Obama Wins Nobel!

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obama twn 2009.jpg
Forget the Chicago Olympics foul up. Barack Obama has just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — the first sitting US President to win the Prize since Woodrow Wilson.
The Nobel citation reads:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the United States is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
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. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

This is great news. There are some who will argue that a build up of forces in Afghanistan, unresolved efforts in Israel-Palestine, and a lot yet to do with regarding to changing Iran’s course make this Prize seem premature.
But the reality is that this Prize puts some air back in the Obama Bubble — and this is good for the country and world as the challenges in the international system are enormous today.
Obama’s efforts to talk the world into a better place have indeed created opportunities that were hard to imagine during the Bush administration — but now a lot of heavy lifting and deal-making are required, and the Nobel Prize will give Obama a boost in these efforts.
Congrats to the President.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

57 comments on “Obama Wins Nobel!

  1. David says:

    “I’m tired of hearing Obama has done nothing.”
    I’m in your camp on this, Chris. The major questions are How will he actually handle Iran and Afghanistan? Those two traps are set, and a lot of people, especially on the right, want to see them close on Obama with a vengeance, which they will if Obama follows the right wing/McCain/Lindsey wish list.
    Obama has actually done more in his first 6 months that is worthy of note and encouragement than any other president in recent memory. GHWB did many things, all of them catastrophic and none of them against the of the virulent resistance of the real $pecial intere$t$.
    The only question is whether or not wisdom will be the defining characteristic as he moves forward on Iran and Afghanistan. As a close friend remarked, Obama inherited presidential shoes with a lot of s**t on them. He did not get to go buy a brand new pair of squeaky cleans.
    He is first of all wrapped in the existing reality and is forced to navigate existing mindsets. Karl Rove was doing some very powerful drugs when he said they created their own reality. They created their own debacles within reality, but created their own reality? How well he can get from where America was when he was sworn in to where his campaign held that we could go is yet to be determined, but he is a president it really is a mistake to underestimate. I just do not know how much any president can do in the face of the realities of America and the rest of the world as we now find them. But I contend that our best bet is in the White House, and if he fails, it is more a measure of what Americans will and will not support than his personal shortcomings.

    Reply

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks to another poster for this list…
    Here is my quick list of reasons I think he deserves it…
    1. Change the tenor of international relations from unilateralism to multilateral dialog
    2. Stating a clear objective to exit from Iraq
    3. Stating a clear objective to close Guantanamo
    4. Engaging Iran and North Korea
    5. Resetting the relationship with Russia
    6. Embarking on the Israel-Palestinian issue right at the beginning of his first term
    7. Stabilizing the global economy
    8. Stating the objective of a world free of nuclear weapons
    9. Committing to address climate change/global warming
    I’m tired of hearing Obama has done nothing – tired of that as much as I am tired of some that will not be happy with anything short of a Miracle out of him. In the face of dirty campaigning and death threats that drastically increased last fall and in the face of many other things, Obama has remained a peacemaker. He has tried to bring people together – no matter which way he goes, some people will vocally complain. Many of you have just become a bunch of big babies. I suggest you go out and do something to help change the world for the better.

    Reply

  3. Mike Sierra says:

    “This Prize puts some air back in the Obama Bubble.” May I
    suggest “bubble” is a poor word choice, since it implies a
    dangerously overvalued asset?

    Reply

  4. Bill Rockefeller says:

    Anyone who can’t see that this was a LAME attempt to rebound from the Olympics loss is an IDIOT!
    Wake up dummys! Its all about NEW WORLD ORDER!
    AGENDA 21
    CODEX ALIMENTARIOUS

    Reply

  5. Dazzle Smile Pro says:

    Incredible achievement for b Barack obama

    Reply

  6. denilcorn says:

    These kind of achievement comes in life once a time.Barack obama deserve this title.

    Reply

  7. Lisa says:

    I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President, he was very gracious about accepting it.

