Pity President Obama, who, despite impressive attainments at a young age and an apparent comfort with the cult of personality that surrounds him, must surely be aware that he has done little yet to earn any peace prize. Let us not unjustly prejudge him; he may one day merit the prize, but that day will not be in 2009. So he should acknowledge the honor bestowed and his unworthiness by dedicating the prize to those who this year did so much to advance the cause of peace.
There is no shortage of deserving candidates: the people of Iran, who did their utmost to take back their nation; specifically, Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman who gave her life to speak her mind and whose murder finally stirred the conscience of the Obama White House; or Rebiya Kadeer, the president of the World Uighur Congress, a victim of Mao's Cultural Revolution and a tribune of peaceful resistance and hope for Muslims in communist China.
Perhaps, however, in light of the president's brave decision this week to send 30,000 additional troops to carry out his Afghanistan war strategy, Obama should say that he is accepting the prize on behalf of the men and women of the United States military, who have done more to keep the peace in this world than any other military and who sacrifice every day not to their own greater glory or for pecuniary gain, but for the Stars and Stripes that are beacons of peace and liberty year in and year out, fools in Oslo notwithstanding.
Danielle Pletka is vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at AEI.