Barack Obama’s Controversial Nobel Peace Prize 2009 Win
Typhoon Nobama : [Typhoon Nobel Obama] The ensuing storm after current US President Barack H. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2009.
Last time, I posted a short profile of some of the other nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize 2009 that was eventually won by Barack Obama. But did they deserve the win from than Obama? We find out.
Even as a self identified centrist democrat, I would say that whilst I feel the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama was justified and ought not be contested, he isn’t necessarily the only candidate that would deserve the prize. In fact I would go as far as to say that any one of the candidates named in my previous post would have righteously received the Nobel Peace Prize with more dignity, more appreciation and weaker response.
Of course, one of the biggest issues with the Peace Prize is what it should be awarded for. A stringent and precise reading of the Award title and of Alfred Nobel’s will which states
“one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”
would indicate that the receiver should be he who has done most to achieve peace or avert war. That was by-in-large the intention behind the award. Certainly that was the initial interpretation until 1969. In 1969, the award was given to the International Labour Organization (ILO) for work essential not related to peace but with human rights. In fact a lot of effort was required in the presentation speech to justify it’s awarding.
Since then, the understanding has been on a more general term with regards to humanitarian efforts. In recent years, awardees haven’t conformed to the traditional view with Al Gore and the IPCC for Climate Change and Martti Ahtisaari for micro-banking.
So it would be perfectly normal should the award have been given to Wen Jingsheng or Denis Mukwege. Awarding Sima Samar, Ghazi bin Muhammad, Greg Mortenson or Piedad Córdoba would have been similar to the current choice given it’s direct connection with achieving Peace.
Certainly any of those named deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for their achievement over the years and their efforts in their respective fields. Many, particularly Republicans and Conservatives would say that their choice would be universally accepted, something that can’t be said about Obama.
Not only is it clear that the choice of Obama has been internationally accepted as shown in the response of leaders, those aforementioned aren’t without issue.
China has had a long history of cracking down on anti-government sediment. Giving Wen Jingsheng the award is unlikely to achieve much within China by way of promoting democracy given China’s highly effective censorship machine. Rather, the new wave of anti-Chinese sediment would only trigger more backlash from China in both words and trade issues. The government would further crack own on any potential uprising and go back to it’s own ways at the first hint of a threat.
The guerrillas and terrorists in Colombian and Afghanistan respectively will hope to prove their strength and power should either Piedad Córdoba or Sima Samar get awarded. Their choice would make the two resistances look meek and hence trigger more violent actions to appear still capable.
Quite simply, there is no choice that would be without controversy, the magnitude may differ, but someone will be unhappy. If Obama had won the award after ending the two wars and removing Nuclear stock piles, Rush Limbaugh would still complain about something, if he’s still around that is.
In what is known as the most subjective of the Nobel Prizes, there is no correct choice. It wasn’t wrong to give it to Obama, and it wouldn’t have been wrong to give it to any of those I mentioned in my previous post. I would personally have skipped Obama in favor of one of the other candidates, but then again, I’m not in the selection committee.
Next time, in what should be the final Typhoon Nobama post, I’ll put some notable websites and a lot of those I’ve been referencing for more information.