Too Soon For Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize?

This question should be quite the paradox for opponents of the President. Here they are, nine months into his tenure, demanding their country back and reciting a litany of sins he’s supposedly committed. Now they turn on a dime, and say nine months is entirely too short a time to award him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Maybe this award had something to do with the antipathy so many around the world felt toward his predecessor. Maybe the award is being used as an incentive to get President Obama to back up his words with deeds.

Regardless, he deserves congratulations, and Americans should feel a sense of pride that one of our own has won this prestigious award. Sadly, that won’t be the focus. The media here will give lots of time to Obama haters who will denounce the Norwegian Nobel Committee as a nest of ignorant foreigners who don’t understand what Obama has done to undermine the America they know and love. There is very little Barack Obama can do that won’t infuriate his opposition.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 winner of the prize, got it right when he said, “It’s an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all. It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.” Now his challenge is to make good on that very message. On some levels, he has much work to do. Winning a peace prize while you’re deciding how many more troops to send to Afghanistan is more than a little ironic.

President Obama is only the third sitting US president to win the award, the others being Theodore Roosevelt (1906), and Woodrow Wilson (1919). Both had been in office for much longer than Obama, but this prize ought to be seen as recognition of the change in American attitude his presidency has brought to the international stage. That may not be good enough for some in the blogosphere and on social networking sites. It’s fully half of all trending topics on Twitter. One supposes it’s good news that people are paying attention.

So what does President Obama have to do to convince those doubters that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize? How about bringing US troops home from Afghanistan with all deliberate speed? How about being the catalyst for worldwide acknowledgement of the threat of global warming, and actually getting something done about it? How about leading the way in an international round of nuclear disarmament?

President Obama’s promise is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. Now he must prove that actions speak louder than words. Think he’s up to the task?

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8 thoughts on “Too Soon For Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize?”

  1. Concerned it may be.

    After all, while we’ve seen a mixed bag of individuals receive this award (Kissinger), the bar is set a little higher if we’re to assume that Obama is cut from the same mold as King, Ghandi or Jimmy Carter for that matter.

    Me thinks this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Appears to have the air of confering some authenticity and legitimacy to the Young, Inexperienced President after being in office only 10 months.

    Can’t imagine that he thinks it’s a good idea.

  2. I think Tariq Ali put it great, this morning, on the last segment of DemocracyNow http://www.democracynow.org

    Ali used the same phrase as did you, “actions speak louder than words”, which we used as kids in Brooklyn decades ago, when playing. Tariq Ali, an author, activist and someone whose work I like, said that the Nobel Committee was “taking …rheteric seriously” and then said the “actions speak louder than words”. He also noted that in 1938, the Nobel Committee couldn’t decide between Hitler and Gandhi, so they gave it to a Refugee Committee. (I can’t recall exact name of the Committee.) Tariq Ali also suggested two choices for the Nobel Prize for Peace, if he’d been asked: Noam Chomsky and Mumia Abu-Jamal.

    It must be admitted, that from the Left (which is where I am, although without ideology)(which means, I’m for sharing and find capitalism/imperialism odious as gov’t policy), that Obama is continuing most of (hard to think of exceptions) “W” Bush’s policies, while speaking nice speak. One example: while calling for end to nuclear this and that, his administration just increased plutonium work and going forward on weapons.

  3. Hey Nate – thanks for the support. Podcasts are in the wings for later as is text messaging during the program. The more they know people would like that, the sooner it may occur…so feel free to let them know of your interest over at WWRL :)

  4. Figure this award will just put more pressure on him to come thru with his promises…not that he didn’t have enough as you know…the president of the united states.
    .-= kuy ´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  5. Thanks Mark, will do! I can catch you live, but I know there’s a lot of other people who’ve been following you since the Morning Sedition days (or before) who don’t live in NYC and would love to be able to listen.

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