Friday, October 12, 2007

Last Week They Piled on the SCHIP Kid; This Week They'll Try to Bury Nobel

Now that Al Gore has joined Cordell Hull as the only Tennessee sons to win the Nobel Peace Price, look for the conservative fume cycle to start revving more frantically.

A local Republican blogger and perennial candidate for office already calls past Nobel winners Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Theresa "mediocre company" for Gore. He also completely ignores Roosevelt's former Secretary of State Hull in his retrospective of past winners. One is left to wonder whether that omission has to with Hull's status as "Father of the United Nations" (the founder of the League of Nations, Woodrow Wilson, does make his list).

You may remember that the UN is a primary rationalization bolstering zealotry and hubris behind Iraq War boosterism. That may have something to do with the omission. Otherwise it looks like an attempt to avoid tarring one famous Tennessean with the same brush he tars Gore.

My guess is that Hull was likely just as villainized by the pamphleteers of his era. Maybe because they didn't have need of the UN at the time.

UPDATE: Bob replies in defense of his "mediocre" list at Liberadio:
the award has haphazardly been given to the good, along with the bad and the ugly.
Couldn't the same be said of a Purple Heart? In fact, I cannot imagine that any award hasn't gone to the good, the bad, and the ugly, since people are good, bad, and ugly.


  1. Word, Mike. Frankly I didn't understand the point of his post. Was he being ironic? I mean, are Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa really "mediocre?" I guess all awards are overly self-congratulatory in one way or another but isn't it better to at least strive for peace then to sit around and do nothing?

  2. I think that Bob's intention is to point to some fatal irony among peacemakers that makes them more loathsome than warmakers. Of course, there is at least as much irony and monster-creation among warmakers, because we are all human, and thus full of irony, limitation, and transgression.

    Bob has a tendency to make war more noble and duty-oriented than peace, despite the fact that people everywhere assume that once the battle begins a Pandora's Box of atrocities and grim results is loosed. I would grant that despite their best intentions peacemakers can cause real problems if Bob would stop acting like war and peace are judged on a double-standard.

    There are some peacemakers who are just as ready to spill their blood, go to prison, suffer and die for their cause as soldiers. There is as much nobility in that as there is irony.

    He sees the inventor of dynamite sponsoring a peace award as at least ironic (perhaps hypocritical?). But is it any more ironic than a philanthropist contributing a lot of ill-gotten gains to charity to salve his conscience? Doesn't it contradict the mission of philanthropy to fund it on the backs of other people's suffering? Sure it does. When that happens in war, it's called "double effect."

    The world is full of irony. It becomes double the irony when some folks half that irony.