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A Hope Nobel Prize A Hope Nobel Prize
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-10-10 09:33:30
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I suppose that there is some sense to the reaction over Barack Obama’s awarded the Nobel Peace Prize but what most of the ones who reacted miss is that is not just the person who was awarded but the spirit Barack Obama brought globally. The last two years we saw countries change their policies because of the American president but most importantly we saw people hope and that’s one thing we missed lately, hope!

According the Nobel committee Obama won it for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between people and his efforts to support international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament. And somehow I think that these should be no reason to award somebody with a Peace Nobel Prize. Since when we are surprised when somebody is using diplomacy over war to give an award? And isn’t it four decades we are talking about the nuclear disarmament? But that doesn’t mean that Barack Obama wasn’t worth the award, on the contrary and as I said before he was the most worth it especially compared with some others that enjoyed this honour in the past.

In 1973, Henry Kissinger was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize; the man that his involvement in the Vietnam War, in the Middle East issue and oddly the very same year he was awarded, his involvement in the Turkish invasion to Cyprus. And in 1978 it was the turn for another two war hawks to share the Peace Nobel Prize, Mohamed al-Sadat and Menachem Begin. Do you want to get closer? Yasser Arafat, Simon Peres – yes the very same Peres that was acting like a war lord a few years ago – and Yitzhak Rabin were sharing the Peace Nobel Prize in 1994 and Jimmy Carter took it in 2002, I suppose it was his contribution for the peanuts’ popularity that gave it to him. I’m not going to say anything for Kofi Anan hoping that in the back of the Nobel Committee’s mind was that the United Nations needed something to help them after losing face with the American invasion to Iraq.

Last year it was Martti Ahtisaari and I fully supported his nomination and his award and it was not only for the work he did in North Ireland or in Indonesia – even though he failed in Serbia with unknown still results – but because Martti Ahtisaari gave hope, proved that in the world of war lords and George W. Bush there is still hope for diplomacy and that is far more important than any negotiation. Barack Obama is very new in the international scene and in that sense the skepticists are right. He hasn’t shown anything yet and nobody really knows if he will manage to do something middle east or about Afghanistan and the other thorns of the international scene. But he gave hope and the people of Afghanistan feel hope with Barack Obama and the people of Indonesia feel hope and the people of Serbia feel hope.

One of the first to react was Yet Hisham Qasim, Egyptian democracy and human rights activist, who said that he was "shocked" Obama won. "He has achieved nothing. He's stumbling. He hasn't achieved any of his promises and nothing is working. He promised to close Guantanamo and now that's not going to happen, and the Arab-Israeli conflict looks like it's going to get very nasty."

The same time Gideon Rachman, a foreign affairs columnist for The Financial Times, wrote on his blog under the headline "What did Obama do to win the Nobel Peace Prize? I am a genuine admirer of Obama. And I am very pleased that George W. Bush is no longer president. But I doubt that I am alone in wondering whether this award is slightly premature. It is hard to point to a single place where Obama's efforts have actually brought about peace - Gaza, Iran, Sri Lanka? While it is OK to give school children prizes for 'effort' -- my kids get them all the time -- I think international statesmen should probably be held to a higher standard."

All these people forget what Barack Obama has accomplished by just been there. Who had thought just a couple of years ago that an American president could reach with his peace message Christians and Muslims? Well Obama did, he did it with his latest visit in Egypt. Black and whites, west and east, men and women, old and new; that’s his accomplishment and I’m saying it again it was not Barack Obama it was Barack Obama’s aura that has a huge impact on all of us! We just need to look how many new leaders have appeared in every corner of this globe wanting to be just like Barack Obama. 

Awarding Barack Obama is awarding the hope and the hope to see more Barack Obamas soon which makes this award even more important.

P.S. Mr. Martti Ahtisaari commented yesterday Mr. Obama's awarding saying that it was ...surprising and in part aimed the American President to seek peace in Middle East! I feel oblige to remind Mr. Ahtisaari that even the Finns were surprised not to mention shocked when he took the Peace Nobel Prize and that in some Balcan countries and Far East regions still wander why he took it! I hope comments like that including the one Ms Jodi Williams (another Peace Nobel Prize winner) did the last hours will stop because contrary to what they might believe they show that they never understood why they got the Peace Nobel Prize! 

