Why Bob Geldorf?
First a little background.
In 2009, Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Price. At that time, myself, many other bloggers and pundits questioned why. Barack Obama was just entering the White House. He was just beginning his Administration as President of the United States. He had done nothing: Nothing at all to deserve the same honor that was given to Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Mother Theresa and even Jimmy Carter. Yet the Nobel Committee decided this man, who was elected on a platform of “Hope and Change,” deserved the honor. A one term Senator. A one term Illinois Legislature. A man with little to no legislative accomplishments. He deserved it and earned it.
Well, what has he done since? Absolutely nothing to prove he was entitled to the award. Absolutely nothing at all. In fact, he has done the exact opposite. Contrary to his election promise, he has not closed Gitmo. Contrary to his election promise, he has not ended one war. In fact, he has escalated the war in Afghanistan. He has begun controversial drone strikes against suspects. He has authorized a military strike in Pakistan, one of our allies. He has expanded the Bush doctrine that he ran against.
Now, to be honest, I agree with him on all of these positions. They are mostly Conservative positions in an Administration that has otherwise been far to the left. In fact, the Left Wing of his party condemns him on these positions much more than the Right. Yet, these positions are not one that a man dedicated to world peace would have ever taken or done.
So, why does Barack Obama deserve a Nobel Peace Prize and Bob Geldof does not?
About 29 years ago in 1984, there was one of the worst famines in African history, particularly in Ethiopia. People were dying by the thousands. It was a truly horrific time.
As a result of this famine, a relatively unknown rock musician from Ireland, Bob Geldof, decided that the world couldn’t let these people die. Geldof, who is now 61, was the lead singer of the Boomtown Rats. They were primarily known for one song, “I Don’t Like Mondays” which was based upon a shooting incident in San Diego, California in 1979, involving a student who blamed the shooting on the fact that she didn’t like Mondays. The song became a cult hit in 1980. For those of you that don’t remember the song, here is the original video:
From the world forgetting that song until the famine in Africa, a period of about four years, no one really heard of the Boomtown Rats or Bob Geldof again. The world assumed they would be a one hit wonder and fade into the oblivion of the Rock & Roll world.
Then Geldof decided, enough was enough. In mid-1984, Geldof started to contact his musician friends in London and the rest of the UK. He told them he was writing a song whose proceeds would be donated to African Hunger Relief. He wanted them all to record the song with him and release it that Christmas. What many thought was impossible, happened. Most of the British pop stars in the world recorded, “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” It went on to be one of the biggest selling songs in the history of music. And, all of the profits went to feed the hungry in Ethiopia. And, Bob Geldof put the whole thing together himself. The song which was expected to raise 70,000 pounds, ended up raising 8 million.
Was that enough for Geldof? No. He continued to hear about the people dying of hunger in the famine and decided more had to be done. He, along with his partner from the pop group, Ultravox, began to organize what would become the largest single day concert in the history of music: Live Aid on July 13, 1985. An event that ended up raising approximately 150 million pounds for the famine. Prior to the event, it was expected this would bring in only one million pounds. As a result of Live Aid, Bob Geldof was knighted by the Queen of England.
He hasn’t stopped since. For the most part, since that time, his life has been a list of accomplishments for charity that dwarf some of those done by Nobel Peace Prize winners. Has the Nobel Committee awarded him a Peace Prize. No.
Bob Geldorf has been nominated for the award three times already, most recently in 2006 for his continuing efforts to aid the poor and hungry in Africa. Yet, after almost 30 years now of doing goodwill and charity, the Nobel Committee has not felt he should be entitled to the award. Yes, you read that right, 30 years.
Jimmy Carter won the award in 2002:
“for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.”
Sounds a lot like Geldof doesn’t it?
Barack Obama, for doing nothing gets this prestigious award. Jimmy Carter gets it for doing half of what Bob Geldof has done. Yet, Geldof, gets nothing. Well, maybe the time is now?
So, I ask you and the Nobel Committe, why not Bob Geldof?