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Cartman's avatar

Barak Obama Winner of Nobel Peace Prize - Right or Wrong?

Asked by Cartman (3037 points ) October 9th, 2009

Barak Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Is he a worthy recipient? Are are there others more worthy, if so who and why?

Excerpt from the Will of Alfred Nobel: “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

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115 Answers

inthecarofthe's avatar

Can someone delete my question I didn’t see this?

Plus no.

oratio's avatar

I think it’s a bit premature, given that he hasn’t served very long. However, he is a president who seems to stabilize international politics.

It’s not wrong, but he hasn’t done much deserving it yet. It feels like it’s awarding what they hope he will accomplish.

benseven's avatar

As much as I admire him, his country is at war in two different places. Peace prize how, plz?

oratio's avatar

If I were Obama, I would be bummed. Honored but uneasy. Now he will never get the peace prize for something he actually accomplishes.

davidk's avatar

I’m a socialist that voted for Obama. Most of the industrialized world has been far to the left of the US for nearly 60 years. This is the international communities way of saying to the US: “Finally, welcome to the club.” They see in Obama the hope that the US will actually join the international community!

aphilotus's avatar

So they sometimes give the prize to people out of encouragement, not out of “you did this already- awesome”. I think that’s what this is- an encouragement to keep on being awesome, and stay the course of, you know, multilateral awesomeness.

‘Cause if they are praising him for like, the last nine months, rather than ecouraging stuff to do the next three/seven years, that makes no sense. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? I Hardly Even Know the Girl!

dpworkin's avatar

It seems to have been in recognition of the fact that we have been welcomed back into the world community after having disaffected everyone for so many years by our belligerance. It’s a good start.

mattbrowne's avatar

Wow. I’m completely stunned, overwhelmed and filled with joy! Obama absolutely deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Nelson Mandela just commented: “I welcome the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama. We trust that this award will strengthen his commitment, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to continue promoting peace and the eradication of poverty.”

Personally, I think the reason is completely different and I completely disagree with @oratio and others that it’s premature. On the contrary. I think it’s because he made peace between the white and black people in America. I think it’s because he made peace between the rich and poor people in America. Look at his life before he became President. Read his book ‘The Audacity of Hope’. Read how he became a community organizer in Chicago instead of getting hired by a rich Wall Street company awarding excessive undeserved bonuses. Read what he did as a senator. This alone is worth two Nobel Peace Prizes. And he will do more as a President.

MrItty's avatar

@mattbrowne Even if I accepted that he “made peace between rich and poor people in America” and “made peace between white and black people in America”, which I don’t at all, that’s not what the criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize is. It’s not for relieving internal strife. It’s for strengthening peace between nations.

jazzjeppe's avatar

Personally I think it is wrong. Not that Obama is a great person and I do believe he will make a lot of good things, but it is way too early. There is a huge difference between the hottest candidates this year and where the rest have been working in the “world peace” field for many years, Obama has only been in office for not even a year and only been talking. Talking is not the same thing as doing. I would have loved to see him receiving the award in a couple of years when we have seen some actions from his part. But not now.

Here in Sweden there is a majority who thinks that Obama doesn’t deserve the award. At the moment, but surely in the future.

jazzjeppe's avatar

TYPO: “Not that Obama is a great person…” ISN’T…sorry :) He IS!

Grisaille's avatar

As much as I respect and enjoy Obama (though have been quite upset with a few of his decisions/inactions), I believe it’s a bit too premature. “Wrong”? Nah, he’s a diplomatic genius, and everyone can see that. He’s great at playing the game. I find it great that the world has come to accept America again in the community and are recognizing the fact that he is attempting to usher in a new, more progressive nation.

However, he hasn’t done much, quite frankly. That isn’t to say he will not, it’s that he has more than ¾ of his term left. Everything he’s done up to this point, every major decision he’s enforced and introduced, it’s all still either in the planning stages or has yet to improve the country vastly – these things take time.

