President Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize (Updated)

Sorry - not a joke or a misprint. Well, not a joke in the sense that writing something so ridiculous must obviously be untrue and I'm just going for laughs.

It is not a misprint either. The former community organizer who took office 9 months ago has been honored with the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Fox News has the citation:

"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.

I am at a total loss for words. Sometimes, an event occurs that is so sublimely ridiculous that it becomes a parody of itself. That's what we have here.

The news could just as easily be a Saturday Night Live comedy skit or a Mad Magazine layout. If it had appeared in either one of those venues yesterday, it would have seemed a ripe subject for satire and humor. I daresay even many liberals would have laughed at the notion of Obama getting the Nobel for peace.

No sense ignoring the obvious; what has he done? Teddy Roosevelt got his peace prize for mediating between Japan and Russia and ending their bloody war. Woodrow Wilson got his for his efforts at peace after World War I. Jimmy Carter - whatever else you can say about him - engineered a singular, personal triumph with the Camp David accords which was the first peace agreement between Israel and another Arab state.

What's Obama done? What peace has he negotiated? What efforts of his have born fruit?

I suppose an organization that thought Yassar Arafat worthy of the same prize can't be taken seriously anyway. But they are. And there are implications beyond the profound stupidity of awarding this prize to a neophyte who hasn't accomplished anything.

This is foreigners meddling in our domestic politics. They have now created Obama as an international demigod, which will only play to his cult like status here in the US. It will no doubt stop the slow slide of his approval and boost his chances of getting health care reform passed. What it will mean for 2012 is too far in the future to really guess but it couldn't hurt him in his reelection campaign could it?

The committee could not have been ignorant of this and no doubt, the thought that they could boost Obama's domestic standing played a role in naming him.

It will be interesting to watch the reaction from left and right as the day goes on.


According to their own website, the deadline for the submission of names to be considered for the prize is February 1.

Obama was not nominated based on what he had accomplished as president because he had been in office for less than two weeks.

I would add a simple, declarative WTF and leave it at that.

Sammy Benoit adds:

At first I thought it was a joke. Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace prize? For what exactly? I ran to check my calendar, no it wasn't April 1st, why were they they telling joke news stories on Fox? OMG they are telling the same news story on MSNBC and CNN. They give the Nobel Peace Prize for running around the world and trashing your own country?

Today the famous peace prize named after the guy who spent his life creating and manufacturing weapons of war, descended into ridiculousness. Of course the Person who who nominated Obama was even more ridiculous, after all nominations had to be filed by February first, less than two weeks after Obama became President.

According to the Committee the  POTUS won the Nobel Peace Prize on for giving the world "hope for a better future" and striving for nuclear disarmament. And he did all that between January 20th and February 1.

"The decision to award one of the world's top accolades to a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, came as a big surprise and provoked strong international criticism as well as praise.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

The first African-American to hold his country's highest office, Obama has called for disarmament and worked to restart the stalled Middle East peace process since taking office in January.

"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," the committee said in a citation.

In a speech in Prague in April, Obama declared: "So today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons."

But he was not the first American president to set that goal, and acknowledged it might not be reached in his lifetime.  

When Jimmy Carter won the peace prize in 2002, word leaked out of the committee that the one of the considerations for picking him was to deal a blow to President George W. Bush. Obama's award, which was submitted only 11 days after he took office may have been given for similar reasons.

This is not the first weird Peace Prize Award, other recent strange awards included, Al Gore, Yassir Arafat, and Mohamed ElBaradei (the head of the IAEA who has been covering up Iraq's nuke program).

The last ten winners include:

2009 - Barack Obama

2008 - Martti Ahtisaari

2007 - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Al Gore

2006 - Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank

2005 - International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei

2004 - Wangari Maathai

2003 - Shirin Ebadi

2002 - Jimmy Carter

2001 - United Nations, Kofi Annan

2000 - Kim Dae-jung

1999 - Médecins Sans Frontières

The Nobel committee should be ashamed of itself; this was an unwise choice made on a political rather than a rational basis. I don't care who you are, Barack Obama, or Ronald Reagan, no human being could be qualified to receive the Nobel Peace prize after only 10 days in the Job.

Sammy Benoit is the Editor of the Political Blog, The Lid

Thomas Lifson adds:

Is this a consolation prize from the Europeans, over humiliating Obama on the Olympics? I wonder: has anyone in Hollywood nominated Roma Polanski for next year yet?

