Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel peace prize is akin to my giving my students A's before they have passed an exam. I stopped taking the Nobel prize seriously when it was awarded to Arafat and Carter. Giving it to Al Gore only provided confirmation that it was a political prize and not an earned one. If the president has gotten the peace prize then why do I not feel safe? As a matter of fact I feel less safe than at any time in my adult life. Our Middle East policy looks like one of appeasement. We are talking to the Iranis while they make their bomb. Obama has a 9% approval rating in Israel - who obviously don't feel safer. The Afghani policy is confusing at best. Are we staying in force, staying put, pulling back, leaving? We appear weak to the North Koreans. Obama will meet with our adversaries but shuns the Dali Lama. The Iranis are found to have a new nuclear facility but instead of announcing it in his speech at the UN, Obama waits a day and announces it in Pittsburgh at the G20. We turn our backs on the Poles and the Czechs and coddle the Russians. We are letting Gitmo radicals loose on the world. We seem to be employing Clinton's policy of treating terrorism as a crime. That got us the Cole, the Colbart Towers, the bombing of the African embassies and the twin towers. The world all of a sudden seems to be a more dangerous place because our president seems to be relying on his charm and little else. Maybe we will be safer because of personal smiling diplomacy. I certainly may be wrong - and I hope I am but our charming president seems more and more like Neville Chamberlain.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com