Does Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

October 9, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.

The committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

“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.”

The laureate wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish crowns (1.4 million dollars or 878,000 pounds).

Obama was one of a record 205 nominees for this year’s prize and the decision has come as a surprise to many. Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, had been tipped as one of the favourites.

Despite his ambitious international agenda, Obama is yet to make a significant breakthrough in the Middle East or effectively deal with the threat of Iran’s nuclear programme and his country is currently fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Has Obama done enough to justify winning the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who do you think should have won?


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Rather than spell you thoughts about a nothing, please find a an email that will get their attention. The email for the See what your comments will bring when you share your thoughts, Peacefully!

To answer the question, a man named Glen Mortenson should have been awarded the Peace Prize. He builds schools for Muslims among many other major accomplishments. He teaches Muslim women to bring up their children to not become terrorists. He is the real deal.

Obama’s winning is one big joke. So far, his term in office has been failure on many fronts. The Nobel Peace Prize is a misconstrued political coup for its recipients, given by elites who don’t understand the world-at-large. Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and now Obama? This is so ludicrous. The liberals who favor this decision are a bunch of idiots.

Posted by pdq | Report as abusive

He doesn’t deserve this anymore than Kermit the frog does. Wait, actually the prize would have more merit if ole Kermit received it. Obama has done NOTHING to warrant receiving this award. He has and will continue to do more harm to this country and the world than anyone even realizes. The “prize” hasn’t had any real merit since Arafat received it and just lost even more. Are they all crazy???????

Posted by Donna | Report as abusive

Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize if for no other reason than peacefully standing firm in the face of an extreme daily attack from the Right here in the United States. I have never heard such insults, half truths, untruths, and racism hurled at a President of the United States. He has handled all of it daily with grace and elegance. Truly a man of peace.

Posted by Susan | Report as abusive

I’m not exactly sure why President Obama won the award, but am nonetheless proud, as an american, that our president’s efforts are being recognized. Perhaps, with this award linked to his name, more can be acheived on an international level. Comparing President Obama to past Peace Prize Winners is unrealistic (although it should be noted that Sadat and Begin both won the award for their attempts at peace as peace was not achieved for another year). What’s more, without knowing who was nominated, who are any of us to say he was deserving or not deserving.

Posted by Michelle | Report as abusive

What a joke. This is an embarrassment. Whether you love or hate Obama, one can’t possibly believe he has accomplished anything deserving of this award. What has he done? Still in Iraq? Yep. Still in Afghanistan? Yep. Gitmo still open? Yep. Apparently he was given the award as a result of his ‘blame America’ tour where he impugned our nation’s motives and leadership prior to his enlightened presidency.

Posted by Jay Buchanan | Report as abusive

Glen Mortensen, I agree. That man has risked his life over and over again to help remote communities of people receive a better education.

Obama has not accomplished anything in his 9 months as President. Closed Guantanamo? No. Pulled out of Iraq? No. Improved conditions in Afghanistan? No. Improved health care? No. Brought us out of a global recession? No. For Obama to be counted among the likes of Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, who changed the lives of so many, is inappropriate. Ronald Reagan never won the peace prize, and he was a major player in ending the cold war.

Posted by Megan | Report as abusive

I think he got the award because he stopped the planned missile defense program in Europe and because he is willing to open a dialog with the Muslim world. Russia was not pleased at all with the planned MDP in Europe, it could possibly create a new cold war between the to very different superpowers.

Posted by Lars | Report as abusive

In my opinion,

1. Obama has got the award not for something he has done for a couple of decades, but as a recognition of what he has done in the 9 months to ensure that the world doesn’t go further astray – which would have happened if a regime like that of Bush had been continued by yet another American president.

“War-momentum has been contained.”

2. Obama has changed the way world views the America by striking right through the root cause of “failure of American diplomacy” – the difficulty of being aligned with the interests of the world. A simple concept of hope for a better future cannot be “limited to America”, and that it is bound to apply to all.

It is “Zero-Cost Diplomacy”.

