"We think that this gives us a sense of momentum when the United States has accolades tossed its way rather than shoes" - U.S. State Department spokesperson, P.J. Crowley
Obama made history as the first black President of USA, and once again, he makes history as the first person awarded the Noble Peace Prize for hopes and promises, rather than actual accomplishments. He is the fourth US President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, after Theodore Roosevelt (1908), Woodrow Wilson (1919), and Jimmy Carter (2002). Another prominent Noble Peace Prize laureate from the ranks of US leadership was the controversial Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State in the Nixon administration, he is considered by many as a war criminal, let alone deserving of such an accolade. But it might explain why Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were also nominated for this award.
This is paradoxical, so many Noble Peace Prize awarded to the US, a nation that has constantly waged wars from the turn of the century, including the dropping of two Atom bombs on civilian population, and yet a passive nation like China has not been awarded any such prize.
As expected, there is incredulity around the world, which is compounded by the fact that Obama took office just two weeks before the 1 February deadline for nomination, which remains a mystery. Conspiracy theorist would suggest the decision was already made to award him this prize.
There is praise and criticism for the award. The critics argue there has been no delivery on making peace in the Middle East. Israel continues to build more settlement exclusively for Jews, despite Obama’s objection. Furthermore, Obama has ignored the UN Judge Goldstone's report of a damning indictment of Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
The selective targeting of Iran for its pursuit of nuclear technology, whilst ignoring Israel’s nuclear arsenal is the same old hypocrisy, and hardly a good start to rid the world of nuclear weapons. It would have been better to lead by example and get the other nuclear nations to disarm first.
Obama is contemplating sending 40,000 troops in Afghanistan, which is likely to escalate the war, and spill into Pakistan.
Those who view President Obama as a worthy recipient of this prize argue that his efforts focused on strengthening international diplomacy and cooperation, which has replaced military unilateralism of Bush. Nobel committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve. It is a clear signal that we want to advocate the same as he has done." The Nobel Peace Prize committee stated that the Prize was for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.
The proponents further argue dealing with Israel and the Middle East with a more balanced foreign policy will take time; he cannot simply turn everything on its head over night. The man has just arrived, let him settle down first and give him support to deal with the Zionist regimes whose tentacles run deep inside the US.
They also applaud his strategy to engage Iran, rather than to confront them on behalf of Israel. Similar tactics are being used to open channel of discussion with the Taliban, hoping that would also isolate the pro Al-Qaeda elements.
Obama does deserve praise at least for the fact that he will be donating the prize money of $1.4 Million USD to charity, I would recommend he gives it to the people of Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq, the victims of the previous regime, and the constant Zionist aggression.
Whatever your views are about the merit of the peace prize, ultimately he will be judged by results, consider the following points:
• Will Obama break the US free from the Zionist clutches or at least loosen their grip? Will he be able to halt the Zionist expansion into West Bank?
• Will he manage to curb nuclear weapons across the world rather than just keeping his boots on a nuclear free Iran?
• Will he manage to end the conflict in Iran and Afghanistan?
Yamin Zakaria (firstname.lastname@example.org)