President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

I figure this is — at the very best — premature.   Obama has not had time to accomplish much in his ten months in office.  It seems likely this reflects a Prize Committee that is more relieved that Bush/Cheney are no longer in office and still making a mess of things, than a Prize Committee that is genuinely impressed with Obama’s accomplishments to date.

That’s my hunch.  What’s yours?

EDIT:  Here’s the Official Citation:

“The Norwegian Nobel committee has decided that the Nobel peace prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The committee endorses Obama’s appeal that ‘Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges’.”

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25 thoughts on “President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

  1. Well sir, I am naught less than speechless over this entire affair.

    Given the enormous contribution to global society that most (perhaps ALL OTHER) Nobel Peace awardees have realized, I can’t help but feel that the entire system has now become compromised.

    Cork

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  2. I no longer follow the Nobel Prizes after it took a few decades to award the discovery of HIV and RNAi (by which time, the researchers were no longer DOING research) and that the discovery of alternative splicing of mRNA STILL has not been awarded, I’m a bit disenchanted with the whole thing. It’s great they give these researchers money, but their choices in who receives the awards seems a bit too political rather than giving money to active areas of research.

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  3. This seems like an award entirely for things that they think that he is going to do. Awarded for thinking about disarmament. For contemplating diplomacy as an option. For demonstrating the right attitude. Doesn’t matter whether any of this has been put into practice or gotten actual results yet. Or even whether Obama has proven himself to be as committed to those ideals as he claims to be. The very fact that he makes the claims is enough to get the prize, apparently.

    What makes me sad though is that even just saying “maybe in the future” to diplomacy, nuclear disarmament, cooperation, and human rights is impressive to the world. Perhaps it really is a “Thank God he isn’t Bush” award…

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  4. Such is the world of spin. Sad really. Charlatans everywhere. Those in positions of authority and respect have done everything necessary to remove all authority and respect from those positions. From Nobel Committee’s to government. They’re all confidence tricksters. Relating to your earlier post about Thatcher, I believe this kind of triumph of form over substance is a direct result of the cult of the individual.

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  5. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, Yasser Arafat and Yitzac Rabin, the Dali Lama, all got the prize. So what is so bad about Obama? They say hell is paved over with good intentions.

    Nothing is prsitine anymore, not even the Olympics.

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  6. It’s almost like they’ve given him the award as if to say, “Look, live up to all that you’ve said because we’ve given you this incredible honour. Don’t effing mess up!”

    I don’t share anger or dismay about the award, though. I’m neutral. I find it interesting. Whether it’s right or wrong…who can tell??

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  7. Thanks for that, Webs.

    It allowed me to visit that dudes Blog and write this:

    Empty words mate.

    Yours is naught but a series of positioning statements. Like everything Obama is associated with, he’s talked about many of the initiatives you discuss in your own post. But, he has yet to actually realize any of them.

    If I’m wrong, please come back with clear example, and link to unbiased date that can support your position.

    Cork

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  8. Pingback: Unblogged Bits for Friday, 09 October 2009 | ***Dave Does the Blog

  9. Well, I reckon it would be a lot worse if somebody had awarded the Peace Prize to Bush and Cheney after a few months of their being in office. With Obama, at least he seems on the right track. Did Bush and Cheney ever seem to be on the right track?

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  10. @ Webs: Laden makes some good points. I can’t shake my feeling this prize is premature, but Laden is at least factually right about a number of things.

    @ Vesper de Vil: Perhaps neutrality is the wisest course here. We’ll have to wait and see whether Obama does something to deserve this.

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  11. Paul:

    Bush’s administration did appear to be on the right track in the early days. But, only if his popularity based on approval ratings are an accurate indication. In truth, I’m still not sure, myself.

    Webs:

    I’ll always prefer legitimate references.

    Cork

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  12. Thanks for the link Paul, I had not seen that yet. And I think Rachel is right on. There was also some really good discussion on Bill Maher’s show which I would not be able to show legally. I wish Real Time would put more content online… Anyway Maher had on Cornel West, the distinguished professor from Princeton who made an excellent point (my quote will not be exact, but very close), “This puts a lot of weight on President Obama’s shoulders now. How you can you have a Nobel Prize in Peace and still be in two wars? How can you have a Peace Prize and still have Guantanamo open?” Etc…

    He listed of a few more and basically I would agree. It puts a huge weight on Obama’s shoulders because he needs to show his worth on this one and there is no going back.

    It will be interesting to see how the next few months play out.

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  13. To his credit, the President did pull the plug on the anti-missile radar installations in Poland and the Czech Republic that were clearly provocative and probably little else. The problem is, the President has done much else.

    This has diminished the status of the Peace Prize. Not being G.W. Bush is hardly a reason for giving the man this prize. There are plenty of other organizations that could have made a political statement to the effect of “we are sure glad Bush is out of office.”

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  14. Acknowledging Paul Costopoulos:

    Paul, you had me thinking about this one for awhile.

    I studied under Kissinger for a spell at Georgetown in the late ’80’s. The terms “sheer genius” and “inspiring” would never due him enough credit. His complex thinking and ability to understand all sides of both an argument and solution enabled him to serve both a number of U.S. Presidents, and numerous foreign leaders (many of whom sent their own children to learn from him in school – so, there’s an interesting perspective). His views and efforts around Diplomacy were harsh, but effective. If respect from one’s global peers is a gauge for the Nobel Prize, then it’s possible Kissinger established the bar.

    Yasser Arafat gives me pause. I’ve researched this a bit. The best I can come up with is he was indirectly rewarded for not being an asshole as much as he could have been. Seriously. In a way, this might put him in the same category as Obama… This notion of being rewarded for not being George Bush has merit if you squint your eyes and stand on one foot. Those silly little men under big hats in Oslo are sending a message that they are relieved Obama is simply taking the U.S. in another direction. We’re such a world driver, that such an effort needs to be acknowledged.

    So… Having just written this, it makes me feel no better, but, I can almost grasp the odd thinking behind his award.

    Le Duc Cho still has me scratching my head.

    The Dali Lama? He stood up to the Chinese as a symbol of strength, courage and change. He’s inspired billions of people to stand against anarchy and communism. He confounds evil.

    The irony there is that Obama is the first President in decades not to invite the Dali Lama to the White House. And, unfortunately, that raises the ugly specter of some underlying political game being attached to Obama’s prize.

    “Tainted” is a word that keeps popping into my head.

    Cork

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  15. What I would like to know that what was the purpose of this award. I am sure there was a strong reason, and its just that we all don’t know it yet. Some political reason I bet.

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