[Web Special] Excuse me, Oslo, but didn’t the U.S. bomb the moon today?

Friday, October 09, 2009 - 05:09 PM

Conventional thinking has me on the side of President Obama in that I, too, “do not feel that [he] deserve[s] to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by [the Nobel Peace Prize].” (... continue reading)

These – the words that he spoke at a press conference earlier today in an attempt to contextualize his surprise award from the Norwegian Nobel Committee – ring true to many of those who must think of folks like Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Elie Wiesel and Ralph Bunch (mom got into Vassar writing on his Peace Prize win) as more appropriate fits for the tremendous award.  Time has us appreciating the sacrifice and commitment that these once modest and now heroic figures gave, and it seems appropriate that they be celebrated as peace men and women of history.   But Obama is present tense, no disrespect to the vision of past winners; we can’t see his peace genius yet.  To be sure, peace requires much more heavy lifting than we’ve seen of our 9-month-old President.  Certainly a prize for peace is more than the flavor, slick talk and reasoned perspectives that Obama has splashed across the globe.

And then there is the inevitable, easily digestible, pop-culture argument – because, honestly, many of us would struggle to name a Nobel Laureate beyond the great MLK – President Obama ain’t no Martin Luther King, Jr.  And indeed he is not.  King was an agitator for social justice who made possible the likes of Obama.  But then some may argue that King was no Mohandas Ghandi, who was nominated three times but never awarded the Nobel honor.

To bicker about the award is silly, really; it is symbolic and, ideally, is beyond personality. We want peace.

Conventional thinking be dashed. Just chunk the deuce ... and congratulations, Mr. President. We deserve it.

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Comments [8]

Chastity Wells

I too agree that the Nobel Peace Prize may have been awarded prematurely. I think it is critical to acknowledge just how grim and dark times have become. Systems are so corrupt that simply demonstrating the INTENTION for peace seems to suffice. Even the Nobel committee acknowledged that "very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future", further illustrating that in such perilous times hope alone is worth rewarding as opposed to tangible results. Yet and still, this is a demonstration of the fact that Obama is a breath of fresh air for many, and one in whom people have put their faith. President Obama's initiative to establish peace in the Middle East is admirable, so as Rice put it "Just chunk the deuce ... and congratulations, Mr. President. We deserve it"! :-)

Oct. 13 2009 10:08 AM
Gregory K. Davis

On last night's Colbert Report, the guest mentioned the following quote in response to Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and Gandhi having never received it. "Better to early than too late." What we have seen is that the prize not only has the power to recognize leaders who changed to world, but the prize is also a tool that can change the world itself. The president was nominated to receive the award 11 days into his presidency. Some would say that this was much too soon. But when you look back on the amount of hope the world shared after the election and until the inauguration, as well as the continued admiration of Obama as he has visited various places in the Middle East and talked of nuclear disarmament, Palestinian-Israeli peace, and (most importantly) international inclusion in peace-keeping (as well as war making) efforts. In this respect, Mr. Obama has already earned his award.

Oct. 13 2009 09:11 AM
Jason M. Jones

I agree in that there is no need to "bicker" over the fact that President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize; however, in my opinion this award was prematurely given. Needless to say I am proud of President Obama and his accomplishments thus far but he has not exerted the necessary merit in achieving this Nobel award. In viewing CNN over the weekend Obama himself sanctioned the award as a "call to action" instead of a token of his personal consummations. There is no doubt in my mind that the president will further exemplify the qualities of a true Nobel Peace Laureate and of those that came before him; however, this award has not be given to President Obama for his integrations towards peace, but more-so for his extraordinary "efforts" to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. I just feel as if he hasn't put the icing on the cake and established himself as a widely recognized contributor towards peace.

Oct. 12 2009 02:45 PM
Jacque-Corey Cormier

I would have to agree with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, in regards to the Nobel Committee giving the Peace Prize to President Obama for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East for political strides and a bit too early. Although it may seem that giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize is a political move by the Peace Prize Committee to direct mistakes made by the Bush’s administration, one of the speakers mentioned Nobel’s “dream” of giving the Peace Prize to someone currently engaged in peace negotiations for the purpose of being influential. Nevertheless, I would prefer that the Peace Prize recipient have some form of tangible results to show as he/she continued to work on peace negotiations, demonstrating a progress towards peace that has already proven to be beneficial and effective.

Oct. 12 2009 09:35 AM
Delvin Wilson

I was watching TLC last night and a special came on about the Ku Klux Klan. Said special delved into the origins of the KKK and researched the contemporary interpolations of America's "domestic terrorists." Fast forward to 2009. A few years ago Barack Obama, to be sure, was probably a literal and figurative "dark horse." But the unthinkable came true. Did he do it all alone? Well, "peace requires much more heavy lifting," and those ballots must have weighed a ton as the American Collective went into those booths and did the unthinkable (yet peaceful act). It's interesting to watch a Nation look in the mirror and decide it doesn't like what it sees, and, subsequently, do the right (and peaceful) thing. I may be off base here, but, it looks like The American Collective is attempting to make peace with ITSELF. And the entire world was watching when The American Collective voted President Obama as, well,President Obama! Ostensibly, so was the nobel committee...

Oct. 11 2009 08:19 PM
Kathleen

I agree with what Rice said, "to bicker about the award is silly...". Obama has the award. Congratulations. I'm sure the reaction to King receiving the award forty-five years ago was similar. King's impact on the world is appreciated the older we get, and it may take forty-five more years before we appreciate Obama's impact on this world.

Fidel Castro congratulates Obama. He's nit questioning why Obama received the award, so why is it so hard for many US Americans to do the same?

Oct. 11 2009 08:44 AM
Frank Jackson III

I agree that the awarding of this peace prize was premature, and many would argue that there must have been someone better. However, without knowledge of the other candidates (a list that is never released), the masses can never determine if there was indeed someone better to be awarded the prize. I also do not agree with the awarding of the prize as a foreshadowing of future endeavors towards peace; I believe it should be awarded for works done, not works to be seen. One is not awarded a degree from an institution merely because one demonstrates promise. However, through all the criticisms is an underlying feeling of pride in our President, and a hope that he will rise to his, "call to action," and bring about the peace that the Norwegians feel he is capable of.

Oct. 10 2009 08:11 PM
William Hayes

Though I do agree with the seemingly premature awarding of such a great honor it may serve as a symbolic foreshadowing of greatness to come. The nobel prize has long been awarded to those who not only do great works for peace but motivate and inspire others to do the same. Even in his "infant" stages of presidency I think it is safe to say that Obama has done a great deal to shift the minds, hearts, and ideals of an entire world towards the charge of hope and peace. If we were to argue the value of individual deeds and compare the impact of those mentioned in nobel conversation, I am certain that we would find names left off the list and many of questionable standing among those listed. In an effort to find "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations..." I would say that the committee may not have made the perfect choice but in these trying times of questionable leadership they certainly came close.

Oct. 10 2009 10:54 AM

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