3. Obama has not done anything spectacular, but contrast it to what Bush had done in 8 years ?

“Positive change has happened”.

Posted by NA | Report as abusive

Dr. Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, at the age of 35. His two most important achievements by then were the organization of the Montgomery Alabama bus boycott and the 1963 March on Washington. He was at the very beginning of his transformational journey — the goals for which were hotly contested at the time The … … Read MoreRead Morelegitimacy of his Nobel Peace Prize was widely disparaged, mostly by the political ancestors of those who degrade President Obama’s award. President Obama has launched the U.S. on an unprecedented, non-racial, non-imperialist direction and, simultaneously, has sought to tackle, peacefully, the leading international issues of our day — nuclear proliferation, Middle East Peace, Climate Change, equal partnership with other countries of the world and reversing a U.S. trajectory of unilateralism that was destined to lead to perdition. Who says he doesn’t deserve this prize? Compared to who — Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt?
Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things. And hope, across the world, for freedom from nuclear annihilation, race based imperialism, economic exploitation and environmental perdition is not to be sneezed at.

Of course he doesn’t deserve this formerly prestigious award.

The Nobel Prize committee has lost its collective mind.

Obama is actually awarded the Nobel Peace prize? It renders me confused, worried, and dis-illusioned.

Obama has not accomplished anything yet…all he has done is made promises, and put forth a few comments MANY others have done before he appeared on the scene.

He may even end up being at the very least co-responsible for a major disruption in the world economy, and killing hundreds of thousands by destroying the ability of one of the most advanced nations on the planet to make further contributions to feeding millions of starving people, providing free medicines and medical care, providing essentially free support to build homes and hospitals, etc.

Posted by ExLibris | Report as abusive

It is a sad day in River City. We been had, been flimflammed…..ooops! that is the Nobel Committee HAS been duped, as he has yet to DO anything which promotes Peace. We have a broken economy, losing in the World market, and now this! What did he do? Bush helped liberate thousands. Reagan helped the Wall come down. But the Big “O”? What did he do? Nada, zip, zero, NOTHING!

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

I am happy that Obama has won the prize. 8 years of war in Afghanistan that Bush started has no end in sight, Bin laden is still free,innocent Afghans have lost their lives. Iraq was invaded on a lie of WMD in Iraq, again innocent Iraqis were also killed. Muslims were alienated, wall street was in a brink and help did not come in Katrina. Obama brought back hope, sought to change whatever the Bush leadership (or absence of leadership) accomplished. That alone is a a triumph of humanity. Obama fully deserves the Peace prize.

Posted by Simon | Report as abusive

It’s rare to have a Leader strong and caring enough to stand by his own convictions of doing the right thing. He is a treasure to the Whole World and United States is very Lucky to have Obama as their President. A Very Well-Deserved Prize !!!

Posted by Cool | Report as abusive

I’m agree “Rp Singh” and “MhD.”

It is deserved by Obama… Not so long ago I lived on the mid-east of Europe. I you just don’t know how much people in countries like Russia or Ukraine hated the Jorge W. Bush and his policies. By the way that is created the same filling to the United States. But now things are changing… People around the world start trust to Obama’s words. And belief that this country, USA, can be a friend.

SO don’t judge to hard… He is trying… That is for sure. Look in the past and try to remember how Bush was trying…

And try to look on facts… Speak to Muslim World, is it easy? I’m sure not… Speak to Eran, maybe this is easy? I don’t think so… And other stuff Obama doing is really encouraging.

Posted by Nester | Report as abusive

The Peace Prize is a joke. This award is a politicized statement that tells much more about the award committee than it does about the recipient. I liken this to Oscar or Emmy awards, and from now on I’ll give it about as much attention. Thanks for cheapening one more thing in this world, libs….

