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Sorry Obama, You've Won a Nobel

Fortunately for Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, not being George Bush may be the new qualification for a Nobel Peace Prize. Obama was granted this prestigious award on October 9, 2009, officially for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

While Obama managed to be both gracious and humble in his responsive speech, critics are certainly not content with his receiving the prize. Obama has not even completed a year in office, and yet he has received a prestigious award for his alleged peacekeeping work. One has to wonder, is this grant somewhat hasty? One critic described the situation as Obama having “more calluses on his lips than his hands”, contending that Obama has promised much and done little. In his speech, Obama also described the award as a “call to action”—but if that’s the case, what was the election?

However, the Nobel committee defends their decision. Alfred Nobel wrote that the prize should go to the person who has contributed most to the development of peace in the previous year, and committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland upholds, “Who has done more for that than Barack Obama?” To contest this statement, though, is the delay in plans to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a divisive debate about how to win the Afghanistan war, and a lack of Middle Eastern peace. Furthermore, it must be noted that Obama’s receiving of the Nobel Peace Prize may have negative repercussions. The award could not only distract from domestic issues, but also raise expectations that Obama may not be able to fulfill. This raises the question as to whether it was truly a beneficial move by the Nobel committee to award Obama such a prize.

Like the president, the nation appears to be holding its breath, wondering as Obama did in his speech, can he “confront the common challenges of the twenty first century”? There’s nothing to do but wait.





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morgie7<3 said...
Nov. 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm
WOW...this sounds like it was professionally written and deserves to be in the mag! Good job!
 
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