Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize. For real.

The US President who was just inaugurated 9 months ago has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in bringing “a new climate in international politics.” The Nobel committee was said to have praised Obama and his bringing hope to the world as well as reviving multilateral diplomacy.

The committee also said it gave “special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

The Nobel committee cited him as a leading force in the debate on climate change.

Yeah, I don’t get it either. I like what WSJ blogger Iain Martin wrote today (apologies for posting the entire blogpost):

This is completely bizarre. President Barack Obama has just won the nobel peace prize. It is unclear why. For making peace, of a kind, with Hillary Clinton? For giving up the missile shield and cheering up the Iranians? For preparing a surge of troops and weaponry in Afghanistan?

Of course, traditionally it has been standard procedure that winners of the prize do their peacemaking first and are only given the prize after they have achieved something. But this innovation sweeps aside such old-fashioned notions of reward following effort.

Think about it, it’s so post-modern: a leader can now win the peace prize for saying that he hopes to bring about peace at some point in the future. He doesn’t actually have to do it, he just has to have aspirations. Brilliant.

Supposedly the Prize is for those who have in fact done some changes visible to the rest of the world.  Not just give hope. Maybe Nobel for him in, what, 4-5 years, after his term? But 9 months into his presidency? Come on. Maybe there’s hope on Monday for the Nobel Prize for Economics.  It wouldn’t be Larry Summer, Tim Geithner or Ben Bernanke, right?

Source: WSJ, Iain Martin


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