Saturday, October 10, 2009

and this is why

I have to say that I was surprised by this announcement, maybe partially because I'm out of the country so I'm way behind on everything (note that I just learned about this today), but after listening to the committee's reasoning as to why Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize I feel really good about it. It's pretty cool for the President of our nation to be lauded for "creating a new international climate," "giving the people [of the world] hope for a better future" and that he is leading our country "on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." Our President is a man who realizes that just because our country is huge and has a lot of wealth and economic power, that doesn't mean that we can do whatever we want. In fact, because of these things we have a responsibility to play an important and leading role in helping promote peace and equality in the world instead of just using our military power to make others bend to our will. He is not just the leader of our nation, but also a prominent leader in the world.

"For 108 years the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate the international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman." That's pretty cool.

Also, the name Thorbjorn Jagland? Awesome.


Carter said...

I respect your opinion sister, however I must disagree. Obama has talked, and talk sounds great, but he hasn't acted much as far as peace in the Middle East is concerned. He is distracted with other things closer to home. One of my problems with it is that he had to have been nominated after being in office only 10 days. Nobel Peace Prizes are usually the accumulation of years of work, not one or two good speeches. There is still time in his presidency to earn that Nobel, but as we are currently, I think it was given prematurely.

Cassandra said...

See, that's just it. He WASN'T awarded for bringing peace to the Middle East (which hasn't happened); he was awarded for changing the international climate of diplomacy. Certainly, as Obama said himself in his acceptance speech, it does seem to be rather soon to award him for simply beginning his Presidency on grounds so different from his predecessor, however, it is completely appropriate for the award to be given to encourage future progress, not just reward past successes. As it says in the Wikipedia article "Nobel Peace Prize", "the Nobel Peace Prize may be awarded to persons or organizations that are in the process of resolving a conflict or creating peace." The key words here are "in the process." I think we can all agree that Obama is in the process of resolving a multitude of conflicts both internationally and domestically.

In Alfred Nobel's will (in which the system for choosing winner of the Nobel Prizes was outlined) he specifically states that one award each year should go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." He does not say that the award should go to the person who has stopped the most wars or disarmed the most countries, but to the person who has "promoted fraternity among nations" and who promotes peace. Obama has done a tremendous job at mending the ties with other countries that have been severed so recently by our last president and, as was said in the presentation speech by the fantastically named Thorbjorn Jogland, he is supported by the majority of the world in his policies.

Just saying.

Carter said...

I just struggle to see how a couple of speeches qualifies one to receive one of the most prestigious international awards on the planet. Like I said, he was nominated after 10 days in office. I just feel it is premature. Also