According the the Norwegian Nobel Committee, he's won it for:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
The Nobel Peace Prize for 2009
...Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.
...For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."
Others refer to Obama's effort to reduce Nuclear weapons in the world.
I thought how this award lowers the value of the Nobel Peace prize to those it's already been awarded to. That's not Obama's fault. But when the Nobel is awarded to a green president who hasn't found solid legs yet, hasn't taken a solid stand on war or torture or war crimes...
Danny Schecter had similar thoughts, writing,
"Never mind that he's involved in two wars and contemplating a third, President Obama snags the big peace prize even as he snubs the Dalai Lama, another Nobel laureate.And the UK's TimesOnline headlines:
"Hmm.Will thus devalue the prize by further politicizing it, enhance skepticism, or give Barack a new sense of destiny?"
absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobel peace prize
But maybe Josh is right. Maybe it will inspire Obama, who's proven to be a disappointment so far, to live up to the honor. Maybe it will give him an attitudinal boost so he finds more spine to represent the people who voted for him. Maybe it will get the right wing blowhards to STFU. Maybe it will give him the spine it takes to tell his DLC, right wing Dem advisors to STFU and maybe even leave.
Ironically, I feel little pride in this awarding of the Nobel. I don't think he deserves it. Sure, it's a nice image boost for the US and the Democrats, but it is a failure by the Nobel committee. If they had waited until Obama made his decision on Afghanistan, and he did the right thing-- stand up to a General with a hard-on for un-ending war, and all his backers, then Obama would have deserved it. I pray the Nobel committee knows something we don't know about Obama and Afghanistan.
Now, we have a "peace prize winning" president about to commit tens of thousands more troops to a never ending war in a country that has never been defeated.
Reuters reported, on October 7th,
"It's quite likely this committee will reward somebody who is engaged in current processes," said Kristian Berg Harpviken, head of the International Peace Institute in Oslo (PRIO).Let's hope the prize inspires Obama, not just to be a peace maker but also to be a stronger president who stands up to the corporations which have waged war against humanity. Maybe he'll pay attention to Justice Sotomayor's questions about corporate person hood and wage the good war, ending the longest war of human history-- and kill the right of corporations to be treated as persons.
"They want the prize to have an impact on things that are about to happen and want to affect events," he told Reuters.
Awarding the prize to someone who is older, whose work with war and the possibilities for peace is done is a passive act. Awarding the price to someone who has the potential to make a difference, well that's a bold step to take, a gamble. I still have a little hope that Obama will find his inner strength, cast off the corporate enablers rife throughout his administration and do the right things, maybe with Michelle Obama's inspiration. Maybe this award will help. Maybe it will remind him of what he could become-- a great man who goes down in history for standing up to the powerful tides and forces within and outside his party which pushed him to do more of the same. Maybe he will reject the garbage the corpsestream media spews, the pressure the lobbyists apply and the corruption and sold out humanity within the beltway.
Sometimes extraordinary things result when extraordinary acts are done. This could be one of those times. Let us hope.