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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The Nobel Peace Prize has degenerated into the Oscar for Best Actor.

Posted by James M. Brundage-Neill | Report as abusive

The many comments by narrow-minded and unfortunately quite ignorant complainers about Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize is exactly WHY the NPP Committee chose Obama: to put a brake on all the warmongers, selfish and racist “America -love it or leave it” crowd who is so blinded by their own prejudices and lack of knowledge about the real world outside of the USA, they whine and cry like spoiled brats. Sadly, the U.S. is full of such arrogant and stupid people. But the balance of forces for peace, dialogue and sanity have switched from the madness that most Republicans are still gripped by. They will change America, not the ignorant, petty minds who speak here!

Obama has pushed to restore balance to an increasingly polarized world. He’s helped to ensure nuclear non-proliferation, in addition to his outreach to Middle Eastern nations. He has advocated for environmental and human rights standards at a sustained pace. I can totally understand when people say he hasn’t done enough, he clearly has not made such fundamental reforms in the world scene as past winners. However, in his months in office he has come to represent an idea, an idea of getting better, of trying. That’s the American Spirit. That’s why he’s earned the Nobel Peace Prize, for personifying an Idea. That’s so special, and so rare, that it demands recognition.

Posted by avastlygrimtint | Report as abusive

Yes, President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. He and his administration are attempting to bring reason, sanity, clarity, and humanity to our US foreign policy, rather than the big stick intimidation of the Bush years. I will wager that the majority of Americans are proud of this moment in history. 57% of every dollar spent by our government goes to the military and its contractors; no other advanced nation devotes that much money to military spending. Moreover, remember this, most soldiers and their families qualify for food stamps, in initially in Iraq the soldiers were not adequately armed or protected. Other soldiers have died not in combat but faulty wiring in barracks built by civilian contractors caused deaths. Budget wise The remaining 43% is divided this way: 6% Health & Human Services, 6% transportation, 4% state and international, 4% housing and Urban Development, 4% education, 4% other agencies, 3% homeland security, 2% energy, 2% agriculture, 2% justice, 1% environmental protection, 1% NASA, 1% commerce, 1% labor, 1% treasury, 1% interior. This is the budget submitted by President Obama. I do not agree with how our tax dollars are spent, yet I am happy that our President is seen as a representative for peace in the world. I ask all of you naysayers where is your patriotism? This is a proud moment for our country.

Posted by Judithky | Report as abusive

to NOBLEKIN—-just curious—how many times a day do you bow before your poster of Obama and thank him for all that he may or may not accomplish? Truth be told–Hillary has done more to promote peace than our dear leader.

Posted by Deb | Report as abusive

Anyone who travels internationally knows that since President Obama’s election the attitude of the rest of the world toward Americans has changed. His image has helped us all be seen as brokers of peace and justice. That change in attitude may be more significant than any one peace treaty. During the previous administration America was too often viewed as obstructing world peace and in many cases the well being of anyone not American. President Obama’s strategy of dialogue and respect reflects well Americans all and makes us proud to voice our support for solutions that help us all.

Posted by janet Dewan | Report as abusive

Most of the time the award is EARNED for having accomplished Peace. Carter and Arafat were glaring examples of nothing earned. Mother Theresa was a shining example of a life of work toward Peace. Name 1 thing that he has actually done. HMMMMMMMMMMMMM….still waiting…I am not adept at skin breathing, so I will NOT hold my breath!

Posted by Mary | Report as abusive

What does Bush have to do with it?…

It’s an inappropriate decision by any standard.
The members of the Nobel prize for Peace who voted for it abused of their position. They should acknowledge it, and resign.

Posted by buzz | Report as abusive

War and acts of violence arise as final and tangible expressions of preceding and underlying orientations of conflict. They are the results of tensions, not the cause.

By the same token, the tangible resolution of outright conflict follows upon the reduction of those tensions.

Reducing the causes and grounds for conflict is the first and perhaps most taxing step toward resolving conflict itself. This constitutes making peace.

In this regard, the Nobel Committee has recognized Obama for achievements already accomplished.

An initial goal of a firefighter is containment. The reduction of fuel is valid firefighting, even while the fire is raging.

Posted by adam ayers | Report as abusive

Mary, Carter and Sadat did not earn it?
Are you sure?