The Nobel Committee evidently is engaged in a campaign to trivialize the award and its prestige with this absurd choice. True, Jimmy Carter and Yassir Arafat have already set the bar so low that it would seem no further indignities could possibly be worse. But for all their faults, at least the two anti-Semites chosen earlier had long careers on the world stage. Obama's nomination before he had actually accomplished much beyond getting elected has an absurdity to it that is different in tone to the craziness of awarding a the Peace prize to a murderous thief like Arafat.

Michael Binyon in the UK Times notes:

Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America's first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.

Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.

Mark Roth adds:

I guess that additional troops for Afghanistan are out of the question now.  Is this a form of international meddling in our foreign affairs?

George Joyce adds:

The Nobel Committee's disregard for the truth concerning Obama's record over the past nine months is breathtaking.  Consider the following example from the committee's own citation: "Thanks to Obama's initiative" says the Nobel Committee, Obama has taken a leadership role in climate change issues and "Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened."

That's right: Thanks to Obama's initiative, "Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened."

Obama has abandoned the Hondurans, pro-reform Iranians, and most recently the Dalai Lama in the name of some kind of pseudo-realism that merely enhances the status of the world's thugs.  Where was the Nobel Committee when Bush was busy supporting human rights and democracy?

The Nobel Committee then goes on to say the following:

"[Obama's] 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."

This seems to me however to be a clear slam on Bush's commitment to human rights and democracy.  In other words, since the majority of the world's population does not live in free societies, American presidents should not be championing their own narrow views regarding the promotion of democracy and liberty.

We do live in surreal times folks.

Update from Thomas Lifson (hat tip:

 Mickey Kaus has a brilliant suggestion (hat tip:

Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory--and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen ('What's he done?') problem, demonstrating that he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it.

Even Obama sycophants like NBC's David Gregory are gobsmacked by this ridiculous choice. How much of a backlash will there be?
Andy McCarthy comments:

The transnational progressives who pass out these accolades believe America is the problem in the world, the main threat to peace, the impediment to "progress," etc. The award is a symbolic statement of opposition to American exceptionalism, American might, American capitalism, American self-determinism, and American pursuit of America's interests in the world. That is why Obama could win it based on only 10 days in office - merely by capturing the White House and the levers of power, he stands to do more for the Left's "knock America off its pedestal" program than any figure in history.

Scott Boerman writes us:

 The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama and the subsequent statements of the committee chairman reveal that the committee is now shameless about its interventionist goals.

According to Reuters, Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland, "We hope this can contribute a little bit to enhance what he is trying to do"

Say again?  What exactly are the criteria for a Nobel prize?  The alleged intent of recognizing and awarding achievement has been set aside and replaced with feel-good ideals befit from those who have enough time on their hands to dream about what the world might be like if only people like themselves were in charge to control the world.

And the chairman doesn't stop there when exposing the idealistic goals of the committee.  Again from Reuters:

The committee said it attached "special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons,"

And there it is - it's the "vision" that counts to the committee, not actual accomplishments.

The committee should be ashamed of this unprecedented denigration of the former world-standard of professional achievement.  In former decades the Nobel stood out as a genuine recognition of technical accomplishments, and it is sad that committee members choose not to uphold the stature of the awards and rather try to be part of the story themselves, and place their personal goals above the need for accomplishments. 

Steve McCann adds:

An ego unmatched in United States presidential history will now be beyond unsufferable. His denigration of our country has paid personal dividends already.

 Even left commentators are appalled, and see the potential for backlash. Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast:

... by giving him the Nobel Prize as a kind of "atta boy," the Nobel Committee is actually just highlighting the gap that conservatives have long highlighted: between Obamamania as global hype and Obama's actual accomplishments.

He also pokes some fun of his own:

I had always thought the way these things worked was that you helped bring peace or democracy to some corner of the globe first, and then you won the Nobel Prize. But this year, the Nobel Committee has turned that logic around: It clearly likes what Obama is trying to do: on nuclear disarmament, climate change and Middle East peace-and so, in a "preemptive" strike, it's giving him the award now, in hopes that doing so will boost his chances of success later. It's an interesting idea. Perhaps next they'll start giving Oscars not to the people who have made the best movies of last year, but to the people who have the best chance of making the best movies next year. ....

I like Barack Obama as much as the next liberal, but this is a farce. He's done nothing to deserve the prize.
Ruth King has some priceless comments at Family Security Matters, including a review of other Nobel travesties. (hat tip: Richard Baehr) I particularly like this paragraph:

What do you suppose Michelle Obama will wear to the ceremonies? And will she give a press conference to recall how she sat on her daddy's lap and watched Dr. Ralph Bunche, the first African-American win the Nobel Prize in 1950? Oh! That was before she was born.