Again, I appreciate that he is acting as a symbol for a more perfect country and other nations acknowledge this. I’d imagine he is both proud and uneasy that he’s received this award.

Fun note: Can’t wait to hear what the conservative pundits have to say. This’ll be fun.

Zen's avatar

For…?

filmfann's avatar

As soon as he took office, he rejected torture. He began reopening communication with other countries. He is actively trying to end the nuclear threat.
Nobel Peace Prize! He deserves it!

syz's avatar

I’m a bit puzzled by the prize, it seems early. I suspect a bit too much of “cult of personality”. But I have to say, I teared up when I heard. America has gone from a country led by a man pretty much reviled by the rest of the world (rightfully, in my opinion) to a country led by someone respected and admired. I’m so happy for him, and us.

Zen's avatar

I’ve since read up on it and it caught me by surpirse. Like the President, the committee didn’t wish to wake me in the middle of the night to inform me of this.

Sometimes, as in the case of Arafat and Rabin et al, a prize is given not so much for what has been done, but for the hope of what could be done, and to encourage this.

I agree with @syz completely, my sentiments exactly.

gussnarp's avatar

I don’t think that as @syz said, a “cult of personality” had anything to do with it. The rest of the world suddenly saw the U.S. suddenly completely reverse course from a position of bullying and going it alone, treating European nations with derision when they disagreed, refusing to negotiate with those it disagreed with, and trying to get what it wants through threats and military force exclusively. That does a lot for ” fraternity between nations”. But I think the real reason for the award should be obvious. It is the Nobel committee’s way of saying in no uncertain terms what they thought of the Bush administration. While Bush was in office the Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Jimmy Carter, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore, and now Barack Obama. I don’t think they could have sent a clearer message.

gussnarp's avatar

Ack, I can’t edit the extra suddenly out of my post, for some reason.

hug_of_war's avatar

I think it is very wrong. I feel if Obama was white he wouldn’t have been awarded this. Maybe in the future he will deserve it, but I think the nobel peace prize should be something you earn, not an encouragement for the future. I’m sure I’ll get pelted with rocks for this, but I think it’s ridiculous.

mattbrowne's avatar

@MrItty – Sorry, I can’t agree. It’s also for relieving internal strife and not only for strengthening peace between nations. The best example is Nelson Mandela in 1993. It was about Apartheid in South Africa.

In his historic Cairo “I have a dream” speech Barack Obama laid the foundation for peace in the middle east. See

http://www.fluther.com/disc/46461/i-have-a-dream-how-will-future-historians-view-barack/

Well, the Palestinians elected Hamas i.e. terrorists and the Israeli people elected Netanyahu, a radical unlikely to support Obama’s peace efforts. But this is Netanyahu’s fault, not Obama’s.

Grisaille's avatar

@hug_of_war I think you are absolutely right regarding his skin color. However, I think that was part of the point; he’s the first brown man in office, and is a symbol of a more progressive, intelligent America.

hug_of_war's avatar

@Grisaille – Perhaps because I am black I feel so strongly about this, but I feel if we claim race doesn’t matter then it should be a moot point what his race is. It should really not matter, he should be judged by his accomplishments alone, and in no way should he be given special consideration. I want him to be seen as an equal, not as some special star.

MrItty's avatar

@mattbrowne I’m not disagreeing that there are other instances when it’s been given for reasons contrary to the official intent. I’m simply saying that I don’t see anything that can translate to “problems internal to a specific country” in the words:

“to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”

I admit I don’t know what a “peace congress” would look like, but I can’t say I’ve seen any in the past year. The US armed forces have not been abolished or reduced – on the contrary, we keep talking about sending MORE troops to be activated. And “fraternity between nations” doesn’t have jack to do with White and Black Americans singing Kumbaya to each other. <shrug>

veronasgirl's avatar

I don’t really agree with the phrasing of this question, President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize being “right or wrong”. I just think it is a bit premature to be giving him this honor when he hasn’t really achieved anything peace related yet. I voted for President Obama and I respect him and think he has the ability to do some great things; I just think this honor was awarded to him too early in his presidency. Receiving this award also puts a lot of pressure on President Obama to do something truly worthy of this honor now, I hope that is a good thing.

mattbrowne's avatar

@hug_of_war – You are absolutely right. Angela Merkel is also outraged by claims she got extra votes to become chancellor just because she’s a woman and not because of her accomplishments.

