President Barack Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize
President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for his work to improve international diplomacy and rid the world of nuclear weapons -- a stunning decision to celebrate a figure virtually unknown in the world before he launched his campaign for the White House nearly three years ago.
<script> <!-- var rn = ( Math.round( Math.random()*10000000000 ) ); document.write('<s\cript src="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100900914_StoryJs.js?'+rn+'"></s\cript>') ; // --> </script><script src="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100900914_StoryJs.js?3668098485"></script> In awarding the coveted prize to Obama, 48, the Norwegian Nobel Committee echoed a global embrace of the U.S. president that has seen his popularity overseas often exceed his support at home. Though Obama's name surfaced early among contenders, the announcement stunned observers -- and drew gasps from the audience in Oslo -- in part because Obama assumed office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 deadline for nominations.
The committee praised Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" during his nine months in office and singled out for special recognition Obama's call for a world free of nuclear weapons, which he first made in an April speech in Prague.
Heralding Obama as a transformative figure in U.S. and international diplomacy, the committee said: "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."
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president--and the first in 90 years--to win the prestigious peace prize. His predecessors won during their second White House terms, however, and after significant achievements in their diplomacy. Woodrow Wilson was awarded the price in 1919, after helping to found the League of Nations and shaping the Treatise of Versailles; and Theodore Roosevelt was the recipient in 1906 for his work to negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese war.
In contrast, Obama is struggling over whether to expand the war in Afghanistan, preparing to withdraw from Iraq, and searching for ways to build momentum to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and assemble an international effort to stop Iran's nuclear program.
The committee's choice of Obama from among 205 nominees appears in part to be a continued rebuke to the Bush administration's go-it-alone approach to world bodies and alliances, including its decision to go to war in Iraq without U.N. approval. In 2007, for example, former Vice President Al Gore received the prize for raising awareness on global warming after the Bush administration abandoned the Kyoto Protocol to reduce carbon emissions, arguing it would take too great a toll on the U.S. economy.
In response to questions from reporters in Oslo, who noted that Obama so far has made little concrete progress in achieving his lofty and ambitious agenda, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said he hoped the prize would add momentum to Obama's efforts.
At the same time, Jagland said, "We have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year. And we are hoping this may contribute a little bit for what he is trying to do."
Jagland specifically cited Obama's speech about Islam in Cairo last spring, as well as his efforts to address nuclear proliferation and climate change, and to use established international bodies such as the United Nations to pursue his goals. The prize "is a clear signal to the world that we want to advocate the same as he has done to promote international diplomacy," Jagland said.
The committee -- made up of luminaries selected by the Norwegian government -- noted a profound shift in American policy under Obama and said he had "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."
The committee did not mention Obama's status as the first black U.S. president.
Jagland told reporters that the U.S. president had not been notified of the award in advance of the announcement, which was made at 11 a.m. in Oslo (5 a.m. in Washington). There was no immediate comment from the White House 0fficials, who also appeared to be surprised by the decision.
<script> <!-- var rn = ( Math.round( Math.random()*10000000000 ) ); document.write('<s\cript src="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100900914_StoryJs.js?'+rn+'"></s\cript>') ; // --> </script><script src="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/09/AR2009100900914_StoryJs.js?2736785341"></script> Friday's announcement came a week after the International Olympic Committee in Copenhagen rejected Obama's personal appeal to award the 2016 Games to his hometown of Chicago.
Obama and his advisers have described the tenets of his foreign policy as one emphasizing "mutual interest and mutual respect" and the idea that global diplomacy functions on the principles of "rights and responsibilities" of sovereign nations.
"Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts," the committee said in its statement. ". . . 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."
After recent years that saw the prize go environmentalists like Gore, as well as luminaries in the fight against poverty, the committee's rationale for selecting Obama seemed to strike closer to prize's original mandate.
In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel, founder of the award, had directed committees selected by the Swedish president to reward "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."
The only other U.S. president to win the peace prize was Jimmy Carter, who won 22 years after leaving office, in 2002, for his work negotiating peace between Israel and Egypt.
realized the nobel peace prize was a joke for a while now.... but this tops it off:rolleyes
I disagree with this decision, therefore making it invalid and my own opinion far superior!
Barney, the Purple Dinosaur, has inspired and educated many children across the world, not to mention encouraging them to treat each other with respect and dignity, and I'm sure he was never even nominated. :banana
Bill Clinton, who's actually done something, would have been a much better choice, in my opinion.
Obama donated the $1.4 million to charity.
I don't know that President Obama has done "enough" to merit his winning of the prize. I'm not on the selection committe. It seems to me, from this outsider's armchair, that his award is more along the lines of "stay the course" instead of rewarding achievement.