    Reply

  8. JamesL says:

    Just a few short hours after the President of the United States had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the cynic meter sitting on my computer was blinking red and a synthesized female voice was saying “Warning Warning!” as I perused the TWN battlefield. I had just awakened from a troubled sleep following the “hysterical British comedy” In The Loop the previous evening, a story of innumerable epithet, universally flawed integrity, and international politic guided by happenstance, bad guesswork, error, chaos, and backstabbing. The hysteria had been real, but the comedy was lost in its squeaky-thin proximity to real life national politics. Now the TWN vista was repeating the play.
    I had to get out a pair of 36″ bolt cutters to get through the comments. What should have been a fairly glowing moment of shared patriotic happiness, that the good ol’ US Prez had received acollades from the highest echelon–a long and welcomed climb up from the previous prez whose international rep was that he could probably screw up cue cards–was ripped by handwringing, argument, minimalizing, and all manner of downplaying and card-pitching and cow-pie dropping on what has up til this point in history been seen as a Good Thing.
    The only thing to do then is to go whole hog and make a play out of the play–it’s been done before and sometimes a mixture of satire and farce can distill the crap out of poor winestock. Forthwith, the dream-team of current and former actors and other well-knowns, playing the roles we know so well: Walter Mathau as POA, Ginger Rogers with a hip high cast on one leg or Madonna as Questions, either Sally Fields with Uzi or Sy Hersch as Nadine, Harry Truman as Paul Norheim, Fred Friendly as Steve Clemons, Howard Cosell as samuelburke, Thomas Edison as JohnH, Katherine Hepburn as Kathleen, John Phillip Sousa as Wig Wag, Huymphrey Bogart as Dan Kervick, Muhammed Ali as Outraged, Andy Warhol as arthurdecco, and Gina Lolabrigida as Mr Spock.
    I for one as happy as a clam that the values of inclusivity, compassion for humans, the importance of cooperation, and the acknowlegement that everyone is not an enemy that Obama has articulated has been recognized and has replaced the supposedly human vacuum tube that was #43.

    Reply

  9. Scott says:

    Perhaps he can get the Cy Young Award for throwing out a first pitch? Or maybe the Stanley Cup for taking an ice skating lesson?
    I have never seen a person – politician, celebrity, regular citizen – so annointed for accomplishing nothing.
    Steve, you have a very screwed up set of ideals.

    Reply

  10. arthurdecco says:

    “By this time next week, Barack Obama, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, will be a national joke.” Cinco Jotas
    Not on any channel you don’t have to pay to watch, he won’t.
    Read what Mr. Clemons is writing – the myth-making machinery is getting every possible bit of steam up for this one – Obama is after all, their invention.
    “Clever Cinco Jotas. Except I’ve already heard that joke (Barack Obama has won the Heisman Trophy!) several times today.” Dan Kervick
    I don’t care how many times you read or heard that particular joke today, Mr. Kervick. I hadn’t yet heard it and I found it funny. For the first time.

    Reply

  11. Cinco Jotas says:

    Dan, it’s funny because it’s true!
    Also, if you think the Treasury of Mirth is exhausted, that’s only because the late night talkers and Saturday Night Live haven’t aired yet.
    By this time next week, Barack Obama, Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, will be a national joke.

    Reply

  12. Elizabelle says:

    I am thrilled. Yes, it’s premature, but also shrewd. Obama’s
    remarks were pitch perfect.
    Under new management. And give the gentleman some time to get
    us back on the right track.
    It’s good the Europeans can think straight. Public discourse in our
    country saddens one.

    Reply

  13. Dan Kervick says:

    Clever Cinco Jotas. Except I’ve already heard that joke several times today. Maybe the humor trove is already exhausted.

    Reply

  14. Cinco Jotas says:

    This just in, Barack Obama has won the Heisman Trophy!
    (Hey, it’s just as justified as him winning the Nobel Peace Prize.)

    Reply

  15. zflynn says:

    I’m sure the Nobel Committee hasn’t lost any prestige by this move. It fits in so well with their recently added category: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29907. It’s a relief to see they haven’t succumbed to the plagues of style over substance, rhetoric over actions and shallow celebrity worship. Now all we need do is rename Obama’s decisions to escalate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as gestures of peace and his accomplishments will mirror his hollow campaign promises!

    Reply

  16. Dan Kervick says:

    Your concerns are duly noted OA. Now go have another beer.

    Reply

  17. Outraged American says:

    I knew it-Dan Kervick is Obama’s mistress. How’s that cigar going
    Dan?

    Reply

  18. Dan Kervick says:

    “Of course, the world was as violent, intolerant and dysfunctional back in the day when they had some influence as it is now, so their political philosophy they cherish so much really didn’t accomplish a lot.”
    I reject the notion that liberal internationalism has not made the world a better place. It has been a resounding success. The whole global outlook and demeanor has changed so dramatically as a result of the great internationalist leadership of the past that we now take it for granted. Only a century or so ago, it was still accepted that the primary role of statesmen was to manage the nation’s wars and to negotiate the between-the-wars alliances between states to prepare for the next war. War was seen as normal, unavoidable and healthy. Leaders routinely threw generations of their young men into carnivals of slaughter, and wrecked the lives of millions of innocents in process.
    Now? Well one reaction to the Obama selection this morning was that nobody could think of many other alternative candidates. And the reason? There are hardly any wars going on! The current global order is more than ever a businesslike arena of trade and cultural exchange. We now classify states as “rogues” for engaging in the kind of behavior that up to a short time ago was considered absolutely normal. Tentative and customary arrangements have been elevated into a of treaties, compacts and conventions so vast and interconnected, that few people even notice their existence as they rely on them to manage their daily affairs. A smaller proportion of the world’s people are being killed in violent conflict than at any time in history. The world is being pacified and civilized. There are still too many outposts of conflict, but they are shrinking in the same way the outlaw territories of the Old West shrank over time.