MrItty's avatar

For those curious as to the stated reasons President Obama is this year’s recipient, please see the actual press announcement: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html

=================================
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.”

Grisaille's avatar

@hug_of_war Thing is, race does matter, particularly considering our less-than-desirable track record and history. It’s quite too soon to claim that all individuals in this nation are considered to be viewed as equal by all other individuals. Being multi-racial myself, I can tell you that I’ve felt the pangs of racism quite a few times in my life. Obama isn’t so much a star because of what he’s done or his ability to enact his promises; he’s a symbol of the nation growing from one phase to another – those phases being hush-hush about minorities in this country to embracing differences. And though the change has been rather rough, the shrill outcries of the fearful ringing in our ears, he has changed America forever; whether people want to admit it or not.

No matter what he’s done, no matter how successful or how much his term fails, he has destroyed the notion that everyone in America looks, behaves and acts the same. He’s proven that we are a bit more progressive than what the fanatical headlines, sour racist history and current events leading up to his election would have you believe. He’s a symbol for peace not for his action, but for his existence.

mattbrowne's avatar

@MrItty – I like the “captured the world’s attention” part. Never in the history of Germany has an election in another country attracted more attention than the one on November 4, 2008. Almost everybody was up late because of the different time zone. When Obama won there were celebrations in almost every German city and town. The same happened in almost every other country in the world. A unique and unprecedented phenomenon. Every world citizen knew when the Bush policies continue we are headed for more wars and complete disaster. With Obama the hope came back. The audacity of hope captured the world’s attention.

MrItty's avatar

@mattbrowne I can understand the sentiment…. but if that’s part of the reason, it would seem to me the electorate of the United States of America is the deserving recipient, for electing him into office, not the man himself.

I’m obviously not familiar enough with the international stage to know how much of that press release has actually happened and how much is fluff and wishful thinking, but the bits about him “giving hope” seem to be talking about the fact that we elected him, not that he’s actually done something…

I may be a bit too pessimistic this morning

gussnarp's avatar

@Grisaille Sadly, no change is forever. There is no guarantee that whatever change has been wrought will not be reversed in the future. That is why we cannot rest on our laurels, but must always work to make the change we want in the world.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Honestly, I think Barack has been doing a lot of stuff while America as a nation wasn’t paying much attention (I mean, sort of for good reason, considering our economy is in the toilet). At first I was confusing as to why he’d won, but after reading up on the reasons and what he has accomplished (or just started, which is setting a prescedent for his administration) in terms of international peace, I think that it was founded. Premature? Maybe slightly. But then again… who cares? I’m sure they had a lot of great people they were considering, and I don’t think they would have chosen him if there was someone better. I think there’s something to be said for that.

gussnarp's avatar

@veronasgirl is right, the words “right or wrong” aren’t particularly appropriate here. There is a definition, but no peace prize winner in history has done all three of those things. Basically, the Nobel Committee gets to decide, so whatever they think is right as long as it is even remotely defensible based on precedent.

Grisaille's avatar

@gussnarp Agreed, fully – he’s just the open door. We’ll see.

mattbrowne's avatar

@MrItty – Well, of course there are the other reasons mentioned in your post

- new climate in international politics
– emphasis on the role that the United Nations plays
– working toward a world free from nuclear arms

Just ending unilateralism and ‘the UN is irrelevant’ policy introduced by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz (and all the other goons in their inner circle) is worth three Nobel Prizes.

