Prize for Not Being George W. Bush?

I admit that when I first heard the Nobel Prize news I assumed it was a hoax. And my second thought was, really? Is this because he’s not George W. Bush?

I don’t have to tell you how the Right is reacting to this. Feelings seem to be mixed on the Left. To tell you the truth, what with the continued drone attacks and confusion over Afghanistan policy, I’m not sure I would have voted for him myself. The Committee is giving him props for his work toward nuclear disarmament (which began while he was still in the Senate).

From the Prize Committee (emphasis added):

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.”

In short, he’s not George W. Bush. Works for me.

BTW, here’s some background on President Obama’s non-meeting with another Nobel Prize Winner, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

34 thoughts on “Prize for Not Being George W. Bush?

  1. People will complain that he was nominated back in January, before he’d had the chance to do anything. But he’s been carrying the torch for returning the US to diplomatic process for a while.

    Remember how much flack he got during the campaign for saying he’d be willing to sit down with foreign leaders? He risked a lot by maintaining that commitment to diplomacy while it was taking fire from McCain and the Bushistas, and the right-leaning Villagers in the punditocracy. Just last year, the policy of the most powerful nation in the world was to demand concessions from others before we would deign to talk to them, and picking fights everywhere.

    Now we are acting sane again. Today the world, in the form of the Nobel Committee, gives an audible sigh of relief.

    Not surprisingly, RedState, Fox News, Hamas, and the Taliban are all on the same side on this.

  2. imo this makes the Peace Prize look like the “Grammy” of the Nobels. There weren’t any truly deserving nominees this year? Really? (I too thought of the victims of drone attacks, when I heard the news. Also the victims of KBR/Halliburton, still being victimized with our tax dollars.)

    And as I said in the previous thread, this is just going to fire up the end-of-days crazies who think Obama’s the Antichrist. Time to increase the Secret Service presence….

  3. It would seem that the easiest way to win the Nobel Peace Prize is to take the helm of a superpower that’s gone rogue, and return it to business-as-usual. I could wish Obama really did do anything to deserve it, but since Dubya deserved an anti-Peace Prize, this is as close to that as we are likely to come. Good deal.

  4. Although I am happy for President Obama and the United States for him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I believe the rationale for awarding it to him is utterly preposterous, and a slap in the face to the other (more) deserving nominees (and to President Obama as well). Giving him the award essentially because “he is not George W. Bush” or for what it is hoped he will do in the future is sham, and reflects extremely poorly on the award committee. I think the recent skit on Saturday Night Live says it all: He’s done NOTHING since assuming office!

  5. I don’t think many of us can imagine how the rest of the world felt about George W. Bush. The list was of prospective honorees was (heard on NPR) put together January 21 and his place on that list was, in part, a huge sigh of relief and gratitude that we’d managed to put in office a person of the stature of Obama.

    So it’s not about what he’s been up to during the past few months except to the extent that a speech here and a handshake there reinforced his image. Of course, the crazies will be fired up. “Peace” is not a popular concept. “Diplomacy” is the work of da debbil. “Cooperation” is naive and faggish. Etc. etc. We have work to do.

  6. Maha, I (and my hubby) had the same reaction as you. It’s the “you’re not George Bush” prize. That being said, I also have to agree with PW. Many Americans haven’t got a clue how much the rest of the world despised Bush. Boy did we scratch our heads–and we continue to do so over the inane debate on health care that risks derailing the whole process.

    As usual, I continue to hope that this new acknowledgement of Obama’s statesmanlike qualities does not further inspire some right-wing loony to do the unspeakable.

    Best wishes from Canada.

  7. So I wonder if Jeb Bush is going to tell the Nobel committee to “put on their big boy pants” as he did to those who cleverly deduce some accountability by “W” over having turned a budget surplus into an economic downturn of biblical proportions.

    You can hardly blame them for using whatever influence they have to raise the good-intentioned mediocre over the abysmal, antagonistic bullying we saw from Bush.

    Despite the “atta boys” bestowed on Obama he needs his nose rubbed in his obsequious inclusion of all things Goldman-Sachs in his administration. He seems to be for diversity in most things except economics, favoring those who helped make it bad over those who got it right. For that I say “Bad Obama.”

  8. I read they didn’t wake him up in the middle of the night because they thought he needed his rest. He didn’t get the call until 6am.

    I think this is about the hope he gives for a better future for the world.

