Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is Deserved

Republicans apparently have one more thing to hate about President Barack Obama now that he has won the Nobel Peace Prize, beating out 200 other candidates for addressing the threat of global warming; for trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons; and for attempting to achieve a global peace.

In Oslo, Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjørn Jagland said "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. We are not awarding the prize for what may happen in the future, but for what he has done in the previous year. We would hope this will enhance what he is trying to do."

Right-wingers are unsurprisingly outraged, calling Obama's award a travesty, claiming the president hasn't yet "accomplished" anything that would merit such an honor. As the news broke Friday, conservative pundits were in high-gear robotically regurgitating the primary talking point that Obama won the award simply for not being George W. Bush.

But let's get something straight here: this is a very proud day for America. For all Americans. After eight embarrassing, unrepentant years of reckless cowboy arrogance marred by war, war crimes and human rights abuses, Obama's Nobel Prize symbolizes the beginning of the Unites States' return to respectability and perhaps even greatness someday. A time when the world is looking to America, and its president, for leadership. This isn't about Bush. It's about Obama and what he represents on the world's stage.

The notion that Obama's prize is undeserved is absurd and an insult to every American. First of all, who said the Nobel Committee's criteria for winning requires candidates to be "accomplished" U.S. presidents? Or that they even be a U.S. president, for that matter? So the fact that Obama was selected so soon after his inauguration is totally irrelevant. This honor isn't about what he's done since January. To the contrary, it's about how this relatively unknown Midwestern politician with humble beginnings became the first black president of the United States by inspiring a nation through a message of peace, hope, and aspiration...and thus shifted the political and racial winds in this country and throughout the world. The award is a recognition of Obama's vision for a new, harmonious planet, and how he's serving as a catalyst for that change. To say he's won because he's not Bush is grossly oversimplifying the significance of the prize. Rather, he's undoing the colossal damage that's been done by Bush. Big difference.

It's been eight years since America's been led by such an intelligent, inspirational figure as Obama. A president who thinks before he speaks. One who weighs options before he acts. A president with depth and intellectual curiosity. A president secure enough in his manhood to be able to talk with his enemies, rather than simply talk tough. A peacenik rather than a warmonger. Obama's restored dignity and diplomacy to the most important office in the world, while setting an example for everyone else in the quest for peace on Earth. That's why Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.

It's unconscionable that on this great day for America, Obama's achievement has to be turned into something ugly and partisan by a bunch of un-patriotic, mean-spirited, sore-losing Republican crybabies who've yet to emotionally get beyond last November...and probably never will.

On another note, the film I produced, SERIOUS MOONLIGHT, which was written by my late wife Adrienne Shelly (WAITRESS), will have its U.S. premiere and afterparty December 3rd in NYC. This event will also serve as the 2009 Adrienne Shelly Foundation fundraising gala, and proceeds will go towards helping ASF achieve its mission of supporting women filmmakers. Tickets are $150. Please join me, our star Meg Ryan, our director Cheryl Hines and many others at this red-carpet event. Tickets are extremely limited. To purchase, please email or call 212-381-1716.

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Anonymous said...

I couldnt have said it better Ostroy! Im proud of America! It's about time we get our respect back with how other countries look at us! Yeah Barack! :)

Ann in Brooklyn said...

Yes, Hooray for Barack. I love feeling proud of my country again.

Unknown said...

Very well said! But would have read better without the italics for emphasis.

Anonymous said...

OBAMA makes this country weaker....wake up.

"The Nobel committee may have chosen President Obama as the Peace Prize winner because of its hopes for his impact on the world -- but his top achievement so far has come at home. Indeed, Obama has been on a roll.

In nine months, he has breathed life into the Republican Party, boosted pro-lifers, tarnished the reputation of regulation, bolstered traditional values, increased the public's desire for immigration restriction and shifted independent voters rightward.

No, Obama hasn't turned back the oceans. But revivifying conservatism almost before books announcing its death could be published qualifies as a feat almost as miraculous. "

Anonymous said...

"OBAMA makes this country weaker....wake up." Spoken like a true fact denying foxhole dittohead who is totally out of touch with reality.

The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI) survey on which countries are most admired and appreciated around the world has been conducted annually since 2005. This year the US topped the list for the first time, climbing six spots.

And here at home: The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finds that just 21 percent approve of the job Republicans are doing on health care while 65 percent disapprove.

Athena Smith said...

I am indeed so proud of this country and the leadership the president has provided. But let me answer to the comment made by anonymous 9:31
Indeed you see on TV more the ugly type of conservatism. But Obama has not revived it. He just forced them to surface and show their face. Don't confuse the darkness they had chosen before as "non-existence."
Now we know them. It is much better to know them.

Secondly, the decent type of conservatism will be strengthened eventually through the process of having to disassociate themselves from the trash.

The long term consequences will be positive for the vast majority of sane Americans. That's how social change occurs. Always. Everywhere.

Realist said...

I lean in favor of the position that Obama has not done anything to earn the Prize. He has issued many great speeches regarding the issues that cause war, but it's hard to reconcile his growing war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the continuing war in Iraq, the potential war against Iran, and the placement of additional troops in Colombia against these actionless words. I hope that he actually DOES something that merits the award. Repealing the Patriot Act and renouncing the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive attack would be a good start.

But I agree with the observations being offered by many across the globe that Obama won the award simply by not being Bush. It is seen by some of these to be an expression of gratitude by the members of the Nobel Committee to the people of the US that we somehow managed to prevent the endless and widespread Bush/Cheney wars by replacing Bush with a more reasonable man. If this is so, then I am proud to be an American and glad for the nation that something we did merits international recognition. I just hope that Obama donates the award to a worthy cause which will benefit Americans in need. It will help to defuse the outrage from the Party of No.

