Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nobel Committee Hastily Awards Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama

The most ironical thing in the history of the Nobel Prize presentation is that the Nobel Committee has presented the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama, who will send more troops to Afghanistan. The international community's responses to President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan contain more derogatory remarks than praises. Even President Obama has expressed his surprise that he would receive the Nobel Peace Prize earlier.
In the United States, opinion polls have shown that more than 60 percent people felt Obama did not deserve to win the Nobel Peace Prize; and only 20 percent of those participated in the opinion polls said that he deserved the prize.

Devaluation of Nobel Prize
Unfortunately, the authority of the Nobel Committee and the value of the Nobel Peace Prize have suffered grave damage because of President Obama. As a matter of fact, the Nobel Peace Prizes were only given to committed people for their outstanding contribution toward world peace in the past. For example, the prizes were given to people who mediated for the end of war, for effort to defuse a military conflict, to stop the detonation of a war, or even for people who were imprisoned by authority for the peaceful struggle of their countries.
Many people who received the Nobel Peace Prize have devoted their whole life to promote peace. All of these will take time and hard work. More importantly, the international community would acknowledge the contribution of these peace workers who achieved tangible results. Their contribution toward peace work must be convincing enough to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

Distinct Irony
When President Obama won the presidential election, he said that he had a plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan systematically. He promoted a nuclear-free peace vision. By virtue of President Obama's "oath," the Nobel Committee hastily awarded President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize (without first gauging his peace effort result).
What the Nobel Committee did was risky, particularly when we all knew that before President Obama went up to the stage to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, he had already announced his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. To the larger international community, it was a distinct irony.
Some people have described the UN Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen a war between "human and nature." If President Obama cannot convince the US Congress to make greater commitment to reduce gas emission level and to allocate more funds to help developing countries to reduce gas emission level, the rationale for President Obama to receive Nobel Peace Prize will further be reduced in the eyes of many people.

Justification for War
When the "peace contributions" of President Obama remain a big question mark, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama could then be a purposeful intention of the Nobel Committee to present the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama in his capacity as the US President and to allow him to become the fourth US President who won the Nobel Peace Prize.
If the war in Afghanistan enters a stage of stalemate, or if the war in Afghanistan expands, thus forcing the United States to send more troops to Afghanistan to get more involved in the war, it will be very late for the Nobel Committee to recall the Nobel Peace Prize back from President Obama. This will be a disgrace as we look back at the Nobel Peace Prize history.
We should listen to President Obama's remarks when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize at the Nobel Prize presentation ceremony held in Oslo. In order to justify the US military operation in Afghanistan, Obama legitimized the Afghanistan war with elegant reasons. He even reiterated that he could achieve peace through the path of engaging in a just war. President Obama also defended and justified the need for the United States to use force on Iraq and Afghanistan. In his view, there were many evil forces in the world. He said that if peaceful negotiation failed, the choice of using war to resolve conflict was one of the means to attain peace. He called this type of war "righteous war."
From here, we can see that President Obama has embedded war in his political ideology. As he said: "If peaceful negotiation failed, using force to resolve conflict would still be his choice."
When a Nobel Peace laureate like President Obama whose mind cannot exclude the ideology of war and whose subconscious has the nonpeace element, this is a very dangerous thing. Moreover, as a "superpower," the United States loves to play the role of international police. If President Obama can so easily make decision to use force to interfere with other countries' internal affairs, it is just very difficult for the international community to keep making complaints. It is indeed dangerous and with high risk for the Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, a non-peace lover so early.

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