That said, it's sad how the President's detractors are now using his winning of this prize as an excuse to fling even more vile rhetoric his way. Let's see, he's already: the anti-christ; Hitler; a Muslim extremist in hiding; an illegal alien usurper; a communist; etc.
Far be it from me to see how this could make the wingnuts go any more, well, nuts.
Here's a comprehensive list of the Peace Prize winners. Feel free to pick through and discard those whom you feel were undeserving (too lib'rul!).
From the rest of us: Congratulations, and stay the course.
Obama said he was surprised and deeply humbled by the honor, and planned to travel to Oslo in December to accept the prize.
"Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations," he said at the White House. "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."
Read more at: Nobel Prize To Obama Defended
Al Gore and his damn stupid Global warming thing which some scientists proved wrong and now this, let me not get into this politics stuff man.
BTW not republican or Demo, just don't get into all that politics bs because most of them up there are all liars and crooks and don't care about the average everyday like me and you, to get caught up in all of that is a joke to me. I can get deep on this but I feel not to on here.
The majority of scientists still side with global warming. But besides that...
"Puppet for the elite"
I don't think there's justification here. If I define the elite as the wealthy, would I push for taxes that increase the burden primarily on them? Or would I push for governmental public options that would compete with wealthy HMOs?
The longer a person claims to be disenfranchised the less a person will participate in government. And this is exactly the opposite of a well run country.
On the lighter side...
:D :D :D
This article NAILS it.
Obama's High Bar
Somebody explain this to me: The president of the United States wins the Nobel Peace Prize and Rush Limbaugh joins with the Taliban in bitterly denouncing the award? Glenn Beck has a conniption fit and demands that the president not accept what may be the world's most prestigious honor? The Republican National Committee issues a statement sarcastically mocking our nation's leader -- elected, you will recall, by a healthy majority -- as unworthy of such recognition?
Why, oh why, do conservatives hate America so?
Okay, I know, it's just some conservatives who've been exhibiting what they, in a different context, surely would describe as "Hanoi Jane" behavior. Others who haven't taken leave of their political senses -- and are familiar with the concept of manners -- responded to President Obama's unexpected award with equanimity and even grace. Sen. John McCain, for example, offered his good-natured congratulations.
Some of Obama's most strident critics, however, just can't give it a rest. They use words like "farce" and "travesty," as if there were always universal agreement on the worthiness of the Nobel peace laureate. Does anyone remember the controversy over Henry Kissinger or Yasser Arafat or F.W. de Klerk?
The problem for the addlebrained Obama-rejectionists is that the president, as far as they are concerned, couldn't possibly do anything right, and thus is unworthy of any conceivable recognition. If Obama ended world hunger, they'd accuse him of promoting obesity. If he solved global warming, they'd complain it was getting chilly. If he got Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu to join him around the campfire in a chorus of "Kumbaya," the rejectionists would claim that his singing was out of tune.
Let the rejectionists fulminate and sputter until they wear their vocal cords out. Politically, they're only bashing themselves. As Republican leaders -- except RNC Chairman Michael Steele -- are beginning to realize, "I'm With the Taliban Against America" is not likely to be a winning slogan.
More interesting, but no less goofy, is the recommendation -- by otherwise sane commentators -- that Obama should decline the award. This is ridiculous.
If the award just represented the political views of a handful of left-leaning, self-satisfied Norwegian Eurocrats, as some critics have charged, then it wouldn't matter whether Obama had won it or not. But of course it means much more. The Nobel Peace Prize, irrespective of the idiosyncratic process that selects its winner, is universally recognized as a stamp of the world's approval. For an American president to reject such a token of approval would be absurdly counterproductive.
Obama has shifted U.S. foreign policy away from George W. Bush's cowboy ethos toward a multilateral approach. He envisions, and has begun to implement, a different kind of U.S. leadership that I believe is more likely to succeed in an interconnected, multipolar world. That this shift is being noticed and recognized is to Obama's credit -- and to our country's.
The peace prize comes as Obama is reviewing war strategy in Afghanistan. Some advocates for sending additional troops are complaining -- and some advocates of a pullout are hoping -- that the award may somehow limit the president's options. But the prize is nothing more than an acknowledgement of what Obama has been saying and doing thus far. He hardly needs to be reminded of his philosophy of international relations -- or that he once called Afghanistan a "war of necessity." Threading that needle is not made any easier or harder by the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision.
What I really don't understand is the view that somehow there's a tremendous downside for Obama in the award. It raises expectations, these commentators say -- as if expectations of any American president, and especially this one, were not already sky-high. Obama has taken on the rescue of the U.S. financial system and the long-term restructuring of the economy. He has launched historic initiatives to revolutionize health care, energy policy and the way we educate our children. He said flatly during the campaign that he wants to be remembered as a transformational president.