Posted by MS Scientist | Report as abusive

As President Obama himself pointed out in his response, the Nobel Peace Prize is sometimes awarded to add momentum to a positive movement or shift in world affairs. Obama has achieved a position of great power, and is attempting a significant reorientation of U.S. foreign policy in ways that, if successful, certainly constitute such a shift. As noted by other commentators, he has already made good beginning. The question is not whether Obama deserved the prize, but whether he will deserve it. I certainly hope so, for all our sakes.

Posted by Aaron Levitt | Report as abusive

The criticism coming from right wing republicans is a clear reflection of how badly they want Obama to fail! They hate Obama more than they love America. They can’t bear to see him, or America under his Presidency, succeed in any way, which says a lot for their patriotism and perhaps in some cases even racism. There is no doubt that Obama deserves this honor even if it is in small part due to the huge relief that the whole world felt after Americans finally came to their senses and overwhelmingly voted for a sensible and pragmatic person like Obama to succeed the most hated warmongering President and Vice President in the history of America, who as you recall, were originally appointed (not elected) to the White House by the Supreme Court who overturned the wishes of the majority of Americans who voted for Gore.

Posted by Cassidy | Report as abusive

I am so proud that President Obama has been awarded this prestigious honor. The nominating committee validated what many of us recognized as President Obama’s gifts. He is a man of peace, and a gift to America and the world.

Posted by anlyztht | Report as abusive

I’m sure the whole world is laughing at us now. In order to redeem himself (Obama), he should “adopt” American families who don’t have health care insurance and pay for their coverage. $1.4 million dollars will cover quite a few families. In fact, he should get his Hollywood friends (Oprah, Michael Moore, etc) to do the same. This will help solve the “health care crisis” he so adamantly declares we have and leave the rest of the US citizens (85%) of us alone.

Posted by Kathy | Report as abusive

Unfortunatelly not yet…
We don’t know his plans for the future, and even if his plans will work.

The unique thing that Mr. Obama did so far was being elected. None of his promisses were achieved.

There are a lot of people that deserves this prize more than him. Why don’t give this prize to Bono Vox ? or Sergio Vieira de Melo? (brazilian and UN diplomat that was murdered in Iraq and did much more for peace than Mr. Obama)

Probably this prize was given to Obama as an incentive for his work…

Posted by Rodrigo | Report as abusive

I srongly agree with the Nobel Prize. Of course Obama’s decisions need time to turn into measures taken by the rest of the stakeholders, but these decisions were brave and wise.

Posted by Paulo Uzin | Report as abusive

For people who think that they know what is marxism and socialism…

I was born in 1986 in Soviet Union… I can tell you that in USA you have more Socialism that in post Soviet Union countries right now.

So just be quiet, please… You don’t know what it is. And when people don’t what they are talking about it is better for then to keep silence.

Spasibo za vnimanie.

Posted by Nester | Report as abusive

Thank you, Richard, I have posted an email to the committee and vented my frustrations. Here is my input:

“There are so many deserving people who should have won the recognition of helping the world where it’s most needed. Greg Mortenson’s name comes to mind. His many accomplishments of building schools and working with Muslim mothers to teach their sons not to become terrorists far overweighs anything that Obama has done in his life. In my country, America, alone Obama’s efforts on almost all fronts have resulted in failure. Even those who voted for his presidency understand that, although they try to relive the Bush years as the reason Obama has failed. Nonsense!

It is my belief that the Nobel Peace Prize’s reputation has completely crumbled after this misconstrued decision. If it’s true that the vote by the Committee was done within two weeks after Obama’s election, then the outcome is even more tarnished. A price should be given for accomplishment; not speeches.

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.”

Rather than spell you thoughts about a nothing, please find a an email that will get their attention. The email for the See what your comments will bring when you share your thoughts, Peacefully!

- Posted by Richard

Posted by pdqRather than spell you thoughts about a nothing, please find a an email that will get their attention. The email for the See what your comments will bring when you share your thoughts, Peacefully! | Report as abusive

The question is not “Do you hate George Bush” or “Do you worship at the feet of Obama”. The question is – does Obama deserve to be awarded the Nobel prize despite not having accomplished anything yet? Keep in mind that he was nominated for the award just 2 weeks into his Presidency, even before the “Beer Summit” in the Rose Garden.

