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Obama Wins Nobel for Peace

For the third time in its history, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded its Peace Prize to an American president in office.

The committee chose President Obama from 205 candidates (172 individuals, 33 organizations) whose names had been submitted as part of the committee’s annual process.

The choice of Obama surprised most Americans, as well as the international reporters in Oslo, Norway, where the announcement was made.

Obama took office in January, only two weeks before the deadline for submitting nominees. In the short time that followed, it appears, the Nobel committee was impressed with his efforts to improve diplomacy and eliminate nuclear arsenals. They must have considered his efforts to build understanding between America and the Muslim world in a Cairo speech, and his United Nations speech urging greater global unity. They also would have known that this peace candidate was waging war in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

The committee did not have to name a winner. Between 1901 and the present, the committee has refused the prize in 19 years.

President Theodore Roosevelt won the Peace Prize in 1906 for brokering a peace between Russia and Japan, which was threatening to destabilize Asia and possibly the Russian government.

Woodrow Wilson won the prize in 1919 for his efforts to end World War I and build a global League of Nations, which he believed would prohibit future wars.

In 2002 the committee gave its award to ex-president Jimmy Carter for his efforts, both in and out of office, to support peace and help struggling nations. And in 2007, former vice president Al Gore was the recipient for his international efforts on behalf of the environment.

The list of past winners is long and includes many now-obscure names. Many, though, should be familiar to us: Albert Schweitzer, George C. Marshall, Dag Hammarskjöld, Linus Pauling, Martin Luther King Jr., the International Red Cross, Anwar Al-Sadat, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela.

But the Peace Prize doesn’t always come with a supply of peace. The choices in the past have been controversial. Many were angered when the committee gave the award to Henry Kissinger in 1973, and even more were disappointed that it was never given to Mahatma Ghandi.

What are your thoughts on the Peace Prize?

Who would you have nominated for the award this year?

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  • Agen Bola

    Why do Republicans believe Obama won because he was black?

  • Suzette McCurtis

    Regardless of who the president is in the United States of America is. It is the leading Country of all countries.
    It is a shame that alot of people throughout all lands feel they have to tear down those that are doing something positive to maintain the world as it should be.
    What would the countries be like if the president of the United States di not exist????

  • Bob J

    Poor Marilyn. So uninformed. It gets easier to understand how this ‘all talk, no results’ guy was elected by the uninformed populous.

    I read that 3 of the 5 Norwegians did not want obama, but were bullied into it.

  • Robert Platt

    I would have given it to no one, because there is no one who deserves it at this time.

  • Marilyn

    I would still have given the prize to our President Obama.

  • Timothy O'Reilly

    I would have given the prize to Greg Mortenson.

  • arturo ninomiya

    Carter? Gore? Obama? I guess in order to be in the running, one has to be corrupt, lie, deceive, and have no sanctity for life. In others words, one has to be a ‘low-life’.
    This award is a joke. If it was an honor to receive it, then General David Petraeus would have been the best candidate.

  • Bob J

    My posting was not based on my political view, but rather on the vapid and meaningless way the Norwegians put together this prize. For ten years, it seems to be a popularity award with the liberal Norwegian suits.

    They are getting a lot of static from their European ‘ friends’. Watch and listen.

  • Chana

    It seems to me that most of the comments on this board are more of a reflection of the posters’ politics than a commentary on the Committee’s choice. It’s too bad that America has become so divided that we have to turn everything into a political brawl.

  • Frances O.

    You bet I would have nominated/voted for President Obama! If not for the fact that his presidency inspires and invites hope for not only this country, but for the world, then simply for the reason that he is NOT “W”. He will prove himself as he deals with the mess he inherited from “W”.
    Oh, and the President probably wouldn’t say “Is our children learning?” or “nucular” rather than “nuclear”. “W” doesn’t need to worry about his grammar any more though, since the brush he likes to clear won’t care.

  • John Rozewicki

    I think the prize committee really just wanted to meet Obama.

    I voted for him. I think he’s doing an alright job, but it’s unclear at this point how much impact he has really had. A lot of things are a step in the right direction, but we’re only assuming that the actions being taken will have favorable results.

    There’s also the issue of whether or not Obama really needed to be recognized in this way. Couldn’t the prize have gone to someone more in need of the notoriety and money that comes along with the prize?

    The key to this whole thing is that this is not the Nobel Prize. It is the Nobel Peace Prize. It is managed separately, and as pointed out in this story, in some years not managed very well. It pains me that arguments about this award are dominating what should be the real news of what’s happening with Obama’s health plan.

  • Josh Deckard

    Comments on Facebook.com/SaturdayEveningPost:

    Streaming Glow: Well? what had he done only 2 weeks into his presidency to win a nomination? Who was his competition and what were their nominations based on? …
    Yesterday at 10:54am

    Anthony Raney: What a joke he can send his country to hell in a hand basket and turn around and win the Noble Peace Prize…
    Yesterday at 11:18am

    Rosemary Williams: Obama’s election inspired the world . It was the first step in restoring people’s trust and respect for the United States and its gpvernment.
    11 hours ago

    Charles Schroedter: No comment
    5 hours ago

  • Eileen W

    Excellent reasoning behind the award.

  • prwiz

    lu·di·crous (ld-krs)
    Laughable or hilarious because of obvious absurdity or incongruity

  • Bob J

    This so trivializes the Prize, and reflects on the true nature of the clandestine group that manages the prize, future recipients will be regarded as apple polishers of the Norwegians. To award something of this magnitude, based on rhetoric of an INTENTION to pursue peace..I was just getting over the laughable Al Gore, with his “scientific” movie landing him the Prize.

    Mother Theresa, Dr. King and Albert Schweitzer AND Alfred Nobel must be rotating in their graves at the petty politics that came into play.

  • James

    surprising. McCain really had to choke out that half response, haha. maybe premature, hope something positive comes of it.