Oh, oh, the world's in trouble now. Jimmy Carter is this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureate, an award as mightily deserved as the peace prize previously awarded to Yassir Arafat and Le Duc Tho. Jimmy won it without ever having apologized for his Milosovician side, as manifested in the Desert One aggression of 1980. He won it despite having sulked for years for failing to share in the prize meted out to Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. Could it be he won because he's a willing and useful pawn in the international anti-American movement, which equates an assertive U.S. with Attila and Adolf?
Jimmy is the third U.S. president to be honored by Oslo. Teddy Roosevelt won in 1906 for settling the Russo-Japanese War, and thus setting the stage for the Bolshevik Revolution, the rape of Manchuria, and Pearl Harbor. Woodrow Wilson won in 1919 for settling World War I so punitively that he guaranteed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the bloodiest conflict in human history. We await with bated breath whatever it is that Jimmy Carter's recognized labors will bring about in the years to come.
You know one unhappy result will a fourth past U.S. president's redoubled efforts to win one of those peace medals for himself. Bill Clinton thought he'd clinched a peace prize via his own Oslo process, which instead turned the Middle East into a permanent war zone. He's now set his eyes on Africa, a continent as big as his palate, and one that guilty white Scandinavians are more than happy to sentimentalize. If there is injustice in this year's prize, it's that Carter won his ahead of Bill. Now we'll all pay for this provocation.
Too late for this year's Nobel sweepstakes, Barbara Walters interviewed Fidel Castro anyway. According to Media Research Center intercepts, Barbara asked him for his two-cents on Iraq and praised his people's high literacy. Then, hoping perhaps for some free cosmetic treatment at a seaside spa, she looked him in the eye and blushed: "You have brought great health to your country." (That's more that G.W. Bush has done to ours, that's for sure.) Nonplused, Fidel replied it's a matter of all the clean air his allows his people to breathe. "Barbara, have you ever seen a demonstration in Cuba that has been suppressed with tear gas?" he asked. It's enough to make you cry.
Elsewhere in calypso country, the singer formerly known as Harry Belafonte showered the affable Colin Powell with hate crimes in a recent interview. Though daylight had come, Harry slipped on a banana peel. He wanted to go home, but found Powell already master of the house. Or something like that. It was, in all, a most unpleasant episode, but entirely understandable if you bear in mind Harry hasn't had a song in the top 40 for nearly fifty years, ever since Mr. Tally-man moved on to become a Democratic vote counter. Perhaps most upsetting to Harry is that President Bush has converted Day-O into Day Zero, so far as Iraqi cousin Saddam Belafonte is concerned.
Speaking of which, the Senate has passed an Iraq war resolution by 77-23 in what can only be described as a tainted vote. In certain cases Democrat state delegations couldn't get their act together. Thus John Kerry voted yes, Teddy Kennedy no, as did the divided Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Robert Torricelli and Jon Corzine, and Bill Nelson and Bob Graham. Even weirder, the tweedledums of North Dakota, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, split their votes. So did the women from Washington state, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, and the men from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl. And for all the guff coming out of West Virginia's Robert Byrd, how's it possible that ultra-liberal Jay Rockefeller ended up voting yes? And isn't it enough to turn everyone into a pacifist for all eternity when both Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer vote yes on giving war a chance?
For principled political behavior, we rely on our networks and their adamant anchors. The best of them, ABC's Peter Jennings, showed his colors last Monday by pointedly not running President Bush's major address on Iraq. Peter's inspiring leadership made it easy for NBC and CBS to follow. In what can only be described as civil disobedience modeled on the Mahatma Gandhi, the Washington area's PBS affiliates also declined to broadcast the Bush speech. If Bush were as bellicose as he's said to be, he'd nationalize Public Broadcasting once and for all.
In this neo-McGovernik era, it's never easy to settle on a single weekly winner. Jim-Jerk McDermott continues to sound off, hoping to repeat as EOW. Bill Clinton hasn't really been recognized enough for the job he did on his successor last week in Blackpool, addressing the Labour Party rabble. Oddly, though, no one noticed that Bill was the Monica in that setup. Tony Blair used him shamelessly: While Bill seduced the troops Tony found much needed political space for his pursuit of Saddam. Now we see the Carter card being used against freedom's finest. Gunnar Berge, chairman of the Nobel committee, gave the game away when he proudly announced the purpose of the award was to kick President Bush in the shins. If Carter had any class he'd reject the award on the spot. (That's a record sized "if.")
As for Mr. Berge, we're happy to award this previous unknown with our highest prize. We rushed into this decision even faster than his committee rushed into its. And from what we can tell, his people were moving at light speed.
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