Surely there are people in the world who have worked hard and sacrificed much to bring peace to the world. Giving this to Obama insults their [actual] accomplishments.

Posted by Ajax | Report as abusive

President Obama does not yet deserve the Nobel Peace prize. This diminishes the achievements of all other recipients who have devoted a lifetime to merit their Nobel Laureate awards. My opinion is that President Obama should refuse to accept it at this time. After all, he has not yet proven that he deserves it, in just 8 months in office. Frankly, I am disappointed and dismayed.

The Nobel organization states that awards are based on achievement. This effectively and dramatically diminishes the purpose of the Nobel Laureate prize.

Posted by Moby | Report as abusive

This article asks: “Does Obama Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?” Is that a rhetoric question?

Posted by CC Pony | Report as abusive

Are you seriously wrote an email to Norway?

This is impossible you are a disaster…

Posted by Nester | Report as abusive

So you actually mean that you have excperienced socialism just because you were born in the Soviet Union a couple of years before it collapsed? There are a lot of countries that are more socialistic than the U.S. Belarus, Cuba, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and a lot of other countries. So no U.S is NOT socialistic, since individualism and capitalism is greater in the U.S than in any other country in the world! Obama is trying to help compared to other leaders.

Posted by Johan | Report as abusive

Thanks for the chance to comment.

What the Peace Prize committee did would be akin to the Chemistry committee traveling to Harvard or MIT, going to a lab, selecting the best PHd student and saying: “We have the hope you will do something great in your career so therefore we are awarding you the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.”

Presenting the Nobel for anything other than a life filled with achievement is simply politics.

Posted by Franklin B. Tucker | Report as abusive

One thing about the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama is that it shows just how much the previous Administration was hated by the rest of the world — including (and perhaps especially including) our closest allies. Even if this is all that it shows, it is a powerful lesson. No doubt the “tea party” crowd will go to town on this as confirming their worst fears (radar-evading UN helicopters and all that), and that’s too bad. But the fact is that President Obama is the guy we need to restore America’s credibility with the other countries in the world. This Nobel Peace Prize is an indication that he is doing that.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

What hope has O given to the victims of genocide in Sudan, or to the human rights activists in China? Or to many other people who suffer and struggle?
I’m neither a Republican nor a right-wing guy in general, and I think this decision is undoubtedly the worst ever taken by this committee.
It’s a sad day for peace, human rights and democracy, or at least a very frustrating one.

Posted by buzz | Report as abusive

This is to all of you with criticism abound. If any of you had to endure the daily insults of calling this man Hitler, Socialist, monkey, n word, terrorist and some other names that I cannot mentioned, and still keep graceful and grateful, please stand up. Most of you are just projecting your ignorance and hatred on this for no other reason than bigotry and some other harbored ill will. He deserves this award for trying to improve the image of America and the embrace the world as a whole.He is also a man with a good heart.

Posted by Lynda Garcia | Report as abusive

Basically because of what he believes and use of rhetoric, he beat out others who actually deserved the award based on their accomplishments? Well, many believe that the University of Florida is going to win the football National Championship this year in January. By the same measure, you should just give them the trophy, and not even worry about the rest of the season, right?

Posted by Veritas | Report as abusive

It is my understanding that the nomnation was done in Feburary of 2009, when he had only just taken office. It seems that there was not anything that he had done but be elected. He is good company with other murders and thugs in this world, and last years nominee that has done nothing but spread lies about the condition of our planet.

Posted by Rodney Brown | Report as abusive

A peace prize?? For what?? It was a joke, or perhaps the reason why Obama waited before deciding to send 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Indeed, this prize was reduced in status and prestige for bestowing this honor for an Emperor “with no clothes”, no achievements, and no real accomplishments. Perhaps it was for closing Gitmo, and then trying to figure out what to do with the terrorists. Sad commentary on the world.
Ready, shoot, aim.

