for the Nobel Peace Prize - U.S. President Barack Obama! When I woke up this morning, wiped the sleep from my eyes and turned on the news, I was joyfully awakened with this marvelous news. How wonderful! Our President has joined the ranks of so many other amazing individuals who have gone before him and won the Nobel Prize for Peace. Only two other sitting U.S. Presidents have ever won, Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Of course, these two gentle men actually DESERVED to win. Theodore Roosevelt won for his efforts in bringing an end to the war between Japan and Russia. Woodrow Wilson won for his creation of the League of Nations, the precursor to the current United Nations, after the conclusion of World War I. Both of these men spent countless hours working towards and were tireless in their efforts to bring peace to an embattled world and actually brought this peace during their lifetimes. In contrast, Barack Obama has simply spoken about wanting peace and only at the cost of America's national security. He was awarded the prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" with "special attention attached to his vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons". Basically, the Nobel Committee gave him the award because he makes great speeches and dreams of a perfect world where everyone gets along and plays together nicely.
The Nobel Peace Prize is to be awarded annually to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". (http://Nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/shortfacts.html) Although, Obama has talked repeatedly about brokering peace between nations such as Israel and "Palestine", and Iran, North Korea and the rest of the world, has begun a troop draw down in Iraq and wants to see the abolition of nuclear weapons from the world, he has not actually done any of these things except talk about them. Even more surprising, the nominations for this award were closed on February 1, 2009 - that was literally 12 days after he took office. Seriously, what peace did the man broker in 12 days that made him worthy of this honor? I submit that he is not worthy.
One glance at the list of recent winners proves my point, with the minor exception of Al Gore in 2007 for Climate Change. I am not really sure how that correlates to brokering peace or reduction of armies, but I am not on the committee, obviously. In 2005 El Baradei won, not a bad choice given the fact that he is responsible for the regulation of nuclear power worldwide. In 2001, Kofi Annan won, also not a bad choice given the work he did with the United Nations as Secretary General, ignoring the embezzlement scandal of course. 1n 1994, Shimon Peres, Yasser Arafat, and Yitzhak Rabin and in 1993, Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk; all of these men can point to great accomplishments in the name of peace and in my humble opinion, were very deserving of this honor. However, not to demean Barack Obama, but he just hasn't been in office long enough to have achieved any great peace accomplishments and certainly not in the 12 days before the nominations closed.
Maybe, this was a knee-jerk reaction prompted by the election of an African American to the office of President of the United States which stunned the international community, maybe it was a consolation prize for not being awarded the Olympics in 2016, maybe it was an example of the awe and fascination the rest of the world seems to have with Barack Obama, or maybe it was a combination of all these factors and more. Whatever the impetus for this decision, in my opinion it was a poor choice. Maybe next year, the Committee will choose wisely.