Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize. But he shouldn’t have

October 9, 2009

My quick thoughts:

1) The complete abdication by the Obama administration on trade should disqualify him from the Nobel Peace Prize. Free trade has lifted hundred of millions out of poverty worldwide and promoted a closer global society. But the Obama White House has been as protectionist as any in memory. Free trade is that the core of  foundation of the post-World War II economic order.

2) Maybe Obama should accept PP on behalf of Reagan (defeating USSR), Bush I (freeing Kuwait), Clinton (free trade) and Bush II (liberating 50m).

3) Certainly with his recessionary economic policies (more taxes, more government, weak dollar), he is not going to win a Nobel for economics anytime soon.

Here is the press release:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only 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. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

7 comments

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If Obama were even more protectionist I’d want to marry him! What about America is not worth protecting? Except possibly those avaricious bastards who destroyed the American way of life of days gone by!

As far as condemning Obama for being the recipient of a prestigious award,,,, How about some pride in our President and our country? The fine folks of Norway do not labor under the yoke of our corporate owned society. Yet they saw fit to acknowledge our President’s good intentions and recognition of other nation’s right to exist.

Posted by Unemployed | Report as abusive

You should be proud of the United States! It has been a good long time since the President #1) inspired hope in the American ppl and the world #2)Actually inspired and worked toward benificial change toward peace. I don’t see Daddy or Jr. Bush winning a nobel peace prize. Stop hating! It’s been 8 years since we had a president that DID HIS JOB! Give the man some credit. After all, he actually did aspire toward greatness and achieve it, and then inspire that same dedication to a majority of ppl. What have you done? Spread fear and disgruntlement? This should be inspiring to work toward peace, not more fodder to tear it apart.

Posted by Andrea | Report as abusive

Good post. And where is Reagan’s peace prize? Beyond the INF treaty he also passed the US-Canada free trade agreement and helped kick start the Uruguay Round of GATT talks.

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

Hey “unemployed”: Norway’s not under the yoke of corporate-owned society? Sheesh! Have you ever heard of Statoil? Hydro? The rest of Europe “hates” Norway because they won’t pool their petro-kroner with the Euro. Pay attention man.

Posted by nonono | Report as abusive

[...] Jimmy Pethokoukis explains why the president shouldn’t have won the Peace Prize, and I believe he makes some very strong points: 1) The complete abdication by the Obama administration on trade should disqualify him from the Nobel Peace Prize. Free trade has lifted hundred of millions out of poverty worldwide and promoted a closer global society. But the Obama White House has been as protectionist as any in memory. Free trade is that the core of  foundation of the post-World War II economic order. [...]

HAHAHA! Reagan defeats the USSR? I would argue anyday that Charlie Wilson did more to cripple the ‘evil empire’ than King Ronnie. Bush II liberating 50 million people? MY GOD!!! They live in chaos now, most of Afghanistan and Iraq being destroyed and still warred over 8 and 6 years on. The only acknowledgement worthy there is Bush I, and he led a UN backed coalition under UN command (though ol Schwarzy was an American general).

As far as free trade: free trade is good, but it comes with a price. That price is lower your own standard of living to raise everyone elses. Not sure how many Americans will appreciate that, though in a world sense I’m sure it’s beneficial. It’s essentially, though, a grand undercutting scheme and throwing more middle-men in to boot. Not that great a measuring stick towards progress, in my opinion.

Posted by the Shah | Report as abusive

@ nonono:

Sure,, but those are regulated by the Norwegian govt. Our govt has ripped our pants off and held our head while their corporate pals take a turn at our ass.
Ever been there? I have. They receive good telecom service and never pay for incoming calls. I know this because I was laughed at for the American cellular service I was using. Telecoom technology isn’t the only thing we get shafted on in America.

Posted by Unemployed | Report as abusive