Monday, October 12, 2009

Oct. 12: With Nobels, Reversal of Fortune For US

Sylvia Gurinsky

With the possible exception of the International Olympic Committee and some right-wing radio and cable television talk show hosts, the world seems to like the United States again.

The awarding of an abundance of Nobel Prizes to Americans, including the honoring (however premature) of President Barack Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize, is a message from the international community, to paraphrase Lady Margaret Thatcher, that "we can do business with them."

The most accurate assessment of Obama's prize may have come from the opening skit on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," when "Obama," played by Fred Armisen, said he received the honor for not being President George W. Bush. It speaks to how much the Bush Administration poisoned the international atmosphere in just about every way possible, including the environment, science and medicine, not to mention diplomacy.

International reaction is as important to America's success in fighting a bad economy, terrorism and global warming as home reaction is. It leads to better cooperation and better solutions.

The Nobel Committee showed it appreciates open doors and open minds. So does the world.

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