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    “But the Nobel committee represents the internationalist aspirations embodied in the UN charter, and people who still take these commitments seriously.” (Dan Kervick)
    Maybe, or perhaps they’re just a bunch of irrelevant and out of touch “pretend” leftists nostalgic for the days when their views actually counted for something. Of course, the world was as violent, intolerant and dysfunctional back in the day when they had some influence as it is now, so thr political philosophy they cherish so much really didn’t accomplish alot.
    Maybe the Nobel Jury embodies the best aspirations of the international community or maybe they’re just a walking anachronism

    Reply

  20. Dan Kervick says:

    A lot of commentators seem way to hung up on the “hope” and “inspiration” interpretation of the Nobel award. But I think the key parts of the press release are these:
    “The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”
    “The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations.”
    So the point wasn’t just to praise Obama for projecting hope and aspiration, but to reward Obama for stimulating actual progress and getting the ball moving again on nuclear disarmament.
    A recent press release from the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation made a similar point:
    http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/audience/media/092309_obama_good_on_nuclear_promises/
    Obama has tried to raise non-proliferation once again to the top of the international agenda. For some reason, this agenda doesn’t seem to get as much political traction in the US as it does elsewhere. Americans, perhaps grown complacent about nuclear security behind our massive nuclear arsenal, and still thinking of themselves as an ultra-secure “hyperpower”, don’t seem to worry much about nuclear proliferation in general – only proliferation by evil muslims. But I suspect nuclear security and non-proliferation are considered a much bigger deal in other parts of the world.
    And Zathras described the other factor in the decision: When the leader of the world’s most militarily powerful state eschews a decade of unilateralism, and a frightening turn by his nation toward bellicosity and contempt for international agendas and international treaties, and recommits the country to an internationalist agenda and international institutions, that in itself is worthy of celebration around the world, even if Americans, with their broadly introverted, nationalist and isolationist tendencies don’t care much about it.
    A lot of Americans, even a lot of American liberals, apparently don’t care all that much about engagement and internationalism, and tend to treat the “international community” as some kind of joke or fraud at best, or an evil conspiracy of anti-Americans at worst. But the Nobel committee represents the internationalist aspirations embodied in the UN charter, and people who still take these commitments seriously. And those folks are pretty happy that the US is re-committed to that agenda. That’s not just happiness about a “hope”, but happiness about a string of concrete steps the administration to re-establish its position as a leader of the internationalist agenda and a citizen of the international community.
    Ban Ki-Moon:
    “The U.N. chief said since Obama’s election the American president “has shown extremely strong support for the United Nations, and his firm commitment to work together with the United Nations in addressing all global challenges, including climate change, poverty issues and food security issues.”

    Reply

  21. Mr.Murder says:

    Woot, J’adore!

    Reply

  22. Chris Brown says:

    All you guys do is complain and bitch about Obama this and Obama that, what has he done to you that Bush didn’t start, Hello wasn’t Bush the one that started the war ? Or wasn’t he the reason Gas went sky high, also he’s the reason we lost our jobs and our houses are in foreclosure since Obama came in office I was able to afford school, and make something out of my self you people that talk all this nonsense about one’s accomplishments are simply selfish ignorant morons who have nothing better to do but throw your tea partys and juice up prejudice if he had been a White man you would be happy and cheering but because he is black you are talking shit and spreading nothing but hate if you even dare claim to be a christian I cast your sorry asses to hell. Because of Obama your un-employed asses are able to log online and talk and spread this hate, I mean think about all the drama in florida with everything going on Republicans did this to our Country not Obama and if you believe everything the press says you are a stupid fuck, Wake up people wake the hell up.
    And yes I’m proud to be BLACK

    Reply

  23. Jdum says:

    I have a few problems with the award to Obama and your assessment:
    1. Obama should graciously decline the award. He should know he has yet to achieve anything to deserve it. If accepts it it indicated he believes his own hype, which is not an impression we or he needs.
    2. I really doubt the leaders of the Taliban, Iran, Palestine, Israel, Russia, China, etc. will care about his Nobel prize when dealing with their tough issues. The fact it was given based on his message, may actually lead them to not take him as seriously.

    Reply

  24. Outraged American says:

    Wig, you’re great for my weigh loss regime, because I throw-up in
    my mouth when I read your posts.
    Part of that is from laughing so hard, and for that I thank you.

