to go to Morgan Tsvangirai, for sure (i'm a long time Zim watcher and quite personally invested in the country and the MDC etc)

vimothy
13-10-2009, 12:38 PM
I'm reading this award as an attack on Obama....

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 12:40 PM
I'm reading this award as an attack on Obama....

you gonna explain?

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 12:41 PM
canny as ever Vim, you may be on to something there... ...still the money goes to charity, so all is well that ends well

routes
13-10-2009, 12:46 PM
tbc, i would've loved it to go to Morgan Tsvangirai, for sure

totally agree..

and imagine how an award like this could empower him in his own country..

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 12:48 PM
Seems to be the consensus from everyone (both here and that I've spoken to) that they like him and they want him to do well but this is way too early and it's more likely to be a burden than to help him in his (for want of a better word) quest.


"Regrettable but necessary manoeuvring in a bigger game?"
Unfortunately this is what's always going to happen, even with St Obama. I naively have the impression that he's going to do this less than the average politician but I guess that's probably just wishful thinking. We all know that virtually every politician starts for (what they think are) the right reasons and is ruined by compromise, it's just a question of to what extent this happens.


"I'm reading this award as an attack on Obama...."
Surely not deliberately so but it's going to make his job harder. Seems kind of out of character for recent Nobel committees to go after someone with his politics doesn't it?

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 12:54 PM
Unfortunately this is what's always going to happen, even with St Obama. I naively have the impression that he's going to do this less than the average politician but I guess that's probably just wishful thinking. We all know that virtually every politician starts for (what they think are) the right reasons and is ruined by compromise, it's just a question of to what extent this happens.

Of course, but it's about how you play your hand. Obama's been left a weak one by Bush, but Russia seem to be getting an awful lot in return for to-be-specified toughening of sanctions against Iran. At the very least, it would be good to see some sort of statement of solidarity with Ukraine.

vimothy
13-10-2009, 01:06 PM
you gonna explain?

Everyone agrees that Obama doesn't deserve this award--right? They agree because Obama hasn't really acheived anything in the foreign policy arena: all his big moves have been domestic (successful or not). The judges are forcing an appraisal of Obama's non-existant foreign policy acheivements. And that's the point, I think. I can't see another reason for it. It's a back-handed rebuke.

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 01:10 PM
I follow that reasoning but why would they do that?

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 01:19 PM
totally agree..

and imagine how an award like this could empower him in his own country..

yes little by little it gets better


PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Friday people could live in peace in Zimbabwe as the human rights record in the country has improved significantly.

He there were some "toxic issues" for the inclusive Government he formed with President Robert Mugabe this year.

PM Tsvangirai told Reuters in the northern Spanish city of Valladolid where he was due to receive a prize for 'lifetime achievement' that now people can live in peace in Zimbabwe.

"There has been substantive progress, it's just that you have got one or two incidents and then it spoils the thing."

here (http://www.talkzimbabwe.com/news/117/ARTICLE/5498/2009-10-12.html)

(though, yes, tbc, the effects of this will be w us for a long time (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/11/zimbabwe-secret-film))

but i guess w Obama you can say it's the big picture, fingers crossed a more respectful to the world and re-invigorated US regime can perhaps achieve some incremental, small good in more than one area as opposed to what would've been a just acknowledgment of the leonine struggle of one country against the most horrendous brutality and darkness, ya get me.

plus the POTUS is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. to take Iran as an e.g., if he were to continue w sabre-rattling much world opinion would say he was a Bush Clone, neo-con warmonger. if he acknowledges that is not the best thing for either country and pulls back from so much public chiding (as has been happening) certain other quarters may accuse him of selling out dissidents in Iran that struggle under the Khomeinist claw.


At the very least, it would be good to see some sort of statement of solidarity with Ukraine.

oh come now Cracker, we can't have Obama upsetting Seumas Milne and J. Steele can we now ;)

the Nobel was awarded - as i say up-thread - in '91 to a certain special lady, clearly the elections had just been annulled the year before and she had just been arrested, but it's fair to say the Nobel commt' gave this as an acknowledgment and crossed all crossables, they don't have a crystal ball.
well, here we are in 2009 and the situation there is very much the same, let's hope their crossables are more tightly crossed this time around, you know, that's why the 'he was only in office 15 days [or however long it was] when he was put forward' is a total red herring, to be fair.