David Paulin adds:
What can explain the Nobel committee decision -- one that's even got liberals shaking their heads in disbelief? At bottom, the decision is really about anti-Americanism -- and a recent article in the Weekly Standard touched upon that very issue. Jean Kaufman --  "Reagan and Obama Is America a city on a hill or a country in decline?" -- had a number of compelling explanations for why Obama, and his worldview, made the legs of the Nobel committee members tingle.

Obama, she wrote, sees America a nation conceived in original sin, one that has gone on to commit offenses against the world for which it must now atone. And Obama views himself as the special instrument through which America can finally purify herself, join the world of other nations as an equal rather than a leader, and go forth and sin no more.

She added:

...Mitt Romney, speaking at a recent Foreign Policy Initiative conference, indicated "that Obama shares the view of certain 'foreign-policy circles' that American is 'in decline' and that it is his job to manage America's decline."

But that doesn't quite capture the flavor of Obama's mission. Obama is not merely observing a downward trend and trying to shepherd this nation through the process. He believes such a downward direction is the morally proper one for America and Americans, the only way we can be forgiven our manifold sins and emerge purified through humility and sacrifice.

Obama also believes that he is the special instrument by which the nation can accomplish this transformation. That, more than any specific policy on any specific issue, is the goal of Obama's presidency: the shriving and humbling of America. That is what Obama means by "fundamental change."
Lauri Regan notes the reaction in Israel.

News that President Obama received the Nobel Peace elicited a gasp from the anchor of afternoon newsreel of Israel Broadcasting Authority Radio on Friday - "Well, now that is a surprise", she said with some spontaneity.

Within an hour of the announcement, Reuven Rivlin, veteran speaker of the Israel Knesset Parliament, warned  that "Someone who gets a peace prize should not force-feed Israel with his version of peace",  going on to say that he hoped that the peace prize would not inspire the president to "dictate a peace accord to Israel"

Israel has reason to be concerned.

The committee that awards the Nobel Peace prize is comprised of officials from the Norwegian political elite, as opposed to other Nobel prizes for excellence in science, education, health or other scholarly concerns.

The announcement of this prize occurs at a time that Norway remains almost the only European nation to recognize, aid and abet the Hamas regime in Gaza, at  a time when Norway sanctions boycotts of some Israeli companies, and at at time when Norway openly funds movements in Israel that advocate the expulsion of Jewish communities from Judea, Samaria, the Golan and Jerusalem.

Matthew May adds:
Barack Obama's receiving the Nobel Peace Prize should surprise and astonish exactly nobody.
The prize committee has long since abandoned any pretense of being anything other than a leftist political body determined to undermine any and all actions by the United States or other democratic bodies who deign to defend themselves against murderous aggressors. This is the same committee which awarded the very same prize to the gangster Yasser Arafat, and frankly admitted that bestowing the award on Jimmy Carter was "a kick in the leg" to George W. Bush.

Any roster of peace prize recipients that does not include the likes of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and/or Pope John Paul II is incomplete, and such omissions render the prize itself meaningless.

Had the president decided to decline the honor, he would have been universally applauded for acknowledging that the prize has not yet been earned - that while he appreciated the gesture of goodwill and confidence, it was not his to claim. No. As he has accepted the plaudits and royalties of a book it is increasingly clear he did not write, he will accept an award (plus the check that goes with it) for accomplishments he did not achieve.

In this world gone mad, Barack Obama's validation by this particular committee of moral relativists more interested in platitudes and bromides about the big, bad USA as opposed to tangible accomplishments by those who have actually done the hard work of sowing peace and freedom is perfect.

Richard Baehr adds:

The Nobel Committee admitted  the award was not for accomplishment. Of course that is nothing new: Jimmy Carter,  Mohammed El Baradei, Yassar Ararat, UN peacekeepers, Kofi Annan, were all a bit short on the accomplishment side of the ledger.

In Al Gore's case, he has the accomplishment problem as well as winning for promoting something completely unrelated to the directive of Nobel in establishing the prize. To be clear Obama won for these reasons: first and foremost, he is Barack Obama.  In other words, he is America's first black President, and he is not George Bush.  

He also says things that are pleasing to hear to those who do not want America as a world leader.  Arizona State University had Obama speak at its commencement this year, but would not give him an Honorary Degree, since he had not accomplished enough yet to earn it. The Nobel nominations had to be in by February 1, 11 days after Obama took office.  So somebody was very impressed with those first 11 days. 

Ed Lasky adds:

The worst danger that few are pointing to is that this will just make Obama more resistant to using any force -- it validates his fecklessness and lifts it up to a virtue. He is frozen now -- and will continue abandoning allies, pressuring Israelis, empowering adversaries-because, you know, it wins him prestigious prizes.