    Reply

  25. questionseverything says:

    Finally, after Pap details ES&S’ legendarily monumental “screw-ups” over the years (his firm was one of those who took on the state of Florida and ES&S after their voting machines simply lost 18,000 votes cast in the 2006 FL-13 U.S. House race, decided for the Republican candidate by just 369 votes), they go on to say some extraordinarily kind things about our work here at The BRAD BLOG.
    My thanks to both Pap and David along with the swell Ring Of Fire producers for tipping us off with the exclusive heads-up in advance of this weekend’s show — both for their coverage of this issue, and for those exceptionally kind accolades.

    Reply

  26. Tahoe Editor says:

    Mickey Kaus: Turn it down
    Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he’s honored but he hasn’t had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory–and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen (‘What’s he done?’) problem, demonstrating that he’s uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he’s started to realize it. … Plus he doesn’t have to waste time, during a fairly crucial period, working on yet another grand speech. … And the downside is … what? That the Nobel Committee feels dissed? … P.S.: It’s not as if Congress is going to think, well, he’s won the Nobel Peace Prize so let’s pass health care reform. But the possibility for a Nobel backlash seems non-farfetched.
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/10/09/what-obama-should-do-with-his-nobel-peace-prize.aspx
    Also John Dickerson
    http://www.slate.com/id/2231909/

    Reply

  27. Bart says:

    Tough crowd. I’d like to see the Pam Anderson comment rescinded.

    Reply

  28. ted ri says:

    u all miss the point. after decades of Crusaders, Warmongers, Torturers, Regime Changers, funding of ‘Freedom Fighters’ [ which caused the blowback from Afghanistan], we finally have a President who has rejected all that crap. no mean feat and a great relief to the world.

    Reply

  29. jonst says:

    I admit to be a bit surprised by the award. But then I saw that Peter Beinart thought it was wrong to give it him. And then I knew for sure he deserved it. Beinart is wrong on everything.
    Plus, it seems to piss off Wig Wag a bit. Better yet. On Jimmy Carter getting the award has made me happy in the history of the Prize.

    Reply

  30. S Brennamn says:

    BREAKING NEWS: President Barak Obama also to be awarded the Cy Young, Hiesman, The Congressional Medal of Honor and some unclaimed Olympic track & field medals at a joint ceremony in Stockholm.
    When reached for comment the Swedish King, Carl Gustav said he planned on attending the event stating that “Well, this should really add some real pizzazz to the show…things have been a bit dull since Henry and Le Duc kicked it late into the night”. Somewhat cryptically Queen Silvia agreed, stating, “Yes Gustav, it’s been really dull around here lately……we do need to shake things upa bit….and Oprah says Barak has the moves.” Also attending will be Season 8 American Idol winner Kris Alen with Runner up Adam Lambert backing him on vocals, Pearl Jam declined due to excessive entrance fees, Sylvester Stallone will be plugging his latest movie and picking an Nobel Prize in Medicine for having kicked steroids. Asked to comment on Obama getting the Peace Prize, Sly stated that ” Obama has earned this great honor as I have, myself for solving a critical medical problem that afflicts vain men worldwide and Obama for raising hope for change through out the world.”

    Reply

  31. WigWag says:

    Personally I’m delighted that President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. I’ve always wondered what the Nobel jury’s criteria were in selecting candidates; the decision to recognize Obama clarifies things quite a bit. It also makes prognosticating who the future award winners might be much easier.
    Now that we know the Nobel Committee thinks Obama is worthy of the Peace Prize, here are my predictions for next year’s winners.
    2010 Nobel Prize Likely Winners
    Nobel Prize for Literature: Danielle Steel. For her 550 million books sold worldwide including classics such as: “Passion’s Promise”;”Season of Passion”; “To Love Again”; “Wonderlust”; and “Irresistible Forces.”
    Nobel Prize for Medicine: Peter Dunn, Ph.D., Albert Wood, Ph.D. and Pfizer for inventing Viagra; a drug that has dramatically improved the lives of men (and women) all over the world. And Bob Dole for bringing this remarkable remedy for erectile dysfunction to the attention of people everywhere.
    Nobel Prize for Biology: Pat Robertson. For remarkable contributions to the field of “Creation Science.”
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Bill Nye, the “Science Guy.” Especially for episodes 8 (“phases of matter”; episode 18 “electric current” and episode 25 “Static Electricity.” Thanks to the “Science Guy’s” magnificent contributions, junior high school students throughout the world have a far better understanding of the periodic table.
    Nobel Prize for Physics: Pope Paul, III (posthumous) for threatening Copernicus with excommunication unless he renounced his theory of heliocentric cosmology.
    Nobel Prize for Economics: John Gray. For elucidating the different purchasing patterns of men and women through his groundbreaking insight that “Men are from Mars and Women are From Venus.
    Nobel Peace Prize: Steve Clemons. For…Well he deserves it as much Obama does

