Walter E. Williams

According to Alfred Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who: "during the preceding year, shall have done … the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses." According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, 2009 saw a record 205 nominations who competed against President Barack Obama for this year's Nobel Laureate. We don't know the names of other nominees who were passed over because Nobel Foundation statutes do not permit information about nominations, considerations or investigations relating to awarding the prize to be made public for at least 50 years after a prize has been awarded. Nominations from 1901 to 1955, however, have been released. Past nominees included Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini. Since it takes only one qualified person to nominate someone, these nominations do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Nobel committee members.

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When I heard that Obama was selected for this year's Nobel Laureate, I felt a bit embarrassed for him, and given his comment in the Rose Garden, he must have felt a bit embarrassed as well. He said, "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize, men and women who've inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace."


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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