Yesterday I received another letter from Prince Karl Zeis, member of the royal house of Delfthia, and long-time fan of Halfthoughts. Prince Karl often hobnobs with the world’s elite. But I was flabbergasted by the contents of his latest missive. Opening up the envelope, I first found a short note scribbled by Prince Karl in his own hand, which read as follows…
I think you will enjoy this. With his wife so busy overseas, these days William can be relied upon to diligently keep up his correspondence. But even I was surprised that he wrote back so promptly, and I think it would do no harm if you shared this with your readers. William is such a good sport. If I was him, I think I might be a tad narked, if not positively fuming. Enjoy!
Prince Karl Zeis of the Royal House of Delfthia
There were also a photocopied page within the envelope. I unfolded it, and I saw this, a letter to the Prince from Bill Clinton, former US President! The text of the letter went as follows:
October 9, 2009
Dear Prince Karl,
Itâ€™s great, as always, to hear from you. Before I go any further, let me clarify one thing. I believe you misheard me during our last phone conversation. I said the United States was now Obamaâ€™s nation, not an abomination. I have full confidence that the President will soon get this big deficit under control and turn the economy around, making it every bit as strong as when I left office.
To answer your first question, it brings me great pleasure that President Obama, my wifeâ€™s boss (or is that my bossâ€™s boss?) was honoured by the Nobel Peace Prize committee. He deserves it, and I asked Hilary to pass on my congratulations next time sheâ€™s briefed on how to support all his extraordinary diplomatic efforts. Barackâ€™s a real peacemaker, as he showed when he went back on those things that were said by his campaign team about me being a racist and about Hilaryâ€™s foreign policy credentials being exaggerated. The extraordinariness of his efforts are beyond question. He did more in his first two weeks in the Oval Office than I did in two terms. It took me eight years to cut our nuclear warheads by a third. My biggest multilateral accomplishment was a ban on nuclear arms testing â€“ and that was with jolly old Boris Yeltsin on the other side of the negotiating table. Boris loved a drink and a laugh. In contrast, Obama plans to rid the world of nukes and heâ€™s going to do it by disputinâ€™ Putin, and disarminâ€™ Ahmadinejad. If that ainâ€™t extraordinary, I donâ€™t know what is. In recognition of the extraordinary goals he set himself, itâ€™s proper that the Nobel committee give him some extraordinary encouragement up front, meaning the award of the Nobel Prize so early in Barackâ€™s Presidency is not extraordinary at all, but really very ordinary.
Admit it, Karl, your second question is a little cheeky. No, I donâ€™t feel left out. Jimmy Carter proved heâ€™s a nut for diplomacy, and Al Gore turned a boring Powerpoint presentation into one heck of a popcorn movie. I can tell you Iâ€™ve seen Alâ€™s film twice and I didnâ€™t fall asleep on either occasion, whereas I normally read Alâ€™s books in bed for precisely the opposite effect. I donâ€™t deserve an award. All I ever did was help free some journalists in North Korea, sent the US military into former Yugoslavia because Blair and the Europeans couldnâ€™t stop the genocide by themselves, was the first President to visit Vietnam since the war and tried to bring peace between the Palestinians and Israelis with the Oslo Accords. So no, I donâ€™t think that Fridayâ€™s announcement in Oslo by the Norwegian Nobel Committee means theyâ€™ve forgotten what I did. You canâ€™t assume that just because youâ€™re a Democrat and a President that the Nobel prize is a foregone conclusion. The Norwegians are obviously thinking ahead to the lasting peace that Obama is sure to deliver in the Middle East, and the hope and inspiration he brings to everyone in Africa. I got my ass kicked when those Somalis shot down our Black Hawks, so Iâ€™m guessing Obamaâ€™s family ties will be the magic ingredient necessary to foster reconciliation all over his dadâ€™s continent. Letâ€™s hope Nobel runner-up Morgan Tsvangirai is equally inspired by the example of Obamaâ€™s tireless self-sacrifice. Poor Morgan lost his wife and grandson in those unfortunate accidents earlier this year, but Iâ€™m sure he was cheered up when Barack talked about how the Obama family had helped to put this relatively unimportant award into perspective.
Yup, itâ€™s not easy to spread peace in this world. I tried my best, but too many people objected to how I did it. To my mind, peace and loving must go together. Thing was, people said that when it came to the loving, I was a bit too hands-on!
So there you have it. Congratulations to Barack Obama on winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Like Winston Churchill once said, “to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war”. There is no doubt that, so far, Barack Obama has kept his end of the bargain.