    Reply

  32. Outraged American says:

    I’m with insurance, Obama should VERY graciously refuse the prize
    stating that he has a lot more work to do to earn it.
    How anyone could award a peace prize to someone who caused
    millions of Pakistanis to be displaced and who knows how many
    killed, allowed Israel to use US funded war machines to brutally
    attack the Gaza Strip, and to escalate in Afghanistan where we
    “don’t do” body counts?
    I’m hoping this is the Nobel committee’s way of giving Obama
    leverage to deal with the shitheads in Congress about Iran. One
    can or cannot live in hope. Hope is only a town in Arkansas. Or
    was it Alabama…

    Reply

  33. Chris R says:

    This is great news. I am very happy that he won. He deserves it.
    I have to admit that I am having a lot of fun reading the reactions of people on these blogs. Too funny.
    Win the Nobel Peace Prize? Yes we can!

    Reply

  34. Tahoe Editor says:

    It’s now the Nobel Prize for Stated Intentions
    PETER BEINART: Obama’s Nobel Farce
    “The president has done nothing to deserve the peace prize. Peter Beinart on why the award only aids the right’s arguments that Obamamania bears no relation to reality.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-10-09/obamas-nobel-farce
    RUTH MARCUS:
    “This is ridiculous — embarrassing, even. I admire President Obama. I like President Obama. I voted for President Obama. But the peace prize? This is supposed to be for doing, not being — and it’s no disrespect to the president to suggest he hasn’t done much yet. Certainly not enough to justify the peace prize.
    “This turns the award into something like pee-wee soccer: everybody wins for trying.”
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/10/a_nobel_for_a_good_two_weeks.html?wprss=postpartisan

    THE ECONOMIST:
    “BARACK OBAMA, who has been America’s president for just nine months, has won the 2009 Nobel peace prize. Perhaps the Nordic judges felt it was a suitable consolation after Chicago lost out to Rio de Janeiro in its bid to host the 2016 Olympic games.
    “Although the prize may be given in the spirit of encouraging Mr Obama’s government, it might have been better to wait for more solid achievements. With so many good intentions, and so many initiatives scattered around the world (and an immensely busy domestic agenda, including health-care reform and averting economic collapse), Mr Obama appears to be racing around trying everything without yet achieving much.
    “Carrying through on promises is proving far harder than making them.
    “The Nobel committee evidently wants to encourage him but it might have been wiser to hold judgment until he has achieved more.”
    http://www.economist.com/world/international/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14626903&source=features_box_main

    Reply

  35. Sarcasium says:

    I can imagine the next time Bill Clinton talks to Obama:
    “Say, while you’re in Oslo, put in a good word for me, will ya?” 😉
    But yes, Obama’s Nobel is a good choice as a way to *encourage* peacemaking. It will certainly help one of my favorite charities, the Ploughshares Fund: http://www.ploughshares.org

    Reply

  36. bob h says:

    “Obama Bubble”
    There never has been a bubble involved here. Obama and his team are far better than we give them credit for here at home. A first year of historic accomplishments-ending the Great Recession through skillful monetary policy and the unprecedented stimulus, setting an Iraq exit course, healthcare overhaul.
    Not to mention a total overhaul of American foreign policy.

    Reply

  37. ... says:

    for trying something different some might enjoy this which a music friend sent to me.. things could be different if we took a different approach..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw

    Reply

  38. ... says:

    i agree mostly with paul and dan’s comments at the beginning of this comment section…

