The Twittering classes on Obama’s prize and Pakistan

October 9, 2009

(Updated with official reaction)

The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama has opened up a field day for people on Twitter.

 While many politicians around the world were still working out their reactions to the surprise announcement, Twitterers leapt in with instant analysis from Pakistan, India and around the world. Here are some of the more frequent retweets which caught my eye::

 “Pakistan asks for credible evidence to show Obama indeed won the Nobel Prize asks 4 dossier from Nobel”

“Obama wins the nobel peace prize? umm. for what exactly? he’s shooting missiles into pakistan! good intentions?”

“Obama gets Nobel Peace Prize: For the accuracy of his drones in Pakistan?”

“India & Pakistan demand a Nobel Peace prize for not bombing de shit out of each other!”

Official reactions from the region were generally positive, while the Afghan Taliban condemned the decision. 

Afghanistan and Pakistan congratulated Obama, with Sherry Rehman from the ruling PPP party saying she hoped the award would encourage the U.S. president to focus on bringing peace to South Asia, and help end the Kashmir conflict.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent a congratulatory message saying that “the world today is in need of a healing touch. Your pursuit of an inclusive approach to problem-solving, and primacy to dialogue as an instrument of policy are setting new benchmarks for the world community.”

The Afghan Taliban said he should get a Nobel prize for violence instead.

Do people in the region agree with the assessment of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that, “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics”. Will he bring peace, or more war to South and Central Asia?

(File photo of Obama after his first 100 days in office) 


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I sent the following to the Nobel organization today:

I read (as apparently many other global observers have also) the announcement of your 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 him nobel worthy, more so than other who have been endeavoring similarly in the fields you credit to Obama for many, many years. Even if your selection was to include his single term as a legislator, I still challenge you to produce a record worthy of Nobel consideration, let alone a prize. I am familiar with his record, and I submit there is none.

There is another explanation. A very sad one. I believe you have sold, no worse, given away your credibility as an organization and diminished the value of the awards you bestow as another victim of the global cult of personality that swirls around his politically popular ethnicity.

You have done a tremendous disservice to prior laureates, and others around the world whose legitimate efforts continue to go unrecognized.

You have lost my respect.

Posted by JW | Report as abusive

One Beautiful American’s Magnificent Ascent

Posted by Lefteris Pavlides, Providence RI | Report as abusive

Is there a Nobel for the joke of the year? I’d give it to the Nobel Committee.

What exactly has Obama done so far, other than talk the talk?

“The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

Which country has the biggest nuclear arsenal? How many has he reduced or committed to reduce?

“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.”

More constructive role? Someone please explain this googly. Just what has he committed to?

Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened? Yeah right, like closing Gitmo. Any bets it doesn’t happen within the year?
Strengthening dmocracy? Having two missions unaccomplished, in Iraq and Afghnaistan, deserves a Nobel?

Posted by Dara | Report as abusive

He abandoned Dalai Lama (Another Noble Winner) to appease the Chinses!

Obama Zinged By Jon Stewart For Stiff-Arming Dalai Lama tober-7-2009/hell-no–dalai

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Obama Zinged By Jon Stewart For Stiff-Arming Dalai Lama tober-7-2009/hell-no–dalai

Posted by Sameer | Report as abusive

I admire Obama for one thing – He is a leader and not a politician. He is honest, consistent and does not change his values easily.

However, I feel that the Nobel committee has hurried up to honor him. It would have been appropriate to wait at least until the end of Obama’s term and decide at that point to honor him or not. Obama himself must be wondering on how he got the prize when he has just started on his global mission. Its impact is yet to be realized.

If I were Obama, I’ll decline the award now and tell the committe to consider me for a latter time based on how I performed.

Posted by KP Singh | Report as abusive

If Yessar Arafat can win , Why not Obama?

Even Arafat was sleeping with gun in hand! Obama doesn’t do that!

Posted by ANdy | Report as abusive

I got this shock just when I thought a week ago that Nobel Peace prize is one of those things that it is hard for the committee to find a really deserving person each year. when there is no on the planet deserving this, giving this to people like Barack Obama will be insulting the prior nobel laureates.

It is the fault of the committe so far, not Obama’s,
but it will be Obama’s fault if he does not turn it down. He will come out as a bigger man if he politely rejects it.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Peace has now become a cheap commodity. Infusion of bombardment and drone attacks can now lead to the greatest prize of the human spirit. That is like awarding Gandhi and Hilter for the same reason. Imagine where you give credit to the KKK and the Peace Community of Sudan. Really unfair. Reveals the truth and indepth stupidity that life has now no meaning.

Posted by Saeed Shiekh | Report as abusive