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Barack Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize 1721

Posted by kdawson
from the taliban-not-happy dept.
Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The BBC opines: "In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honoring his intentions more than his achievements. After all he has been in office only just over eight months and he will presumably hope to serve eight years, so it is very early in his term to get this award. ... The committee does not make any secret of its approach. It states that he is being given the prize 'for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.' This is of course an implied criticism of former US president George W Bush and the neo-conservatives, who were often accused of trying to change the world in their image." The Washington Post collects more reactions from around the world.
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Barack Obama Wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize

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  • personally (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:55AM (#29691009)
    It seems a bit premature. but hey, whatever they want to do.
    • Re:personally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rwv (1636355) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:08AM (#29691179) Homepage Journal

      I agree. But then again, Al Gore essentially won the Nobel Peace Prize for making a Powerpoint presentation. If the committee is using the prize as a tool to make other world leaders take notice that America has really strong intentions to remove ourselves from all the international conflicts we're engaged in, then power to them.

      Between the troubles faced in the US domestic economy, the conflicts in the Middle East and Asia, health care reform, and setting a good example for his daughters, Obama is a man to be respected for his accomplishments during the past year.

      • Re:personally (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:16AM (#29691287) Journal

        If the committee is using the prize as a tool to make other world leaders take notice that America has really strong intentions to remove ourselves from all the international conflicts we're engaged in

        Your kidding me, right?

        Obama is a man to be respected for his accomplishments during the past year.

        Which accomplishments would those be? Closing Gitmo? Nope, haven't done that yet. Health Care Reform? Nope, haven't done that yet, and it's not really "reform" anyway. Creating a transparent White House? Nope, we gave up on that one [cnet.com] pretty early on.

        • by Moryath (553296) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:19AM (#29691345)

          Hey, I just won a Nobel Peace Prize too! Says something about my "continued work to end the crisis in Sudan." Don't remember ever going to Sudan.

          Then again, I didn't know they were packaging these things in cracker-jack boxes...

          • by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday October 09, 2009 @12:05PM (#29694323)

            Hello! I am from the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE committee and am informing you that you have won the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE! To collect your award and prize money, please reply with your name, address, phone number, social security number, date of birth, unladen swallow weight, mother's maiden name, bank account numbers, passwords to your online banking accounts, current bank balance, Slashdot account information, social networking username and passwords, and your e-mail addresses and passwords. We look forward to giving you what you deserve!

        • Re:personally (Score:5, Informative)

          by megaditto (982598) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:19AM (#29692431)

          Which accomplishments would those be?

          Probably it's for canceling the plans for the ABM (missiles/radar) in Europe, which he did last month. While it pissed off a lot of Poles, it sure made Russia feel safer.
          So the Russians canceled their new short-range nuclear missile deployment in turn, which made a lot of 'Old' Europeans feel safer.

          Now, since Obama got a Nobel Prize, he should have no problem applying for an O-1 visa, leading to a green card, and eventually, one day, a US citizenship. I keed, I keed...

    • Re:personally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nutshell42 (557890) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:27AM (#29691499) Journal
      I hope he bombs Iran and North Korea before invading Pakistan together with India.

      Perhaps then the retards at the Nobel Peace Prize committee will stop handing out that thing like it's the Politically Correct Popularity Contest. Thousands of people work their asses off and often risk their lives trying to stop all the conflicts around the world and Obama gets it for...what, exactly?

      "Efforts to strengthen international diplomacy?" In other words for holding a bunch of grandstanding speeches. It's not like his approach to international relations is that different to Clinton or many presidents before him, even Bush's later years were pretty mellow.

    • Re:personally (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:30AM (#29691565)

      Yeah, I always thought that it was traditional to have to accomplish some significant shit to win a Nobel Prize. Apparently not, though. All Obama has really done that tons of common citizens haven't is be elected president (which, yes, is an accomplishment, but not a Nobel-worthy accomplishment). Where the hell are the Nobel Prizes coming our way?

      This degrades the award so much it's laughable.

  • by mozumder (178398) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:56AM (#29691021)

    This win was more a rebuke to the conservatives than anything else.

    • by Moryath (553296) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:10AM (#29691209)

      The win was so meaningless and out-of-place that the CBS morning news anchors actually did a double-take and assumed it was someone playing a practical joke on their teleprompter when it ran across the first time.

