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Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize

 
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 09:52 am
As we all remember, Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and since he was still working on unpacking from the move into the White House, it was pretty much just a thank you for getting the war hawks out of power. Obama's opening remarks in his acceptance speech:

Quote:
I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations -- that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. (Laughter.) In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.


It has been six years. Has Obama lived up to the expectations of those who gave him that award? We can talk about Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Cuba, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Ukraine, etc. What do you think?

(As an aside, we should fully expect Kerry to be a lock for next year's award.)
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Type: Discussion • Score: 18 • Views: 2,674 • Replies: 48

 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 05:25 pm
@engineer,
As with most Presidents he has achieved some of his promises, but not all. average I would say.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 05:36 pm
@RABEL222,
Typically to win the Peace Prize, you need just one big score. Maybe even a partial score. Jimmy Carter won in 2002. Al Gore won. When Obama won it seemed like a joke, but now he has a big win and a medium win. The deal with Iran is huge, especially coming as it did with strong resistance from both sides and with some parties beating the drums for war. The detente with Cuba is another win, although not of the same magnitude. I may be a bit biased since I've posted on this forum before that it was ridiculous that the US actually has countries we refuse to talk to like we were feuding middle school students and I mentioned those two specifically. Here, team Obama opened up with both. I am amazed. To me, he finally earned that prize. I'd like to hear other opinions.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 06:23 pm
Aren't you supposed to do something huge to achieve peace (or lots and lots of small things) to get the award? The Iran deal would be a step in the right direction, since the goal is to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but I hardly think it merits an international prize. And dropping prohibitions against contact with Cuba? That is some huge contribution to peace? It isn't.

Finally, aren't you supposed to get the prize after you do the things and not just because some judge agrees with you politically?

Giving him the Nobel Prize for being elected really devalued the whole thing.
edgarblythe
 
  4  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 06:28 pm
People were so relieved to see Bush/Cheney leave, they would have given the prize to a Napoleon.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 06:41 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
People were so relieved to see Bush/Cheney leave, they would have given the prize to a Napoleon.

As in all people? Anyway, I wasn't talking about some person's idiosyncratic reaction. I was talking about the alleged criteria for awarding the prize.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 06:44 pm
@Brandon9000,
Subjective elements can bend rules. There was a collective sigh when those guys left off ice.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:05 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
Subjective elements can bend rules. There was a collective sigh when those guys left off ice.

Which is about what the left said when Bush's first term was ending, yet he was elected to a second term.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:10 pm
@Brandon9000,
I didn't see them offering Bush any prizes.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:17 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
I didn't see them offering Bush any prizes.

That's a change of subject. The point is that by the prize criteria, Obama didn't deserve it when he got it and doesn't deserve it now.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:29 pm
@engineer,
Cuba was the right thing to do but not really important.

A fair bit of the ME stuff ranges between mishandled and adequate.

but ...

Iran is huge. I'd understand if he was awarded now.

___


I didn't think it was right for him to get it when he did.

I get that a lot of the world was celebrating an "anything but Bush" status for the US but I still don't think it was right.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:37 pm
@Brandon9000,
I am curious who you think should have won it that year, Brandon. It is based on subjective standards of "best" and "most" but who do you think did the most work toward peace that year?

If you read the press release for why he won, it would appear he has more than lived up to those expectations. He certainly hasn't met all of them because the US is not playing a leading role in fighting climate change but the diplomacy part seems to be spot on based on Iran and Cuba.
parados
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:39 pm
The press release telling why Obama won can be found here.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2015 07:45 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

Finally, aren't you supposed to get the prize after you do the things and not just because some judge agrees with you politically?

Giving him the Nobel Prize for being elected really devalued the whole thing.

I agree with this. Getting the Nobel when he just started was more of a dig at Bush and why would you devalue the award by doing that? Still, the Iran deal is the real thing, something huge, something against the odds, something that really moves the needle for war backwards. I'm sure we will see Kerry and his Iranian counterpart in serious consideration for the next one, but I give Obama a lot of credit.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 04:16 am
@parados,
parados wrote:
I am curious who you think should have won it that year, Brandon. It is based on subjective standards of "best" and "most" but who do you think did the most work toward peace that year?

If you read the press release for why he won, it would appear he has more than lived up to those expectations. He certainly hasn't met all of them because the US is not playing a leading role in fighting climate change but the diplomacy part seems to be spot on based on Iran and Cuba.

The prize was supposed to be awarded to someone who had done something very, very significant to promote peace. When Obama got it, had he? You can't give it to someone who hasn't come anywhere near fulfilling the criteria on the grounds that there are no good contenders. I suspect that if the Nobel committee had really looked, they would have found someone somewhere in the world who had at least worked hard to stop war.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 09:54 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:


Still, the Iran deal is ... something that really moves the needle for war backwards


Or, knowing how humanity thirsts for war, blood and guts, the "deal" moves forwards towards and against one of our strongest allies in the Middle East.
InfraBlue
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 01:24 pm
@Miller,
What Israel has to do is redress its oppression and discrimination of the Palestinian peoples, dismantle its ethnocentric regime and establish an egalitarian and pluralistic state that represents all of the peoples of Palestine. Only then will it ever have a chance at seeing peace with its neighbors.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 01:46 pm
@Miller,
I posted this in more detail in another thread, but this is similar to the reaction Reagan got for negotiating with the Soviet Union. He was considered alternately naïve or defeatist for agreeing to negotiate with an inevitable consequence that the US would be weakened and the world be put at risk. There will always be a portion of the population that considers a negotiated settlement capitulation.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 01:48 pm
@Brandon9000,
Clearly the committee thought that Obama's change of how the US was going to act in the world was significant. You can argue that you don't think it was significant. I asked who specifically you thought had done more that year.

Quote:
You can't give it to someone who hasn't come anywhere near fulfilling the criteria on the grounds that there are no good contenders.
Why can't they? Did you read the criteria? If there is only one contender, would they not be the best and have done the most for that year? As such they would meet the criteria even if they did next to nothing. The award is granted based on that year and who is best and did the most. It has nothing to do with how they compare to previous years.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2015 02:13 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:
If there is only one contender,


but there were other people across the globe (more deserving IMNSHO) nominated for Nobel Peace Prize that year.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2009/12/09/4433816-who-did-obama-beat-out-for-the-nobel

Quote:
By the way, it's not like there weren't other nominees. There, in fact, were a record number of nominees for this year's prize -- 205; 2005 saw the second most at 199.

By the way, a weird quirk from the Nobel Committee, is they hold the official nominee list for 50 years. So we won't be able to see the official list of who was nominated in addition to Obama until 2059. But there's been lots of speculation on who else was nominated. Here's what we've culled together from various links:


go to link for their list

at least these two from their guesslist would have been better candidates IMO (there are others as well)

Quote:
Chinese dissident Hu Jia, a front-runner in 2008

The Cluster Munitions Coalition "after it played a central role in getting nearly 100 countries to sign a treaty last year in Oslo banning cluster bombs."
 

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