The world cannot tolerate a United States that thinks it’s above international law. Obama brought the US back into the community of the civilized world. He’s closing down Guantanamo. Quite an achievement. No need to be pessimistic. Enjoy the fact that your elected leader is honored by the world community. That should make you feel very optimistic. Cheney and his whole pack of fanatics can eat freedom fries for the rest of their lives and the French won’t care about it. Or the Belgians for that matter who in fact invented the fries.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I like obama and all, but as eluded to by other posters, it seems very premature, he now has to prove he’s earned it after he gets it instead of before hand, which is how every other has.

gussnarp's avatar

@mattbrowne Would it be pro-France or anti-France if we took to calling them Pommes Frites, like everybody else does? Or Chips like the British?

oratio's avatar

Obamas press conferens starts now. -ish.

CMaz's avatar

“I think it’s because he made peace between the white and black people in America.”

No he did not. The people did that. And really nothing has change much from before he was elected and now. For that matter.

“he made peace between the rich and poor people in America”

You are being sarcastic? Right?

“Read how he became a community organizer in Chicago instead of getting hired by a rich Wall Street company awarding excessive undeserved bonuses.”

Sure he did, it was like a summer job. He did not need to work for a wall Street company. He now works for the World Bank.

Grisaille's avatar

(that’s the live stream, now)

Sabotage82's avatar

I guess if they have changed the definition of the word “achievement” to include attempt and good intentions, I guess yes. However, if that is the case I can ramble off a list of names that would be just as deserving and another list of names that would be served a major injustice.

Sabotage82's avatar

As the old saying goes, “The road to hell is paved on good intentions.” But yeah, our wonderful president does mean well. Lets give him a prize for trying.

mattbrowne's avatar

@gussnarp – Ha, good question. I always wondered why Tony Blair didn’t serve freedom chips to UK troops before they left for Iraq. Blair’s respect for Bush seemed greater than that for international law. I wonder if he’s still mad at the CIA for feeding him wrong data. And why the hell didn’t he ask James Bond to look into the matter of WMDs.

CMaz's avatar

“if they have changed the definition of the word “achievement” to include attempt and good intentions,”

I think we all should be getting a check in the mail.

ish1212's avatar

Hey, if Arafat gets one and Ghandi doesn’t get one, how even-handed can it be?

Iclamae's avatar

I’m not sure how I feel about him getting the prize. I really think it’s too early to say he’s done anything peaceful. His intentions are great but he still has to act on them and get something done. I understand why they gave it to him but I feel like he should have turned it down. That would have been a more powerful message for him. And it would give him a chance to earn it later.
One way to look at it, if Obama doesn’t do something good to earn the prize he’s been given, he will be almost permanently shamed from it. So, in a way, he’s forced into doing something peace-promoting during his presidency. Though I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.

airowDee's avatar

no, he hasn’t done fuck all when it comes to peace in the middle east. More money for Israel and no freeze on settelements. And the war with afghans only intensified more killings of civillians and soldiers with little moral purpose or legal justification. No success in any significant regulation of the financial market that leads to the loss of jobs and healths for so many of those who are undeserved.

Maybe the prize is used to guilt trip Obama into doing something.

critter1982's avatar

Seems pretty crazy to me, that they would give the Nobel Peace prize on the basis of peace-promoting ideologies rather than peace-promoting actions. Even Obama himself recognizes that he doesn’t “deserve” it.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Doesn’t the voting for the peace prize end February 1? Did he really do that much in only a few days?

gussnarp's avatar

@chris6137 The voting does not end February 1st. That is when nominations are due. The committee was apparently still undecided last week. According to NPR: “As late as last week, the committee’s nonvoting secretary, Geir Lundestad, was telling reporters that the committee was still undecided”

Ria777's avatar

the awards committee got together and said, “let’s troll the Republicans.”

CMaz's avatar

I have to agree.

It is nothing more then a bunch of Socialists, welcoming him to the club.