If that imbecile Ronald Reagan and that corrupt party he headed had not succumbed to the temptation of power politics, we might have already had peace in the Middle East, and all those satraps there and noisemakers like Bush Jr. would not have had the power they had. Carter twisted Sadat’s and Begin’s arm, and only Begin ran home and started dealing with the Iranians, who were holding OUR hostages…. And mysteriously, when Reagan was inaugurated, the hostages were released…

Too much coincidence for me…. but Carter did earn his, and so did Sadat. Begin remained a terrorist.

Posted by Marton R | Report as abusive

In spirit, it is not Obama who has been given this award, it is the American people for electing him.

Obama is antithesis of George Bush and all that he represented to the world.

America has a new face, with a new message.

Hope for peace was elected by America’s people, this award is their reward.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

The question should not be, “Does Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?” Instead it should be, “Why not and what has the other 204 nominees accomplished?”

Most of you missed the point. It’s the hopes and visions he is awarded for, not “what has he done for us lately”.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive

When we disagree with Obama’s politics can you please stop using the arguments that – I’m not a patriot, I’m a racist, a bush lover, warmonger or whatever. It only makes you look like a fool that all you can do is call me names to defend our president. Try looking up some facts to back your aurgements. Then you’ll see that you can’t find any.

Posted by Steveo | Report as abusive

I read (as apparently many other global observers have also) the announcement of their selection of Barack Obama as a 2009 prize recipient with the utmost disbelief. Surely, I thought, this was someone’s misguided attempt at humor.

I mean honestly, this person was in his present position for approximately two weeks before the nomination deadline. Exactly what were the accomplishments of that two week period that made Obama Nobel worthy, more so than others who have been endeavoring similarly in the fields they credit to Obama for many, many years. Even if their selection was to include his single term as a legislator, I still challenge anyone to produce a record worthy of Nobel consideration, let alone a prize. I am familiar with his record (or more appropriately the lack thereof), and I submit that there is none.

There is another explanation. A very sad one. I believe the Nobel organization sold, no worse, gave away their credibility as an organization and diminished the value of the awards they bestow as another victim of the global cult of personality that swirls around Obama’s politically popular ethnicity.

The Nobel organization has done a tremendous disservice to prior laureates, and others around the world whose legitimate efforts continue to go unrecognized.

The Nobel organization has lost my respect.

Posted by JW | Report as abusive

He can’t even as commander and chief take the recommendations of our in theater commander that will keep our American hero’s in Afghanistan from being killed without an opinion poll. What a joke he is.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Dont you people see he’s really different from some of his predecessors who did their best to portray US as a war monging, mean capitalist, egomaniac country. He’s doing his best to change that. He’s is showing the better side of the most powerful nation on this planet with respect and appreciation for others. I never heard any other US president talking about “nuclear weapons free world”, “climate change treaty” “health care reform”. Come on he started those initiatives, that it self is a profound thing. mind you he’s the most powerful man on this planet.

Posted by Naveen | Report as abusive

Don’t be surprised that Obama won. Consider who heads the committe that awarded the prize. Check out Thorbjoen Jagland, the head of the committee, on Wikipedia then you will see why the likes of Al Gore, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Mohamed ElBaradei are past “winners”.

Posted by Bill, NH | Report as abusive

I wish to congratulate the president for this well deserved honor. Anybody who can endure the daily vitriol being thrown his way by the republicans deserves an award.
I also like the fact that the republicans are today going into a fit and wondering, dang! he won again!!

Posted by Ray | Report as abusive

He is very deserving. Congrats

Posted by Keith Singleton | Report as abusive

Awards are given for tangible accomplishments. Many posts here state he has changed how the rest of the world views us. How does one measure “feelings”? Concrete, factual examples of accomplishments should be required to win any award. In sports, awards are given based on statistics, not feelings or perception. How can the president accept this award knowing he has done nothing tangible that can be measured objectively?!?! This is an ever so thinly vieled attempt by the Nobel leadership to goad him into implementing socialist policies they espouse. By them giving him this award, and by him accepting it, the Nobel Peace Prize has been greatly diminished!!!!!!!! They have made a mockery of the concept of an “award” and the definition of “peace”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Melissa | Report as abusive

I think Angelina Jolie deserves a Nobel Peace Prize before Obama!! This is a disgrace. Ghandi never received one…….There are people out there who work every day for the peace cause. They are the ones who deserve it. Disgust is an understatement.

