Obama. Nobel.

Holy smokes. What will the man do for an encore?

From the BBC:

US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Committee said he was awarded it for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”.

Reuters quotes from the citation (The Nobel servers are slammed and super-slow just at the moment):

“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,” the committee said in a citation.


29 thoughts on “Obama. Nobel.

  1. I´m a bit surprised…


    Process of Nomination and Selection:

    “February – Deadline for submission. The Committee bases its assessment on nominations that must be postmarked no later than 1 February each year. Nominations postmarked and received after this date are included in the following year’s discussions. In recent years, the Committee has received close to 200 different nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The number of nominating letters is much higher, as many are for the same candidates.”

    “February-March – Short list. The Committee assesses the candidates’ work and prepares a short list.”

    Seems he got nominated even before or around his inauguration on January 20?
    And got on the short list after less than three months as President?

    Isn´t that a bit premature?

  2. Hmmmmm… a bit early, though, is it not? It is possible it will prove merited, and perhaps it will even play a role in justifying itself (as I imagine the Committee might have intended, populist considerations aside), but at this point it is far from a given.

    On the other hand, I doubt it will, on balance, turn out any worse than the one that was awarded for the Oslo Accords, so who knows..

  3. Shame, it’s a big shame … not on him, but on the Nobel comity, he still has time to prove he deserves it. SHAAAAAMMMEEEE !!!!

  4. I recall Mikhail Gorbachev got Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. In 1991 Soviet Union ceased to exist…

  5. I admire the man; I think he is a good man; I think his election is an inspiring event for many… but what this really points up is the shortage of viable candidates for a ‘peace’ prize in the world today.
    There are virtually none.

  6. It is a joke.

    A really, really bad joke.

    The Nobel committee might as well start distributing its prizes in cereal boxes to the masses – for “being inspired by the ‘extraordinary efforts’ of Obuma.”

    I heard that Mother Theresa just gave back her Nobel Prize.

  7. ¿Why are you surprised? If Henry Kissinger has a Nobel Peace Prize, why can’t Obama have his?

  8. The man hasnt proven nothing yet !
    I can”t believe it. It’s indeed a big shame on the Nobel committee.
    What peace did he contribute to the world?

  9. Well, he still has seven years to match the Al Gore Triple (winning a Nobel Prize, an Academy Award and a US presidential election).

  10. Sign a petition now – nobelpeace.eu ! Lets express our objection against the absurd decision to award B. Obama Nobel Peace Prize !

  11. He has demonstrated many times he prefers the pen to the gun, unlike the moron that preceed him. That is a very important qualification that people seem to forget. I would assume those that seem to forget that fact helped to elect the moron in the first place.

  12. Prefers the pen to the gun? How has he demonstrated this? He’s not had a real test yet. And he has not diverged from the previous administration’s courses of action in any region of the world since taking office. That statement of yours is rhetorical. Nothing more. Certainly not a qualification. And I think you will see a very different president when the real test comes.

    I voted for Obama. I even canvassed for him. While serving my country, I suffered from the disastrous policies of the previous administration. But I think it is time to get serious about peace. We need to honor those who have devoted their lives to peace, and who have impacted thousands or even millions in their work.

    If I understand correctly, you believe the logic of the Oslo committee’s decision should include comparing the current President to the last one. I think this is silly. In no way should politics ever enter the award decision process — not only because the wrong people tend to be rewarded, but also because such awards can complicate what are already delicate policy situations. How will the headlines read if/when Obama is forced to use guns? Presidents need all the tools of statecraft and the freedom to use them.

    You don’t need to defend Obama, Octavio. I’m sympathetic with his perspectives. This isn’t about him. We all need to start thinking seriously about the integrity of peace work. And we need to raise the profile of real accomplishments and causes and stop wasting the moral force of the award — such as it is these days — on political statements. I think if enough of us talk it up, the Oslo committee will have to rethink who sits at the table and how nominations are fielded.

    Peace out.

  13. octavio,

    Since I´m a German, I didn´t “help to elect the moron”. Sorry to disappoint you. That moron was really, really unpopular in Europe.

    However what I´m seeing is:
    – Close Guantanamo while enlarging Bagram
    – The Obama DOJ defending the moron´s choices
    – Hide the torture photos /videos
    – Don´t prosecute torturers and enablers
    – Just don´t talk about the Iraq war lies

    As in:
    “Look forward, not backward. It´s a time for reflection, not retribution”.

