The Nobel Peace Prize 2009
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. (Emphasis mine).
Of course this is too much to grasp for so many nay-sayers, so many of the ‘Ummmm, I run a war from my couch more efficiently than Obama’ types, so many of the ‘what does he know?’ skeptics, so many of the frothing ‘let me show him a thing or two’ wingnuts….!!
But the Nobel Committee’s decision to make Obama the only sitting U.S. president since Woodrow Wilson to receive the Nobel Peace Prize shows the committee’s clear-headed assessment that Obama’s ‘unclenched fist’ approach to dealing with the world’s most thuggish leaders has had a constructive, systemic impact on the world’s expectations of itself.
Obama has helped citizens all around the world — including in the United States — to want a world beyond the mess we have today in the Middle East and South Asia. They want a world where America is benign and positive, and where other leaders help in supporting the struggles of their people for better lives rather than securing themselves through crude power.
I doubt anyone on the Nobel committee would admit it, but the Peace Prize is, to a certain extent, an implicit “thank you” to the United States for reclaiming its rightful place on the global stage.
It’s indicative of a degree of relief. Much of the world has wanted America to take the lead again, and they’re rightly encouraged to see the U.S. president stepping up in the ways they hoped he would. It’s hard to overstate the significance, for example, of seeing a U.S. president chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council and making strides on a nuclear deal.
This is not to say Obama was honored simply because he’s not Bush. The president really has committed himself to promoting counter-proliferation, reversing policies on torture, embracing a new approach to international engagement, and recommitting the U.S. to the Middle East peace process. But charting a new course for American leadership, breaking with the recent past, no doubt played a role.
And for the still denser among them Rachel Maddow painstakingly explains thus….
(ps: I have two words for the mothers of El Rushdie & El Becky, but I will zip for now!!)
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS PRESIDENT OBAMA!!
THE WORLD AWAITS AN ENCORE!!!