baleanoptera: (Mood stars)
[personal profile] baleanoptera
Hey! The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama!

Congrats to all the Americans on my flist.

Date: 2009-10-09 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
For real?
I love Obama, but I feel like this may be a tad premature.

Of course, if it makes Glenn Beck's head actually explode then the world WILL be a better place.

Date: 2009-10-09 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
For real. ;D

I'm not a huge expert on how the committee works, but the last few years they've explained that they want the prize to be not just of work already done, but supportive for people trying to change things. So I think this can be taken as the committee lending symbolical support to Obama.

Date: 2009-10-09 09:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
I still feel like there are probably more deserving candidates with causes that need exposure.

OTOH, if we needed proof that Obama is restoring a bit of goodwill in the world for us, after 8 years of shame? Done.

Date: 2009-10-09 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
I agree with you there, and the feeling of "huh?" would definitely have been less if the committee had waited a few years before awarding it to him.

if we needed proof that Obama is restoring a bit of goodwill in the world for us, after 8 years of shame? Done.

Hey, we've always loved you - we just felt a bit awkward saying it with all the Karl Rove's and Donald Rumsfeld's running around. ;P

But seriously, I cannot see this award as anything other than a huge political statement.

Date: 2009-10-09 10:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
On the Nobel Institute pages they state that the prize is their response to Obama's appeal of "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges". And that he in a very short time has changed the international political climate etc.

Date: 2009-10-09 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indigo419.livejournal.com
they want the prize to be not just of work already done, but supportive for people trying to change things.

That's interesting to know! I tend to agree, it feels premature, but on the other hand that statement makes me think it's a refreshing perspective shift to say, we're not going to wait around to applaud a significant body of work which is unanimously approved - instead we're going to encourage change as much as we can, not only with our money but with our cachet and soapbox. So I guess Obama, whether he agrees or not, has a multiplier effect for what the Nobel folks want to say.

I have a mental picture of the Nobel committee deliberating, and they're all, "quick! Let's nominate him now while we can!" :) (And it probably doesn't hurt that he serves to balance out, at least right now, some of the more questionable awardees in the past.)

Date: 2009-10-09 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
So I guess Obama, whether he agrees or not, has a multiplier effect for what the Nobel folks want to say.

I think you put the finger on the reason for the committee's decision there. In the statement and the press conference they kept stating that it was Obama's use of diplomacy and his work with the UN that had been vital in their decision. They also cited his visit to Cairo early in his presidency as exemplary, and I think the wish to highlight that kind of foreign policy was an important factor in the selection.

And it probably doesn't hurt that he serves to balance out, at least right now, some of the more questionable awardees in the past

Hee! I think everyone can agree that the committee has a rather interesting and many-faceted past.

Date: 2009-10-09 01:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reginaspina.livejournal.com


Of course, if it makes Glenn Beck's head actually explode then the world WILL be a better place.


You know, if even we Obama "fans" are puzzled by this decision, I imagine it will only lend fuel to the idea that the Peace Prize is all totally political and has nothing to do with actual achievements.

Still, he's certainly a better choice than Henry EFfing Kissinger was!!

Date: 2009-10-09 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
I imagine it will only lend fuel to the idea that the Peace Prize is all totally political and has nothing to do with actual achievements.

Oh definitely, and I even suspect that to some extent that was the idea. This was the first prize to be handed out by the committee's new leader, and unlike the previous one (who was a staunch conservative and a deeply religious man) the new leader is known as a bit of a lefty with a fondness for making big political statements.

he's certainly a better choice than Henry EFfing Kissinger was!

Not the proudest moment in Nobel history that. ;)

Date: 2009-10-09 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reginaspina.livejournal.com
the new leader is known as a bit of a lefty with a fondness for making big political statements.


it's just so strange and puzzling! I'm a big fan of President Obama and I still find it weird that they would make this award so soon in his Presidency. What if he doesn't live up to the intentions? So strange!

Date: 2009-10-09 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] applegnat.livejournal.com
What, for not being George W Bush? LOL.

Date: 2009-10-09 10:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
Well, if the committee wanted to create a debate (and they probably did) then I'd say they managed it well. ;)

But as I said to [livejournal.com profile] lage_nom_ai above, I think it's to display international support tec.

Date: 2009-10-09 10:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] applegnat.livejournal.com
That was nice of them, but surely we cannot discount the backlash he will face, both at home and abroad, for being awarded an honour prematurely. I can smell the right-wingers stirring up the Antichrist rumours already! And how would his usually credible left-wing supporters defend this?

Oh well, I suppose there have been several less deserving awardees in the past. :D

Date: 2009-10-09 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
Yeah, the potential for backlash is clearly there. Though I cannot shake the notion that the anti-Obama league would find fault no matter what. When you declare someone to be the Antichrist/Hitler etc you're not exactly the most rational person to begin with.

I suppose there have been several less deserving awardees in the past. :D

Shall we say that among past award winners there are some interesting people? ;)

Date: 2009-10-09 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meko00.livejournal.com
Seriously, I hadn't access to any news media this afternoon as I was cooped up in the Humanities lab, so when someone told me I thought it was a joke. I still do. Really. It must be.

But I can kind of sympathise with the idea that a prize should be some sort of symbolical support and a guidance for future work, but really, saying that you want to change things isn't enough. It's like the well-known Cylon plan. Cynical, moi?

Date: 2009-10-09 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
*g* Actually my first response upon hearing the news was: "You're kidding?" And while I've come to accept that they were definitely not kidding, I cannot shake the feeling that perhaps it was a bit premature. I mean, why not wait until next year, and then give him the prize?

Cynical, moi?

Hee. Perhaps, but considering how political the Peace Prize has become I think a bit of scepticism is a good thing. To be more specific, I think it is a great thing to have a prize that rewards people working for a better world, but I think that for such a prize to be really valuable it must strive to be as apolitical as possible. Selecting someone like Obama (regardless of how great a person he might be) will be divisive simply because he is a political figure, and a rather prominent at that. Having a peace prize that actually increases the heat in a debate just seems to bring too much irony to the playing field.

That said, I do rather like the idea of having a prize that works as guidance and a ideological parameter - I'm just weary of combining that guidance and ideology with a specific political stance.

Date: 2009-10-15 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meko00.livejournal.com
Mmm, for me, it resonates much more to give the prize to Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank or someone like Hammarskjöld (though, giving a Peace Prize posthumously isn't really a guidance for the recipient as such. Of course, as a guidance for others...)

And yes, I think some sort of so-called apolitical level-headedness is a good guidance. I mean, of course we all have strong ideas about how we think life is and/or should be, but if we could all step away from the vitriol a wee bit...

And in reply to the comment on QoT's journal, well, erm, I wouldn't say that the Swedish Academy has been free from controversy. ;-)

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