      CBS, who have their lips glued to Obama's butt when it comes to news "reporting."

      You're right, the "win" was precisely a slam at Bush in particular. The reason? Unlike every sane part of the Nobel foundation, the "Peace Prize" committee is made up of 5 guys appointed by the Norwegian parliament, which is about as left-wing as they come and tilts the committee the same way. This is similar to when they handed it to Al Gore previously, a move widely recognized as having no basis in fact but being merely a slam at Bush because they were still pissed about the way the 2000 elections turned out.

      Of course, they're also recognized as much for people they failed to award (such as Gandhi, whose death finally shocked them into saying "oops, no living person exists qualified for the award" for a year because according to the terms of Alfred Nobel's will they cannot award the Peace Prize posthumously) as their routine mistakes (such as Yasser Arafat, awarded a "Peace Prize" and then proceeding to go on to lead over 20 more years of terrorist attacks).

      • by postbigbang (761081) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:17AM (#29691315)

        It would be difficult, given your obvious alienation, to understand the award for what it is. Richard Lugar, who's also been an advocate for nuclear disarmament was also ignored.

        But if building a bridge to the Muslim community across the world-- which numbers one in four inhabitants on this earth-- counts, then the combination of the two is somewhat extraordinary, given the prior administration's complete polarization of most of the world, three wars, and the possible nuclear proliferation of frightening proportions.

        Ganhi might have been a good recipient. Posthumously, he can't get it. Bummer. I doubt he'd have accepted it anyway.

      • by gnud (934243) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:47AM (#29691857)
        You can read more about the five guys in question at http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/nomination_committee/members/ [nobelpeaceprize.org]

        These are not very left-tilted politicians in Norway. One is a former chairman of the conservative party, and another a former representative from the rightmost party currently in the Storting [wikipedia.org].
  • by stevev007 (887227) <<steven.vaccaro> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:56AM (#29691025) Homepage
    I remember when the Nobel Prize used to mean something, when people won it many years after tremendous accomplishments. It was so exclusive that the best of the best never knew if they would ever receive it. Now it seems you get it for not being like the guy before you.
    • by Rhaban (987410) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:28AM (#29691507)

      I remember when the Nobel Prize used to mean something, when people won it many years after tremendous accomplishments. It was so exclusive that the best of the best never knew if they would ever receive it.

      I feel the same about epic gear in WoW.

    • by Danse (1026) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:55AM (#29692003)
      This is quite transparently a proclamation of how sick much of the world was of the Bush administration, and simultaneously an endorsement of Obama's plans. I mean the guy hasn't even been in office for a year yet. He hasn't been able to get anything peace-prize-worthy done. Not that the prize has actually meant anything for quite a long time now anyway.

      Honestly, if I were him, I'd be pretty pissed about this. He really doesn't need this kind of controversy right now. They've essentially used him to make a political statement, and it's just going to cause problems at a time when he's got more than enough to deal with. It'll get the conservatives all bristly and the libs all full of themselves, and then it becomes even harder to get anything done. All for a prize that I'm sure he knows is bullshit, and will be completely hollow for him.

      Thanks a lot assholes.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:56AM (#29691027)
    I think he may possibly deserver the prize, but its too early to say. Shouldn't they have waited to see if he manages to sort out Iraq, bring peace to the Middle East or something like that? After all if he does manage it now there will be nothing to reward him with.
    • by TitusC3v5 (608284) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:59AM (#29691067) Homepage
      I agree that it may be too soon. But he has made some good changes so far. He's introduced a radical shift in US policy, going from a big stick diplomacy to one based on respect (even if the opposing country does not deserve it).

      I don't like how he's handled everything, but as far as his international relations policy goes, I'm rather happy.
    • It could be construed in another way. Being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, now Obama will have to think twice before going to any war from now on. Basically by increasing the load of expectations on him, I think the committee is trying to direct his hand to a carrot when both carrot and stick are viable alternatives.

    • by Jhon (241832) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:15AM (#29691271) Homepage Journal

      I think my 9 year old son may possibly deserve the prize, but it's too early to say.

      Seriously? 8 months in to an administration which has failed to do most of what it promised? With a supra-majority? After a senate "career" which to be GENEROUS would be to claim it was nearly worthless (how many "present" votes did he cast? How many did he miss?)