Best reason I can makes sense of.

oratio's avatar

@ChazMaz The european political spectra is broader than either liberal or conservative.

Ria777's avatar

@oratio: or to put it another way, the u.s. has a vanishingly small political spectrum, compared with europe. (I had a strange dream last night about italian political parties.)

oratio's avatar

@Ria777 Dear God. Italian democracy is… not a good example.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Thanks for clearing that up guss

inkvisitor's avatar

Tinfoil and red paintbrushes aside, it’s done. I do like what he had to say about it, though:

“I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize,” he said. “I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091009/ap_on_re_eu/eu_nobel_peace

mramsey's avatar

They shouldn’t hand out Nobel Peace Prize’s on the belief/hope that he will do something great. I agree its a bit too premature. Since when do people get awards for something we think they may do or accomplish?

gussnarp's avatar

Let’s put this in perspective. They hand this award out every year. This year they wanted to send a particular message. I’m certain next year they will send a different one. There will be plenty of opportunities for those who didn’t win this year.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@davidk As a socialist are you happy with what he has done so far?

RareDenver's avatar

My personal viewpoint is that he has the potential to be the sort of person to win it but we don’t give awards of achievement to people that have potential of achievement, we give them to people that have achieved

dpworkin's avatar

@RareDenver Obviously, “we” do, because “we” did. Ipso Fatso.

RareDenver's avatar

@pdworkin Not we but the 5 members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

jca's avatar

If i were someone who actually did something great and were deserving of this prize, i would be insulted that it went to someone who they say “may” do something deserving.

dpworkin's avatar

Here is the quotation from your post: we don’t give awards of achievement to people that have potential of achievement, we give them to people that have achieved

Whom did you mean?

RareDenver's avatar

I must add, I’m not knocking the guy, I think he is a complete breath of fresh air in American politics and therefore a complete breath of fresh air in World politics (let’s face it when America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold) and I’m well chuffed he is the American President, I just think it’s a little premature to be thrusting such a lofty position as a Nobel Peace Prize Winner upon him.

jonsblond's avatar

@jca I agree.

My son is a sophomore in high school with a 4.0. Can he go ahead and receive the valedictorian honor now since he may receive it in two years? Or would this be premature?

CMaz's avatar

No, I think he should get it now.

I think you should receive social security now too.

RareDenver's avatar

@pdworkin don’t be facetious, you know what the sentiment of my statement meant.

dpworkin's avatar

I’m not being facetious. I don’t understand the objections. The 5 members of the Nobel Committee spoke; that is their job, that is what they were selected to do, they made their decision, and they announced it. How “we” feel about it is hardly germane. We were not privy to the discussions, we have not, as far as I know, been informed of the progress of their reasoning, or the actual results of all the voting.

Barack Obama is now the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Suck it up.

Ria777's avatar

it does seem strange that they have enough faith that his presidency will work out okay that awarding him it won’t come back and laugh at it him and at the same time they didn’t have enough faith in him to wait until the award would have earned it.

I think they wanted to morally blackmail him into living up to the award.

Grisaille's avatar

@pdworkin GOOD DAY, SIR.

I.

SAID.

GOOD.

DAY.

dpworkin's avatar

If only I were Joe McCarthy you could be asking me if, at long last, I had any shame.

RareDenver's avatar

@pdworkin I think you are well aware of the fact that when I say we don’t give awards of achievement to people that have potential of achievement, we give them to people that have achieved I’m talking about society in general. You don’t award the salesman at work that had the most leads, you award the salesman that had the most deals.

dpworkin's avatar

@RareDenver do you understand the term petitio principii? You are arguing from petitio principii and that is considered a logical fallacy.