Posted by CT | Report as abusive

This is embarrassing and disgraceful. It is interference in the internal politics of a democratic country, and it leaves one in no doubt that the award committee is not politically neutral. Perhaps he will deserve it in the future, but he hasn’t done anything yet except make a bunch of guilt-ridden white liberals overexcited.

Posted by Oliver Chettle | Report as abusive

Unbelievable. I am still astounded by the utter ignorance of 50% of my fellow Americans.

The man (Obama) could walk on water and you all would still say it is because he can’t swim!

When are any of you going to stop bashing him? If he has not done anything, then why do you blame him for everything?

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

This medallion had lost its luster after Arafat had won it, but now this? After reading through the comments that many have made, I find it appalling that many who say he deserves it can only point to the “Hope”, he’s injected into the world. Hope is a subjective term that’s vaporous as the U.S. currency right now. Hope to a sick child in Mogadishu is much different than the Hope of a sick American child, or the Hope of a politician with a thirst for power and re-election. The opposing “Hope” I have is that this diastrous non-experienced team in D.C. stop their hatred of the Constitution. This award does not legitimize Obama in anyway, but only minimizes the Committee and their criteria. Apparently, “HOPE” from a historical standpoint for the last 20 years to the Nobel Prize Committee,is one who vilifies the U.S, and its Constitution. So, the the main criteria is “Hope”, and that its not G.W. Bush? People wonder why millions question the school system that no longer teaches critical and logical thinking. The U.S. is being purposefully marginalized and left in the dust of innovation from other countries, and the dollar is about to collapse, and all we get is we should be proud?

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

For Johan.

Belarus is not a socialism country… This country has a dictator for las 20 years… So it is not a socialism…
I did not mean that US is a socialism country… What I meant is that US has more symbols of Socialism than any other of post Soviet Union… For example: Welfare…, and other social programs… So think more global…
I was born there and live in that region for 22 years…

Posted by Nester | Report as abusive

No, he dosn’t deserve the award because he hasn’t done anything. He has failed miserably at every thing he has touched. The economy, the dollars slide, all on his watch. High unemployment again on his watch. Wall street looting of the treasury. On and On. Stop blaming Pres. Bush. He needs to get a pair of stones and fix his mess. He needs to man up and take responsibility for the problems he has created on his watch. When will he start being a leader and not a finger pointer. One, two, three years into his failed presidency?
Wake up and see him as the utter failure that he is.

You would think the reward would go to someone who actually acomplished something. But I can not think of anyone who actually acomplish making peace. I very much agree Obama has put a lot of effort forward. Mostly in changing how the US is communicating policy. However policy concerning Middle East,Iran, North Korea, and other hot spots and national security are the same as the Bush years. These policies are the position the US has to take to ensure security for it’s people and allies. Freedom has a price tag! Men and women willing give their lives so each of us have peace of mind knowing the threat of terror upon us being stop. Let every nation drop it’s defense posture and see what happens.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

Does he deserve it? No. Name one accomplishment other than being the first half-black president of the United States. His “hope” and “change” slogans have come in handy. I “hope” I still have some “change” in my pocket after his term. Frankly I am ashamed of this country’s leadership at present. We’ve gone from a world superpower to a bunch of terrorist-placating pansies with barely a glimpse of moral stature that our Forefathers had which made this country great. Sure the rest of the world likes Obama – he’s turning our country into pseudo-Europe. He’s throwing everything that makes us “American” down the toilet.

Posted by Dee | Report as abusive

All tensions about the nomination aside this blog is to promote understanding of a situation clouded with doubt. The attacking of other bloggers’ or of the current outcome is not a productive means of this space.

Being from or outside of the United States one must look at the broader implications of the recipient of such a prize. With the information that is readily available each person voicing there opinion on this forum proves they have the technology available to them to research there hostility or joy for the outcome and make an educated refutation or supportive statement for the outcome.

My personal belief is actions and outcomes speak for themselves and be it a lifetime of work or only a few months in office we shall see if any one person can truly receive such an award. With this statement we shall see if the Nobel Committee has made an error in judgment or not.