I follow that reasoning but why would they do that?

perhaps they're Independent readers who unrealistically had a straw-man view of who Obama was just before he came to office off the entirely unfair temperature of a few of his most wild-eyed fans, and decided to shoehorn all this into one glorious package of a modern art prank... ...oh no, sorry, that was just Simon Tisdall in another of his puerile Guardian articles, my mistake

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 01:20 PM
Everyone agrees that Obama doesn't deserve this award--right? They agree because Obama hasn't really acheived anything in the foreign policy arena: all his big moves have been domestic (successful or not). The judges are forcing an appraisal of Obama's non-existant foreign policy acheivements. And that's the point, I think. I can't see another reason for it. It's a back-handed rebuke.

I have to agree with Rich on this - I think you're being too clever by half. FP achievements are thin on the ground, but you can't expect anything else 9 months in. But the change in mood music is substantial - the Cairo speech, the harder stance re Israel, the scrappping of the shield (which could be listed as actual achivement) - it all adds up to the sense that the most powerful nation on earth once again gives a shit about what the rest of that earth thinks.

I also agree with Scott, I don't think this is liberal inverse racism, but I reckon this is the anti-Bush Peace Prize.

vimothy
13-10-2009, 01:20 PM
I follow that reasoning but why would they do that?

Perhaps because they think Obama has been too conservative and domestic focused and want to push him in a more liberal-internationalist direction... Maybe they want a quicker solution to I-P... Whatever the reason, I doubt that anyone on the committee could have failed to foresee this.

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 01:23 PM
Perhaps because they think Obama has been too conservative and domestic focused and want to push him in a more liberal-internationalist direction... Maybe they want a quicker solution to I-P... Whatever the reason, I doubt that anyone on the committee could have failed to foresee this.

Too domestic? Has any US Pres spent as much of his first 9 months in office on foreign soil as this one?

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 01:24 PM
Vim is too clever by half ;)


Perhaps because they think Obama has been too conservative and domestic focused and want to push him in a more liberal-internationalist direction... Maybe they want a quicker solution to I-P... Whatever the reason, I doubt that anyone on the committee could have failed to foresee this.

now there could be something here, to be fair. w all the caveats i agree w everything Cracker just said two posts ago. some years the Nobel peace goes to someone everyone can agree on (e.g. Grameen bank a few years ago), some times it doesn't, this is just one of those, that's a very bland, consensualising pov from myself, yes, but hey.

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 01:25 PM
a lot of people and world opinion want the moon on a stick from the poor sod, it's not inconceivable that amongst those people are certain affluent Norwegian social-liberals i suppose...

vimothy
13-10-2009, 01:37 PM
Too domestic? Has any US Pres spent as much of his first 9 months in office on foreign soil as this one?

Yeah sure, and IIRC diplomacy is what the Committee highlighted, but diplomacy leading to... the G2? The G20? Photo-ops. Flip-flopping on Af-Pak? It's not like people have stopped dying. His speech in Cairo? And other than that...

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 01:41 PM
Yeah sure, and IIRC diplomacy is what the Committee highlighted, but diplomacy leading to... the G2? The G20? Photo-ops. Flip-flopping on Af-Pak? It's not like people have stopped dying. His speech in Cairo? And other than that...

Also, if the Nobel committe are the machiavellian players you're implying, they should realise it does Obama no favours domestically to be seen as a pres more concerned with the rest of the world than he is with America. if anything, this award will make him more isolationist rather than less.

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 01:50 PM
It's not like people have stopped dying.

i know i said some people were looking for the moon on a stick from the bloke, but i think this is a pretty big ask to be fair ;)

nah in seriousness of course w the concretes there's not much as Vim rightly says, but to an extent the Nobel peace has often been about the mood music, i'm afraid i feel it's as simple as that.

vimothy
13-10-2009, 01:51 PM
I'm not saying they're Machiavellian--but the award is a diss. Now, it's either intended or not, and I think that the idea that this is an unintended diss is less plausible, TBH, but I could of course be wrong about that.

vimothy
13-10-2009, 01:52 PM
Saying that, Al Gore got it for writing a film.

