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Obama awarded Nobel Peace Prize


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I'm rather surprised. Considering the committee's presumed anti-American bias, for which I actually haven't seen much evidence, and the newness and paucity of Obama's real accomplishments, this seems a bit like one of the prizes awarded for the benefit of others or the world at large rather than as specific recognition for a peacemaker. He's leading a country embroiled in two wars, and while he's trying to extricate the US from Iraq, he might be committing even more deeply to Afghanistan.

 

On the other hand, having the president of the country with one of the largest and most active militaries is both a strange and a powerful gesture. It could be an effort to tip Obama and America towards more peaceful solutions proactively rather than awarding the prize reactively. It's not clear that that could work, but it's certainly a worthy gesture. Even if that's not what the prize is ostensibly for, Nobel would probably approve. Maybe this was a very good choice?

 

—Alorael, who awaits the many thoughts Spiderweb has always been able to produce on any and every subject.

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I'd be having serious mixed feelings right now, if I were Al Gore.

 

I think Obama was at least half way to the Peace Prize just by being the Black Man in the White House, and maybe there's nothing wrong with that. It's weird, but who'd be a better choice this year?

 

I figure Obama will show up for the ceremony and make his speech, then shake his head and forget about it. And so will everyone else.

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Not to knock Obama, but the bar for peacemakers has been set pretty low over the past, oh, eight or nine years. Really, though, I take this award as a sign that he has already inspired some kind of hope worldwide. Other nations seem to really like him, for whatever reasons, and that's something worth rewarding.

 

I do hope people don't forget about this too quickly. One interesting thing about him winning it so early in his term is that it might be something of a symbol that other world leaders would recognize when he calls them to the bargaining table in the future.

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I think this is actually quite a straightforward peace prize. If you consider some of the former recipients (hellooooo, Yassar Arafat) total nonviolence obviously isn't a requirement. (Not knocking Arafat btw, just making a comparison.) Shifting the PERCEIVED attitude of the most powerful country in the world more towards peace and further from unilateralism has clearly had world impact.

 

I think there are some concrete actions too, if you really look for them -- clearly not nearly on the level that is typically seen, but the committee acknowledges that. For example, Obama's Cairo speech, or the decision not to intervene in Iran (unsatisfying though that may be).

 

Also, as a lot of news articles point out, Obama's international reputation far exceeds his domestic one, just as George W. Bush was vilified far more consistently in Europe than he was here.

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Obama seems as surprised as we are. Then again, they have given the prize to Yassir Arafat and Henry Kissinger in previous years.

 

My first reaction was to ask whether they gave him the Peace Prize for Iraq or for Afghanistan. My colleague thought that maybe the prize was given to the people of the USA for electing a president that wasn't as awful as the previous one.

 

Well, maybe he gets it preemptively, something to live up to. I also suspect that the "Black Man in the White House" part played a role, too.

 

Edit: I was surprised to see suspicion that the committee has an anti-American bias.

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I heard that Obama had been working on some great things before entering the presidential scene. I don't have any specifics, but that seems reasonable to me.

 

Also, is it a little odd that the Nobel Prize committee gives Obama an award when he's been president for less than a year, but they are over a decade in science?

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If I remember correctly, the nominations were made just two weeks after Obama took office, which again, is kind of odd.

 

Originally Posted By: Alorael
He's leading a country embroiled in two wars, and while he's trying to extricate the US from Iraq, he might be committing even more deeply to Afghanistan.

This is what I have a problem with. I consider both to be unnecessary, and both a waste of money and life. I don't call that peaceful at all.

 

Originally Posted By: Alex

I also suspect that the "Black Man in the White House" part played a role, too.

Giving someone an award because he's black is completely racist. Unfortunately, race plays a role, and I don't think Obama would have ever beat Clinton if he was a white man.

 

*Goes and votes in a CNN poll*

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The numbers are complicated, but that's a rather different tune from the fear of the Bradley effect torpedoing Obama's campaign.

