The Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to award the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama is welcome. While in the past the committee has given the prize in recognition of actual achievements, it has awarded the Nobel to President Obama with the express hope that he will work on the initiatives he has been talking about.
The world once again looks at the U.S. to take the leadership in solving vexatious geo-political issues. President Obama should now walk the extra mile to deliver.
Is it not too early in the day to give Mr. Obama the Nobel Prize for Peace? At this point of time, he is at best a promising leader who has offered hope for a better future. He captured the attention of Americans because they were looking for a leadership change. It was not only his high-profile campaign style but also the fact that he was seen as the first African-American who could become the President of America that he won the election. One only hopes the prize will help him translate his promises into action.
The Nobel Peace Prize and controversy, it seems, are inseparable. The Prize lost its value when it failed to honour Mahatma Gandhi. I had to read the news more than once to be sure that Mr. Obama has indeed been given the Nobel Peace.
Mr. Obama winning the Peace Nobel comes as welcome news for a world devastated by racial and religious tensions. As a U.S. citizen, I cannot help but observe that much of the opposition to Mr. Obama’s foreign and domestic policies largely stems from the same racial biases that have plagued America for centuries. His winning the Peace Prize shows that the world community is recognising change.
That the Peace Nobel has been given to the leader of a country that is killing people in two countries is shocking. And it has been given for the posturing and promises that Mr. Obama has made. He is yet to fulfil even one of his major promises. But nothing much can be expected from a group which did not think it fit to award the Peace Prize to Mahatma Gandhi, the Apostle of Peace.
The Nobel Committee’s decision to award the Peace Prize to Mr. Obama has come as a shock to many. So has the reason for awarding the Prize — Mr. Obama’s call for a nuclear free world. The Washington Post reported that Mr. Obama, during his presidential campaign, indicated that he would use military force to fight terrorism in Pakistan. But after getting elected, we find him playing safe with Pakistan.
For an effective communicator like Mr. Obama and an equally supportive American media, the Nobel is a natural by-product, however unwise and confusing his assertions on foreign and military affairs are.
The Nobel Peace for Mr. Obama is not entirely surprising. He was instrumental in furthering international co-operation and understanding. He created a climate of non-confrontation, relying more on diplomacy and dialogue. More important, he has demonstrated seriousness in tackling some of the most pressing issues that threaten international peace and security. No sitting American President in recent memory has fuelled such hope and promise.