The only reasonable response is McCain's: Congratulations. Nothing, not even the Nobel Peace Prize, can set the bar any higher for President Obama than he's already set it for himself.
Please. In what other aspect of life is one awarded something based on intentions rather than results? Even Obama admitted this award was "on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations."
Drink that Haterade!
...you were saying?
Do you two share a brain or something?
in one corner you have Limbaugh, Beck, Osama and the Taliban blasting and hating on the decision. We have Limbaugh and company bitter about it just because they want the president to fail for whatever reason.
And we have Osama and the Taliban hating the decision because they can't use the same techniques to have more countries hate on the U.S now with the world supporting Obama.
Can you believe it? we have terrorists and U.S citizens bashing the U.S President and hoping the U.S fails. Man talk about sad times.....
i dont think he deserved it at this time. and yeah he doesnt have a life's work of accomplishments...at least not yet, but he is in the most important seat at the most critical time (not just the in the U.S but in the World).
and i think that had something to do with him winning the Nobel and im sure he realizes that...hence, his acceptance speech.
i know he will do a good job pointing the country and world in the right direction... disagreeing with the choice is ok but wishing for our country to Fail?
i will applaud any american who wins the Nobel (unless its a Mav or Faker :smirk)
That said, here's my personal two cents (doin' y'alls job!):
The article nails the big picture at the expense of the trees.
Specifically, the article makes several points that I agree with. Namely, that the republican reaction on the part of Beck and Limbaugh is ridiculous. Those two efftards are idiots. Point blank, pure and simple. Come to think of it, most intelligent Americans of both parties probably agree with 'Gene on that point. Those wingnuts lining up behind Beck and Limbaugh should just set their foil hats permanently on "stupid."
While that is all well and good, the author goes on to say that the award is given as a recognition of Obama's change of the US foreign policy from Bush's unilateralism to a multinational approach. Cool. What change is he talking about, exactly?
Is Eugene talking about Obama's immediate toning down of the cowboy "with-us-or-'gainst-us" rhetoric? Because Obama has no doubt done this, and I commend him for it. That said, over the last nine months, (since Obama took office in late January), what does this Administration have to show its softer tone? From this armchair: Not much.... yet.
Let me be clear. I believe President Obama will be a very successful leader when its all said and done. I have little doubt that his cool, intellectual approach and analytical thoughtfulness will be recorded in the annals of history as exactly what we needed to 'get over' Bush & co.'s disasters. But Obama isn't there yet. A scant nine months into his presidency, let's consider some of his biggest campaign promises:
The war on terror excepted, let's evaluate what has happened in peace around the world in the last 9 months:
The point is....so far as we know, President Obama has not stopped a single war, nor ended any of the modern genocides, nor even put forth serious, concrete policies that will lead to the solutions to any of these problems. Yeah, these are huge things for a person to accomplish, but this is the most prestigious award in the world for crying out loud. The Nobel PEACE Prize. Not the Nobel Most Likely to Succeed Prize.
Obama gives great, spell-binding, phenomenal speeches that in many ways reassure a jaded and suspicious world that the US is not simply a bully; that reassures the world that we are all in this together. Beyond the power of his golden tongue, Obama has done little to promote peace in this world as of this moment.
Does Obama deserve the award right now? No.
Does Obama deserve the award in three more years when we've won the war in Afghanistan or (dare i dream) come to a peace agreement in Israel? Absolutely.
Let's just wait till he's done something to deserve it before giving it to him.
The fact that Republican critics are double-effing idiots does absolutely nothing to make Obama deserve the award more. One minor qualification. If Obama found a way to shut up Glenn Beck and that Oxy'd up sack of farts Limbaugh, then I would personally present an award and draft a $1.4M check over to Mr. Obama myself...postdated, of course.
If you are skimming this post, then just read this: Obama was nominated for the Peace Prize less than 2 weeks after taking the oath of office. I voted for Obama; I donated to his campaign; I support his efforts to date as our President; I fail to see how anything he did as a senator from Illinois promoted world peace.
Hell, from the moment he became a senator he did little more than run for President. and his Presidency simply does not have the pedigree that deserves the award. If we are going to give him the award simply because he is "not Bush" (as the article heavily insinuates), then it cheapens the award. I'm not mad at Obama for accepting it - he should have.
I'm just incredibly disappointed that it was given to the President before he earned it.
...now where's Elchiv when you need him?
why not just give him the cover of SI's swimsuit issue...he's earned it as much as anything else....oh hell, i hope that doesn't inspire any ps experts
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