Obama joins only two other US presidents who won the prize during their time in the White House--Theodore Roosevelt for fostering peace between Russia and Japan, and Woodrow Wilson for founding the League of Nations. Jimmy Carter won the prize in 2002 for his "effort" on behalf of peace.
I'm with Matt on this one. Not only is this award INCREDIBLY premature since Obama has only been in office just over nine months, but also pretty inappropriate. Teddy Roosevelt ended the Russo-Japanese War and received the prize, and Obama... what? Gave a speech in Cairo?
Obama beat out "Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator and a Chinese dissident, along with an Afghan woman's rights activist."
I know we're at war right now and that war is bad, but I would just like to point out this bit of irony: if it hadn't been for "the evil one," President George W. Bush, and the U.S. military's efforts in ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban's tyrannic rule, I'd imagine there would be no "Afghan woman's rights activist" around today to even be considered for this award. Or if there were many women's rights activists around during the days of the Taliban, they were probably most concerned with avoiding public floggings for not wearing their burqas properly--a staple of the Taliban's consolidation of power under Sharia law.
But thank goodness for Barack Obama--whose new policy for Afghanistan might include allowing this same Taliban organization back into power in regions across the country!
So correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this essentially mean Obama received this award for making some good speeches? Sure nothing he says has actually been accomplished, but it all sounds good!
The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of "a new climate in international politics" and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage. The plaudit appeared to be a slap at President Geroge W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for resorting to largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Rather than recognizing concrete achievement, the 2009 prize appeared intended to support initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said. "In the past year Obama has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations."
Sure the Nobel Prize lost a lot of luster after they awarded one to Al Gore, but c'mon! This is just more evidence the "messiah" mentality has reached the world stage...