I never thought i’d live to see the Nobel peace prize become just another meaningless Mahindapattama or a ‘Dr’ Mervyn Silva badge, but Yesterday Barrack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace prize for ‘extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples’. He will join the ranks of recent peace prize winners such as Mohammed El-Baradie, Al Gore, Mohammed Younus, Martti Ahtisaari etc.
Most peace prize winners’ achievements are quantifiable; at least based on albeit broader guidelines. But Obama seems to simply have won this based on what he is best at; rhetoric. No wonder the conservative right is all up in arms about it, just turn on FOX news and see.
What peace he has brought to the world remains in the words of his panoramic speeches. And in the meanwhile, civilians continue to be bombed in Afghanistan, detainees continue to be held unjustly in G-bay and ruthless suppression continues to occur against the Palestinians in the Middle East.
The Economist asks this audacious question,
…is the award premature? Although the prize may be given in the spirit of encouraging Mr Obama’s government, it might have been better to wait for more solid achievements. With so many good intentions, and so many initiatives scattered around the world (and an immensely busy domestic agenda, including health-care reform and averting economic collapse), Mr Obama appears to be racing around trying everything without yet achieving much.
It has a point. Obama currently is talking like a Jack of all trades but is yet to become the master of even one.
According to Nobel’s wishes the award must go to ‘the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses’
Obama’s work, though commendably full of very ‘prize worthy’ words, are yet to materialize in any concrete action. They should have waited another year or so to see if he would deliver. After all, all the other winners had to show concrete results before being awarded anything…