Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights” — a decision that produced a bitter reaction from the Chinese government as well as renewed calls for his release from President Barack Obama and others.
“China has made dramatic progress in economic reform and improving the lives of its people,” Obama, last year’s Nobel peace laureate, said in a statement. “But this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected. We call on the Chinese government to release Mr. Liu as soon as possible.”
I honestly don’t know where to begin with this one.
Here we have a Chinese citizen–serving an 11-year prison sentence for being deemed a “subversive” by his own government–being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for truly legitimate reasons: fighting so that the voice of his people can be heard.
On our own shores, we have a sitting U.S. president who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for … for … well, I and a lot of other like-minded people are still trying to figure that one out. Perhaps it’s because he’s such a great, um, speaker (let me be clear). Better yet, our recipient of this long-ago-diminished prize is actively trying to stifle speech in his own land.
Unless, of course, you happen to read the Daily Kos.