      Obama will no more bring "peace" to the middle east than Nixon brought peace to Vietnam and Cambodia -- but I agree, if he DOES pull this particular hat out of a rabbit, then yes -- he would deserve it.

      If the award was about intentions, why not award it to Lenin, Hoover or the Pope? "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

  • Joke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:56AM (#29691033) Homepage Journal

    Winning the peace prize by sending 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan while mulling even more? What a load.

    • Re:Joke (Score:4, Informative)

      by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:05AM (#29692165) Homepage

      What the... how is abandoning a country desperately in need of aid and peacekeepers a *good* idea? Is the situation in Afghanistan messy as hell? Yes, absolutely. Is working to stabilize the country and drive out the Taliban and Al Qaeda the right thing to do? Abso-fucking-lutely.

      Or are you one of those folks that thinks that military intervention into, say, the Sudan or East Timor, is the wrong thing to do because it involves soldiers and guns?

    • Re:Joke (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ksevio (865461) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:39AM (#29692817) Homepage
      Obama didn't start the war in Afghanistan, he was left with it, and just abandoning the country to the Taliban and Al Qaeda would be irresponsible and move the world the opposite way of peace.
  • by wiredog (43288) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:57AM (#29691043) Journal

    the moon? How is that peaceful? The Raelians are going to be pissed!

    Oh well, on the bright side, I can now say that my President is a Man of Peace like Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, and Teddy Roosevelt.

  • That is one hell of a first 11 days.

    (Or one hell of a consolation prize for not scoring the Olympics.)

    (Or an ironic thing to give a man who declared war on the moon.)

    (Or one hell of a band-aid for being satirized on SNL)

    • by Churla (936633) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:17AM (#29691301)

      Yes, the cut off is Feb 1st.

      Which means he was nominated while people were still in the international post-coital bliss of his inauguration.

      As for the moon, I think the last thing we want to do it bomb them, they've been known to throw rocks back at us....

    • by stomv (80392) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:38AM (#29691689) Homepage

      Obama began working for peace long before inauguration day. He fought to refine the death penalty in Illinois as a state senator to reduce chances of the innocent being put to death, and was largely responsible for brokering the deal that did just that. He worked for nuclear non-proliferation in the US Senate, working with Lugar (R-IN) for funding and policy to destroy assorted weapons. On the campaign trail, his words (yes, words!) spoke of a new American policy, one of peace.

      Now, maybe you feel that those deeds are sufficient, maybe you don't. But, to suggest that his body of work under consideration can only begin once he was inaugurated president is sheer folly.

  • by arkham6 (24514) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:57AM (#29691047)
    What exactly has he done to deserve the prize? Would it not have been better to wait until he got done with his presidency first?

    As someone said on TPM, this sounds more like a 'Congratulations for not picking McCain' award.
  • For what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by onyxruby (118189) <{onyxruby} {at} {comcast.net}> on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:58AM (#29691051)

    Seriously, what on earth has he done to win such a prize? He has brokered no treaties, he has resolved no conflicts, he hasn't even particularly changed foreign policy with Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the crown jewel of his agenda, closing Gitmo. Having gotten into office he's discovered the world is more complicated that a sound bite for a political stage allows.

    For all his talk his biggest accomplishment so far is bailing out the banks to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars - if anything that would be economic. I'm no W supporter, but what possible cause is there for this other than anti-W sentiment?

    • by bheer (633842) <.rbheer. .at. .gmail.com.> on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:04AM (#29691113)

      > Seriously, what on earth has he done to win such a prize?

      He has delivered some very good speeches, you insensitive clod!

    • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:08AM (#29691189)

      Seriously, what on earth has he done to win such a prize? He has brokered no treaties, he has resolved no conflicts, he hasn't even particularly changed foreign policy with Iraq and Afghanistan. Even the crown jewel of his agenda, closing Gitmo. Having gotten into office he's discovered the world is more complicated that a sound bite for a political stage allows.

      But...but...he's a really nice guy. And he gives great speeches. And when he's making a point, he uses this fantastic faraway gaze and extremely compelling hand gestures. You can't teach that.