 


     
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Emanuel Paparella2009-10-10 13:03:28
Indeed, in a world in which spurious egotistical political achievements by so called world leaders, parading as efforts for world peace, are regularly and undeservedly rewarded, it is hard to grasp the notion that the restoration of hope is something precious, something to be encouraged and rewarded. Hope sounds so ephemeral and unsubstantial, and yet, together with faith and charity, it always springs anew and may save a cynical world from the abyss of apathy and quite desperation. LONG LIVE THE CONSPIRACY OF HOPE!


zed2009-10-10 14:04:39
rubbish


Anastasios2009-10-10 14:53:38
Thano, excellent! My problem is now that you reminded me that Kissinger was a recipient of the prize, I am having second thoughts about Obama getting it too.Kissinger was the epitome of gangster politics, an unbelievable freak! Let me not get started on Begin..,


ap2009-10-10 16:44:53
'But I know these challenges can be met, so long as it's recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone. This award is not simply about the efforts of my administration, it's about the courageous efforts of people around the world. That's why this award must be shared with everyone who strives for justice and dignity: for the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard, even on the face of beatings and bullets, for the leader imprisoned in her own home because she refuses to abandon her commitment to democracy (...)'
If it is deserved? It will be deserved for all the young people inspired by his model and other models around the world that he's humble enough to recognize and be inspired by, and that's a kind of responsibility we cannot put aside. Can we afford such luxury of putting aside voices like his? No. Not yet. I wish Obama wouldn't have to be a Peace Nobel (I wish we wouldn't have to have Peace Nobels anymore, but that's another story). Monteiro Lobato (1882-1948), an influential Brazilian writer, published in 1926 a science-fiction novel with the title 'The Black President' (of the USA), on the topic of racial conflict/world conflict, and this novel nowadays has a certain prescient flavour, on several levels. Even the novel can give us second thoughts about the state of our world. However, however... it was a novel.


Emanuel Paparella2009-10-10 22:05:17
Sometimes reaiity is stranger than fiction ad life imitated art, since the fiction of a Blaci USA president has came true after all. On the other hand, as the acerbic if inane comment by Mr. zed amply testifies to, reality can stubbornly hang on to the old wine of cynicism in the old bottles of true and tried Machiavellism. That's when hope becomes indispensable.


Emanuel Paparella2009-10-10 22:07:24
Errata: Black.


Thanos2009-10-10 22:21:53
And the reactions continue... the weird thing is that all the reactions are coming from the conservatives like it is a conservatives vs labours thing!
And then there is the other side of the extreme left that reacts blaming Obama for one thing, that he is ...American!!! This is definitely a strange world!!


ap2009-10-11 01:00:53
'A burden for him' (poor man, won't be able to walk tomorrow), 'Not deserved!!' (poor Nobel Committee, giving out Prizes that shake its impolute reputation), 'What did you do for America yet?' (and what are you doing for America with this comment?), 'Obama Peace Nobel Prize? It must be a joke!' (better than Monty Python, so it got us jealous!), 'Now he has the full responsibility of bringing peace to the Middle East' (Obama, Allah, Jesus Christ and יהוה), 'I want you to prove that you deserve the Nobel' (otherwise the Committee might ask it back??), 'Now it's an awful day for America, it shakes the President's credibility' (Yes, a Nobel is always awful news to begin the day with!), 'Now previous Nobel laureates will not consider their own award as relevant as they did before' (Rabin and Carter in particular).
It's actually very amusing that he was awarded with it, just because of all the reactions on both sides of the Atlantic! Obama was right after all: Yes We Can Be United In Stupidity!! The man would deserve a Nobel just for predicting that.


ap2009-10-11 01:24:47
Moving on... beyond the Europeans who ignore or envy him, the (North)Americans who hate him, the Talibans and other (more powerful) corporative terrorists.


Emanuel Paparella2009-10-11 09:07:32
P.S. Just today in the news one reads about the normalization of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey, thanks to behind the scene diplomatic efforts on the part of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Such is the conspiracy of hope in action and for that President Obama more than deserves the Nobel peace prize.


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