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 01:53 PM
Saying that, Al Gore got it for writing a film.

this did actually make me laugh out loud :p

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 02:12 PM
Perhaps because they think Obama has been too conservative and domestic focused and want to push him in a more liberal-internationalist direction... Maybe they want a quicker solution to I-P... Whatever the reason, I doubt that anyone on the committee could have failed to foresee this.
So it's a rebuke to force him to act in the way that they want him to (ie more St Obama) rather than an attempt to undermine him as a president?

vimothy
13-10-2009, 02:16 PM
I think so.

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 02:20 PM
"I think so."
OK, at first I thought you were saying it was a deliberate attempt to hamstring him and sabotage anything that he might be likely to achieve. Which seems a bit too cunning by half, not to say unlikely, for me.

CHAOTROPIC
13-10-2009, 02:43 PM
Could he have refused it? Would that be classy ("Give me four more years, then give it to me, etc"), or confrontational?

I think, if I were Obama, I would have refused it. Great opportunity for a nobel speech to the Nobel committee.

EDIT: Everyone I've asked so far has said: you what? Followed by: wouldn't it be great it he refused it.

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 02:47 PM
yeah and he should donate the money to oh i don't know Care for Foundations of Victims of Torture, given a Zimbabwean was the front-runner beforehand. (last i heard the charity or charities of choice hadn't been announced.)

the Zanu-PF elements of the Harare unity govt at this stage can go fuck themselves if they would feel aggrieved by such a course of action, i don't think it would make a difference to realities on the ground in Zim after all, he wouldn't have to explicitly say why they were getting the money but it could be quite apparent to people reading between the lines.

i realise this is unlikely but hey i've used the phrase 'moon on a stick' a few times so far so why not....

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 02:55 PM
"Could he have refused it? Would that be classy ("Give me four more years, then give it to me, etc"), or confrontational?"
I think that would be a very difficult thing to do, certainly looks a bit precious and ungracious - has anyone ever refused it?

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 03:06 PM
I think that would be a very difficult thing to do, certainly looks a bit precious and ungracious - has anyone ever refused it?

Sartre refused the lit didn't he. (and probably others for all i know.)

there again Sartre epitomised the term "precious" ;)

{scottdisco airily summarises one of the greats of modern European letters in sour remark shockah}

i think if he refused it - cool as it sounds in principle - it might be seen as a bit of an insult to other nominees. the commt have already given a slap in the face to all the losing nominees so if Obama were to turn around and compound that, it'd be pretty bad form. there again if he made a really robust speech bigging up other nominees as the reason for a refusal, who knows? but there again, that said, then you're back into 'imperialist Americans sticking their oar in'-territory; all goes back to the can't win or lose impulse i identified earlier, if i say so myself..

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 03:21 PM
"Sartre refused the lit didn't he."
Cheers - why did he do that?


"i think if he refused it - cool as it sounds in principle - it might be seen as a bit of an insult to other nominees. the commt have already given a slap in the face to all the losing nominees so if Obama were to turn around and compound that, it'd be pretty bad form."
Exactly, I bet he's not too pleased about this whole thing, it's just one more thing to deal with really. What about the hard right, I've missed any nuts responses they've made to the announcement, can anyone link me some?

vimothy
13-10-2009, 03:31 PM
They're having a right bloody field day, as you can probably imagine. Start with Instapundit and NRO and go from there...

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 03:31 PM
Cheers - why did he do that?

cos he's a stalinist twat (wild guess)

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 03:35 PM
"cos he's a stalinist twat (wild guess)"
I'm guessing that's not precisely the reason he gave.

scottdisco
13-10-2009, 03:36 PM
this is from the Wiki on the man, so idk but i'm taking it as fair


He said he did not wish to be "transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take sides in an East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from a prominent Western cultural institution

sounds like a right load of pseudo-intellectual bollocks if you ask me, i mean it's great that Herta Müller won the lit this year, one in the eye to the Anglophone printing presses as someone said in the Guardian (beside her being a fine writer), but, Sartre could have given the money to literacy programmes in Bengal or something if he won, that would have been a really positive moment for the global south, a lot more than Sartre's preening windbaggery imo.

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 03:38 PM
He said he did not wish to be "transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take sides in an East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from a prominent Western cultural institution

so i was right

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 04:05 PM
"so i was right"
That's the way it seems.


