The running joke is that President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize for one reason: he wasn’t George W. Bush.
But even more humorous, the Nobel Prize Committee defended its award claiming that Barrack Obama’s accomplishments merited it.
Let’s give the award some context though. The Nobel Peace Prize is meant to be awarded for recognition of accomplishments made “during the preceding year.” Nominations for the Prize end on February 1 at which point the candidates are vetted, names are whittled down until a handful remain, and then one is chosen.
So, let’s fill in the blanks. What did Obama do prior to February 1? Let’s see… He ascended to the Presidency two weeks earlier. Before that he was a junior senator from Illinois. Does that about cover it?
The Norwegian Nobel Peace committee apparently saw it differently:
To those who say a Nobel is too much too soon in Obama’s young presidency, “We simply disagree … He got the prize for what he has done,” committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press by telephone from Strasbourg, France, where he was attending meetings of the Council of Europe.
Jagland singled out Obama’s efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.
“All these things have contributed to — I wouldn’t say a safer world — but a world with less tension,” he said.
Read that last sentence again. Okay, never mind that the world is not safer – there is less tension. Currently America is engaged in Iraq and 13,000 more troops are being deployed to Afghanistan. North Korea is developing nuclear capabilities and Honduras is in its own little world. Less tension? For relaxing a Bush policy?
I’m not sure what was in the Committee’s happy-juice:
“Alfred Nobel wrote that the prize should go to the person who has contributed most to the development of peace in the previous year,” Jagland said.
“Who has done more for that than Barack Obama?”
Good question Mr. Jagland. Maybe you should have reviewed the other candidates on your list first.