      You say Obama doesn't deserve the Prize after 8 months in office and no major accomplishments? Foo, I say! I have personally seen him give more kittens and rainbows to the needy than any world leader. When his talks with other world leaders break down, at least those leaders go away thinking 'Wow, that man has a fantastic handshake. That may be the best handshake I've ever experienced'. And you know, maybe years down the line, they'll be more likely to roll over for us thanks to that handshake.

      Really, I think it's great that the Nobel committee is now awarding prizes for trying a little bit for a little while. Sort of reflects the reduced standards in our schools where kids get diplomas for sitting in a room and learning nothing for 12 years. This gives little Johnny hope that he doesn't really need to accomplish anything in life, but that if he at least tries a little for 8 months, he can achieve his dream of an increasingly watered-down prize.

      Thank you, Nobel Committee. You give hope to the mediocre everywhere.

    • Re:For what? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:17AM (#29691309) Journal

      he hasn't even particularly changed foreign policy with Iraq and Afghanistan

      I took this news as a sign that the Nobel committee determined that the ongoing lengthy engagements with Iraq and Afghanistan are a bloody means to a peaceful end. I don't really share this opinion and I think a lot of people in the world would (similarly) support the removal of the Taliban but not whatever you want to call Iraq right now. The interesting thing is that they should have given Bush the Nobel Prize for Peace if they felt this way last year ... he started those wars after all. The only other explanation is that these wars were largely overlooked. I only draw dangerous discrediting conclusions if I look at the situation logically.

      Having gotten into office he's discovered the world is more complicated that a sound bite for a political stage allows.

      I think every president discovers this. Obama's Responsible, Phased Withdrawal from Iraq [barackobama.com] (biggest of many reasons I voted for him) reads thusly:

      The removal of our troops will be responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government. Military experts believe we can safely redeploy combat brigades from Iraq at a pace of 1 to 2 brigades a month that would remove them in 16 months. That would be the summer of 2010 – more than 7 years after the war began.

      I honestly have heard no word of this. I guess he got into office and things got too real too fast for him? No word on that although I haven't been scouring his speeches. Now if that's why they gave him the Peace Prize, I'd agree with them. But that was a paragraph buried in his campaign promises (and not in progress yet), not something he's done.

      I'd suspect this award was given out for the purposes of sparking controversy or to put the onus on Obama to become what they want him to become -- a peacemaker. I agree this was not a prudent decision although I don't see it as critically as most people. It is just an award after all.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Friday October 09, 2009 @08:58AM (#29691059)

    "When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set." - Lin Yutang

  • A Bold Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:00AM (#29691077)

    "This is the first time the award is given for wishful thinking," -Danny Danon, Israeli politician.

    This is, I think, a general reaction from a lot of people, but it doesn't really line up with the history of the prize. In 1987, for example the prize was awarded to Óscar Arias, a Costa Rican president, for making some strong gestures that he would stop the Nicaraguan war that had been raging for a decade, fueled by the United States. This raised Arias' profile, and gave him the political capital to broker a peace deal in 1988.

    In a lot of ways, I think that this is a better use of the prize; not to recognize achievements after the fact, but to encourage and foster new achievements that might not have happened without the award. Whether this will affect Obama's actions, who can say, but he'll certainly feel a little awkward now if he doesn't get anything done soon.

  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StayFrosty (1521445) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:00AM (#29691081)
    How can they give someone the Nobel Peace Prize for something he has not done yet? The US is still in Iraq and Afghanistan and we are no closer to pulling out than we were 8 months ago. From Wikipedia: "According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded '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.'" What has Barak Obama done (not talked about doing) in the last 8 months that makes him worthy of the prize this year?
  • strange (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:00AM (#29691085)
    does this graph
    http://app.sgizmo.com/chart/189342-LC02FT150W995AC4HSAOQWU8WZACL1&crt=4&rspid=46741811 [sgizmo.com]
    seem just a little odd? its from the washington post poll about Obama deserving the nobel prize.
  • Obama Ghandi? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Giometrix (932993) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:04AM (#29691117) Homepage
    I find it interesting that Obama has received the peace prize, but not Ghandi. What a joke.
    • Re:Obama Ghandi? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:44AM (#29691807) Homepage

      It was a screwup done in the 1940s, or even earlier. Not awarding a price the year he died is as close as they can ever come after Nobel's instructions. So it happened and they'll probably still talk about it in another 100 years but the past can not be changed. It's not Obama vs Gandhi, it's Obama vs other candidates of 2009 vs not awarding one at all. There's a lot of lesser candidates that have gotten price because there wasn't any better, perhaps that is the problem?

