It is the members of the Nobel committee who have made fools of themselves and further devalued their prize, if that is still possible.
For how many Americans could, without Google, identify Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Muhammad Yunus and Martti Ahtisaari? Who are they? The 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 winners of the Nobel Prize for Peace. In that company at least, Barack, for his willingness to talk to America's adversaries and enemies, is not outshone.
Indeed, looking down the list of other recipients in this decade -- Jimmy Carter in 2002, Muhammad ElBaradei in 2005, Al Gore in 2007 and Obama -- the committee should probably rename it the Nobel Prize for Peace ... and Stick-It-to-George Bush Trophy.
By 2002, Carter, who should have been included in the 1978 Nobel that went to Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat for the Israeli-Egyptian peace he brokered at Camp David, had become a global pest, bedeviling Bush, as he did Bill Clinton, in violation of the tradition of ex-presidents, all the while accomplishing nothing.
While the International Atomic Energy Agency was right about no atomic weapons or programs in Iraq, ElBaradai himself regretted not having been more courageous in opposing the war. As for Gore, his prize was the committee's way of providing publicity for a campaign against global warming that is a front for the latest scheme to advance world government.
As for Obama, he got the award because he is the quintessential anti-Bush. Yet, the Nobel committee did him no service.
They have brazenly meddled in the internal affairs of the United States. They have reinforced the impression that Obama is someone who is forever being given prizes -- Ivy League scholarships, law review editorships, prime-time speaking slots at national conventions -- he did not earn. They have put him under moral pressure to mollify a pacifist left. They have brought him to the point, dangerous in politics, where a man becomes the butt of reflexive jokes, as did Bill Clinton in the Monica affair.
These Norwegian groupies, acting out of "adolescent adulation," writes the Financial Times, have exposed themselves as "an annex to the left wing of the U.S. Democratic Party" with a "deeply misguided act" that will "embarrass (Obama's) allies and egg on his detractors."
The committee did something else. They ensured that their Nobel Peace Prize will never be taken as seriously again as once it was.