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Obama Wins Nobel Consolation Prize

John on October 9, 2009 at 8:14 am

He didn’t bring home the gold in Copenhagen, but he did in Oslo. That has to have been a factor in the voting for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. What else has he done that deserves such an honor?

This Reuters story was intended to preview the possible recipients of this year’s Nobel Peach Prize:

Wanted – a peace maker or rights activist engaged in a current conflict whose influence would benefit greatly from winning the Nobel Peace Prize.


Top contenders for the $1.4 million prize include Colombian peace broker Piedad Cordoba, Afghan rights activist Sima Samar and Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

French-Colombian activist and ex-hostage Ingrid Betancourt, Jordanian interfaith dialogue advocate Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad and U.S. and French presidents Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy are also in the running, although the field remains wide open.

Maltese-based bookmaker Betsafe lists Betancourt at 5-to-1, and Tsvangirai at 6-to-1. Austrialian Centrebet has Cordoba and Samar at 6-to-1 and both Obama and Tsvangirai at 7-to-1.

Here’s a rundown of who he beat taken from their respective Wikipedia pages:

  • Piedad Cordoba – Senator Córdoba has been a constant supporter of legislation addressing discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and race. She is an outspoken critic who has opposed several of the controversial policies implemented by [Colombian] President Álvaro Uribe.
  • Sima Samar – Dr. Samar publicly refuses to accept that women must be kept in purdah (secluded from the public) and speaks out against the wearing of the burqa (head-to-foot wrap), which was enforced first by the fundamentalist mujahideen and then by the Taliban.
  • Ingrid Betancourt – a Colombian-French politician, former senator, anti-corruption activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Betancourt was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on 23 February 2002 and was rescued by Colombian security forces six and a half years later on 2 July 2008. The rescue operation, dubbed Operation Jaque, rescued Betancourt along with 14 other hostages (three Americans and 11 Colombian policemen and soldiers). In all, she was held captive for 2,321 days after being taken while campaigning for the Colombian presidency as a Green.

Even if you take for granted, which I do, that the Nobel Peace Prize is basically an award for liberalism, you have to question whether Obama was a better choice than these women.

What has he done exactly? He’d only been in office a couple weeks when nominations opened. It’s hard to avoid the idea that this is a consolation prize given to counteract his Olympics embarrassment in Copenhagen last week. That and they’re rewarding him for giving Iran more time to complete its first nuke. Hooray for peace. [sigh]

Addendum: Foreign Policy calls on the President to turn it down. They recommend Hu Jia in his place.

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Category: Politics |

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