Posted by Chris J. D. | Report as abusive

There is no way Obama accomplished as much as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Why is Obama held in such high regard?

He’s no different than every other politician promising things and not delivering. He’s just on a soap box right now.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

This is more about politics than peace. Obama does not deserve a recognition for what he hasn’t produced even a single result. He kept quiet about the atrocities of Iraq’s Al-Maleki in camp Ashraf, he was the last to condemn the Iranian crackdown, and he flirts with Mullahs. At best, he is a follower not a leader in peace.

Posted by bobak | Report as abusive

That’s easy. No he doesn’t deserve it. I don’t say that he never could deserve it, but perhaps the committe should have waited until he’s actually been president a few years and has had a chance to actually do something. Even better, wait until a few years after his terms are up so his action and policies can be analyzed and it can determined if they really DID promote peace.

There is one more detail.

The nominations for the Peace Prize 2009 must be in before the 31st of January 2009. Only things that the nominee have done/said before that date is allowed to be taken into consideration. Obama took office on January 20. Exactly what did he do in those 11 days that was so fantastic that he must be awarded the Peace Prize? It must have been something top secret, like fending off an alien invasion, because I certainly haven’t seen anything about it in the papers.

Posted by Robert Steen | Report as abusive

The very audacity of the question leaves me astounded. How can we ask does President Obama deserve to win? The fact is unreversible — HE DID WIN. He won because he has helped America to be viewed in a positive light once again after the Bush “error”. He won because, he gave hope to a hopeless nation on the brink of bankruptcy and financial ruin. He has consistently pushed for peace and the reduction of nuclear arms. He has remained peaceful in the face of blatant racism, criticism and hypocrisy. He won because above all he is a man who rules his home well, his country better and his spirit man best. While many hide behind the camouflaged white sheets of Anti-Health Care Reform protests and empty questions of his citizenship, President Obama continues to show transparency in Government while being reserved in his actions in regard to those who oppose him for no other reason than their thinly-veiled resentment for the color of his skin. He DESERVES to win because there is no one in the world in this day in time who deserved it more!

Posted by CN Nomoor | Report as abusive

This is a debt that the West must pay to Afica and all african-americans. I am white and ashamed that we westerns have misteated and enslaved africans for five centuries. It is a long time coming but it is coming.
Long live Barak Obama.
Ana Ferreira
(a grannie from Canada)

For all the obvious reason, that every other Obama supporter agrees with, I’m happy that Obama won the award. But someone who I would like to see win the award in the future, who I feel has the potential to make a dramatic change if not world wide, at least Central America is Sergio Fajardo from Columbia. If you aren’t familiar with S. Fajardo, look him up, fascinating story! I hope if he is elected Columbia’s President, he and Obama can work together to really strength Central America.

Posted by Tconigl1 | Report as abusive

There is no doubt Obama hasn’t done anything to deserve the prize. However, this is just a way for the world to remind him of his responsbilily towards peace. The US involved in wars, proliferation of weapons, destruction of the natural environment more than any other country. Obama is the only guy with the heart and capacity to do that – of course he needs to shut those bully republicans in his country.

Posted by Greendian | Report as abusive

Yes, I understand, but every industrialized country in the world has, for example, a welfare system. Sweden has it, Norway, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, France etc. Sweden is a good example since it has a lot more social programs than for example the U.S.
And a country can be a dictatorship when the leader is a socialist, for example Robert Mugabe is a socialist. Maybe you’re right that U.S. has more social programs than post- Soviet Union countries, since you have lived there, but I’m sure that they have some kind of social program.

Posted by Johan | Report as abusive

Only a small minority of Americans say they believe Obama deserves the prize.
That’s a big slap in the face of the Norwegian committee who granted it to him.

I wonder if Obama himself really believes he deserves it. Would there be a journalist smart enough to get the truth out?

I also wonder how many of those who say he deserves the prize really think he does.

Posted by bizda | Report as abusive

What has he done to deserve the Nobel price? You make the Nobel Peace Prize less value, I feel it is easy to give a prize to somebody who want it like giving a gift to a kid.

The price should go to Bill Gates who has contributed his life and money to combat diseases around the world.

