Obama Wins Nobel Prize for Not Being Bush

In Surprise, Nobel Peace Prize to Obama for Diplomacy.

In all frankness, this is undeserved. Most charitably, Mr. Obama has yet to achieve much on the international front, save substantive re-engagement with North Korea and some good atmospherics with much of the rest of the world. These are good things, maybe great things compared to the Bush legacy, but not worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. Less charitably, while the US is partially withdrawing from Iraq — but only partially — there are no signs of withdrawal in Afghanistan, Predator drones are still shooting people, Guantanamo is still open, what appear to be war crimes by people in high places are not being investigated.

Here is the full text of the citation,

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 United States 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.

Nuclear weapons? I don't see much progress there, did I miss something? At first blush this seems the least defensible choice since 1994, or maybe 1973. (Full list of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates — make your own nomination for 'least defensible choice since….')

I hope some good comes of it, somehow.

Best case for the award I can come up: Obama has moved away from the Bush administration policy of pre-emptive self defense. That indeed does contribute significantly to world peace. But it's not noted in the citation, except maybe by implication. Plus, have we officially repudiated the unilateralist elements of the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States yet?

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8 Responses to Obama Wins Nobel Prize for Not Being Bush

  1. Just me says:

    I generally agree with you here Michael, but to compare Pres. Obama to Kissinger and Arafat is a bit much don’t you think?

  2. Patrick (G) says:

    The Nobel Peace Prize is the closest the secular world comes to canonizing living saints. In this case, the canonization is more based on hope for what he has set out to do rather than based on what he has actually accomplished.

    Hopefully, it helps to hold him, and those he works with, to a higher standard…

  3. michael says:

    No, the comparison with the people who’ve won the prize since Arafat or (since Kissinger), and the claim is they had more under their belt at the time. It’s clear Obama is not like either Arafat or Kissinger.

  4. I dunno Mike, who in your mind inspires peace in the minds of more poeple worldwide? Perhaps an affirmation more than an award, I think it’s deserved and on track. Congratulations Mr. President.

  5. Vic Puma says:

    And this prize is being awarded right at the time that Obama is considering sending more troops to Afganistan, while bombing the People of the Moon into submission. So much for the working toward reducing standing armies requirement…

    No, this is ultimately a bad thing, and Obama should have had insight enough to decline it gracefully. This will just be a joke and will be used in obvious ways against him in the coming years. Hopefully, he’ll at least be smart enough to donate the prize money to some worthy peace cause.

    On another note, it’s my understanding that nominations for this close in February. Obviously, the commitee can consider what he did last week, but he was nominated a couple of weeks after innaugeration!?

    Of course nobody with actual thoughts worth thinking really believes this prize is anything but a political statement anyway, so who cares if it’s misplaced (and even better reason to decline it). It’s as much about peace and actual work as the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is about Rock ‘n’ Roll.

  6. Patrick (G) says:

    …while bombing the People of the Moon into submission.

    What do you care about the People of the Moon?

  7. this is silly says:

    “Obama Wins Nobel Prize for Not Being Bush” —

    As the title of this post and as an explanation for what happened, this could not be expressed any better.

    Obama is NOT even a liberal.

    MAYBE he would be near-deserving if we were already somehow out of Iraq and Guantanamo.

    I mean, seriously, how about Bill Clinton winning for 2009’s Best Rescue Mission by a Former Head of State?

  8. Congratulations President Obama.

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