Date: 2009-10-10 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, but for what?

Date: 2009-10-10 05:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
For exactly what the Nobel committee said they chose him for, to encourage the policies Obama represents and to lend momentum to his efforts.

Reading reactions from people today, it's evident that people in America have forgotten that the Nobel prizes aren't for people's past accomplishments, but to encourage their ongoing efforts in the sciences and other peaceful endeavors. Yes, they honor people who have done good things in the past, but they do it to encourage people to continue the work they are being honored for.

That is why there is a 1.5 million dollar prize attached to the shiny gold medal and why you have to be alive to receive the award. Even if you die after being nominated but just before the award is given out. (That is why Gandhi was never granted a Nobel Peace Prize incedently, he died just before it would have been awarded, and the committee decided instead to award it to no one that year.)

Obama is early in his efforts to change the world to a more peaceful place, sure, but he's made some serious changes in the way America acts internationally, in some cases reversing policies which have been in place for the last 20+ years. Look at the way he's dealing with Iran. Direct talks, along side serious threats of sanctions that have been spurred on by the revealing of their nuclear programs. We knew about that site for a long time, but no one used it as leverage to force them to negotiate before now.

If you want a really good example of why he's earned the Peace Prize, go back and listen to the speech he gave in Cairo a while back. It didn't make much of a splash here in the states, because he wasn't talking about our own problems, but in that speech he said things which no other American President has said in the past, and really connected with a lot of people in the middle east. It changed the way a lot of people thought about the US. He didn't just take one side of any issue, but acknowledged that everyone has to change for peace to happen.

Could it turn out that Obama was awarded the medal too soon, and that his attempts will fail? Sure.

But better to award it to him now, when it can lend him even more weight in the international community and improve his chances to affect change, then to wait and see if he succeeds and then award it to him afterward when it doesn't matter.

Alfred Nobel created the Nobel awards as a legacy to improve the world, and that's exactly what the committee is trying to do here.


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