***UPDATE*** (10/9/09) – Rachel Maddow has an excellent segment on the historical context of Obama’s Nobel win. She points out that it wasn’t until ten years AFTER Desmond Tutu won the NPP that apartheid actually fell. That the Burmese junta is still in power, and that the League of Nations (for which Woodrow Wilson won it – the last sitting U.S. president to win it) never amounted to what its aspirations were. In other words, the wingnuts crying “but what has Obama ACCOMPLISHED?” don’t have a good grasp of the history of how the prize is awarded.
But seriously, folks – as much fun as it is to watch douchebag pseudo-liberals like Mark Halperin over at the Daily Beast wax petulant about the awarding of the NPP to Obama, I have to confess that the Nobel Committee’s reasoning is unique in their history:
(Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn) Jagland said the decision was “unanimous” and came with ease.
Jagland said the Committee honored Obama…
“…for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
”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,” the committee said.
”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,” it said.
Jagland rejected the notion that Obama had been recognized prematurely for his efforts and said the committee wanted to promote the president just it had Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 in his efforts to open up the Soviet Union.
I, however, hold a different view, which can be essentially summed up thusly: Nobel, Schmobel – you haven’t really arrived until they do your head in Chia:
Now THAT’S what I call an honor!