"Sartre could have given the money to literacy programmes in Bengal or something if he won"
Yeah, like when Hari Kunzru donated his Daily Mail prize to a charity for immigrants.

padraig (u.s.)
13-10-2009, 04:24 PM
I bet he's not too pleased about this whole thing

I'm sure his immediate reaction was "oh, that's just f***ing great". the last thing he needs, really. I still think that backhanded rebuke stuff is a bit overly clever, Vim. reckon the Nobel committee were just smitten by his dashing good looks and witty repartee. maybe they caught a glimpse of him when he popped over to Copenhagen.

Mr. Tea
13-10-2009, 04:32 PM
Yeah, like when Hari Kunzru donated his Daily Mail prize to a charity for immigrants.

Ha, excellent.

Wouldn't it be great if Kissinger sent his prize back in disgust, like WW2 veterans did with their medals when Mick Jagger was knighted?

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 04:45 PM
Ha, excellent.

Wouldn't it be great if Kissinger sent his prize back in disgust, like WW2 veterans did with their medals when Mick Jagger was knighted?

As always, the Beatles got there first.


Jack Berg, Former Member of Canada's Parliament, Hector Dupuis, Stanley Ellis, Cyril Hearns, Douglas Moffit, Richard Pape, RAF Squadrom Leader Paul Pearson, David Evan Rees, and World War Veteran Col. George Wagg, return their MBE's in protest of The Beatles receiving theirs. The first recorded instances of anyone returning an MBE. (http://www.dmbeatles.com/history.php?year=1965&month=06)

Mr. Tea
13-10-2009, 04:54 PM
As always, the Beatles got there first.

Meh, that's what I was thinking of. Though Lennon refused his, didn't he? Dunno about the others.

Re. Obama, of course you can't ignore the psychological impact of this on other world leaders but they must surely recognise that he didn't ask for this award and couldn't realistically refuse it - he's still "merely" the president of the USA and has no greater or fewer executive powers than he did before.

Has there been much in the way of a "liberal bias!" outcry from Republicans yet? I'd be surprised if there wasn't some stupid wounded rebuke from at least one high profile right-wing tit or other...

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 05:09 PM
Meh, that's what I was thinking of. Though Lennon refused his, didn't he?

In protest over Biafra, yup.


Has there been much in the way of a "liberal bias!" outcry from Republicans yet? I'd be surprised if there wasn't some stupid wounded rebuke from at least one high profile right-wing tit or other...


I imagine it's taken as read that Nobel are a bunch of gay commie liberals (they are Swedes after all) who hate America and this just proves that Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim and literally Hitler.

vimothy
13-10-2009, 05:12 PM
Any GOP partisan worth his or her salt is going to be wailing all over Obama on the back of this. And indeed they are.


For the five Norwegian parliamentarians who make up the Nobel Committee, Obama is a godsend. They look at him and see a version of themselves — a self-consciously sophisticated internationalist appalled by America for much of this decade and committed to constraining its power in a net of international organizations. Except Obama happens to be the president of the United States. This is a near miracle, and one the committee couldn’t ignore.

Given this context, Obama should be insulted, not “humbled,” by the prize. He has managed to convince the Nobel Committee that he shares its post-American view of the world. The apologies for his country, the embrace of the U.N., the ridiculous talk of global disarmament, the distance from Israel and kid gloves for Iran, the slaps at American hegemony — all are the stuff of shame-faced American weakness and retrenchment, uttered by the most powerful American on the planet.

If the Nobel Committee is right about Obama, he will force Israel into an unsustainable peace, or throw it overboard; he will reach an accommodation with a nuclear Iran; he will let Afghanistan slide back into chaos (perhaps with the cover of a notional deal with the Taliban); and he will give China and Russia a veto over all significant American international actions in the U.N. Security Council. On the domestic front, he will bring a European-style welfare state to U.S. shores, and watch as the dominance of the dollar fades, another artifact of an era of post–World War II American pre-eminence that he implicitly declares over.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MzEzNmMyYmM2N2VmZjdjNjExZDViYjlmOTQ4MzRhZjk=

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 05:14 PM
Um, yeah, I meant Norwegian (same difference right?).

Mr. Tea
13-10-2009, 05:17 PM
In protest over Biafra, yup.

