There is absolutely no reason for The Big O. to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I mean, I like the guy, but yesterday’s decision of the Nobel Prize Committee was completely unfounded. In case you forgot, the guy has been in office for only nine months and although he has set out an impressive agenda, he understandably has little to show for.
Barack Obama posing as Kent Clarke (source)
According to the Beeb, Obama “won [the award] for ‘his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples’.The committee highlighted Mr Obama’s efforts to support international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament.” This is pure bullshit. If anyone deserved an award for nuclear disarmament it would be Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as well as Leonid Brežnjev and Mihail Gorbačov. No Barack Obama in the picture.
Even worse is the “strengthening of international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. Sure, the whole world breatherd an audiable sigh of relief when Bush jr. finally got left the White House (thank whomever for the 22nd Amendment), but I was always under the impression that international diplomacy was just another day at work for any given US president. And even if that were not so, Obama’s diplomatic track-record is still very thin. Afterall, the guy is the top dog for only nine months. Deliberate naivete aside, the Nobel Prize Committee makes it no secret that the Big O. got the award as a token of “support for what he is trying to achieve”.
Trying being the operative word here. Nine months into the Obama presidency Gitmo concentracion camp is still there. The US is still in Iraq and will remain there even after the “pullout” is over, with tens of thousands more soldiers apparetnly going to Afghanistan. The US just vetoed passing the UN report in war crimes in Gaza fighting of January 09 and propagators of financial derivatives still have not been held accountable. I am convinced that President Obama will tackle some of these problems sooner or later, but as his ass is being busted over the health care reform, these problems were put on the back-burner.
Some say that wore Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded. Simon Peres and Yaser Arafar turned out to be a sad joke, while Henry Kissinger was an outright insult. Yes, even Slobodan Milošević was apparently considered for the award at one point. But all of the above bluffed to be peace-makers, whereas Obama didn’t have to do even that. He just got the prize.
Pengovsky more often than not disagrees with Žiga Turk (former development minister in Janša’s government) but this time I cannot but concur with his yesterday’s tweet: “If Obama is half the man he would like us to believe he is, he would turn down the award”
EDIT: In his reaction to winning the award Obama said he was “suprised and deeply humbled” and added that he did not view the prize as a recognition of his accoplishmentsz. Furthermore he said he feels he did not deserve to be in the company of other laureates but that he will use the award as a call to action.