You’ve heard by now that the Nobel Committee has given the peace prize to President Obama. What think?
The committee clearly wants to celebrate and encourage the change in U.S. foreign policy from its fundamentally unilateralist orientation under former President George W. Bush to the multilateralism of Obama. I would also like to celebrate and encourage this return to sanity, very much so, but awarding a Nobel Peace Prize for what is so far just an expression of intention seems a bit much. The committee should have waited for some results, methinks.
Here’s the Peace Prize Committee’s full explanation of its choice.
Here’s a skeptical first take by the AP’s White House correspondent
Obama will deliver brief public remarks in the Rose Garden in a few minutes, which will surely cover his reaction to the award. So far, his spokesters have described his reaction as “humbled.”
Previous U.S. presidents to win the award were Teddy Roosevelt (in 1906 for his role in negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War), Woodrow Wilson (in 1919 for his efforts to create the League of Nations, another strong plug by the Nobel committee for multilateralism) and Jimmy Carter (in 2002 for his post-presidential peace work).
I did like the explanation from committee chair for why the committee, when it reached its decision, decided not to call Obama to inform him but just released the announcement:
“Waking up a president in the middle of the night, this isn’t really something you do,”Thorbjoern Jagland said.
These are just first reaction from you humble and obedient ink-stained wretch and an excuse to create an open thread for your reactions. What think?
THIS IS AN UPDATE, AFTER LISTENING TO OBAMA’S ROSE GARDEN REMARKS:
Here’s full text of the remarks.
I thought he nailed it. Saying you are “humbled,” as I mentioned earlier, is boilerplate. Saying “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,” is both appropriate and true.”
He acknowledges that the award does not refelect anything he has actually accomplished but uses him as a symbol of aspirations widely share around the world for peace, nuclear disarmament, dealing with global warming, overcoming racial and religious hatreds, and then he worked a very specific lug for a solution to the israeli-Palestinian conflict.
He took no questions, but as we walked away, I could hear two shouted to him by reporters. “What does your wife think?” and “What will you do with the money?” Oh, please.