Peace Prize? Seriously?
Ok, I volunteer to play the role of cynical, raining-on-the-parade guy this morning: how on Earth is President Obama the Nobel laureate for Peace? He's been president less than a year. Never mind that he has not ended any of the military activities that President Bush was reviled for, there's simply no way to know what will happen in the next three years. Some of the NYT analysis suggested that it was an aspirational choice - he's filled the world with hope for peace, has announced intentions to bring peace, etc. - but that can't be right. Surely the award is for accomplishments, not aspirations and intentions. And sure enough the Chairman of the Nobel committee says “We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year.” But what exactly is that? The ecstatic NPR correspondent I was listening to while driving in to work suggested, following a suggestion by Elie Wiesel, that just being elected president was the thing, because it"enables America to put it's racial past behind it." But then shouldn't the prize go to the voters? Obama couldn't have been elected President if people hadn't voted for him. I know TR and Wilson and Carter also have one of these (as does Yasser Arafat), but nine months in? Premature. One can only hope he lives up to the honor.
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Orson Olson - 10/9/2009
I emailed my thanks to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for providing good humor for Americans. More satirical fodder for SNL!
Seriously, I also emailed them this joke: What do Vidkud Quisling and Barack Obama now have in common? Norway, and bringing fascism to their nations!
More serious analysis come from a Norwegian - Lene Johansen former CEI Warren T. Brookes Journalism fellow - now resident in Philadelphia, birthplace of the Constitution, and covered Norway’s view of the last US election.
Johansen says this choice is causing great consternation in the country because of Obama’s lack of any track record.
But it means two thing: first, a quest for grand international visibility, seen since 2007 when Vice President Al Gore and the IPCC were honored. And second, envy that the US was finally joining Europe and moving Left.
”Europe and Norway was suffering from an Obama fever that only could be matched by the U.S. fever right around Election Day. The love affair still persists among the political class, because they admire the political craftsmanship of his campaign. This might be the official “world” endorsement of Obama’s presidency; since they still are sore they could not vote in the U.S. election. Europeans also adore Obama for shifting the U.S. political focus to the left. ”
It is telling that Norway barely makes it to the ”Free” category in the Economic Freedom Index
The Peace Prize was given to the Norwegian Parliament because, at that time, before independence from Sweden, Norway had no foreign policy - and thus could be ’neutral.’ Any hope that their descendants have upheld this noble trust has clearly evaporated.
How ironic that a "Peacee Prize" goes to a leader who has brought incipient civil war home.
Keith Halderman - 10/9/2009
Let us face it, the Nobel prizes aren't what they used to be. First that idiot Keynesian Paul Krugman wins for economics and now this travesty.
Sheldon Richman - 10/9/2009
It is not being universally applauded. See this.