Barack Obama and Nobel Peace Prize
Like just about everyone else, including Barack Obama, I was surprised that Barack Obama won the Nobel Price Prize. I am not sure anyone really expected this. I did not even know that he was nominated for it.
My second reaction to Barack Obama winning was to think back to January when he was sworn in as president. It made sense to me if it was a reference to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. winning in 1964. When I watched Barack Obama being sworn in I did think of the Civil Rights March on Washington and the I Have a Dream Speech. I have the feeling if this prize was given out to in February or March of this year, the reaction would be very different. I think more people would have seen it better. It would have said something about civil rights in the US.
Now, I am on to my third reaction. My reaction now is that the Prize committee made a mistake. If you looks at Barack Obama's time as president you cannot see anything that makes this a good choice. Right now we are still in the potential part of his Presidency. He has not signed any new treaties, brokered any cease fires, or ended any long standing arguments. The truth is he might never do these things as President.
Maybe the pressure will be on now. Maybe winning the award will change the way Barack Obama approaches Afghanistan or Iraq. I am not sure that is the right way to effect change.
My biggest disappointment is that it might effect the image of the Nobel Peace Prize. I really believe in the Nobel Prizes. I think the price has added legitimacy to causes in the past. An act like giving it to Barack Obama hurts that legitimacy for the future.
I suggest every look at the list of past winners. You will see some other mistakes here, but not too many.