Barack Obama has just been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. “The Nobel Committee said he won it for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples. The committee highlighted Mr. Obama’s efforts to support international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament. Mr. Obama’s spokesman said the president was “humbled” to have won the prize.” – BBC
As you may have seen on Facebook & Twitter today, a lot of people are expressing their happiness / repulsion by this news. Below, you can see what a few of my friends had to say on the matter.
Izza Farrakh – I think Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace prize to encourage/pressure/drive Obama to deliver his promise of international peace and stability. It is probably also a way to appreciate his (somewhat successful) efforts to improve the image of the United States after it reached a low point during the Bush administration. Its a little unfair to give the prize to someone who has attempted to promote peace and diplomacy for only a few months, while people who have dedicated their entire lives to the cause of international peace and stability are overlooked. Here, it seems like the Nobel is being used to tell Obama that the world has high expectations and that he must live up to them (a Nobel shouldn’t be used in this way, and especially given to the leader of a country with two ongoing wars). International peace and stability is Obama’s responsbility as the leader of the free world, and by promoting it, he is only doing his job. Save the Nobel for people who go above and beyond their means to devote themselves selflessly and substantially to international peace. With a world population of almost 7,000,000,000, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Shaheryar Mirza – Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize leaves me in a state of disbelief. Firstly, it makes me question the merits of their selection committee. Let’s not forget, this is not Obama’s fault. How can a man who just took office prior to the Nobel Prize nomination deadline, possibly achieve anything Nobel prize-worthy in two-weeks? Can promises earn someone the Nobel Peace Prize? Some say the award will serve as an incentive to do more. I don’t buy that. In any case, if he achieves his lofty goals that may be worth a Nobel. But as of now I am sure there are more deserving people out there. Congratulations nonetheless. And as far as the Nobel selection team goes, this just reinforces the biases previously shown in their decision making.
PK -I don’t think BO is deserving (based on his year to date performance). However, as a Pakistani I am indifferent to this award. There are more pressing concerns that need to be addressed today. 49 people have been killed in Peshawar and more than 100 are injured. In addition, I find the continued drone attacks in our territory to be a far cry from peace.
When will we be in a position to reward someone for bringing peace to our exhausted nation?
Aleea Farrakh – Even though I am a huge Obama fan, I don’t think he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize..yet. He has not really accomplished anything substantial to be recieving one of the world’s top accolades. Even though he is initiating peace efforts globally and is taking a strong stand against nuclear arms; even his speech in Cairo was inspiring, this award is premature. He is definitely playing a substantial role in changing the paradigm, but the war in Afghanistan is far from over and we are yet to see any results of his efforts. Additionally, US drone attacks are still continuing in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and no resolution has been reached. The committee should have waited before bestowing this honor to him. I am disappointed.
UJ – I am slammed with work so won’t be able to give much thoughts today other than the sky is gray and that the Nobel Prize is now being given for future deeds…
Danyaal Hasan – I think that it is still too early to conclusively say that Obama has been a proponent for world peace. Obama definitely has a vision and largely I agree with his vision, especially his stance on nuclear expansion. However, having a vision is different from being able to effectively implement it into tangible action and consequence, which I believe is what the award measures. This is where Obama still has to prove himself, especially in South East Asia (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and whether he is able to positively influence this region is what will ultimately define his career and tell us if he really is a true proponent for peace. .
Tulu Yunus – SNL poked fun at his list of inachievments (if that’s a word)…of those that stuck, here are a few: he hasn’t closed down gitmo, he hasn’t had universal health care passed, he has generally continued the same economic policies (save the large stimulus, the effect of which is being debated), he hasn’t garnered any support from republicans on most of his initiatives, he hasn’t left Iraq, he called Afghanistan the war of necessity (or something like that) but now is debating what to do there, etc. I would’ve thought he should be able to ride the wave of enthusiasm that surrounded his inauguration and a Democratic majority in both houses on the Hill to do a lot of things he promised, very few of which he has actually done. Oh yeah, he did pass a credit card reform bill. We should certainly give him credit for that, but not a bloody Nobel. Sure, it’s early. So we should give him time to work the system. I think being given a peace prize on sheer promises is no good….he’s got a tough job, but to be awarded that, he needs to execute.
ES – One word: Mashallah
JJ Khan – I work in corporate America amongst a largely republican population. I fly below the political radar at the office since these lines seem to be drawn in concrete and it’s simply good sense in this politically charged climate. I overheard a conversation this morning between some senior colleagues about how Obama won the prize and had done nothing to deserve it – “it is just all talk”. I approached them and frankly said even when an international authority which is non-partisan by nature validates an American on a global scale; you still draw party lines first. Granted Obama has not yet had the chance to act on all that he has said – but the hope and power is there. With that in mind – maybe it is wiser to deal with the divide at home before curing the ails of the world?
What are your thoughts?