Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama's odd obsession...

The laureate for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has gone to Barack Obama: "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". [BBC] Seems a bit odd and I suspect the 'deal-breaker' was his quest for nuclear disarmament: (The Nobel Peace Prizes in 1959, 1962, 1974, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2005 were awarded to people and organisations working for nuclear disarmament.) [Nobel]. More political dynamite! (geddit?)

Nearly two years ago I blogged on what I thought was Oslo oration's obvious ommission... when Al Gore was given this prize; I thought that was a poor and politically motivated decision.

I'm no great fan of Obama and whilst this year's prize is more deserved it is still politically motivated IMHO, maybe with Iran and North Korea in mind. However, it certainly can't be said that Obama is jumping on any bandwagons, he has always wanted "a world without nuclear weapons". And from Anne Applebaum (Washington Post and Slate):

"Look at his record: One of the few foreign-policy initiatives to which Obama stuck his name during his brief Senate term was an increase in funding for nuclear nonproliferation."

Why do I think it's a political decision? Well, I find myself a little bemused and echo what Peter Beaumont says in today's Guardian...why now? Obama has been President for less than a maybe it's because he isn't George W Bush!

"The question now is whether having being anointed perhaps too early by the committee, a Nobel prize earned so cheaply and at so little cost will help him in his efforts on the international stage or rather be an albatross around his neck."

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Paul said...

I agree with what you say and I thought at first it was a 'because he's not Bush' award. But Terry Jones made the point on Radio 4 yesterday that awards have been made in the past to people who were in the process of changing something, the most obvious being Desmond Tutu who got the peace award years before what he was campaiging for (end of Apartheid) actually happened. It's very difficult for somebody to turn down the recipient of the peace prize when it comes to getting round the table.

Span Ows said...

I'm not sure Iran, North Korea, China or Russia would give two hoots whether he had a prize or two or three...the fact that EVERYONE was surpirsed makes me think they brought the award forward a year or two.