Sunday, October 11, 2009

The FT on the Nobel Peace Prize

Beautiful day here in North Jersey. The sun's out, and the Giants just routed the Raiders. Here's the Financial Times on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, from yesterday, "Urgency of Now?". Excerpt:

The Norwegian Nobel committee has made odd decisions before. Awarding this year’s peace prize to Barack Obama, however, is not merely bizarre but bad: for Mr Obama, for the prize, and for the cause of peace itself.


This is the first time the prize is given for what remain, for now, mere aspirations.


Despite Mr Obama’s undeniable diplomatic ambitions for a more peaceful world, there has simply been no time for him either to realise or betray them. So – to borrow from his own rhetoric – why the fierce urgency of now?

The answer is a Nobel Committee trapped in an adolescent adulation of Mr Obama that, if once shared by many, most have put behind them. Its continuing desire to flatter a particular tendency in US politics – Al Gore and Jimmy Carter are recent laureates – risks painting it as an annex to the left wing of the US Democratic party. Hoping the prize will strengthen Mr Obama domestically is deeply misguided: it will embarrass his allies and egg on his detractors.

Elsewhere, it will come to be seen as awarded for wishful thinking, not hard work. Peace is not served by devaluing the moral force of the prize, whose greatest impact has always been the moral support it can give those who fight oppression with their lives – a von Ossietzky, a King or a Walesa – or leaders who make heavy concessions needed for peace. Mr Obama has done neither. It is, however, in his hands to rescue the prize from itself – by declining it in deference to those more worthy than he.


Albert said...

I voted for BHO, but this is embarassing. In fact, I think the Nobel prize lost much of its credibility when it was awarded to Al Gore. Now that it's been given to BHO, it has literally zero credibility in my mind. They've managed to make the award meaningless for many people in the space of 10 years. Well played.

DaveinHackensack said...


Just out of curiosity, why do you have a private profile on Blogger?

Anonymous said...

I'm rather disappointed that Obama did not decline the prize. That would have been the sporting thing to so.


Homer315 said...

No reason. I did whatever the minimum required in order to post comments on someone's blog (not yours, since you allow anonymous posting I believe). There's literally no information on my profile (and I don't have my own blog, etc.)

Homer315 said...

Well, when I went to check whether there was any information on my profile, it asked that I create a username, and it now defaulted to using that username when I respond. Don't worry, I am not very interesting, you're not missing much.