Jack_Haas's avatar

It’s not too soon and it is appropriate: the Nobel peace prize is a political award and from a left Eurocentric point of view it makes perfect sense:

- Obama has obtained very little from many European allies but still praised them for just about anything anyway.
– He trashes the US whenever he’s in Europe.
– He blames America for Europe’s faults (as in his “US colonized the middle east” comment)
– He doesn’t recognize American exceptionalism.
– He has been trying to convert the US to a European health care model.
– He has been applying a more European style of foreign policy.
– Icing on the cake, avowed marxists were nominated to positionss in his administration.

No American has done more for left European hegemony so he’s got to be rewarded in some way. From a European standpoint, the peace prize is the perfect reward: it costs nothing. It’s an empty gesture, which is about as much as the US can expect from most of the continent. Symbolism for the masses and absolutely useless.

syz's avatar

Sigh.

oratio's avatar

@Jack_Haas I’ve never heard Obama trash the US. I think that borders on slander. You know, being french and living in France – as you are – I hear nothing but trashing Europe from you.

RareDenver's avatar

@pdworkin I think you have forgotten the original question in this post

Barak Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Is he a worthy recipient? Are are there others more worthy, if so who and why?

I have chosen to answer only the first part of that question. Is he a worthy recipient?

I have given my opinion as I would imagine most people would have given their opinion by thinking “If it were my choice would I give it to him?”

The fact he has won it is only the starting point of this discussion the real discussion is do you as an individual think he deserved it and on that point I think I have stated my case

Corey_D's avatar

I agree with @hug_of_war. Way too early for the award. He hasn’t done anything substantial for world peace. I’m concerned that it was given for the wrong reasons.

avvooooooo's avatar

Has anyone mentioned that his name is BARACK?

There is no “Barak Obama,” Nobel Prize winner.

syz's avatar

WTF?

bea2345's avatar

My first reaction is, No, it is too soon. This has put on Mr. Obama the absolute necessity to prove that he deserves it. A small part of me wonders if this is a “let’s get Barack Obama” plot.

augustlan's avatar

I was really surprised that he got the prize so soon, but after reading up on it, I’m OK with it. I got this email today, and I liked everything he had to say about it:

This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.

To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize—men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.

But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.

That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone.

This award—and the call to action that comes with it—does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better.

So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

jca's avatar

@augustlan : you do realize some speech writer wrote that speech for him (as are probably 99% of what he says) based upon potential spin control because his administration knew people would be questioning and doubting why he got the award.

my opinion is “is there nobody else in the whole wide world more deserving of this award?” i’m sure there has to be.

inkvisitor's avatar

@jca Who would those people be? And why? There were what – 205 nominees? I believe a couple of the later contenders were Nicolas Sarkozy and Denis Mukwege (who I think does great work). What about outside of those?
A sincere question – not argument.

jca's avatar

who would those people be? i don’t know, but i know as far as Obama, who has been in office for all of about nine months, and has not done anything in particular that is mind boggling yet (not a criticism of him, i understand he’s just getting off the ground) i would think there must be someone else of the 205 nominees you talked about that has done something more impressive than Obama has.

mattbrowne's avatar

@jca – Please keep in mind “has not done anything in particular that is mind boggling yet” is mostly an American perception. The Nobel Prize in an international award. Try to understand how people in other countries perceive Obama’s achievements. I said this earlier: just ending unilateralism and ‘the UN is irrelevant’ policy (introduced by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others) is worth three Nobel Prizes in my opinion. The world cannot tolerate a United States that thinks it’s above international law. Obama brought the US back into the community of the civilized world. He’s closing down Guantanamo. Quite an achievement.

