# Nobel Peace Prize

Accept it in Oslo, Earn it in Copenhagen

( - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Today is “Young and Future Generations Day” here at the International Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen, and I'm here with my wife Wahleah and our two-year-old daughter Tohaana. Along with thousands of other young people, we're doing everything in our power to convince world leaders to commit to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding international agreement based on a target of 350 parts per million (ppm), which is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Less than 400 miles away in Oslo, Norway, President Obama is accepting the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” If ever there was a time and place to live up to that honor, now, in Copenhagen is it.

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Congratulations to Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama

Just announced today:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only 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. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Oslo, October 9, 2009

Jerome Armstrong notes that only two other sitting U.S. presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize: Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.

I agree that Obama has outlined a compelling vision of international relations, but I find it strange that the committee made this award before waiting to see whether Obama escalates the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan or keeps his campaign promise to get us out of Iraq. Obama hasn’t proposed reductions in the U.S. defense budget yet either (just a smaller increase than what the military requested).

I’m encouraged that Obama is open to cutting our nuclear arsenal. We have way more warheads than we need for deterrence, and they are expensive to maintain. But for all of Obama’s good intentions here, he hasn’t struck an agreement with Russia yet.

According to MSNBC, even the White House was surprised by this award.

Maybe John Deeth is right that the Nobel committee basically gave this prize to Obama for not being George W. Bush.

Post any thoughts about this or previous Nobel Peace Prizes in this thread. Most ridiculous choice ever? For my money, Henry Kissinger.

Mr. desmoinesdem thinks it’s a shame that Czech dissident-turned-president Vaclav Havel never did win this award.

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports:

In response to questions from reporters in Oslo, who noted that Obama so far has made little concrete progress in achieving his lofty agenda, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said he hoped the prize would add momentum to Obama’s efforts. At the same time, Jagland said, “We have not given the prize for what may happen in the future. We are awarding Obama for what he has done in the past year. And we are hoping this may contribute a little bit for what he is trying to do.”

Jagland specifically cited Obama’s speech about Islam in Cairo last spring, as well as efforts to address nuclear proliferation and climate change and use established international bodies such as the United Nations to pursue his goals.

Sounds to me like they are hoping this prize will make Obama more likely to follow through on his rhetoric. I’ve got a friend heading to Iraq soon, and I want the U.S. to stop sending people over there on tours of duty. If winning the Nobel Peace Prize deters Obama from keeping our troops in Iraq for the long term, I’m all for it.

If Obama fails to deliver concrete achievements to back up his vision, however, the Nobel Committee will have discredited itself with what Glenn Greenwald called a “painfully and self-evidently ludicrous” prize.

SECOND UPDATE: Chris Bowers lays out the arguments for and against giving this award to Obama at this time.

Nick Berning disputes the Nobel Committee’s contention that the U.S. is now playing “a more constructive role” on combating climate change.

THIRD UPDATE: After the jump I’ve posted a mass e-mail President Obama sent out today. Excerpt: “To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.”

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