Orite, didn't know it was as specific as that - I thought it was just a generic anti-establishment gesture.



I imagine it's taken as read that Nobel are a bunch of gay commie liberals (they are Swedes after all) who hate America and this just proves that Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim and literally Hitler.

Ironic that, historically, it took them ages to get around to agreeing to award the physics prize to Einstein, seeing as how he was a bit J**ish and all.

Edit:


...he will let Afghanistan slide back into chaos...

Hahaha, yeah, because GWB had things ticking over juuust fine!

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 05:24 PM
"Hahaha, yeah, because GWB had things ticking over juuust fine!"
I was just about to say that.

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 05:29 PM
But really what is ever the point of saying something so moronic that it undermines everything else you say. Ah, there's no point in even thinking about it.

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 05:33 PM
But really what is ever the point of saying something so moronic that it undermines everything else you say. Ah, there's no point in even thinking about it.

Because they're priming themselves for the day when some kind of official protocol is extended to the Tallies and they can scream "Chamberlain! Munich! Jimmy Carter!"

Mr. Tea
13-10-2009, 05:35 PM
I was just about to say that.

That's because we're both razor-sharp geopolitics commentators.

See you in the pub in a bit.

IdleRich
13-10-2009, 05:37 PM
"See you in the pub in a bit."
Cool, got any anything?
Sent you an email anyway.

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 05:38 PM
Incidentally there's an unusally good post on this over here (http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/10/13/peace-at-any-price/). Not the OP, which is toss, but Venichka at 3.57. Well worth reading if you can get your head round the tangents and brackets.

craner
13-10-2009, 06:46 PM
Nobel to Yulia Tymoshenko. I'm liking that one!

crackerjack
13-10-2009, 06:53 PM
Cool, got any anything?

can you arrange your drug deals in private please

craner
13-10-2009, 07:40 PM
Hey, talking of razor-sharp geopolitics commentators, we're getting close to the 5 year anniversary of my amazing and wide-ranging WORLD WAR FOUR (http://worldwarfour.blogspot.com/2004_10_01_archive.html) essay that had such a profound impact on the thinking of the second Bush Administration. I like to think that Obama would never have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize had it not been for my illuminating insights, almost all of which I continue to stand by. I wasn't being Gonzo.

padraig (u.s.)
13-10-2009, 10:12 PM
And indeed they are.

I know you're just quoting some random backlash, and that these dudes are just scoring free points, but I find it particularly ironic that most of those things would have or in fact did happen under the watch of a Republican admin. especially b/c there's a long list of valid stuff they could go after Obama for.

deal with a nuclear Iran? well, seeing as there's nothing we can do to stop them from obtaining nukes short of a full-scale invasion, presumably someone would've had to deal with a nuclear Iran sooner or later. tacitly or otherwise. (the right-wing response to Iran has a heady air of Canute & the sea about it)

throwing Israel overboard? its not difficult to argue that this is exactly what the policy of let Israel do what it wants presidents like GW & Reagan has done. let's see, when has Israel blundered all its worst FUBARs in the last 20 years. 1982, 1987, 2006. yep, all under Republican admins. meanwhile, by far the best progress made toward peace - Clinton.

Afghan in chaos? as mentioned, check.

I love how the U.N. is a ridiculous farce to conservatives until we let Russia & China veto our "significant actions" (like?) in the Security Council. then it's a real thing that we can't lose face at. meanwhile, they both have de facto real world veto power over plenty of stuff; I seem to remember Russia knocking around one of our supposed buddies in the Caucasus a little while back while GW sat on his hands and pretended not to notice.

& I especially love how post-WWII American dominance is not only natural, but something that's supposed to last forever, as if it makes any kind of sense that a nation w/~5% of the world pop. w/oceans on 2 sides would be able to control world affairs until the end of time.

there's just a loopy unreality to that whole worldview.

craner
13-10-2009, 11:21 PM
Yeah, whatever Padraig, did you read my essay?

padraig (u.s.)
14-10-2009, 12:58 AM
yeah, I read it a few months ago. somebody - scott, I think - linked it in the Iran thread. you're a talented writer, of course, it's a very fine essay, tho I'm not telling you anything new there.

as to what you're saying I mean, eh. again, it's really a matter of your view of the world, how you'd like to pull emergent patterns out of the current of global events. I think treating it as a war is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as well as simply bad policy. I mean really, what has it gotten us, exactly?

whipping together this monolithic, shadowy jihadi network of state & non-state actors doesn't seem very accurate, just going by the last few years, but hey, I dunno.

vimothy
14-10-2009, 12:07 PM
Craner, have you read this?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NPiLXUcCL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU02_.jpg

You really, really ought to.

crackerjack
14-10-2009, 12:33 PM
Craner, have you read this?