 

—Alorael, who has always seen the Peace Prize as more of a way to spotlight and recognize work relating to current events. That's not always true, but it's often true, and in fact that chairman of the Nobel Prize committee explained that this was a somewhat deliberate departure from recognizing obscure people doing good but obscure deeds.

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You're going to have to wait a few days before we can measure any effect. Also remember to consider the margin of error. Before we can believe any upward tick, you need at least two independent polls showing an increase outside the error bound. Note that the margin of error is 95% confidence interval, so 1 out of 20 times, the true result will fall outside the margin of error.

 

My feelings are that Obama did not certainly deserve to win. Maybe in a couple years, but not yet. Nonetheless, as a US citizen, I cannot help but be happy for my country as a whole. If nothing else, it is good to see the US image improving after the disaster of the last eight years.

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It was indeed quite a surprise. Obama himself was quite surprised - I'm trying to dig us the exact quote.

 

It is however a good point - it puts even more attention on him, so that when (if he gets round to it) he does something really groundbreaking, it will seem even more important (I don't know if I got my point clear there).

 

But it's also quite weird - is he not currently involved in two wars? Maybe they just gave it to him cos he's just so different than Bush?

 

 

 

I am simply glad they didn't award it to that prat Sarkozy.

 

 

 

EDIT: Aha! "I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honoured by this prize," and "I will accept this award as a call to action, a call to all nations, to confront the challenges of the 21st century".

 

He did however give his Nobel prize money to charity.

 

Also, interesting.

 

 

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If that were true, they could certainly find more liberal recipients than Obama. He's a Democrat, not a socialist, no matter what Fox claims.

 

—Alorael, who knows a fair number of people with the surname Bush. They tend not to resemble their most famous namesake.

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Originally Posted By: Master Ackrovan
...only doing this to take another swing on the conservative party.

Considering that the committee that picks the recipient does not have any Americans on it, and is not specifically concerned with the U.S., it would be very strange for them to pick on "the" conservative party. U.S. politics receive some attention globally, but not that much.

It would be extra strange given that one of the five committee members is also a cabinet minister of the Conservative Party.
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Say what you will about whether Obama has earned the prize, you at least can't argue that he has made some attempts to increase peace in the world. I'm really not sure the same can be said for Putin.

 

—Alorael, who is absolutely sure the same can't be said for Spiderweb. Sorry, folks. Make posts, not flamewar.

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Originally Posted By: Excalibur
I honestly don't see what's so bad about Putin, but I'm a libertarian, so...


do libertarians normally approve of torturing protesters, changing the constitution to keep yourself in power indefinitely, and ordering the assassination of journalists who ask too many questions

because i was pretty sure they at least pretended not to support any of those things but i guess you learn something new every day
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What is the constitution to tell him how to live his life and political career? Big government, that's what!

 

—Alorael, who doesn't have any excuses for the torture and assassination. You'll have to field that one on your own.

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Originally Posted By: Thuryl
Originally Posted By: Excalibur
I honestly don't see what's so bad about Putin, but I'm a libertarian, so...


do libertarians normally approve of torturing protesters, changing the constitution to keep yourself in power indefinitely, and ordering the assassination of journalists who ask too many questions

because i was pretty sure they at least pretended not to support any of those things but i guess you learn something new every day

That's not what I meant. I meant that I don't think Putin is bad compared to other world leaders, and I think poorly of almost all of them. Yeah, I would call Putin worse than Obama and Bush, but I have a whole lot of problems with Obama and Bush as well.
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Most world leaders are guilty of torture and assassination? Okay, maybe, but that doesn't make them collectively not so bad, that makes the state of world leadership abominable.

 

—Alorael, who would like to know what other world leaders not widely reviled by the international community are guilty of such things or their moral equivalents.

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Well I guess allowing people to die with no healthcare coverage maybe is like murder, and probably allowing people to live homeless is pretty bad too. Current world leaders may not have had people tortured or assassinated under their administration but past leaders definitely have, and I would bet it's quite a regular occurrence in most countries.

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