    Now mind you, I´m not saying that Obama is bad or that he might never deserve a Nobel Peace Price.

    I do think that he seems to have the right ideas. But his actions up to today seem to indicate that he would really like the world to forget anything the moron and the USA did in the last 8 years. Just sweep it under the rug.
    His election somehow deleted the last 8 years. At least in his mind? And – please – don´t even mention that the CIA is using the Nuremberg defense (just following orders).

    Not to mention 2 ongoing “wars” (Iraq and Afghanistan) plus unofficial drone attacks in Pakistan (explosions for peace). 🙂

    And maybe even more troops for Afghanistan.
    Ohh, and a “defense” budget as large as the rest of the world taken together.

    Doesn´t that strike you as bizarre?
    A Peace Nobel Prize for that?
    Not being George W. Bush? Simply being a sane and competent US President is now enough?

    None of his foreign policy initiatives (Palestine, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, climate change, nuclear weapon reduction) have resulted in a success for now.
    (Success = signed and ratified treaty.)

    A Nobel Peace Prize probably might be deserved if he solved any single one of these problems.

    (And just to mention it. I don´t know where you live. But people preferring “the pen to the gun”…
    Let me just say it really depends on what the people do with the pen, okay?)

  14. Can you hear the chant?
    “The whole world is laughing!”
    “The whole world is laughing!”
    First he gets bitchslapped by the IOC. Then the Norwegians hogtie him with this prize, implying,
    Don’t you dare win in Afghanistan, Don’t you dare bother Iran, Don’t you dare do anything to secure America. Watch him cow-tow to the Europeans like the pansy he is.

    And what value is this award anyway? They gave one to that bloodthirsty murderer “You-sure-are-a-Fat” guy.

    Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is a professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation:

    “I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce. He’s done nothing to deserve the prize…. let’s hope the Nobel Committee’s decision meets with such a deafening chorus of chortles and jeers that it never does something this stupid again.”

  15. They called me first, about 1/2 hour before Obama, but I turned it down because I didn’t think I did anything to deserve it. I also told them my phone number is in the “Do Not Call Registry”, and requested they do not call me again.

    I wonder how many other people got the same call and turned it down before Obama’s phone number finally came up on the list. The White House needs to put their number in the “Do Not Call Registry” as well, to stop such annoying telemarketer phone calls.

  16. Morgan Tsvangirai was a favourite for the Nobel Peace Prize. So were Piedad Cordoba, Sima Samar and Hu Jia. The four that I mentioned deserved the prize more than Obama did.

    Not knocking the President here. Just saying.

  17. “I heard that Mother Theresa just gave back her Nobel Prize.”

    While I agree with the P word (premature), Mother Theresa was one of the stranger laureates in the award’s history. Not the worst one, but still an off-note.

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  19. Don´t take it too seriously. During Alfred Nobel´s life Norway was Benjamin in the forced union with Sweden. Now, with it´s oil billions, Norway treats the membership of the Nobel committe as an honorary retreat for people who should be kept away from more important political issues.

    And now they have got their 15 minutes of fame, haven´t they?

  20. …The “haters”? Doug, you’re disappointing.

    What I’ve actually seen it was a number of people still in charge of their wits (neither strongly pro, nor against) reacting to a publicity stunt with bitter smiles. Better reactions than others I’ve seen. Also, I’ve learn the not-insignificant bit about the February deadline for nominations.

  21. That bit isn’t significant either. The nomination part of the process doesn’t matter, there is no particular honour or responsibility in being nominated, there is no “Nobel Prize Nominee” like with the Academy Awards. Any member of any parliament in the world can nominate any living candidate (except himself/herself) or organisation. Nominations are secret, and while you can’t stop someone from saying “I nominated this person”, it is strongly discouraged.

    Reportedly Adolf Hitler was nominated to the peace prize, which just means that some NSDAP fellow thought der Führer was a great guy. Similarly someone among the thousands of people eligible to nominate must have thought that Obama was doing, or would be doing shortly, something worthwhile for peace.

    It is true that Obama must have been shortlisted very early in his presidency, which means that the committee too must have thought that he had or were likely to do something worthwhile for peace this year, he wouldn’t be among the nominees thrown out early in the process (as presumably Mr. Hitler must have been).

  22. what’s the difference between the oscar and the nobel prize?

    Answer: you have to EARN the oscar!

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