15 thoughts on “Nobel Peace Prize open thread

  1. Strange decision. Even though Obama has a lot of public goodwill, and what seems to be a good direction and set of intentions, it’s still a bit early, I think — So far he hasn’t actually achieved very much.

  2. I’ve just expressed my strong commitment towards putting a band-aid on a papercut.
    Where do I pick up my Nobel Prize in Medicine?

  3. Cut the guy some slack.
    After all, he brought the troops home from Iraq as promised, is scaling down the impossible war in Afghanistan, stopped antagonising Iran, and is campaigning for Congress to restore basic American civil liberties.
    That’s change we can all believe in.

  4. Besides what phik listed, he’s also de-escalated the fight Bush picked with Russia. But I think partly he’s getting it just because he’s not George W. Bush. Diplomacy wasn’t Bush’s strong suit, so Obama looks good just by making an effort.
    Conservatives will ridicule this decision, but they’ve hated the Nobel Peace Prize ever since Carter got it, so it’s no surprise.

  5. I’m sure Arafat and Gorbachev getting the Peace Prize didn’t warm any conservative hearts.
    Oh, and phik was being sarcastic.

  6. Sorry, sarcasm detector isn’t working right this morning. I’ll have to file a bug report.
    What he’s done so far has mostly been small gestures, but they’re in the right direction, at least. We haven’t done ourselves any favors over the last eight years by being antagonistic toward the rest of the world. And it’s important to remember that the Nobel Peace Prize is more about how the world sees us than how we see ourselves.
    But, if you want a conservative counterpoint, I hear Glenn Beck has said he should have gotten the Peace Prize for starting the 9/12 movement.

  7. Glenn Beck is a stain imo… But I too think that giving Obama a peace prize is entirely premature. I voted for the guy and things can’t happen over night, but so far all I’ve seen on the surface (media) is this whole health care thing.
    Not getting into that. But I think there are bigger issues at hand. I honestly don’t follow politics that closely. Maybe the guy has done some positive things? I don’t know, but I don’t see anything up to this point that merits a peace prize. But as others have vocalized, the peace prize doesn’t really hold much weight anymore.

  8. Given the parameters of the original prize, it is not so strange. Most people get the prize for advocating peace rather than achieving it.
    The settlement in Iraq is entirely due to the commitment made by the Democratic Party in general and Obama in particular to withdraw all troops from Iraq. The violence diminished there after the 2006 midterms made clear that there would be no permanent occupation and no permanent US bases. That was the sole cause of the reduction in violence, the surge had no measurable effect.
    The current situation in Iran is the result of the fact that the US is no longer providing the militarist faction with a convenient foreign enemy to distract attention from internal opposition to the mullahs rule. Bush or McCain would have killed the pro-democracy movement before it started with an axis of idiocy speech.
    So while the main reason that he got the prize is for not being Bush, the delta between the Obama administration and what went before is pretty much as big as it gets.
    Obama defeated the militarist Republican party at the ballot box. Isn’t that worth a prize?

  9. Well the Nobel Committee can give it to whomever they please. It’s not a standards body. 🙂 And they have been lately trending towards giving it out for progress rather than accomplishments. But it still makes me, even as an Obama supporter, go “WTF?’ a bit.

  10. I was surprised too. But, after a while, I thought that perhaps there was no great accomplishments recently and the picture is still dark.
    So, may be they voted for the man representing the best hope for a more peaceful future. In this case it’s brave decision, although I still prefer to see rewarded some of those individuals that never get the headlines but heroically spend their lives for improving peace, often operating in some extremely dangerous situations.

  11. not wishing to speak for the entire world, but it is hard to escape the central message here: the last guy was war. Anyone else who isn’t war is peace. Americans will tend to ignore that message but it is the only, single, central message of the decade of 2000-2008 that everyone (else, the world, us, the 6 billion) agreed on.
    Obama means war is over. That’s a good thing. I don’t like the guy’s politics, but that’s tea&scones gossip. Speaking as an ex-soldier, the last guy was bad news, this guy isn’t.
    If it takes a prize to say it, it’s worth it.

  12. Nobel Peace Prize is a good thing. Who get it is not very important, but that we discuss about it. Maybe we life sometimes in a peaceful world. greetings from germany. sorry for english mistakes.

  13. What I find rather amusing is the attacks on the committee for awarding the prize to leftwing types. That was precisely what the original terms of the bequest required.
    For the first fifty years or so, the prize was mostly awarded to either pacifists or pacifist organizations or to arbitrators in peace negotiations.
    The real problems with the Prize began when the prize was awarded to Kissinger which might have been an aberration if it was not later awarded to Begin and Sadat in the wake of the Camp David Agreement, rather than to Carter for brokering the agreement. After that the peace prize has been often mistaken for a prize that you get for agreeing to a peace deal after a lifetime of warmongering. Begin was the leader of the Irgun, a terrorist movement. Sadat had started the Yom Kippur war only five years earlier. And the peace agreement that Israel and Egypt reached was essentially a recognition that Egypt would attack again if the territories captured in the six day war were not returned.
    Giving the prize to unreconstructed warmongers who happen to negotiate a tactical peace agreement such as Kissinger, Tho, Begin, Sadat, Arafat, Peres does somewhat diminish its stature. But these are only six awards out of over a hundred. And Peres has significantly changed his position since becoming an elder statesman rather than an active politician. He has spent much of the rest of his life attempting to live up to the award.
    It really isn’t an anomaly for Obama to receive the prize. Most of the award winners had no completed achievements whatsoever. Mother Theressa did not eliminate poverty, the Red Cross did not eliminate disease, Pauling did not achieve a nuclear test ban when he received the award.
    The real test for Obama’s Iraq policy is not how fast he can withdraw the troops but whether he can do so without causing the collapse of the elected government.

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