By Joseph El-Khoury
There used to be a time when the Nobel Peace Prize would recognise achievement. These days,possibly due to the dire state of affairs in many parts of the world, the committee behind the prize seems to satisfy itself of recognising endeavour towards peace.
How else would you explain that US president Barack Obama was chosen as the 2009 recipient only 9 months into his presidency, in the absence of any tangible progress on the Middle East, Afghanistan, Cuba, North Korea not to mention the difficulties he faces in reforming the US healthcare.
Supposed to recognise his ability to instil hope across the world, the Nobel prize will raise expectations that his administration will revolutionise the way America approaches foreign affairs. Yet,so far beyond some symbolic gestures and a measured language it is business as usual in Washington.
It is maybe unfair to blame Obama the man for a deeply entrenched arrogance that colours the American view of the world (and in particularly the Third World). It is also unfair to bestow on him the honour of a Nobel Prize for merely not being George Bush.