Friday, October 9, 2009

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize: A lapse in judgment

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.


Dima said...

I was surprised myself. but looking at the positive side, maybe it is to recongnize his intentions versus his achievements. Or maybe it is intended to acknowledge his efforts..

Poor Obama, he has a world of expectations to meet.

Arab Democracy said...

Lazy judging I say.

Isobel said...

I was thinking exactly the same thing today. Great post!

qunfuz said...

He's actually escalated the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But this is nothing new for the Nobel committee - Henry Kissinger, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres... if you see a peace prize winner coming, run to the bomb shelter.

American back to the Indian said...

My though was more about race with him being the US first Afro-American president.

Good thing they gave it to him when they did. He's coming to the end of his term and looks as if he may not get a second chance at doing much of nothing.