Posted by buffalobob | Report as abusive

Eleven days into office! Nominated! WHO NOMINATED HIM? Yes! He deserves an award for blind ambition. He deserves an award for self love! He therefore is incapable of seeing that he is becoming the biggest joke in the World. Whirled Peas! Yes! We will have WHIRLED PEAS thanks to Norway!

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

Why does the world – including Oslo – think it is totally wrong for the US to be concerned about the inner politics of nations when they affect us but it is to be applauded when a group awards a very lucrative prize with the express intentions of meddling in our internal politics?
It obviously wasn’t given on merit. Alfred Nobel must be turning in his grave.

Posted by SAlly | Report as abusive

Again, are you all really shocked by this???

Besides the few idiots posting here that it’s deserved, he is great, blah, blah, blah, blah blah most “thinking” people have understood for a long time that Nobel is a joke, it’s a bunch of liberal morons patting themselves on the back for actions “they” deem important despite any realities to the contrary.

Let’s look quickly at Al Gorlioni…..if the environmental regulations pass that he is pushing, he stands to make Billions of $’s, despite over half of the scientific community now agreeing that Man is not impacting the environment to even close to the degree that “some” believed just a few years ago and they award him a Nobel prize. I’ll bet anyone that more than a few of the “so-called” nobel committee members stand to make some big profits just as Al “the idiot” Gore….it’s a racket.

And stop calling him President Obama, it’s President Soros folks….a good ole Nazi running our contry :(

Posted by pltn | Report as abusive

The rancorous discord evident in the comments by partisan pundits who decry hope and the movement in language and deed towards a better world is indicative of the cynical nature of human kind, and the cynical roots of partisanship.

Most of the afformentioned have no clue as to the historical intent behind the Nobel Peace Prize and represent why human kind has yet to heed its call.

Obama has elevated the esteem the world holds for America. There is more capital for peace with strengthened alliances born from a new vision of intent to work with the world, rather than war against it.

The Bush doctrine, the go it alone, first strike, cowboy diplomacy of: we have the power to not care about what any other country thinks…inspired hate and loathing that made us as all less safe. This justified rage against the American brand, and did nothing to enhance the possibility that those who might be swayed to violence would see cause to question their jihadi intent.

Obama, by his name, his race and his message (and by our electing him) tells the world America is much more than a bunch of power crazy old white men whose only intent is to impose its might to exploit the resources of those who cannot defend them.

America has fallen under the influence of what Dwight Eisenhower called the “Military Industrial Complex” and other corporate influences that have held our base ideology (the promise of our documents of freedom and democracy) hostage.

Bush’s entire tenure can be viewed as a quest for pursuing gains for these corporate interests. His policies fleeced America’s middle class, weakened our economy, weakened our military, extended our debt, and took us to the brink of collapse…all through the effective use of fear and hate that arose from 9/11.

Bush took us to war with Iraq based on a lie, which cost thousands of American lives, countless Iraqi lives, not to mention countless arms, legs, eyes, and minds. This mindless policy took our strategic attention away from Afghanistan, which might have been won by now had we not been duped into such a costly calamity. Think about that: We went to war based on a lie…not just the human and material costs, but implicatons this held in the minds of those around the world about what America is?

Obama is calling on every American and humankind to re-examine where we are today and where we want to go. He has cast a light on the shadows of our failings and promised the tenents of our democracy will be upheld around the world by actions that underscore these tenents, not contradict them.

Our existence is based on words, and the language that Obama has used with immeasurable effect in a very short span of time has changed the hearts and minds of millions in the world; in spite of those cynics whose world will forever be driven by fear and hate.

Obama has given the world something it has not seen in an American president for decades: Reason for hope.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

In reply to anlyztht: The Nobel prize is not intended to reward people for “gifts”. I am gifted in certain ways, as are you, probably. But do we deserve the Nobel prize for this? President Obama may be a gifted person, and hopefully his gifts will bear fruit… but not now. How can the Nobel Committee “validate” what you think? C’mon!!!!