    I still feel hope but I must admit, this healthcare struggle has reminded me that even with hope, our future be brighter only with a lot of effort. Who would have thought so many would not wish to see their healthcare and their loved ones’ healthcare covered. Who would have thought so many of OUR representatives would think their first priority was to the insurance companies and drug companies.
    I have to wonder what other surprises we will meet on the way to the brighter future.

  9. When one seeks perfection, then that’s ALL they will do.
    I am so glad, and proud, to have my President win the Nobel Peace Prize. That President Obama has flaws is of no concern as we all have them. That this will enhance his prestige as a leader, and may help to push his vision of world stability, is paramount.
    As the technology of nuclear weapons becomes more available, we need to move on this now, not later. We need to look forward and to involve others in this quest nuclear non proliferation which, in the end, may decide the very existence of our species.

  10. What, are you not in the least bit proud of Obama, Maha? Tsk tsk. (that is a talking point a liberal used on me.)

    Hey, maybe one day Obama will earn the Prize as put forth in the will of Mr. Nobel (“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”.) Regardless of my opposition to his policies, I hope he does earn it on the international stage for working towards true peace.

    Regardless, this whole kerfuffle is more about the idiocy of the Prize committee rather than about Obama, who I would hazard to guess wasn’t entirely thrilled.

  11. It’s more than a “not being George W. Bush” prize. It’s also a prize for beating McCain- Palin. Do you remember last summer, when McCain wanted to go to war with Russia over Georgia? Do you remember bomb-bomb-Iran? Do you remember the ridicule he got from his fellow Dems over being willing to talk to Iran? Not to mention, despite all the “secret Muslim” crap, he actually visited the Middle East, spoke to Muslims, reached out to the Muslim world?

  12. From Obama’s speech this morning:

    After I received the news, Malia walked in and said, “Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo’s birthday.” And then Sasha added, “Plus, we have a three-day weekend coming up.” So it’s — it’s good to have kids to keep things in perspective.


    Also, apparently the Taliban and Hamas are very pissed off about it. Others may disagree, but I consider that a “win.”

    And if it makes Rush or Beck or Malkin or Hannity’s head explode… super-win.

  13. So ‘competent altruism on behalf of the collective is a moral good’ has suddenly become a conservative core principle? What do they care about Nobel prizes?

  14. A prize for not being Bush.
    The fact is, I’m not real happy with Obama’s accomplishments.
    Netanyahoo pretty much tells him to piss off in regards to Israeli “settlements”
    Depleted uranium munitions still rain over Iraq and Afghanistan.
    The images of war are still hidden from the public.
    “We” are stilloccuping two countries, and fighting covertly in more than many imagine.
    As Maha mentioned, killer drones still attack “suspected” insurgents.
    His own countrymen call him a “socialist” and worse for wanting to help his citizens cope with the CRUSHING health care nightmare.
    The black dude is doing a better job than the cracker king could ever do, and doing it by just not being a total fuck- up.

  15. Pingback: Peace Prize? Obama Hasn’t Done Anything Yet! « Right Sided American Kafir

  16. And he’s not Henry Kissinger! Maybe now I can respect the efforts of the Nobel people again.

  17. How can winning the Nobel Peace Prize be a negative? I for one am proud that our president received the award regardless of the reasons.

  18. I can tell you P.W. how the rest of the world thought of us . they started arming theirselves.

  19. Hey, I’m proud too. But let’s face reality. It was the, “Hey, you’re different from the asshole bully before you, and thank the Gods that you beat the idiot and his even stupider running-mate in 2008. So, here’s the award!”
    I was at my new job (which sucks, btw), so I haven’t seen the RW reaction to this. I’m sure they want Bush to win for bringing “Democracy” to the Middle East. The fact that thearea is less stable than an any time in modern history is immaterial to them.

  20. Reading all these comments makes me think that with friends like us, Obama doesn’t need any enemies.

  21. Do you have any candidates for people who have killed more people than Obama in the last 9 months?

  22. Reading all these comments makes me think that with friends like us, Obama doesn’t need any enemies.

    Who was it that said a true friend is one who has the guts to tell you when you’re screwing up? Obsequiousness, of the kind the Right showed toward Dubya, ain’t a sign of friendship.

    Unfortunately, in too many ways Obama is continuing the awful policies of his awful predecessor. Everyone here knows that. So the best spin I can put on this bad call by the Nobel Committee is to say: I hope winning the Peace Prize gives Obama the guts to do what’s right and really, truly clean up Bush’s mess, and return the United States to a condition of international justice.

