Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama Receives Nobel Peace Prize

"As described in Nobel's will, one part was dedicated 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'."
Olympics, schmo-lymics. U.S. President Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize:
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."

He is only the third U.S. president to be selected for the prestigious international award while still in office. Previous presidential winners while still in the White House were Teddy Roosevelt (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919).

Now, the fun begins again. How long do you suppose it will take right-wing cranks and Fox News to trash Alfred Nobel, Sweden, Europe, Obama, the shades of Roosevelt and Wilson, and the world -- all in the name of world peace, of course?

Dept. of Amplification
10-9 am
Among the early commentators, Renard Sexton, writing from Geneva for Five Thirty-Eight, has an interesting perspective on the award:
The justification for the prize, while certainly unexpected and a bit tenuous, is indeed rooted in fact. Obama has long been a booster for non-proliferation, and his speech and lobbying at the UN General Assembly and Security Council proved to be quite successful.

On climate change, the Obama administration has taken the toughest line against carbon emissions of any White House so far in terms of concrete regulations by Federal agencies. The September announcement by the EPA that the agency would begin to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, verified by the Supreme Court in 2007, was a major step towards US action on the climate change issue. Though cap-and-trade or other large scale programmes are clearly the purvue of Congress, the executive branch's efforts in the realm are likely to be a major portion of the US effort.

Regarding diplomacy, the committee was likely in part referring to the re-elevation of Susan Rice's post, the US Ambassador to the UN, to a cabinet level post, as well as his public addresses and promised strategic changes toward diplomatic action over rapid military decisions - such as Iran. The G5 plus one meeting with Iran, where Undersecretary of State Burns officially met with the Iranian negotiator, and found a way forward on nuclear energy processing was the first concrete outcome of this strategy.
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While the US political scene is often quite skeptical of the international community, the Peace Prize is a quite lauded affair. Even major Obama detractors will have a bit of hard time criticizing his win, especially after their poorly received revelry of Chicago's olympic demise.
Dept. of Additional Amplification
10-9 am

Conservatives and the Taliban agree - President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a very bad thing.

And, of course, former Pensacola resident Joe Scarborough agrees with the Taliban.

Dept. of Even More Amplification
10-09 am
As often is the case, Steve Benen -- with an assist from Josh Marshall -- has the most measured and insightful response we've seen. [Added: And here, too.]


ross said...

The 'ole Nobel Peace Prize ain't what it used to be. Where's Jimmy Carter's pic? The portrait is incomplete.

Carter won the NPP too! For his work in bringing peace to the Middle East 25 years ago.

cheap said...

I am happy with him and from his extraordinary efforts but i am little disappointed on the troops matter of Afghan war.. otherwise he deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Carter did win the Peace Prize but not while sitting in office as President. The blogger has it right if you go back and read the description.

limo hire 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. and that was the real matter of the politician....really he deserve the prize...