News Brief – October 9, 2009
In surprise move Friday the Norwegian committee awarded U.S. President Barack Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The unexpected choice so early in his presidency took many observers by surprise. With some expressing dismay that Obama should be awarded a peace prize, even though U.S. forces are currently fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unsurprisingly, the Taliban have condemned the award.
"We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP.
"When Obama was elected president, we were hopeful he would keep his promise to bring change. But he brought no change, he has continued the same old strategy as (President George W.) Bush.
"He reinforces the war in Afghanistan, he sent more troops to Afghanistan and is considering sending yet more. He has shed Afghan blood and he continues to bleed Afghans and to boost the war here," he said.
Meanwhile, political analyst Peter Lavelle told Russia Today that the award was a “huge mistake…I think it is very premature”.
While Russian political commentator says the award will “definitely, drastically undermine” the Nobel Peace Prize Committees reputation, “especially, if you take into account that there is no practical breakthrough in nuclear arms control.”
Indeed, naming Obama as the 2009 winner will only further undercut the standing of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. After all the committee has a history of awarding the peace prize to individuals who were anything but peacemakers.
Included among their number was the former U.S. secretary of state and war Elihu Root, who was awarded the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize. This was despite the fact that Root oversaw U.S. policy in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War. As a result of the American occupation hundreds of thousands of Filipinos—some estimates range as high as 1.5 million—died between 1899 and 1902.
Another Nobel Peace Prize winner who seemed to make a mockery of the award was Manachem Begin. The former Israeli prime minister had also been a commander of the Irgun terror gang, which was credited with the infamous massacre of Palestinian civilians
Likewise, Henry Kissinger was another recipient of the award who seemed to make a mockery of the word peace. This prime architect of the New World Order was credited with being behind the U.S. escalation of its war in Vietnam even before he was named Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1973.
Thereafter, with the U.S. National Security Council he drew up a plan to use food to control rising population levels
. It was, in effect, a blueprint for genocide.
So far from being out of place, Barack Obama may find that he’s perfectly at home with an award that is rapidly losing credibility and standing.
Last updated 11/10/2009