    Reply

  39. Paul Norheim says:

    Dan,
    seriousness aside, I`m not sure if you`ve noticed the secret, but highly benevolent
    influence of FØLSENKRÅPP in the recent events?
    Two days ago, this message was released from the White House:
    “THE WHITE HOUSE
    Office of the Press Secretary
    ___________________________________________________________________
    For Immediate Release October 7, 2009
    LEIF ERIKSON DAY, 2009
    – – – – – – –
    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
    A PROCLAMATION
    On this day in 1825, the ship Restauration landed in New York City after sailing for 3
    months from Stavanger, Norway. The 52 passengers aboard represented the first organized
    emigration of Norwegians to America. These brave individuals set to the seas, following
    in the grand footsteps of the famous Scandinavian explorer Leif Erikson. Over a
    millennium ago, Leif Erikson — son of Iceland and grandson of Norway — arrived in
    North America and founded the settlement Vinland, located in modern-day Canada. Today,
    we celebrate his historic voyage and remember those who journeyed to America from far-
    away lands.
    Our Nation’s founding history is marked by millions of individuals who faced great
    hardship and difficulty as they pursued a brighter future abroad. As explorers, they
    did not know what they would find, but they were determined not to turn back, in order
    to learn what lay beyond the setting sun. This same spirit lived within Leif Erikson,
    and it has inspired countless others who venture from their homes in search of
    opportunity, uncertain of the possibilities and challenges that await them.
    Today, our Nation continues to welcome those descendents of Leif Erickson to our
    shores. Nordic Americans have contributed immeasurably to the success of America. Their
    cultural accomplishments have enriched the diversity of our country. And their
    pioneering spirit continues to embody our Nation’s unbounded enthusiasm for discovery
    and learning.
    To honor Leif Erikson and celebrate our Nordic-American heritage, the Congress, by
    joint resolution (Public Law 88-566) approved on September 2, 1964, has authorized the
    President to proclaim October 9 of each year as “Leif Erikson Day.”
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby
    proclaim October 9, 2009, as Leif Erikson Day, and I call upon all Americans to observe
    this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor our country’s
    rich Nordic-American heritage.
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of October, in the
    year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of
    America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
    BARACK OBAMA”
    Here is the link:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Presidential-Proclamation-Leif-Erikson-Day/
    ————————————————————-
    “…do hereby proclaim October 9, 2009, as Leif Erikson Day”
    As you know very well, Dan, there are no coincidences in foreign affairs.
    This time it was not the Zionists or the liberals – it was FØLSENKRÃ…PP…

    Reply

  40. brigid says:

    Thank you, Nobel Committee, for recognizing the value of aspirational leadership that a world so addicted to despair needs!
    Go suck on eggs, teabaggers and other cynics.

    Reply

  41. Dan Kervick says:

    But thank you for your contribution, Mr. Bolton!

    Reply

  42. Dan Kervick says:

    “That would be gracious, humble and smart politics (both domestic and international).”
    It would be an insulting affront.

    Reply

  43. stagecoach says:

    Here is my quick list of reasons I think he deserves it…
    1. Change the tenor of international relations from unilateralism to multilateral dialog
    2. Stating a clear objective to exit from Iraq
    3. Stating a clear objective to close Guantanamo
    4. Engaging Iran and North Korea
    5. Resetting the relationship with Russia
    6. Embarking on the Israel-Palestinian issue right at the beginning of his first term
    7. Stabilizing the global economy
    8. Stating the objective of a world free of nuclear weapons
    9. Committing to address climate change/global warming

    Reply

  44. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “The Obama Peace Prize is perhaps best explained as a statement of relief that the Bush Presidency appears for the moment to be an aberration, not a precedent.”
    What exactly is Obama doing different in regards to war? Actually, it appears as though there are numerous “precedents” set by Bush that Obama is adhering to.
    “Oh, I forgot to mention that four of the five
    members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are
    women”
    Well gosh, why didn’t they give it to “great abs and not gay” Schock? He’s at least as qualified.

    Reply

  45. insurance says:

    The smart move by President Obama would be to thank the Nobel Committee and decline the award–saying he wants to actually acheive progress before being honored. That would be gracious, humble and smart politics (both domestic and international).
    My guess is he does not do that.

    Reply

  46. Paul Norheim says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that four of the five
    members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are
    women – for whom it may concern.

    Reply

  47. Paul Norheim says:

    “The Obama Peace Prize is perhaps best explained as a statement of relief that the
    Bush Presidency appears for the moment to be an aberration, not a precedent.”
    (Zathras)
    I think you nailed it.

