Saturday, October 10, 2009

In TR's Footsteps?

In 1906, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Some background:

In 1902 President Roosevelt took the initiative in opening the international Court of Arbitration at The Hague, which, though founded in 1899, had not been called upon by any power in its first three years of existence. The United States and Mexico agreed to lay an old difference of theirs, concerning the Pious Foundations of California, before the Hague Tribunal. When this example was followed by other powers, the arbitration machinery created in 1899 was finally called into operation. Roosevelt also played a prominent part in extending the use of arbitration to international problems in the Western Hemisphere, concluding several arbitration treaties with European powers too, although the Senate refused to ratify them.

In 1904 the Interparliamentary Union, meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, requested Roosevelt to call another international conference to continue the work begun at The Hague in 1899. Roosevelt responded immediately, and in the autumn of 1904 Secretary of State John Hay invited the powers to meet at The Hague. Russia, however, refused to participate in a conference while engaged in hostilities with Japan. After the peace of 1905, the matter was placed in the hands of the Russian government, which had taken the initiative in convening the first Hague Conference.

In June, 1905, President Roosevelt offered his good offices as mediator between Russia and Japan, asking the belligerents to nominate plenipotentiaries to negotiate on the conditions of peace. In August they met at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and after some weeks of difficult negotiations concluded a peace treaty in September, 1905.

On Friday morning, President Obama awoke to the news that he too will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nine months into his presidency.

Without settling any international disputes -- or yet achieving any of the (very worthwhile) goals he has articulated in the areas of diplomacy and disarmament.

And, on the day he considered sending 40,000 additional U.S. troops into a war zone almost eight years to the day of the start of said war.

Um. Yeah ...

Note to the Norwegian Nobel Committee: Need some fresh suggestions?

Might I recommend another deserving nominee?:

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