Obama has done nothing to warrant Nobel Prize

barack_obama2By Maria Fosman-President Barack Hussein Obama has been chosen by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to become the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

What an insult and slap in the face to the courageous people who really deserved such an honor. After nine months as president of the United States of America, can anyone show me where and how he has caused nations to put down their arms and treat their people like human beings? I guess it was merited by how quickly Obama stepped in to tell the Iranian government to stop killing its unarmed residents, who were being killed in the streets because they protested the presidential elections.

His winning the Nobel prize was so ridiculous that even Obama couldn’t believe he was selected. The people who voted for him to be president, as well as those of us who didn’t, unfortunately are going to see this great country go down the path of socialism, which is the complete opposite of what our Founding Fathers had in mind.

Would you like to wake up one day and find our society has become the same as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Iran? Even the leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, in a speech to the United Nations said he would be honored to have Obama as a son.

I guess maybe he has delayed sending more troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban because he was expecting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Can Obama justify Nobel Prize win?

By Ben Cohen-I woke up a few weeks ago and turned on my laptop to check the weather. This is not exactly an unusual event. Having grown up in Kansas, I know the value of making sure that if I dress for 50-degree weather, it isn’t expected to jump up to 75 degrees within a few hours (for those of you who came from out of state, this happens).

While making sure that I needed to wear a coat — and that plagues of locusts weren’t expected to descend upon Lawrence before I was done with class — I noticed a headline that, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure what to make of: “President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize.”

My thoughts: “Wait, what? Um … cool? Yeah, cool, I can see this.”

My assumption was immediately that President Barack Obama had been given the award on the basis of his encouraging of increased peaceful international dialogue, particularly on the part of the country he’d just assumed leadership of. It turns out I was right on this. Not a surprise, since at the time nominations for the prize were due — early February — he had only been president for a week or so.

The panel that selects Nobel laureates cited Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” This meant two things. First, I totally called it. Second, he was given the award for fostering a mindset through words, and not for any sort of policy or program, as many winners have.

The fact that Obama was given the award based on provoking a mood, and not for any larger action, has provoked a great deal of criticism from, well, people who were already criticizing him. The general complaint was that he was getting a major award for not doing anything.

To clarify, Alfred Nobel wrote in his will that winners of the peace prize “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.”

The first and third criteria were obviously what the selection committee applied to Obama, especially before he was inaugurated and didn’t hold much power to reduce any standing armies. Although it hasn’t actually happened yet, Obama has been hung up on resolving America’s obligations in post-liberation Afghanistan and Iraq, so give it a little while.

All this being said, I was still fairly surprised by the win. According to one of his acceptance speeches, so was the president. But despite the seeming randomness and the feeling that there are bigger things Obama could accomplish that would be more substantive than encouraging a mindset through good speech-making and tact with foreign leaders, his win is not as bad as some conservatives have made it out to be.

A sitting American president has been given a highly regarded prize for support of international peace. Maybe — and hopefully — Obama will accomplish bigger things that will make the Nobel selection committee wish they’d waited a few years — maybe not. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the recognition and get on with things.

A question about Obama’s Nobel that hasn’t been answered

By Bruce Maiman-This is somewhat of a review because I’m still waiting for the answer to a question that conservative critics of Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win have yet to answer. The question is below.

Obama’s Nobel Prize is about two things: Misinformation and politicization.
It’s a popular misconception that the Nobel Peace Prize represents a lifetime achievement award.
The fact is, the award can be either for lifelong achievement (Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama) or for aspirational reasons (as has happened 27 times since 1971), given “more in hope than hindsight –and with an eye to nudging world events.”
The Nobel Peace Prize awards effort as well as result. Sometimes those efforts eventually yield results (like 1935’s winner for opposing the rise of Nazi power, or 1984’s winner in opposition to apartheid); in other cases (for an independent Tibet, 1989; supporting democracy in Burma, 1991; 1978 and 1994 for Middle East peace; 2007, climate change), the jury is still out. (List of winner).
Indeed, the outcomes of our own political elections are little more than a reward for effort, salesmanship and potential. As for results, the jury is always out at the beginning, and sometimes long after officials have left office, particularly presidents.
Obama’s oft-cited early efforts don’t guarantee results, and even Obama, who said he felt he didn’t deserve the award, has called the committee’s decision a “call to action,” while giving credit to many from past Nobel recipients to our own soldiers in the field.
Aspirational recognition is simply the Nobel committee trying to ratify Obama’s international popularity and put pressure on him to deliver on the promise of greater international peace and stability.
Is that a political decision? Sure, but that’s not news. Politics was always part of what Alfred Nobel intended for his prize. It certainly reflects the mood in Europe. Indeed, “thanks to” Obama, the committee said, “the USA is now playing a more constructive role” in international diplomacy. French President Nicholas Sarkozy concurred: “The award marks America’s return to the heart of the people of the world.” Isn’t that partly what Americans voted for on Election Day?
Funny, the Nobel committee’s decision actually returns the United States to precisely the mantel of world leader conservatives insist America belongs –except on Europe’s terms, not ours. Some Americans may not like that, but that’s what the award says in Europe, whose nations are our most important partners in our efforts to maintain an orderly world.
We spent eight years trying to lead the world on our terms. The world wasn’t interested. Now they are. Does it matter if it’s because it’s President Obama and not President Bush? Get over it. Europe is saying, “America is back as the leader we’ve always envisioned and we are again ready to work with you.” We’d be foolish to say no to that.
True, there’s a decidedly noisy faction on the festering fringe that doesn’t like Obama and criticizes all things Obama no matter what he does or what happens to him. But their criticism of the Nobel Prize is nothing new. They called it disgraceful when Al Gore won, disgraceful when Jimmy Carter won, and if Yasser Arafat could win a Nobel Prize then anyone could.
A blogger at the Spectator wrote that this trio of recipients alone had made the Nobel Peace Prize “a total and utter laughing stock.”
The Nobel committee was politically motivated, “a pure, 100 percent joke,” that had, as Rush Limbaugh put it, “lost all credibility since long before they awarded this award to Al Gore.”
So here’s the question: If this fringe of critics thinks the Nobel Peace Prize has been such a joke and so disgraceful for so long, why are they upset that Barack Obama has received the award? If the Nobel committee is a laughing stock with no credibility why bother to care about what they do or say, right?
But the critics do care, don’t they. This isn’t about the Nobel Prize, just like it wasn’t about the Olympics the week before; it’s about wanting Obama to fail and his opponents don’t want him winning anything because every time he wins, they lose. That’s really what this is about, not the Peace Prize. The Nobel is just another pit stop for partisan pithiness, an excuse to exude outrage, with extra exclamation points for added emphasis! Not to worry: tomorrow, it’ll be something else.

So if you comment below, answer the question, because if you’re a critic who can’t answer that question, then you have no reason to criticize the president on his Nobel Prize.

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