Updated: added Andy Worthington’s commentary and Obama’s reaction and Naomi Klein on Democracy Now!
US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
Friday, 9 October 2009
The Nobel Committee said he was awarded it for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”.
The committee highlighted Mr Obama’s efforts to strengthen international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament.
Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize
October 09, 2009
Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The judges said he won because of diplomatic efforts over nuclear weapons.
The American president was on a shortlist which was an unprecedented two hundred and five people long.He wins a gold medal, a diploma and one point four million dollars.
2009 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture by Barack Obama
Dec 17, 2009
Copyright © Nobel Media AB 2009
Credits: Norsk Rikskringkasting AS (production)
Watch Barack H. Obama deliver his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture during the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall in Norway, 10 December 2009.
Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize: He’s A Nice Guy, But …
Is it really appropriate for the Nobel Peace Prize — granted “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” — to be given to a man who, as Commander-in-Chief, is still presiding over two wars, in which, as the announcement was made, civilians may well have been dying as the result of his orders?
Is it really appropriate for the Nobel Peace Prize to be given to a man who would rather look forward than backwards when it comes to decisions, taken at the highest levels of the previous administration, to turn America from a country that upheld the universal torture ban into a country that sought to redefine torture so that it could torture “high-value detainees” in a network of secret prisons around the world?
Is it really appropriate for the Nobel Peace Prize to be given to a man who, although he ordered the closure of Guantánamo and recognizes that it “set back the moral authority” that, in his opinion, “is America’s strongest currency in the world,” and also that it “became a symbol that helped al-Qaeda recruit terrorists to its cause,” endorses indefinite detention without charge or trial for some of the 221 prisoners still held in the prison?
Is it really appropriate for the Nobel Peace Prize to be given to a man who, through the Justice Department, is appealing a ruling extending the habeas corpus rights granted by the Supreme Court to the prisoners at Guantánamo to foreign prisoners seized in other countries and “rendered” to the US prison at Bagram airbase — where some of these men have been held for six years — even though the judge ruled that “the detainees themselves as well as the rationale for detention are essentially the same”?
Is it really appropriate to give the Nobel Peace Prize to a man who, although he revoked some of the Bush administration’s vilest executive orders and swore to uphold the universal torture ban, appears to be actively involved in the rendition of prisoners to the US prison at Bagram airbase?
Is it really appropriate for the Nobel Peace Prize to be given to a man who, although professing his admiration for the Geneva Conventions, has chosen to introduce Guantánamo-style reviews for the 600 or so Afghan prisoners held at Bagram, rather than the competent tribunals stipulated in Article 5 of the Geneva Conventions, and who, as a result, appears to be endorsing the Bush administration’s unilateral rewriting of the Conventions?
In conclusion, although I realize that less deserving men have been given the Nobel Peace Prize in previous years — Henry Kissinger, anyone? — and although I reiterate that Barack Obama seems to be a nice guy, and that his election victory last November lifted a cloud of tyranny from the United States, I also have to note another ironic subtext to the award: that it will, sadly, serve only to inflame the rabid wing of the Republican party, which is predisposed to believe a Democratic President is soft on national security issues, and who would only have respect for the Nobel Committee if it introduced a Nobel War Prize and handed it to Dick Cheney.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009, details about my film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
President Obama On Winning the Nobel Peace Prize
As US Continues Afghan, Iraq Occupations and Quashes Accountability for Gaza Assault, Critics Decry Awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to Obama
Oct. 9, 2009
President Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, less than nine months after taking office. The award comes despite Obama’s continuation of the Iraq war and escalation of the US occupation of Afghanistan. We get reaction from author and journalist Naomi Klein and London-based author and commentator Tariq Ali. [includes rush transcript]
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