The greatest threat to the U. S. and to the rest of the world is the explosion of a dirty nuclear device in a major U. S. port. For so long as we rightly support Israel, radical Islamic factions will target the United States. The destruction of the World Trade Center suggests that these radical elements will use whatever destructive force is available. Significant quantities of bomb-grade nuclear material became available during the demise of the USSR and threatens to become available from North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.
The failure of the United Nations and our NATO allies to carry out a full inspection of Iraq's pre-war weaponry illustrates its failure to appreciate the impact of 9/11 on the U. S. and our vulnerability to more devastating attacks. Their lack of commitment in Afghanistan is further proof. Our Western allies do not feel the threat that the United States does and their stance disappoints us. Yet, should we be attacked again, they will suffer along with us as world trade collapses and as we take actions to protect ourselves.
Barrack Obama is an idealist who believes he can make the United States and the rest of the world safer through dialogue and by unilateral disarmaments. Little leading up to his presidency has prepared him for his international responsibilities. It remains to be seen whether he will be effective as a peacemaker while protecting the country.
We can no longer accept Nobel Prizes at face value. We now must interpret the social and political agenda of the closeted Norwegian elite who comprise the Foundation's board. Most of us understand that Mr. Obama has done little to merit such lofty recognition. We are told that the Nobel Foundation wished to empower the U. S. President in his efforts to improve world peace. He was recognized specifically "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Therein is a lesson in ambiguity. The real meaning is that the Foundation deplored George W. Bush and American attitudes towards the western world, without considering the dangers we have faced from radical Islamics since 9/11. The Foundation believes that Mr. Obama will improve relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world, in stark contrast to the policies of Bush. No doubt Bush's brusque attitude harmed U.S. relations with many countries around the world, but his policies were born out of the 9/11 attacks on the U. S. by Islamic radicals. Whether Bush was overzealous in his protection of our shores must be judged in light of our freedom from attack that is likely the result of our taking the fight against radicals to their shores.
By extending its unmerited recognition to Obama, the Foundation has alarmingly interfered with our nation's political and electoral processes. The Foundation disappointed previously when, in 1974, its Peace Prize was awarded to Yassar Arafat, perhaps the greatest terrorist of the 20th century.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to 97 individuals and 23 organizations since 1901. Only twice previously and not since 1919 has a sitting U.S. President received its Peace Prize. Woodrow Wilson was recognized in 1919, following his lead in the formation of the League of Nations. Theodore Roosevelt received the Peace Prize in 1906, for negotiating settlement of the Russo-Japanese War. Both of these recipients were in their second terms of office, as opposed to Obama's 10 months. Awarding its peace prize to a sitting U.S. President is blatant interference in our affairs. President Jimmy Carter, the only other U.S. President recognized, received his Nobel after leaving office.
Forget that Mr. Obama received undeserved recognition. We must communicate to our NATO allies that we need their understanding and support. A nuclear Pearl Harbor must not happen. NATO must realize the extent of its responsibility to ensure that it does not, while this year's Noble Peace Prize suggests we have quite a task. Aren't many of these the countries we rescued during World Wars I and II, then after WWII rebuilt through the Marshall Plan?
Ken Kirk of Marietta is a former professor of finance at Kennesaw State University.