Posted by wishdr | Report as abusive

Albert Nobel is on a full spin….forget turning!

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

I would hope Obama deserved the award. However, it appears the Peace prize has been awarded based on the hope he will accomplish something.

This is not the first time this “Noble Nobel Prize” has been awarded based on the hope of accomplishment. Apparently, Yasser Arafat won the award in 1994 on the hope the Palestenians would achieve peace with the Israelis. Clearly, it was a political move that did not bear fruit. One can only hope this politial move bears fruit.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Peace Prize has been awarded for political reasons rather than acutal accomplishments. It probably won’t be the last time either.

Posted by Hal Stevens | Report as abusive

He hasn’t done anything. Most of his reforms are for the US only and are still tied up in Congress. Will he deserve it later — maybe, maybe not — but he sure as heck hasn’t done anything to deserve it now. This is a political statement, and nothing more, and I find it totally disgusting. Dr Nobel must be spinning in his grave.

Posted by Jsmith | Report as abusive

President Obama has changed the course of US policy on global matters to such an extent and with such courage to fully deserve the Nobel Prize. Most importantly, he’s changed the world’s political climate so dramatically that we can now hope for a better turn of things. He’s also setting an outstanding example of the attitude we need to face today’s challenges small and big: an open mind, straightforwardness, respect and mutual understanding. Also his deeply correct and non aggressive ways speak for the committee’s decision – and many bloggers here could learn something useful from the President’s disposition.

Posted by Laura | Report as abusive

I think the rules for the nomination started last September. I didn’t know much about Obama back then let alone anything significant since he took office. Where’s the credibility? This seems to be a European political ambush on America.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

I agree that it is a bold move to give him the award despite being less than a year in office. However, I see this as an encouragement more than a reward. Obama has at least tried to be different and righteous. He does have the heart and character to think about change and implement it. Even if he does 10% of what he promised, he will leave substantial benefit to both the planet and mankind.

Posted by Bhawar | Report as abusive

President Obama does not deserve this award for only 10 days of work. Neither would anyone else. I believe most of the shock was that this award was given to someone who only had 10 days in the application window. No one should be awarded for anticipated good works.

Also – Cassidy -who wrote ‘There is no doubt that Obama deserves this honor even if it is in small part due to the huge relief that the whole world felt after Americans finally came to their senses and overwhelmingly voted for a sensible and pragmatic person like Obama to succeed the most hated warmongering President and Vice President in the history of America, who as you recall, were originally appointed (not elected) to the White House by the Supreme Court who overturned the wishes of the majority of Americans who voted for Gore.’

Americans did not overwhelmingly vote for Pres Obama. He won slightly more than 50% of the vote. Overwhelmingly should be reserved for those who win at least 60% or more. Secondly I live in Florida and did at the time of the Gore/Bush issue. Supervised hand recount after hand recount (Jointly by the Democrat and Republican parties) here in this state confirmed that Bush secured more votes than Gore, some people just didn’t like the answer. Unfortunately some people wish 1+1 = 3 but it doesn’t and so that’s tough luck. Lastly the USA is a democratic republic, not a pure democracy. One must win the majority of the electoral votes not popular votes.

Posted by D Oates | Report as abusive

Obama’s practical, straight-forward dedication towards international cooperation to establish a peaceful planet is a catalyst, inspiring peoples of all nations to strive for this and other essential world-wide issues. The tone he has set for intelligent dialogue is not just refreshing and hopeful and but essential if we hope to attain world peace and a healthy planet.

Posted by Cecile Clover | Report as abusive

The definition of the Nobel peace prize is; “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” He has said allot about bringing nations together but I wouldn’t constitute that as work just yet. He certainly has not abolished or reduced standing armies as is evidence in the Middle East. You could probably argue that he has promoted peace congresses but only to the extent any US president would have done in their first year. It is possible that he will fulfill this definition over this first term but it is not possible to say he already has.

Posted by Liberty | Report as abusive