  • Missed opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McDutchie (151611) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:05AM (#29691127) Homepage
    Barack Obama missed a golden opportunity to posit himself as a great man. He could have refused the prize, citing the obvious fact that he has not achieved anything of substance yet. That would have gained him instant worldwide respect, while exposing the Nobel institution as the farce that it has become. But now, Obama is looking like yet another politician joining yet another little prestige club of politicians.
    • by xednieht (1117791) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:43AM (#29691783) Homepage
      Very true, a noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

      Dear Mr. President, if you don't give it back at least find some balls and earn it. We have two war criminals that sacrificed the lives of over 4,000 troops on the Altar Of Lies. If America is to lead the world we must do so on a foundation of honor and justice. Restore America's honor.
    • by Seumas (6865) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:10AM (#29692257)

      To be fair, this news was only announced within the past few hours and I don't hold the president to any obligation to speak on the subject at 4:00am. I would not be surprised if he wisely commented on it to some degree today or this week and dropped in a "I clearly have a lot to live up to" or something of that nature, since he and his advisers clearly are aware of the massive wave of "what the hell for?!" from the lunatic fringes, the supporters and the rest of us who simply don't care one way or the other.

      It's a shame that the award couldn't be given to some people who had truly accomplished real quantifiable contributions to humanity through determination, leadership, and selflessness. CNN has a great award show every year where they showcase just a few such people and in my opinion, all of them are more deserving than any politician ever has or will be.

    • by Rary (566291) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:28AM (#29692625)

      Barack Obama missed a golden opportunity to posit himself as a great man. He could have refused the prize, citing the obvious fact that he has not achieved anything of substance yet.

      How has he already missed this opportunity? How do you know he won't do just that? The announcement was only made this morning, and he hasn't even issued an official statement yet.

      I'm not saying that I think he will refuse the prize, but here we all are criticizing the Nobel committee for being premature, and now you're saying he's missed an opportunity to make a statement by refusing the prize when it's only been a few hours since he found out about it and we don't even know what his response is going to be.

      Give the man a chance to eat his breakfast and put his tie on before you criticize him for what he didn't do.

  • Hillary? (Score:5, Funny)

    by bckspc (172870) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:08AM (#29691187) Homepage

    Wait, isn't the Secretary of State responsible for US foreign policy?

    Hillary Clinton screwed again!

  • bullshit (Score:5, Funny)

    by smoker2 (750216) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:09AM (#29691199) Homepage Journal
    I for one consider the Nobel shark, jumped.
  • by Morris Thorpe (762715) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:23AM (#29691417)

    This really just happened.
    As I read this thread, I said "Obama won the Noble Peace Prize" and he immediately shot back, "Why? He hasn't stopped the war or anything."

    I am not taking about an indoctrinated child poised to defend (or attack) certain ideologies. Hell, I don't even think he knows what the Nobel is...but he sure can figure out that Peace Prize and "ongoing war" should not go together. Pretty perceptive.

  • by pmontra (738736) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:28AM (#29691503) Homepage
    ... they should have waited the end of his presidency, some more years to assess the results of his actions and then decide what to do. What they did is detrimental to the authoritativeness of the Nobel Peace itself.
  • by Perl-Pusher (555592) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:29AM (#29691539)
    In chemistry for their work with Mentos & Cola. Also: Michael Moore - Literature Nancy Pelosi - medicine Osama Bin Laden - Peace Bill Nye - physics
  • by bornyesterday (888994) on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:43AM (#29691789) Homepage
    Yo Obama, I'm really happy for you & I'm gonna let you finish, but Mahatma Gandhi had one of the best Nobel Prize candidacies of all time!
  • Nothing new. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Friday October 09, 2009 @09:54AM (#29691991) Journal

    The "peace" prize jumped the shark a long time ago. Wilson, Roosevelt, Kissinger, Arafat? Obama should decline the prize as an insult.

    -jcr

  • by slashmojo (818930) on Friday October 09, 2009 @10:07AM (#29692219)

    I'm curious who the other nominees were that lost out to this bizarre result.. were they so unworthy?

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