2009 Nobel Peace Prize goes to Barack Obama

I had a long comment in TS post, and decided I had enough to say to warrant me own post.  not to mean that my posts are often, or even rarely, worth much.

the Peace prize has always been the most controversial of the Nobels and whenever a political / powerful individual gets it there is a dustoff.
several of the past winners have been groups or institutions. three years ago the winner was the institute (and the man who created it) behind microbanking and microloans. two years ago it was the Panel on Climate Change; others have been the International Atomic Energy Agency, the campaign against land mines, the Argentinian group "Mothers of the Disappeared", and so on.

the awarding of this year's prize to Barack Obama is a puzzlement: I can only think the award was given based on Obama's potential to be a major contributor towards world peace.  while that position might be defended, looking at the list of some of the previous winners below, these are all institutions and individuals with long track records.

I'm going to quote TS from her postAnd if they're awarding [the Nobel Prize] to him simply for replacing Bush, then shame on them for being so petty.


Nobel Peace Prize winners, 1980-2009

• 2009: U.S. President Barack Obama

• 2008: Martti Ahtisaari

• 2007: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore

• 2006: Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank

• 2005: International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei

• 2004: Wangari Maathai

• 2003: Shirin Ebadi

• 2002: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

• 2001: United Nations, Kofi Annan

• 2000: Kim Dae-jung

• 1999: Medecins Sans Frontieres

• 1998: John Hume, David Trimble

• 1997: International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Jody Williams

• 1996: Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, Jose Ramos-Horta

• 1995: Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs

• 1994: Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin

• 1993: Nelson Mandela, F.W. de Klerk

• 1992: Rigoberta Menchu Tum

• 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi

• 1990: Mikhail Gorbachev

• 1989: The 14th Dalai Lama

• 1988: U.N. Peacekeeping Forces

• 1987: Oscar Arias Sanchez

• 1986: Elie Wiesel

• 1985: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

• 1984: Desmond Tutu

• 1983: Lech Walesa

• 1982: Alva Myrdal, Alfonso Garcia Robles

• 1981: Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees

• 1980: Adolfo Perez Esquivel

list source

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12 thoughts on “2009 Nobel Peace Prize goes to Barack Obama

  1. Yeah, me too.I mean, I'm hoping he gets some good stuff done and all.But the work is ahead of him still.This seems, at least, a little premature.

  2. The thing that confounds me is…does the Nobel committee not realize that they've just caused Obama more problems? Are they really so dense they can't see what a pain in the ass this is going to be for him?

  3. I have to say that this seems a lot like the "Glad You're Not Bush" Prize. Couldn't they have waited a couple of years??

  4. @RedScylla: right on the nose. this is going to cause all sorts of problems. In my ideal world, Obama would have graciously declined and then given the award to…let's say, the Iranian election protesters. but noooooooo.@Lauowolf, @Steve Betz @Teho: exactly. "should have waited a few years" seems to be the consensus of public opinion and pundits.

  5. yeah… I can't see doing this *now.* Later, hopefully. He even sounded a bit puzzled about it in his speech.

  6. Agreed.
    While it should always be pointed out, it seems odd to reward someone for his/her potential. And if it was a prize for not being Bush, shame, shame.
    I wonder who the other nominees were.

  7. I wonder who the other nominees were. Well for starters, there were 205 of them this year, which is a record.(Google News link)

  8. I get the feeling that if he'd known they were going to do this, he'd have declined in advance. But he's as surprised as anyone.

  9. Its almost as if they wanted to give it to the American people for electing Barack Obama. And thus a large movement and vote for peace. Well anyway, I would like to thank the Norwegian Nobel Committee for this as it is at least entertaining to watch the right wingers foam at the mouth over it.

  10. Whats surprising? This is the same bunch that gave Al "I invented the internet" Gore the prize for co-writing a book no one read. On the other hand, its nice having the person who represents the American people coupled with the word "peace," so there's that…

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