The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to US President Barak Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
A hearty congratulations to the president.
Still though, as much I like Obama and would have voted for him if I could, has he really done enough to merit this prize? He has not been in office for a year yet and for all his well intended words, what has he accomplished?
It's true he has spoken of nuclear disarmament, he has reached out to the Arab world, he's appointed a Middle East Peace envoy, but in all this, his country is fighting two wars which do not seem to be drawing to a close, the Middle East remains as bellicose as ever, and for all his multi-lateralism, places like Cuba remain sealed off from much of the world by a US embargo, Chavez rages in Venezuela and those indicted for genocide in Darfur remain free.
As much as I hate to admit it, I actually agree with Hamas on this one with their comment: "Obama has a long way to go still and lots of work to do before he can deserve a reward...Obama only made promises and did not contribute any substance to world peace."
Obama has made steps in the right direction, but accomplished precious little. Indeed, the Nobel committee is praising Obama for creating a new international climate: of of multi-lateralism and dialogue. This is no great achievement, however, coming after a president like Bush. It's not so much that Obama has brought about a new climate, he's restored an old one that we had not seen for the past 9 years.
Still, congratulations to the President and here's to hoping that the burden of being a winner of this prize will drive him to work even harder for peace and will lend him and his country even greater credibility in its efforts to broker agreements and speak with influence around the world.
For my part, however, I would still have preferred someone like this.
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