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09 October 2009 @ 10:27 am
Obama & the Nobel Peace Prize, 2009  
So President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
"Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said their choice could be seen as an early vote of confidence in Obama intended to build global support for his policies."

I'm sorry. Accomplishments are what we should be honoring with the Nobel Peace Prize, not intentions.* Obama has done a great many things, some of them good and some of them bad, but I honestly can't think of anything he's done that warrants the Nobel. He's improved our standing in the Muslim world, but that was not a particular merit of his Presidential policies, but the result of:
A/ He has a Muslim background, so he's more likely to understand their background
B/ He's a man of color
C/ Obama burps sparkling bubbles, farts rainbows and rides unicorns. People just love him. (EDIT TO ADD: ALSO HE POOPS GOLD.)

and perhaps the biggest contributing factor is simply
D/ HE'S NOT BUSH.

I say this as a huge Obama fan. I love the guy. But he's been in office for less than a year. When he was nominated, he was in office for like two weeks. I feel like people around the world are doing their darnest to turn Obama into a symbol for everything good and proper, but he's not the Messiah. He's not a savior or a superhero. He's just a man like any other, and at some point we're all going to have to realize that he's human and can't live up to all the expectations and desires and wishes and hopes we've piled on his shoulders.

* Although according to this article, intentions are just fine for a Peace Prize.
 
 
 
VLelfbiter on October 9th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
The Nobel committee has given awards before simply for purposes of giving public support for something or somebody. And not always Peace Prices - apparently they gave a Literature Price to F. E. Sillanpää to support Finland during the Winter War back in 1939.
Suzik00kaburra on October 9th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but I feel like it isn't quite in the spirit of what Nobel had in mind when they do that.

A quote from his will says that it should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

I think the judge panel was a little off base with the nomination.
Markying_ko_4 on October 9th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
In general, I agree with you.

Except for the A, B, and C (brups?) of your argument.

A)He has a larger worldview than do many Americans, due to his family background and living abroad.
B) He is a man of great intelligence and deep thought
C) He poops gold, that's what he does. ;-)

Seriously, that last one, about not being Bush, is much closer to the truth (I believe) than anything else...

Suzik00kaburra on October 9th, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Man, my entry is like typo city. That's what I get for typing before coffee :-p He is a man of great intelligence and deep thought, I should've had that up there.
VLelfbiter on October 10th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
I agree with you in that respect. At the rist ofk sounding nationalistic, Finnish ex-President Ahtisaari was more suitable in that respect, him being a diplomat. Regardless of the fact that Serbs hate him.
VLelfbiter on October 10th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
That is, Ahtisaari received the price last year.
Danny Darkosaru_kage on October 9th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
I kind of wonder about who they give the prize to as well. I mean Yasser Arafat, Gorbachev, and Al Gore get one, but apparently Gandhi could fuck off. Somehow I find myself wondering if the committee really thinks these things through.
VLelfbiter on October 10th, 2009 09:03 am (UTC)
Reputedly there were plans to nominate Gandhi before he was assassinated. However, despite of the pacifistic methods, he was more of a independence activist than pacifist or peace activist. The violence between Hindus and Muslims before the partition of India might have affected the as well, even in Gandhi hated the situation himself.
(Anonymous) on October 10th, 2009 11:03 am (UTC)
There were plans to award it to him posthumously too. But then they didn't. And yeah, he was an independence activist, but he wasn't just that. What he did in South Africa was the template for what Martin Luther King Jr. got his peace prize for. Maybe Gandhi didn't do the most to promote "fraternity between nations" (or at least failed when it came to preventing the Kashmir Conflict), but working for "the abolition or reduction of standing armies" (the British hegemony in India and South Africa) and for "the holding and promotion of peace congresses" pretty much sums up his life's work.

But anyway it doesn't really matter. I was just using that to make that point that, when you read through the list of laureates, some of them leave you scratching your head a little. There are, in hindsight, a couple of them that seem like the equivalent of giving Paris Hilton an Oscar, like it was just a popular thing at the time, so why not.

In the case of Barack Obama, it seems like they pretty much gave it to him for stuff he's said he's going to do, and not for anything he's actually done yet. To me that seems a little backward, especially since he really hasn't actually done much of anything so far.

Plus, given the colorful history of the United States, it's probably a really bad idea to award a peace prize to any US president at the beginning of their first term. Statistically speaking, that seems like the kind of thing which might come back to bite you in the ass later.
Danny Darkosaru_kage on October 10th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC)
D'oh. That was me. I didn't notice I'd got logged out.
~ * flurr sprite * ~nkicroft on October 10th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
WERD.
whimsicalbeauwhimsicalbeau on October 12th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
I think it's clear that the Nobel folks have gone nuts. There were much better candidates when they chose Al Gore, and there are much better candidates now. Perhaps next year, or the year after would have been a more appropriate year for Obama to be a candidate of this prize - after he's had a chance to make a real difference - I would rather see the prize awarded to him after he had seen some great success, than before he has attempted it - and it's not a ding on him necessarily, but it's like the bird says - these expectations can weigh him down as much as they encourage him.