Saturday, October 10, 2009
The president said he was both “surprised and deeply humble”‘ to win the award.
The Nobel Committee has shocked the world by choosing Mr Obama
It used to be the rule that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to politicians if they could point to tangible political successes. American presidents and politicians have consistently been recipients of the award: Theodor Roosevelt received the award in 1906 for his role in securing a peace deal between Russia and Japan. Woodrow Wilson was honored with the prize in 1919 for his work on the creation of the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations. Martin Luther King was presented with the award in 1964 for his commitment to civil rights for African Americans. The former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was even controversially given the nod in 1973 for his role in negotiating an end to the Vietnam War.
Now it is the turn of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, who was awarded the prize on Friday for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples,” in the words of the Nobel committee.
It is possible to reward diplomatic efforts and thus make them more effective. The former German Chancellor Willy Brandt greatly benefited from that in 1971, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his famous Ostpolitik policy of rapprochement with the Warsaw Pact states. At the time, Brandt was no less controversial within Germany than Barack Obama is within the US today; the opposition was up in arms and ridiculed him in the most objectionable fashion. But Brandt, who like Obama was a fan of international diplomacy, had already signed the Eastern Treaties when the committee handed down its decision.
In contrast, who has accepted Obama’s outstretched hand today? Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? The Taliban? North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il? Russia’s Vladimir Putin or Dmitry Medvedev? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas? None of them. Nowhere is there any success in sight.
Former Polish president and 1983 Peace laureate Lech Walesa slammed the decision as ‘too early’.
‘So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act,’ he said today to a London Daily Mail reporter.He added: ‘This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let’s see if he perseveres. Let’s give him time to act.’
But his “soul mate”, former president Jimmy Carter congratulated Obama saying:
“it was a bold statement from the Nobel committee. It shows the hope his administration represents not only to our nation but to people around the world”.
My question is since the nomination was made nine days after Obama was sworn in as president. Who nominated him? And was this an award for the man who lost the Olympics for Chicago, but was rewarded for his radical shift of America towards European socialism?
This morning the field for the Nobel Peace Prize still appeared wide open.
‘It’s quite likely this committee will reward somebody who is engaged in current processes,’ said Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the International Peace Institute in Oslo (PRIO). Could it be he got the Nobel because he was not Bush?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1219201/Barack-Obama-awarded-Nobel-Peace-Prize