    There is so much the task requires, which Obama so far has flat refused to do. So I wonder, will the Peace Prize give him the guts to prosecute our architects of torture? To sever ties with the creature formerly known as Blackwater, or the many-headed scam-monster Halliburton? To find an alternative to the constant “collateral damage” killings of innocents? To use diplomacy and not drones to marginalize fanatics? To follow through with the painful domestic policies that are the only means to slow climate change?

    So when it comes to Obama, I’m content to be nothing more than a tough critic, a general well-wisher, and an applauder when he actually deserves it. He wants friends, he’s got his family. And his dog.

  23. President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize and America thinks it’s a surprise. This should only prove how much the American Media has strangled the discussions that are taking place around the world. President Obama has enacted policy changes that are affecting every day lives all over the world. We as american citizens should not only be proud of our president, but we should also be taking steps to join in the fight. We should demand our media begin to tell the truth and note the real advances in political discourse that are taking place in the halls of Washington.

    Just think about the pundits today, reporting on how Republicans are agreeing with the Taliban, and Al Queda spokes people that our President hasn’t done anything to deserve this honor. Last I checked, just showing up for work when you get 400 death threats per month is more than deserving, it’s moving the World forward, against the lunacy of the hatred.

  24. Bill Jones: I bet the worldwide tobacco industry has him beat.

    (Anyone who thinks this is simple, is missing a whole lot of stuff.)

  25. What, are you not in the least bit proud of Obama, Maha? Tsk tsk.

    Unlike righties, who are mindless knee-jerk followers, we liberals can be objective about our political leaders.

  26. President Barak Obama has been in office 9 months. Israel is stilll in conflict with Palistinians. We still have troops in Iraq. Afghanistan is a problem that’s getting worse. Unrest in Pakistan is scary – because theyhave nukes – and Iran is on the brink of civil war – and they want nukes. That’s just the middle east. All those problems have existed for years – some for decades or generations. But Obama has solved none of them, so why the Prize?

    I brought up the list of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to try to decide if President Obama belonged to the ‘club’ yet. It’s an interesting list. Aung San Suu Kyi is a fantastic story of courage – she was elected President of Burma but has not served in office – she’s been under house arrest by the militay dictatorship for yeaers and years. But what has she done except inspire? Mandela & deKlerk are also inspirational, but South Africa is a pimple on the ass of the world, guarding Antarctia. Jimmy Carter get an ‘A’ for effort – but he came up short as things turned out. likewise the tribunal of Arafat, Perez & Rabin. Organizations that have raised awareness have not succeeeded, be it Jody Williams & the Campaign to Ban Landmines or Al Gore & the Panel on Climate Change. We still have landmines and global warming.

    The criteria of the Nobel Prize does not seem to be scoring touchdowns – as much as quality of play. They seem to place importance on a couragous struggle against the odds with high impact in the hearts of men and women globally. The Nobel Peace Prize Lauriates make us think and hope and laugh. The Dali Lama (14th) is one of the Lauriates. He’s always smiling despite being in exile, despite the persecution in Tibet. He fights the good fight, true to his principles and ALWAYS with a smile and great joy.

    Obama spoke directly to the Muslim world and declared directly that America is not at war with Islam. He went to Egypt to make a major speech on policy in the Mid-East, with HUGE effect. He’s respected by people and presidents and ministers globally. Whether his style will bring about cooperation and results has yet to be measured.

    Does Obama belong in the club? I agree with 5 people in Norway. I add my congratulations to the millions who applaud the selection.

  27. Doug,
    Me too! I agree with you.
    But, the icing on the cake was the “FU” to Bush and his stooges (or, he the stooge for them) for the mess they created by treating the Middle East as a place to experiment with the ‘bully in middle school’ theory of “diplomacy.”
    Why, they moan, didn’t W win for trying to bring democracy to the Middle East?
    You might as well moan and complain why DeLay didn’t win the “Miss Congeniality” award on “Dancing with the “Stars.”

  28. Uh, btw, from what I saw on website clips (I wouldn’t watch it on TV if my life depended on it), he was closer to a “Miss” than he was to “Congeniality.”

  29. Pingback: Price Paid For The Nobel Prize, The Denouncing Of The United States. « Moonbat Patrol

  30. Please, c u n d gulag, don’t bring DeLay into this. I happened to catch his efforts on a YouTube (I avoid television), and I spent the next several hours searching for my eyeballs.

    There are some things that humanity was not meant to know. DeLay was one of them. In all senses of the word.

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