LostInParadise's avatar

Instead of giving Obama the Peace Prize, maybe the Nobel committee should invent a Peace Booby Prize and award it to Bush, for all the damage he did to international relations.

inkvisitor's avatar

@jca Yeah, that’s been rehashed plenty. Anyone else have their own nominee(s)?

critter1982's avatar

@mattbrowne: Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2008, not 2009. In 2008 Obama had done nothing other than speak a few words of peace. It was a political move by the Nobel Peace Prize committee, nothing else.

oratio's avatar

@critter1982 Norway has a global political agenda other than rewarding and promoting peace efforts?

airowDee's avatar

Obama has to wake up at 6 am? poor thing.

mattbrowne's avatar

@critter1982 – Even before he was elected he visited many countries and spoke with a lot of people. In Berlin, Germany in 2008 there were 200,000 visitors plus all the millions listening on the radio, watching television or youtube. As a president-elect after November 4, 2008 it took him only a few weeks to end the war with the civilized world which had been created by his predecessor. George W. Bush did not only go to war in Iraq, he also declared a political war against many other countries including key allies. ‘Either you are with us or against us’ was the motto. Millions and millions of people worldwide who regarded America as their friend were shocked and outraged, even in countries sending troops as well like the UK. Rumsfeld wished to fuel dissent in Europe when he invented the artificial concept of an Old and a New Europe. Cheney’s goal was to weaken the union of European countries. I know this didn’t make news in the US, but in Europe it did. The damage done by the Bush administration was huge.

Obama deserves the full credit for ending this unprecedented nightmare in a very short time. He also knows climate change is a scientific fact with the potential to kill billions of people igniting wars once our ecosystems change too quickly and too dramatically. Maybe these are the reasons the Nobel committee felt so strongly about awarding the Prize.

critter1982's avatar

@mattbrowne: Do you really want me to take your comment seriously? People aren’t awarded the Nobel Peace prize for visiting other countries and speaking to alot of people. They don’t win it for being elected president, and they especially don’t win it simply based on the fact that they believe in climate change to be a scientific fact. What does that have to do with anything remotely peaceful? You’re crazy! I want you to point out one single thing that he did in 2008 to abolish or reduce standing armies and/or improve fraternity between nations. One thing he did, not said, and maybe you could convince me that this move wasn’t political. Until then it is the only logical explanation.

mammal's avatar

to the man who presides over war in two countries and myriad covert operations all over the developing world, with the objective of undermining the right to self determination, of these nation states. Well, flush the whole nobel prize thing down the toilet, all kudos has vanished in some self destructive act of surreal madness.

mattbrowne's avatar

@critter1982 – Well, your choice of words undermines your own argument. I never said the reason was the visits and speaking to a lot of people as such. The reason was the content of his speeches (even before the election) and his actions right after the elections. The action included ending a very dangerous political war created by Bush reestablishing fraternity with the civilized world. The action also included ending the Republican war on science. You’re opinion is different from mine and that’s okay. That’s the nature of freedom. But the decision of the Nobel committee is a fact whether Republicans like it or not. Well, usually many of them don’t care what the rest of the world thinks anyway. They are complacent with their American-centric views. Curious why they are so upset this time.

critter1982's avatar

@mattbrowne: you are still speaking of his actions in 2008. He still has yet to end “bush’s” war, he’s about to send 40000 troops to
Afghanistan and I fail to see global warming as a “science”
war. It’s a political truth war
one backed by science on both
sides of the spectrum, and
even so completely irrelevant
to the fraternity of nations. It’s
amazing to me that democrats
are so ga-ga over Obama that
they would even try to
rationalize this win by saying
he won it by the content of the
few speeches he made in
2008 on peace. He did nothing in 08 other than make ages people warm and tingly inside, and yes I’m pissed because the winner receives a liitle over 1 million dollars, of which could have went to something useful or at least somebody who deserved it.

critter1982's avatar

I meant actions in 2009 not 08.

augustlan's avatar

@critter1982 He’s donating the prize money.

critter1982's avatar

@Augustlan: Awesome, I retract my last statement.

bea2345's avatar

According to this source, Mr. Obama had already been selected by the Nobel Committee in September last year, weeks before the election. Obviously the choice was based on his activities before then – see @mattbrowne ‘s post, above: Obama deserves the full credit for ending this unprecedented nightmare in a very short time.

