Det senaste numret av den anrika brittiska tidskriften New Statesman har på sitt omslag en fejkad bild där man förenat drag av George W. Bush och Barack Obama. Och under bilden ser man i stora bokstäver namnet Barack W Bush. Tidskriftens poäng är att Obamas löfte om ett skarpt brott med sin företrädares politik bara delvis är uppfyllt. I flera viktiga avseenden har han traskat på i samma skor.
Knappt hade trycksvärtan hunnit torka på detta nummer förrän Nobelkommittén i Oslo meddelade sitt prisbeslut. Det kommenterades av den häpne New Statesman-redaktören Mehdi Hasan under rubriken I am still rubbing my eyes in disbelief:
So what are the odds? The week I write a cover story for the New Statesman, arguing that President Obama has turned into ”Barack W Bush”, and is emulating his predecessor’s policies on human rights, civil liberties, Afghanistan and a whole host of other issues, the bloody Norwegians go and give him a Nobel Peace Prize. You couldn’t make it up.
Over the past couple of years, the cult of Obama has elevated him to a god-like, saint-like, superhuman position on the global political landscape. He is a celebrity, he is an icon, he is a political phenomenon. And just when you thought his international sheen was rubbing off, with his failure to win the 2016 Olympics for his adopted city of Chicago, he goes and wins the world’s most famous and prestigious award. Obamaniacs rejoice!
Och i dagens nummer av israeliska Haaretz verkar det som om också Gideon Levy känner sig tvingad att torka sig i ögonen:
There has been no ”change” and no ”yes we can.” There has only been profoundly depressing treading in his predecessor’s footsteps. The same methods, the same foot-dragging, the same trudging through the same mire. Can you believe, when you see George Mitchell doing the rounds between President Shimon Peres’ empty words and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ vacuous statements, that Mitchell is the envoy of a Nobel Prize laureate? Obama might deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature, like Winston Churchill for his books, but as far as actions are concerned, at least in this part of the world, he deserves at most a conditional award…
Let these reservations not be seen as evidence of provincialism, because it’s as simple as this: A president of the world who has not done enough to achieve peace here is not worthy of the Oslo crown. What has the new Nobel laureate done so far in our region? Mitchell Shmitchell, a bitter and lost struggle over settlement expansion, a bizarre struggle against the Goldstone report, a disgraceful silence about the Gaza siege, and the ultimate proof that there’s nothing new under the Middle Eastern sun. It’s not Obama who ”can,” it’s Israel. Israel can twist the arms of any president. You don’t want to freeze the settlements? Okay, never mind. You don’t want to take responsibility for the crimes in Gaza? Okay, never mind. You don’t want to end the occupation? Okay, never mind. This is not the conduct of a Nobel laureate and president.
Det är inte bara New Statesmans kolumnist som i dessa dagar citerar Tom Lehrers berömda yttrande: ”Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Prize.” Men historien får väl visa om det senaste beslutet ska läggas till raden av den norska Nobelkommitténs många misstag genom åren.