Good luck with the premiere. Your late wife set a high standard with Waitress, which I'm sure you will meet. I await the glowing reviews.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke. Obama hasn't done anything. And how about this doozy, "who said the Nobel Committee's criteria for winning requires candidates to be 'accomplished' U.S. presidents?" Uh, that's what an award is for. Accomplishments.

Joseph Bernard said...

Hi Andy,

Thank you for the clarity of your thoughts and the wisdom of your understanding on Obama's wonderful award.

This about his campaign for hope and the potential we all feel inside to actually live a level of consciousness beyond the petty ego-mind that for the past 8 years has been the leading this country.

We all need to move beyond our ego battles and instead rediscover the power of our hearts and our higher nature.

I write about consciousness and progressive ideas at


Anonymous said...

Yes everything you pointed out is true, and I like Obama for his intellect and good decision making.
But, I believe it is way too early for him to receive an Award of that caliber, cause he will have a way bigger burden on his chest than before. And what if he makes one mistake, people are gonna chew him up, way worse than before. He just does not need that scrutiny when non of his promises have not been fully met.

mmandebvu said...

Didn't Jimmy Carter share the Prize with a couple of other guys for 'bringing peace to Palestine'?
Giving it to Obama at this stage sounds like someone saying he won't achieve anything more worthy of the prize than that.

Anonymous said...

I think this award speaks badly for the Peace Prize Committee. It is true that Obama hasn't started any wars, but neither has he ended any. He has expressed an entirely laudable aspiration to rid the world of nuclear weapons, but has not achieved any actual progress toward that goal. He says the right words about climate change, but again there is no tangible progress.

On the down side, and this is a very big down side, he has made himself an accessory after the fact to the Bush administration's torture and murder of prisoners. In short, Obama has done nothing to merit this award, and much to disqualify himself from it.

The Ostroy Report said...

Anon 11:11......After graduating from Harvard where he was the first black editor of the law review, Obama later served three terms in the Illinois State Senate, one term as a US Senator, and became the first black president in US history...and one of just 44 individuals in 233 years to hold this job. While I'm sure all this pales in comparison to what you've accomplished in your life, I'd say he's definitely got a few notches on his achievement belt...

Sam Kaufman said...

it would be silly for Americans to criticize Obama for getting the Nobel Peace Prize... they can give it to whomever they like, and besides it's nice to have a president who is admired and respected internationally

Anonymous said...

Repeating campaign slogans calling for hope and change is hardly an action deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama Bin Laden said...

"After graduating from Harvard where he was the first black editor of the law review, Obama later served three terms in the Illinois State Senate, one term as a US Senator, and became the first black president in US history...and one of just 44 individuals in 233 years to hold this job. While I'm sure all this pales in comparison to what you've accomplished in your life, I'd say he's definitely got a few notches on his achievement belt..."

Unfortunately, nowhere on the Nobel Prize website does it say it gives the award for ANY of what you mentioned in the above paragraph!!

Vancouver realtor said...

After reading this article I have to agree with the description of Obama's insight but I have to keep my opinion that he hasn't done enough to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe it's just because there is not a sufficient number of prize categories and that he should have won some prize appreciating his character, diplomacy and brightness. Unfortunately I don't think this was the suitable one for him to be fitted in. Jay

Anonymous said...

all you naysayers......let me say this.........they (nobel prize committee) don't gave a DAMN ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ! let me ask this question....when will fox news post the gop disapproval and approval numbers ? james lewis north carolina

Claude said...

Great post Andy! You have put into words what "most" Americans are thinking about the new president. If Republicans are upset........good. I was upset with Bush.

Anonymous said...

I am mystified as to how anyone could think that a guy can win an award simply based upon campaign rhetoric.

He was nominated within 12 days of his innauguration, so counting from the nomination date backwards, all that appears is rhetoric, not action.

Many people campaigned saying exactly the same things that Obama said and none of them were even nominated let alone elected.

Its impossible to distinguish, for example, Obama's rhetoric from that of John Edwards. But no one even dreamed that Edwards should be nominated.

And that doesn't even include the things that he did since election, which has nothing to do with the award of the prize. Even rabid supporters of Obama - the writers on SNL - see that he's done precious little.

To me, this is all about Eurotrash hoping that America can give up it's record of exceptionalism as a nation to join the failed nations of Western and Northern Europe that have embraced a strong dose of socialist democracy.

There is a reason why America had to send its men overseas twice in the last century to save them from themselves. And the closer we get to being like them, the more at risk the world becomes. We lose our ability to make the difference the world needs in responding to tragedy and challenge.

Anonymous said...

Oh sigh sigh, what has this world come too. The Congo doctors lifelong achievements are definently not as noteworthy as flying around in Air Force One talking about peace from a podium, ohh and wait nuclear disarmement, where was he when north korea had those two journalists, sent another man to do his work and made sure his administration as kept out of it. He cant even manage money much less run a country. This is laughable and really embarassing that we applaud the people who do little and cast the true workers in the shadows, since they dont have hmm what where they call it the "alluring charisma of the president" please leftys dont get mad when you know your wrong.

Anonymous said...

its interesting to read comments from 'progressives' that tout 'tolerance' and being 'educated' but seem to resort to the ad hominem fallacy in lieu of actually taking arguments prima facia. calling someone a redneck doesn't win a argument and actually rewarding results in lieu of good intentions is common sense...your child doesn't get an 'A' on their paper before its written, you don't get a promotion on what you intend to do for the company and you certainly don't get an award before the movie is released and viewed.