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The Forum > Article Comments > Why Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize > Comments

Why Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize : Comments

By Tony Kevin, published 16/10/2009

If Obama's well-chosen inspirational language improves the climate of negotiation in long-standing disputes, this is an achievement in itself.

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The Norwegian Nobel committee explained its rationale as to why Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize...

" through his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples ... Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position ... Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts ... Obama [has] captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."

Fair enough...but,

"Obama got this international award precisely because, truly, he is 'not Bush'... "

Well, if he hadn't done this sort of thing, he would he virtually been a third Bush!!

He did get this award because he didn't continue with the Bush doctrine.....and that's about the size of it. That should not be sufficient for him to win this most esteemed of prizes.

It WAS far too early. He might have been eligible in four years time, although by then it would probably be a case of the rhetoric and efforts not meeting expectations and the support for him winning it having subsided. While I support Obama, I bet that proves to be the case.
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 16 October 2009 9:32:01 AM
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Ugh! Correction:

'Well, if he hadn't done this sort of thing, he would have virtually been a third Bush!!'

I mean, wasn't he just doing his job as the US President and the world's most powerful man? Wouldn't anyone in his position have been highly remiss to have done any less in the circumstances?

Given the state of affairs that Bush left us with, it was rather essential that major efforts be put into mending relations and striving for peace.

I don't think that the US President should have received a top award for doing that. At least not for quite a while yet.
Posted by Ludwig, Friday, 16 October 2009 9:39:13 AM
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Completely agree with the author except for one minor detail... Nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize closed 11 days after Obabma's inauguration.
Until that point in time he was a Senator who had never sponsored a single piece of legislation through the US Congress so his nomination could hardly have come from that experience, or lack thereof. It surely couldn't have been from his campaigning, after all, rhetoric and action are two different things and his campaign was based on rhetoric.
Maybe we should suspend belief and accept that his first 11 days in office surpassed all other efforts that have been put-in around the world to encourage peace - then again, maybe we should reserve judgement to see if his actions do live-up to his words. I think I'll wait, and until he shows that his actions do live up to the promise I'll be wary of any other blinding insights that come from the Nobel Committee.
Posted by Nigel from Jerrabomberra, Friday, 16 October 2009 10:15:01 AM
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I think that you are right Tony, although it is not an open & shut case. Firstly, I do not think that Obama should have accepted it, for political reasons, but really to do so was his decision and that I respect. A confusion, I think, is present in that the Peace Prize is conceptually different from, say, the Physics Prize where some major advance in thinking needs to have been demonstrated and this idea needs to have be rigorously tested. The Peace Prize, I think, can be equated perhaps more with an "elephant stamp" for trying really really hard !
Posted by Gorufus, Friday, 16 October 2009 10:18:06 AM
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There is no doubt that Mr. Obama's election changed the mood of international politics. It was precisely that message that conviced the American people to elect him. His offer was a change in direction, with an emphasis on the issues that have been worrying the US, and the world for some time now.
The fact that he presented that message so brilliantly, and the way that it was conveyed and accepted not just in the US, but throughout much of the world, gave him the opportunity to make an immediate impact on the world stage.
The extent of that impact, at this stage at least, has been to offer olive branches, and to attract parties to the discussion table who had previously been absent. Much good may come of it, and there is certainly a more hopeful mood than there was 2 years ago. The proof should be in the pudding though, and there are no results to speak of apart from this.
I don't see why there should be a difference between criteria for a Prize for physics and a Peace Prize. As brilliant as a scientist may be, there would never be a Prize awarded for having a good idea and researching it well, if the results did not have fundamental benefit.
Posted by lilsam, Friday, 16 October 2009 10:50:08 AM
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I few posters (in this thread and others) make the point that the nomination for Obama occurred only 11 days after his inauguration.

Valid point.

Without making statements one way or the other though, I'd have thought that this particular period was indicative that he was then being considered alongside other contenders. I don't see why some subsequent achievements couldn't also have been factored in when weighing him up against other nominees.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Friday, 16 October 2009 12:32:18 PM
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