October 9, 2009

A Nobel Prize, Really?

To say the least, I was shocked when I opened my web browser this morning to discover that President Obama has been given the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. Perhaps what surprised me the most about President Obama's selection was the reasoning behind it: "He has created a new international climate"*, says the Nobel Committee. Well, I have yet to see it.

I admit openly to you that I am a Democrat. I was a strong supporter of Hilary Clinton, but when she pulled out of the race for the presidency, Barack Obama won me over. I think that President Obama represents a step forward for our nation, but I have not seen any solid proof that he has done anything that he promised he would do.

The Nobel Peace Prize is meant to be an award that honors a member of society who has done something to promote peace or justice in the world. What has Barack Obama done? Sure, he has spoken about promoting peace in the Middle East, but words do not mean action. And so far, we have seen little change in the Middle East.

Perhaps most distressing about this year's selection process is that the standard which is usually upheld in selecting the winner has dropped. No longer is the emphasis on action. No longer does a person get honor after they do something of merit-- intention, apparently, is enough.

Consider the people who were looked over, people such as Greg Mortenson, a humanitarian who has dedicated a significant portion of his life (he started his initiative in 1993) to building schools for the under-priviledged children in rural villages around the Middle East. Unlike President Obama, Greg Mortenson has done.

Although nothing will be done to change the outcome of this year's selection process, one can only hope that things will be different next year. But for now, I sincerely hope that President Obama, fulfills his promises to the world.

This article is in response to the Nobel Peace Prize selection of 2009. For more information, check out: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/10/world/10nobel.html?_r=1&hp. To learn more about Greg Mortenson, visit his website at:http://www.gregmortenson.com/

*Quote from The New York Times


  1. Do you really think Greg Mortenson has done more than Obama? I don't doubt that Mortenson spent more time and effort on his efforts, but I think it might be a stretch to say that Mortenson has done more in terms of actual progress to peace. If the prize was awarded for effort rather than results, do you think it would make it irrelevant?

  2. What would you credit President Obama for doing?

    Consider the fact that he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize only about two weeks after his Presidency.

    I think that Nobel Peace Prize truly does have to be given to people who can produce some results. It is my opinion that President Obama has spoken about what he has done, but has had little follow-through. It is my opinion that he has done little to change the 'political climate' in the Middle East.

  3. The Chimp10:24 PM

    If the Nobel Peace Prize should be given to those who "produce some results", then Obama was indeed the most fitting choice.

    Greg Mortenson's work in the Middle East may dimmed the influence of Islamic Masdrasahs who are responible for recruitment into militant groups such as the Taliban; however, Obama at the statistical level has surpassed Mortenson even in the area where the impacts of Mortenson's work is most tangible. Obama's descision to close down Guantanomo Bay and his policy "We do not torture" have disarmed Taliban recruiters of their main weapons: the images of mistreated Abu Garib and Gitmo prisoners.

    Neoconservatives of the Bush Era thought that they could talk down the world from their lofty throne of moral authority. Neocons thought they could make the world a better place using a standard for morality that only they followed. However, Obama has made it unequivocally clear to the international community that moral authority is something he is willing to earn. Through the community of other nations, America will find its strength. Through Obama's interactions with the Middle East such as his June speech in Cairo, the world will find solutions to international conflict.

    President Obama was the only person in the world to do so much for the cultivation of future peace in the world and the most logical candidate to win the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.