9 Oct 2009

President Barack Obama, Nobel Prize winner!

My first reaction reading a mention of this in another blog: "is it April Fool's Day?" or "is she posting about what she's been dreaming?"

A cursory google search with the words "Obama" and "Nobel" leads me to various newspapers around the globe all stating "shock" or "surprise" as Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for diplomacy.

Don't get me wrong, I'm DELIGHTED! But I do wonder if they've jumped the shark a bit (right expression?)... I mean, he's just starting out! Was elected less than a year ago and hasn't had time to get much of substance done yet, too soon.

Even more surprising when I read in an Australian newspaper that the nomination deadline (Feb 1st) for the prize was just 2 weeks after Obama was sworn in, who had the idea to nominate him way back then when he was barely moving into the White House?! Hmm, I recommend you click on that link to the Oz article, there are some interesting quotes and comments in there! Here are a few words they've got from the Nobel Committee chairman:
"If you look at the history of the Peace Prize, we have on many occasions given it to try to enhance what many personalities were trying to do."

"Before he took office the situation was so dangerous. Step by step, he has given the message to the world that he wants to negotiate on all conflicts, strengthen the UN and work for a world without any nuclear arms."
"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," Mr Jagland said.  

"In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the UN, for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."
He added that the committee endorsed "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'."

In other words this year they're being optimists, hoping for a brighter future and the development of "a new climate in international politics". I hope he proves them right and makes us all proud. :o)

Here's the link (via the NYTimes) to Obama's statement this morning. My favourite part (after the reference to his wake-up call):
 "I know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes.
And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century."
Oh, and to finish off, I thought this quote in the Ozzie article was quite amusing:
Sydney Peace Foundation director Stuart Rees: "We've all got our fingers crossed (Obama) can wave his magic wand and make these things happen. Perhaps the Nobel organisation wants to give him a magic wand,"
Perhaps we should ask J.K. Rowling to formulate said spell I'm sure Hermione could come up with something! ;o)


  1. PS: part of me is already thinking forward to next year's Hogueras... wonder what they'll do with this bit of news? ;o)

  2. No problem with Barack and I'm not American but has he actually done anything to warrant this other than being voted president and being black?

  3. I'm American (when it suits me I claim that 50% of myself) and I voted for him and have the utmost confidence in him... and although I haven't been keeping abreast of all the news I haven't heard of any big progress to date. But he has gotten the ball rolling on several things. And he has inspired hope and confidence in millions of people. So I definitely think the decision was a show of support, a vote of confidence for the future. Now let's hope the rest of the world (starting with the US of A) takes note! ;o)

  4. Well, still waiting for some real concrete results. People go to jail for attempted murder, why not get a Peace Prize for attempts at peace...?

  5. I voted for him and even I am curious how this happened. If it is based on ideals I deserve one too!

  6. As far as I'm concerned, they could've given him this just to piss off the "teabaggers" and help give him extra momentum in everything he's been working on in regards to both healthcare and environmental regulation reform on top of his efforts to get the Middle Eastern peace process going again, and it would've been reason enough. (At this point, anything good for Obama or America makes that crowd angry anyway.)

    I've also heard it suggested online that they could've just given it to him for being elected president and not starting a war in the first six months. ;)

  7. Benjamin that last sentence has got me cracking up! lol!

    I did read that many people interpreted it as a (well deserved imo) slap to the previous administration! :p

  8. me too! do i hear the twilight bells....

  9. Now you know me, I was thrilled with this announcement! For me it was well-deserved for the very reasons the committee sited. Living under the previous administration for eight years and entering two wars, one of which people were duped into (I was on the streets protesting), and seeing how many in world looked at Americans differently, Obama brought respect back for some on the international stage. He has inspired so many and given a chance could bring our global community closer to more peaceful resolutions of our differences. Trust me, if McCain was in office, this would be a much different world today — and not in a good way.

    If you look at what the chairman said, I believe the committee was trying to tell people to listen to this president's ideals and encouraging all of us to work together towards a more peaceful world. We must all take on this responsibility and having a world leader with this goal can only help those of us who want to attain a brighter future.

    BUT, you get those who want to belittle anything this president does, they have their own agenda and rather than step up and support change, they want to continue in the same old way. Ideals for the common good are what great leaders have and recognizing that is a good thing.

  10. Yeah Rhonda, I figured you'd be thrilled! ;o)

    As am I, even if I think it might be a bit premature... I just hope it helps!

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