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NPiLXUcCL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU02_.jpg

You really, really ought to.

i got this out the library, got about 10 pages in and took it back. but don't let that put you off. on a slightly related note, I can certainly recommend my current reading (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Place-Greater-Safety-Hilary-Mantel/dp/0140171037)

vimothy
14-10-2009, 12:40 PM
I have to say that I'm shocked that you started it and then stopped ten pages in--Bobbit is probably one of the most readable people in IR. But then it is probably one for the neocon crypto-fascists more than anyone else.

crackerjack
14-10-2009, 12:42 PM
I have to say that I'm shocked that you started it and then stopped ten pages in--Bobbit is probably one of the most readable people in IR. But then it is probably one for the neocon crypto-fascists more than anyone else.

maybe I didn't give it enough of a go, but i find the abstract end of politics a bit of a snooze and really couldn't face 600-odd pages of it

vimothy
14-10-2009, 12:54 PM
Hairy muff. Apparently it was supposed to be two volumes, but the publisher convinced him to cut 500 pages. The Shield of Achilles, his previous work, is about 1000 pages long.

craner
14-10-2009, 05:55 PM
Hey, I was just pulling your leg, Padraig, and indulging in a bit of vanity posting. My dissensus etiquette is appalling. I must say Padraig, I was lot more hipped up on all this back then than now; it probably is a lot more complex now.

I haven't read Bobbit, Vim. Never managed to find the time. Seeing as I'm currently trying to devise a Key Stage 4 scheme of work on fucking Frankenstein, I think that will remain the case for a while.

vimothy
15-12-2009, 11:30 AM
I'm going to use this as the default rolling disillusioned Obamaniacs thread. Ezra Klein (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/12/is_robert_rubin_more_important.html) on the Taibbi vs. Obama controversy:


The issue here is not that Taibbi should be nicer to the Obama administration, which is how he's framing most of the criticism of his article. Quite the opposite, actually. Taibbi is being much too nice to the Obama administration. He's imbued them with a lot more power than they have.

If the result of the 2010 election is that Obama fires his economics team and moves his administration to the left, but the Republicans pick up 60 seats on the House and move the body to the right, then American public policy outcomes move to the right. Conversely, if Obama brings Bob Rubin back as his vice president, but Kanjorski picks up 65 allies in the next election, then outcomes move to the left.

"At a minimum," Taibbi concludes, "Obama should start on the road back to sanity by making a long-overdue move: firing Geithner." I'm actually among those who think Obama should probably fire Geithner, but I believe that because Geithner's presence is a liability for moving better bills through the Congress. The power resides in the legislative branch, not the executive branch. But so long as the media keeps telling the story of American policy outcomes primarily in terms of the opinions and skills of the executive branch, it's going to be very hard to make anything better.

Gavin
15-12-2009, 02:28 PM
Really pathetic how Obama's going hat in hand to the banks to "convince them" to lend... Perhaps there should have been strings attached to the hundreds of billions of dollars they were given? Now it's down to scolding? Pathetic! Glad the bankers snubbed O so publicly, might be nice for America to see who's really in charge...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/business/15sorkin.html

vimothy
15-12-2009, 02:59 PM
Really pathetic how Obama's going hat in hand to the banks to "convince them" to lend...

But this is fluff for the cameras, right? The banks are in a liquidity trap, are being paid to hold reserves, are expected to repair their balance sheets, are expected to up lending standards, are expected to suffer asset write downs due to the recession--all of this implies a reduction of credit. On the other hand, there is plenty that Obama could do, not least by leaning on the Fed and getting them to (per Gagnon (http://www.piie.com/publications/pb/pb09-22.pdf)), "purchase an additional $2 trillion of longer-term debt securities with an average maturity of around seven years" to up nominal GDP and reflate the economy in order to reduce unemployment.