By Jeff Crouere
On October 9, 2009, then United States President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” While the award was given to Obama just eight months after he was inaugurated, nominations for the prize were closed a mere 11 days after he took the oath of office.
In essence, Obama was bestowed this prestigious award for merely the hope he represented as President of the United States. Sadly, the hopes were misplaced for at no time during his presidency did Obama accomplish any great achievements for peace, nor did he broker any historic agreements between adversaries.
Unlike Jimmy Carter, who negotiated the historic Camp David Accords and was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, Obama was a complete failure in the Middle East. While he supported the highly touted “Arab Spring” movement, in actuality, it resulted in chaos in Libya and a terrorist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, taking control in Egypt. Obama refused to support a democratic uprising in Iran and removed U.S. troops from Iraq, creating a vacuum for ISIS, the vicious terrorist organization, to control large swaths of both Iraq and Syria.
Obama’s apology tour did not lead to peace, but it emboldened Islamic terror organizations. He also totally failed to restrain Vladimir Putin, who invaded Crimea and sent Russian troops into both Ukraine and Syria.
The Nobel Committee made a terrible mistake in giving such an honor to a President with no actual achievements. They also revealed their politically correct support of the climate change movement by giving Al Gore their peace prize in 2007. Gore has made millions of dollars promoting a highly disputed theory, while doing almost nothing to achieve world peace.
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Unlike Obama and Gore, the current United States President Donald Trump is on the brink of brokering a major peace accord with North Korea. He is planning a summit with the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, most probably in June. Our newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid the groundwork for the summit with a secret visit to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong Un over the Easter weekend.
The potential for peace in North Korea is very significant. This country has been an outlaw regime since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Since that time, there has been a virtual Cold War between South and North Korea. The United States has 35,000 troops stationed at that very volatile border. Successive United States Presidents have been unable to stop the country’s march toward nuclear weapons.
Upon taking the oval office, President Trump began an innovative approach with the communist regime. He established a much tougher tone with the country’s dictator. He criticized their repeated nuclear missile tests and derisively labeled Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man.” In addition, the President sent an array of our naval forces into the region as a message and a show of strength.
His “maximum pressure” campaign also included support for additional United Nations sanctions and pressure on China, which accounts for 90% of North Korean trade. Eventually, Trump was successful in persuading China to limit oil exports to North Korea and reduce by 50% overall trade with the country.
On behalf of the United States, in September of last year, the President signed an executive order giving him widespread authority to impose severe financial sanctions on any companies doing business with North Korea. These measures have had a significant impact on the communist regime and have surely contributed to Kim’s decision to stop nuclear missile tests and his willingness for diplomatic talks.
In preparation for the upcoming meeting with President Trump, Kim Jong Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in today. It was an incredible scene as Kim Jong Un crossed the border into South Korea, marking the first time since 1953 that a North Korean leader stepped foot into South Korea.
The historic summit between the two Korean leaders was marked by smiles, handshakes and even a hug. The President’s strategy of tough sanctions followed by direct communications is the main reason this progress is occurring. The goal is for North Korea to give up their nuclear weapons, with appropriate verification from U.S. led inspection teams.
Eventually, the sanctions can be removed, and assistance provided to North Korea if they follow through on such promises. This crucial step would allow the United States to begin the process of removing our troops from the region.
If the Korean peninsula becomes a nuclear free zone, it would be not only a breakthrough for the region, but for all of humanity.
At that point, the Nobel Committee should start engraving President Donald Trump’s name on their next peace prize. Any other decision would be a total injustice and an affront to the values represented by the award. It would be an even greater outrage than awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a President who had been in office for less than two weeks and never deserved such an accolade.
Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected]