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Obama Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

A stroke of true insight, understanding, and genius by the Nobel committee
Robert Maier
Saturday 10 October 2009

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Some people, mostly conservative Western pundits are shocked and accuse Obama of not deserving the Nobel Peace Prize. They claim Obama has done nothing to deserve such a high honor of peace. Not true.

Most criticism comes from those on the American right who disrespect the idea of an African-American being President of the United States of America. They refuse to recognize what a great achievement it is. Their belittlement underscores the lifetime of race-based hurdles and barricades Obama overcame to become President.

Many people dislike the U.S. It does make many mistakes. However, this country led the way to eliminating 1,000 years of European monarchies that crushed common people around the world. The U.S. established the concept of modern democracy and a balanced government of the people, by the people and for the people. It established human rights laws, and expanded them as it progressed. The U.S. is a country of 350 million persons from hundreds of different countries. It is the best model ever for people of different religions, ethnicities, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and political beliefs for how to get along without recurring civil wars and ethnic violence.

That said, black Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves and lived with terrible discrimination for over 300 years. Even after the end of slavery, legal ethnic discrimination in the U.S. survived through the 1950s. African-Americans were prohibited from riding buses with white people, eating in the same room with whites, attending the same schools, marrying white Americans, even drinking from the same water fountains used by white Americans.

Changing these laws and beliefs was a struggle. Many were murdered and beaten. Millions took to the streets, peacefully and violently. Several great American leaders were assassinated before the government truly promoted ethnic justice and equality. The experience of an ethnic minority in such an environment of fear, threat, and deprivation is impossible for the average privileged white American to imagine. Unless you have spent time in real poverty, lived with the daily stench of open sewers, no education, no medical care, no work, no justice, no chance, no father; preyed on by criminals and drug addicts, with no role models or mentors, you have no clue what real struggle means.

Those who are nurtured by strong families, go to good schools, are groomed for college scholarships, get good jobs through family connections, have trust funds or inheritances, or home mortgages co-signed by mom and dad, and think they “struggled” equally with someone who has suffered ethnic discrimination, are clueless to the experience of the majority of the world’s under-privileged , who struggle daily for a warm place to sleep, treatment for a skin disease, some bread , clean water, and freedom from fear of theft, beatings, prison, and sexual assault.

Obama experienced the hardship of being an ethnic minority and lost both parents when he was very young. Yet he rose above it and achieved a good education, made it to the top of his law school, and was elected to public offices. Sixty-seven million Americans, from all walks of life, voted for Obama to be the 44th President of the United States of America.
This great achievement provided hope to billions of ethnically discriminated persons. It provided hope to everyone who has experienced prejudice and violence because of gender, religion, physical or mental disability, philosophical ideas, or social class. Billions around the world saw that if a black person could become U.S. president, then the world truly could change for the better.

Obama accepted challenge and never gave up. He inspired billions of people to see there could be justice in the world. For this, five Norwegians recognized him as the most important humanitarian and promoter of peace in 2009. This achievement will not be diminished by those whose idea of struggle is shaving a point off their golf score.

It is an achievement that Obama has worked 48 years to accomplish, against enormous obstacles, and his award is a stroke of true insight, understanding, and genius by the Nobel committee.

Kabulpress English pages editor, writer, video producer and educator.

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  • Barack Obama and the Flying Circus is a perfect way to describe current President of the United States and his prominent Cabinet.
    For the past year and a half every single day was and still is about Barack Obama and his extravaganza. Day just does not go by without Obama: What did Obama say? What did Obama do? What will Obama say? What will Obama do? In addition, we have witnessed media madness for Obama’s dog, Obama’s family, Obama’s citizenship, Obama’s religion, Obama’s cabinet, Obama’s associates, among others.
    There is no way to avoid Obama and his flying circus, no matter where we live, they are everywhere not just in the US, they are in Europe, Asia, Pacific, Africa, Middle East and even the North Pole. They are filling front pages of the world newspapers and making breaking news around the world, and that entire not ones a day, but several times a day. It appears there is just no room for other country leaders, Presidents, novelists, scientist, and artist. It is like they do not exist, like Obama is the only important one in this contemporary world.
    However, this ongoing entertainment and late night shows by Obama and his sidekick’s are not fascinating anymore, they became more like harassment. No matter if we read the news papers, watch TV, listen to the radio or go online, Obama and his circus-men are there 24/7 to remind us that they exist, in case we forgot.
    And, in addition to all “amusement” by Obama and his extravaganza, on October 9, 2009, for his extraordinary global entertainment, Barack Obama got a present from his circus-men: his first Nobel Peace Prize.
    Yet, what Obama’s circus-man did not know is that for the extraordinary entertainment one does not receive Nobel Peace Prize, one receives Academy Award-the Oscar or the Emmy, among other movie awards. It appears circus-men were late for the Oscar, as the Oscar was played on February 22, 2009; therefore they went to present him with the Nobel Prize instead.
    The award came as a surprise even to the President Obama himself, he said: "To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures".
    Maybe President Obama was thinking about these transformative figures: Martti Ahtisaari (got the prize as a reward for his contribution in illegal 2008 Kosovo independence. No need to talk too much about Mr. Ahtisaari because his picture tells a thousand words), Al Gore (got the prize as a compensation for all of his failures in the US politics), Muhammad Yunus (got the prize as a gift, thanks to a good friend of his Ted Turner (CNN), and the members of the board of directors of the UN Foundation. They couldn’t give him the prize in Economics because the idea for Grameen Bank was first introduced by Pakistani Akhter Khan), Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei (got the prize as a gift for his support of USA-Afghanistan war and USA-Iraqi war), Kofi Annan (UN and Annan got the prize in 2001; for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world. On October 7, 2001 the US attacked Afghanistan, they got the peace prize same year), among others. So much of the world peace!
    The question that probably intrigues many is: Why is this first Peace Prize for Obama?
    Obama is scheduled to receive three Nobel Prizes, two for Peace and one for Economics. His second prize will be in Economics, while third in Peace. After receiving his prizes, Obama will be the only man in human history to receive three unshared Nobel Prizes.
    Linus Pauling was the only person to win two unshared prizes, one in Chemistry and one in Peace. When Michele Obama, wife of the President Obama, receives her unshared Nobel Prize, the Obama family will be the only multi laureate family to receive four unshared prizes, beating Curie family which holds the Nobel Prize family record.
    It is not so important that Barack Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize, since Nobel Prize lost its original meaning long time ago. But, the most freighting thing is that people who support this prize and talk about peace forgot the meaning of the word “Peace”.
    Man who sends soldiers to the battlefield and threatens other sovereign countries cannot be man of peace, no matter how many prizes you award him with. Do these decision making people have any sense or reality, and what is right or wrong?
    Peace is not some mainstream phrase. Without doubt, Obama is very popular at the moment thanks to the media, but that does not mean that Obama is a man of peace. What about war in Iraq and Afghanistan and threats to North Korea and Iran? Are these peace objectives?
    Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini were very popular at the time, but they were not presented with the Nobel Prize. Yet, they were nominated for same.
    If we look down the history from 1900 to 2009, we will find only one person who was extremely popular and talked about like President Obama. That person is Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party and chancellor of Germany.
    Despite both men’s popularity; there are more scary similarities between these two leaders:
    Both Obama and Hitler share similar ancestries: Obama German, Hitler Austrian.
    Both leaders had been surrounded by many controversies concerning birth certificate, citizenship and religion.
    Both had the father figure issues. Obama’s parents separated when he was two years old and they divorced in 1964. His father returned to Kenya and saw him only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982. Hitler had a troubled relationship with his tradition-minded authoritarian father, who frequently beat him.
    During their teenage years both leaders had problems with alcohol. Obama called the alcohol phase "greatest moral failure", Hitler called it “most humiliated experience in life”.
    Both are unloved by the Jewish, for Hitler is well known why, for Obama, well, his victory in Presidential elections was not received with welcome in Israel.
    Time magazine named Obama person of the year in 2008, Hitler in 1938.
    Both had bestseller books: Obama had “Dreams of my Father” (memoir) and “the Audacity of Hope” (political convictions), Hitler had “Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in Volumes 1 and 2. It combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler’s political ideology.
    Obama was influenced by Martin Luther King, Hitler by Martin Luther.
    Both Obama and Hitler came to power during the recession-depression; Obama in 2009, Hitler in 1933.
    Both are personality cult leaders, portrayed as saviors of political and economical depression; Obama as an American savior, Hitler as German. A cult of personality arises when a country’s leader uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise.
    Both are/were very gifted orators, having ability to attract great interest in their speeches. Both have/had hand gestures when giving a speech.
    Both leaders had initiated health reforms, environmentalism and animal protection rights, among others.
    Obama and his extravaganza occupied Europe and North Africa with their charm. Next in agenda is Asia Tour (Korea, China, Japan and Singapore). On the other side, Hitler’s military occupied Europe, North Africa, East and South East Asia, and Pacific Ocean. The question is: will Obama go by the Hitler’s path and visit Pacific Ocean in his next tour?
    Talking about Hitler and Obama, one cannot avoid Hitler’s words without thinking of Obama;
    “All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people”.
    “The art of leadership . . . consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention. . . . The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category”.
    “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach. By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise”.
    So, what can we expect from President Obama and his sidekick’s?
    Satire or real possibility
    In order to pull his country out of recession Barack Obama will have no other option then to use his popularity to fill movie theaters. The US President will make movies! This is the only productive business left in the US. Obama will make few so called blockbuster movies which each will make more than a billion dollars in revenues, beating the legendary Titanic. Money from the movies will be used to support the US economy.
    For his brilliant talent on movie screen Obama will get several Oscar’s and other movie awards. In addition, Obama will be presented with his second Nobel Prize, but this time in Economics (for discovering unique mechanism to use movie industry to directly support government budget).
    Here are some possible titles for Obama’s movies:
    Obama: The Extra-Terrestrial (E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial), Obama Wars (Star Wars), Obama-Man (Spider-Man), Obama Almighty (Bruce Almighty), The Obama Ultimatum (The Bourne Ultimatum), Obama vs. Aliens (Monsters vs. Aliens), Mr. & Mrs. Obama (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Obama Forever (Batman Forever), Obama’s 21 (Ocean’s eleven), among other notable titles.
    But what will Obama do when his movie carrier fades away? What else showmen can do, he will sing! Obama will record the peace album with the possible hit song “Heal the world make it Obamaland” (Heal the world by Michael Jackson), which will receive numerous MTV awards and Grammy’s (Obama won two Grammy’s, one in 2006 and one in 2008). It appears Democrats like Grammy’s; An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore won in 2009, Jimmy Carter in 2007, Bill Clinton in 2005, Hillary Clinton in 1997 and Jesse Jackson in 1989.
    Obama singing career will fill the US budget additionally and will get him his third Nobel Prize, again in Peace (for sharing his gracious voice which brought untold happiness to all mankind, especially ones caught by a war machinery).
    For the end, the question that Obama Presidency should be asked is: Who is the director of this extraordinary performance in which Obama plays leading role?

  • It is a shame the conservative right-wing media treated President Obama as if he’d committed some affront by being awarded a prize that he didn’t ask for. Their snarky put downs about it were an absolute farce of journalism.

    No doubt the question is fodder for philosophical debate. Did he deserve it when the nomination took place two weeks after his inauguration? During his campaign, he spoke of foreign policy in a manner refreshingly different from the disaster that was the Bush administration. His intention was to engage with other countries in a mutually respectful manner. It seemed as though he was nominated as an aspirational prize, something the world expected him to live up to. He understood that. He also was not the first to receive such a prize.

    I respectfully disagree with the author’s statement that Obama deserved the Peace Prize for having overcome cultural biases against his race and perceived struggle to overcome adversity. If one could receive the Nobel Peace Prize for living a hard-knock life, then almost every Afghan would win one after enduring decades of war and combined, the gold could back your currency and it would be the most stable in the world.

    The world’s fascination with Obama certainly is justifiable in that a Western country elected an African-American leader. It is also unprecedented that a Western nation at war with two Islamic countries elect a president with an Islamic name, especially his middle name Hussein. If some Jews dislike him, they do it because he supports a two-state solution with the Palestinians. A two-state solution benefits the Jews more because is one of the biggest points of contention among the Arab states and Israel.

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