The committee has made a stupid choice, and the people will see the Nobel Peace Prize as a joke, a commercial gift to kids.


Posted by Tri Nguyen | Report as abusive

President Obama has done (I mean actually accomplished something), absolutely nothing to justify this high award. Recognizing someone for their hope, plans and incipient efforts which boil down to not much more than rhetoric is ridiculous. Never in history has anything like this happened in regard to the Nobel Prize. Why not recognize the Prime Minister of Israel for the restraint shown in not blowing Iran off the face of the earth. It all boils down to the same thing.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

Nelson Mandela?

Why does the corruption associated with this president and administration not bother other countries? Is it because they are delighted to anticipate the collapse of the United States?

The changes in the demography of the world will result in the collapse of the entire free world in one or two generations. Take a look at the book, America Alone.

Obama et al are eliminating the last chance we have as a free society to stabilize our economies.

Posted by jwc | Report as abusive

They degraded the Nobel Peace Prized to nothing more then rhetoric.

now the obama sycophants have another episode from the affirmative action radical donothing to defend

looks like the euros know that obama is going down at election time and they are trying to give him to props to brag about – he sure has nothing but negatives so far

oslo betting on peace while they contribute to the divisiveness of America by radicals and America haters

Posted by Jack Kennedy | Report as abusive

So one of the reasons he won was nuclear non-proliferation. The nomination process was in March. How did they know in March about non-proliferation when he just brought it up the past few weeks?

You ever get the feeling there is more going on behind the scenes than any of us understand?

It’s getting a little scary. Like when thousand paged stimulus bills were in legislation right after he took office that normally take months to write and debate.

I smell a rat.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

If Yessar Arafat – who always carried a gun with him and who killed hundreds of innocents – can win a noble prize, then why not Obama?

I have no doubt Obama is better qualified that Arafat!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Politics! It’s all about politics. The Socialist Norwegians hated Bush and this is their way of “punishing” him. I have no faith in either the Olympics (more politics) or the Nobel organization or any other international awards show. We have set up a false god with Obama. If you believe in the Bible, or if you just believe in common sense, Obama is nothing like the sycophants who worship him. Enough already!!!

Posted by pdq | Report as abusive

Wierd… That was the first thing that came to my mind. I think this was very premature…Surely there are people (200 others at least) that actually have spent their entire lives fighting the good fight against evil. I’d love to say “Yeah, buddy, our president has really changed the world” but erm, he hasn’t done anything on record except give speeches, and those speeches are often not accurate depictions of his actions. As we gear up to send tens of thousands more young Americans into combat in Afghan, it seems really almost satirical, doesn’t it?

Posted by Debs | Report as abusive

Whether you like or dislike the President or his goals, the question still remains, “What has he accomplished for world peace?” No summits, no treaties, no troop withdrawals/ reductions, etc. Please, somebody, name something. I feel the world has gone mad!

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

He deserves it for changing how the rest of the world views America. Europeans see Obama as president and think maybe Americans aren’t as stupid, greedy, and hateful as they thought. He brought an image of peace to America. But the conservatives won’t stop until the rest of the world hates us again.

Posted by Jake | Report as abusive

When I heard that President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize this morning I was shocked. He has been in the office for less than a year, and no offense but has yet to do anything. All his ideas so far are just ideas and no action. We keep hearing about “change” and “hope” but so far I haven’t seen anything. More military have died in Afghanistan in the last year since he took office, than in the last eight years at war, something needs to be done.I understand that these things aren’t going to happen in a split second and take time. But this is a man, who this coming weekend is hosting a shoot- around with other political figures to shoot hoops. Is that really what you picture, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who’s doing so much for the country, doing on a weekend? I don’t think so, not saying that he shoulnd’t be allowed to have fun he is the President. I think that there are more important issues the news and radio should be covering besides trying to shed light on him as a “normal” person. He was in office in Illinois for two years, and we have absolutely nothing to show for it. The first year in office he wrote a book, and his second year in office he toured with his book. I really don’t hope that he tricked America in to electing someone who’s more worried about his fame then the country itself. I’m glad another one of our Presidents won the Peace Prize, but I want that person to actually do something to earn it, not just get it handed to them.

Posted by Kristen | Report as abusive