    Reply

  48. Paul Norheim says:

    DonS said in a thread below:
    “Since I’m probably way too cynical about this,and even think it might encourage Obama to ‘stay
    the course’, perhaps our resident Norwegian could tell us just what is in that Oslo water, eh
    Paul?”
    OK, here is the list of people in the committee, with some additional info and interpretations
    to DonS and whom it may concern:
    Torbjørn Jagland: Leader of the Nobel Peace Price Committee. Labour Party. Newly elected
    Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of
    Norway. He is a passionate social-democrat with a solid international network within the social-
    democratic parties and labour unions. Intellectually curious and open minded, but with deep
    roots in the social-democratic culture.
    Kaci Kullman Five: former prominent member of the conservative party (Høyre). Former Minister of
    Commerce. Now working for a private company.
    Sissel Marie Rønbeck: Labour party, former Minister (environment and other posts).
    Inger-Marie Ytterhorn: Senior adviser for Fremskrittspartiet (the “Progress Party”, a right wing
    populist party with similarities to the Republican Party in USA on issues like taxes and foreign
    policy, but also lots of social-democratic values in issues like health care etc. They want to
    spend much more oil money on welfare and infrastructure. They strongly oppose illegal immigrants
    and want to restrict immigration in general. Anti Muslim. Very “national” in a populist fashion,
    meaning football, camping wagons and barbeques).
    Ã…got Valle: former influential member of the Labor Party and long time rep. of “Stortinget”
    (Congress).
    ———————————————
    Obviously a lot of Labour Party members! FYI: The Norwegian Labour party is far left of the
    Democrats in America, while the Conservative Party may share some values with the left wing of
    the US Dems, and other values with the center Dems.
    With a possible exception of Progress Party member Ytterhorn, they all must have felt the shock,
    horror and disgust during the Bush years, and lots of hope and expectations when Obama occurred
    on the scene and was elected. I would guess that Jagland, the chairman, also speaks for many
    social-democrats throughout Europe expressing this sentiment of hope and enthusiasm.
    I`ve noticed before, especially in recent years, that the Nobel Peace Price Committee have used
    the Peace Price more as an active tool to influence current tendencies in global affairs, then
    as a reward for past achievements. This is a risky game. The outcome this time is obviously
    anybody`s guess…
    Another angle`to this: As a small nation, it`s in Norway`s interest to promote diplomacy,
    international laws, the UN and other international organizations binding up the superpowers to
    certain obligations and rules, avoiding an international environment where power equals rights.
    I assume that the majority within the Committee regard Obama as a force promoting these
    tendencies, as opposed to Bush.
    I haven`t yet read any Norwegian newspapers, but I guess this is the best estimate I can give
    right now of “what is in that Oslo water.”

    Reply

  49. Zathras says:

    President Obama’s Nobel award surprised me, and I’m told it surprised the White House as well. I wonder if some people there are wondering who they can call in Norway about preventing leaks.
    On the other hand, it does make a certain amount of sense given the shortage of other candidates this year. Really, who else was there? The Zimbabwean Morgan Tsvangirai is the only other possibility I can think of, and he may have suffered more than he’s accomplished.
    It’s obvious that the Peace Prize this year is an expression of how deep and profound was the loathing among many of America’s friends for Obama’s predecessor. Bush’s “unilateralism” was part of it, but his personality probably was as well. Boorish, self-regarding, transparently disinterested in anything he chose not to be interested in and frequently undignified, Bush just didn’t act like much of the world thinks an American President should. Obama does.
    It goes without saying he hasn’t been in office long enough to achieve the kinds of things for whick Nobels are usually awarded. The Obama Peace Prize is perhaps best explained as a statement of relief that the Bush Presidency appears for the moment to be an aberration, not a precedent.

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, we should probably get a bunch of decals printed up, so we can paste them on the noses of our missiles, smart bombs, and drone aircraft, and uh, whatever blunt instrument we are currently using to sodomize Muslims in our network of gulags….
    “Sent to you by a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize”.
    I am sure the dead and dying will be relieved by the gesture.

    Reply

  51. DonS says:

    While this may, and I emphasize may, enhance US efforts towards reconciliation (I can’t bring myself even to say “peace”) internationally — and y’all know I doubt it — it may easily backfire at home. To wit, this reinforces all the wingnut presumptions about Obama the Muslim, Obama being soft on furners, Obama this, Obama that.
    Of course, even if he has won the Michael Vick dog fight promoter of the year award, wingnuts would find validation of their memes. But, back on earth, being in the company of Jimmy “failed president” Carter, and Al “Mr stiff in the brown suit” Gore doesn’t work to Obama’s advantage domestically. I don’t think he even talks to those guys, and now he sharing the big Prize in their company.
    So the right wing heads explode: “see, see, we told you he was a ‘one worlder’ ” So what? That’s expected. But how far down the food chain do the underlying libels gain traction?
    To restate my initial question on previous post; does this inflate Obama’s already big head in a self-congratulatory way that strengthens his inherent conservatism in order not to rock the boat too much? “If they think I’ve done good so far (and really I haven’t done shit but talk), maybe I can throw a bit of red meat to McChrystal and maybe then they’ll all love me in a bipartisan way”.
    Of course, what we do know is that we can expect more talk.

    Reply

  52. K in VA says:

    I like this in so many ways, but three stand out: (1) It recognizes that Obama is, at least, trying to do right in the world. (2) It puts huge pressure on him to spend the rest of his years in office proving that he deserved the medal. (3) It is causing Republican heads to explode throughout the land.

    Reply

  53. questions says:

    Not quite my take actually OA. It was more like, how could you use probability the way you did given all that math you claim to have taken. At which point you repsonded with something about 5 year old nephews.
    I’ve been on a game theory kick for a while. The not-too-mathy side of it, that is. Today’s task is getting a really good grip on Nash equilibria.