More power to him, say I.

mattbrowne's avatar

@critter1982 – I appreciate people who challenge my assumptions. Let’s leave it at.

Thanks @bea2345 for the link!

oratio's avatar

@bea2345 Oh, I read that they still were undecided, just a couple of weeks ago in the swedish press. I guess they were wrong.

bea2345's avatar

@oratio – even so, on reflection, he was a good choice. There was the speech he made in Egypt, for example: that took courage. It greatly increased my respect for him.

critter1982's avatar

@mattbrowne: All I wanted was a single instance from 2008 where Obama had actually done something to win this award. The only answer I got was that he convinced a lot of people from other nations that he believed in something. Well you know what, he also promised that bills wouldn’t be rushed through Congress, but failed to keep his word. But whatever, all this really means is that the Nobel Peace Prize won’t hold as much grandeur as it once did.

doggywuv's avatar

Odd that he won the prize, because he increased the defense budget of the USA by 4% and he supports the Afghanistan war. Though, he does have a plan to end the Iraq War, cancelled the plan to build a missile sheild in Poland, and cheifly, he has an ambitious plan to disarm the whole world of nuclear weapons.

mattbrowne's avatar

@critter1982 – I told you repeatedly what he did in 2008. He ended the political war against other civilized nations reinstating much-needed fraternity to tackle 21st century problems. To me that’s hell of a lot of grandeur. Obama is a worthy winner.

critter1982's avatar

@mattbrowne: You’re telling me what he did, but my question is how did he do it? Be particular and not vague like saying, “he ended the political war”? How did he end the political war before stepping in as President?

MacBean's avatar

Can someone give an example of who they think should have won? I don’t think anyone has…

Cartman's avatar

Green Peace

mattbrowne's avatar

@critter1982 – Very simple. By announcing the revoking of the Bush administration’s core policy called ‘You are either with us or against us’. He did this as President-elect end of 2008. If you live in the United States you can’t imagine how the international community felt when the unprecedented nightmare, this unprecedented spiteful political war between Bush and the allies of America ended on November 4, 2008. Even all the conservatives all over Europe were so relieved this political war was finally over. Fairness and diplomacy would return. Everyone knew we need fraternity between nations.

benseven's avatar

@Cartman The last time I checked Greenpeace primarily concerned themselves with the politics surrounding evnironmental change rather than world peace. #fail

benjaminlevi's avatar

@mattbrowne But that only means that all anyone has to do is be less awful than George W. Bush gets a peace prize?

mattbrowne's avatar

@benjaminlevi – Well, it’s a good point, although I don’t think that McCain would have been as effective as Obama when it comes to renewing fraternity between nations. I don’t think McCain would buy into the concept of ‘we are a nation of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and non-believers’. And Obama said that in January 2009 and might not count for the Nobel Prize. Therefore I think there was more to it than the fraternity between nations part. Nelson Mandela got the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. It was about Apartheid in South Africa.

As I said earlier I think he also won because he made peace between the white and black people in America (not everyone agrees, I know). I think it’s because he made peace between the rich and poor people in America. When I saw the crowds in Chicago in the evening on November 4, 2008 (well, it was November 5, 2008 where I live and I got up at 5 am to watch it). Look at the thousands of black and while people, arm in arm, smiling, cheering, crying, hugging, I said to myself, well, this marks the end to the subtle contemporary segregation in the United States. I thought, today is the day when Martin Luther King’s dream finally comes true, knowing that we will never have perfect societies.

Also look at Obama’s life before he became President. Read his book ‘The Audacity of Hope’. Read how he became a community organizer in Chicago instead of getting hired by a rich Wall Street company awarding excessive undeserved bonuses. Read what he did as a senator. This is light years away from Bush’s attitude.

In his historic Cairo “I have a dream” speech Barack Obama laid the foundation for peace in the middle east (again 2009, but I think his concept was developed before that). See

http://www.fluther.com/disc/46461/i-have-a-dream-how-will-future-historians-view-barack/

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