    Reply

  54. Outraged American says:

    This must be April Fool’s Day. Bet the Afghans and the
    Pakistanis are choked with glee. The 4 still living.
    Maybe the Nobel guys are trying to give ammo for Obama to use
    in the Pal/ Israel sitch and against Congress push to attack Iran?
    Woodrow Wilson *ROLLS EYES* and tries to remember the class I
    took about “Germany between the wars”
    POA about DC “Does the general population have the percentage
    of crooks, liars, perverts and power mad pieces of shit as our
    body of representatives does?”
    Hollywood does. What do Maddow, Olbermann, the Neocons,
    Hollywood’s powerful, and the most avid members of Congress
    pushing sanctions/ an attack on Iran have in common?
    Hmmm. Scratches head, goes to crack open a beer even though
    it’s 5 AM, but heck it is Friday and April Fool’s Day.
    And then finds this. THIS IS A MUST READ!!!!~!!!!
    Theodor Herzl, the founder of “modern” Zionism, opening
    address to the First Zionist Congress. (and I don’t know what
    session of the US Congress we’re in now, but it’s like the 435
    Zionist Congress)
    In the address Herzl repeatedly refers to “Palestine.” Nyah
    Nadine.
    http://www.hagshama.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=1367
    Here are some clips from Herzl’s address to the Zionist Congress
    (and this could totally be a joke because when you read it Herzl
    seems to admit a lot of long held stereotypes about Jews)
    “You know that in some lands the Jewish problem has come to
    mean calamity for the government. If it sides with the Jews, it is
    confronted by the ire of the masses; if it sides against the Jews,
    it may call disagreeable economic consequences down upon its
    head because of the peculiar influence of the Jews upon the
    business affairs of the world.”
    “Zionism is simply a peacemaker. And it suffers the usual fate of
    peacemakers, in being forced to fight more than anyone else”
    *******
    Geez, now I know what Netanyahu and Wig were forced to recite
    every night, like I had to say Hail Marys and the Lord’s Prayer.
    Questions, when I told you that I had to take game theory you
    kind of pooh-poohed how a major in theoretical math would
    help me be a critical thinker. And now you’re Game Theory Gal.
    Paul, read “The Israel Lobby & US Foreign Policy” by Walt and
    Mearsheimer, two of America’s great thinkers, which granted
    isn’t hard to be. Iraq was not about oil.
    As I have said repeatedly, Colin Powell’s presentation before the
    UN on WMD was based on a plagerized student thesis. A friend
    and I CALLED EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS AND
    PRESENTED THEM WITH THE EVIDENCE.
    That would include McCain. And my friend, who also grew-up in
    Arizona, has a family that is locally very powerful. I can’t
    remember which one of us called McCain’s office, but we did
    hound it and brought up our connections to the state.

    Reply

  55. Dan Kervick says:

    Yes, this is a very risky decision. Obama could escalate the war in Afghanistan into a horrible mess, or blunder into an Iran conflict, making the Nobel Committee look like fools.
    But for the time being, it does help strengthen Obama’s diplomatic position. It should give him a little bit more domestic space here in the US to pursue peaceful outcomes. I would also think it will assist the cause of US-Iran negotiations. The Iranians can be more forthcoming in their negotiations on their nuke program, without looking like they are abjectly caving into US pressure, but are instead acceding to the global will and an internationally applauded non-proliferation effort. The move will help Obama put a little more pressure on the Iranians to go all out to prove the peaceful intentions of their nuclear programs. By winning the prize, Obama becomes, for now, an agent of the international community. And this makes it difficult for others to push for aggressive action on Iran so long as Obama is talking to Tehran. It buys us all more time.
    Similar factors are in play regarding Russia. Obama can be more assertive in promoting his non-proliferation agenda, and the Russians will be under added pressure to reciprocate by climbing on board an international effort, and not just an American agenda.
    The press response to the prize will help call more attention to the non-proliferation agenda, and help elevate it. And Obama now gets the opportunity to make a unique kind of speech in December, from an enhanced position of international leadership.

    Reply

  56. Paul Norheim says:

    As the only Norwegian citizen commenting regularly at the Washington Note, I would like
    to offer my comment.
    First: Congratulations Chicago! Congratulations Hawaii! Congratulations Kenya!
    Congratulations America!
    When that is said, I have to admit that I`m surprised. In my view this was a premature
    choice. The Nobel Price is intended as a reward and encouragement for actual
    achievements, not as a tool rewarding the lofty promises of a politician.
    Three or seven years from now – who knows?
    But picking him due to his promises, his speeches and his charisma was foolish. As
    far as I am concerned, they could just as well have picked Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey,
    Pamela Anderson or Paul McCartney.
    They are gambling with the prestige of the Nobel Price.

    Reply

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