Peace Prize Reax II

Ronald Krebs:

The Nobel Peace Prize's aims are expressly political. The Nobel committee seeks to change the world through the prize's very conferral, and, unlike its fellow prizes, the peace prize goes well beyond recognizing past accomplishments. As Francis Sejersted, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the 1990s, once proudly admitted, "The prize ... is not only for past achievement. ... The committee also takes the possible positive effects of its choices into account [because] ... Nobel wanted the prize to have political effects. Awarding a peace prize is, to put it bluntly, a political act."

George Packer:

President Obama should thank the Nobel committee and ask them to hold on to the Peace Prize for a couple more years...This seems like a prize for Europeans, not Americans, and I worry that at home it will damage him politically by reinforcing the notion that he isand will bea world icon rather than a successful President. I don’t mind him being the former, but I most want him to be the latter. Not even a Rookie of the Year is ready to be elected to the Hall of Fame. I’m afraid this prize will be bad for Obama. For political reasons and on the merits, he should quote Shakespeare to the Nobel committee: “As you shall prove me, praise me.”

Mickey Kaus:

Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he’s honored but he hasn’t had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory–and helps solve his narcissism problem and his Fred Armisen (’What’s he done?’) problem, demonstrating that he’s uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he’s started to realize it.

Spencer Ackerman:

[T]urning it down would be a slap in the face to an international community that is showing, in the most generous way possible, that it wants the U.S. back as a leading component of the global order. The issue is not Barack Obama. It’s what the president represents internationally: a symbol of an America that is willing, once again, to drive the international system forward, together, toward the humane positive-sum goals of peace and disarmament. The fact that Obama hasn’t gotten the planet there misses the point entirely. It’s that he’s beginning, slowly, to take the world again down the path.

David Frum:

From the age of 20, Barack Obama has collected acclaim, awards and prizes not for his accomplishments (which have always been rather scanty), but for his potential. You think with the guy nearing 50 and elected president of the United States that the prizes for “most promising young man” would cease. But no! The Nobel Committee has just awarded him one more.

The Taliban:

We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan.

Josh Marshall:

This is an odd award. You'd expect it to come later in Obama's presidency and tied to some particular event or accomplishment. But the unmistakable message of the award is one of the consequences of a period in which the most powerful country in the world, the 'hyper-power' as the French have it, became the focus of destabilization and in real if limited ways lawlessness. A harsh judgment, yes. But a dark period. And Obama has begun, if fitfully and very imperfectly to many of his supporters, to steer the ship of state in a different direction. If that seems like a meager accomplishment to many of the usual Washington types it's a profound reflection of their own enablement of the Bush era and how compromised they are by it, how much they perpetuated the belief that it was 'normal history' rather than dark aberration.

Jake Tapper:

Apparently the standards are more exacting for an ASU honorary degree these days.

Rod Dreher:

The Nobel committee has awarded Obama its Peace prize for the grand achievement of not being George W. Bush. I don't see any other way to explain this decision. Again, it doesn't reflect poorly on Obama, but rather on the Nobel committee, which looks petty and political. On the other hand, none of us are George W. Bush either, so maybe we can dare to dream that the Norwegians will gift us with the Nobel Peace prize next year. Personally, I would use the prize money to foster understanding between peoples, and to buy silken slankets for the whole family.

Glenn Greenwald:

We're currently occupying and waging wars in two separate Muslim countries and making clear we reserve the "right" to attack a third.  Someone who made meaningful changes to those realities would truly be a man of peace.  It's unreasonable to expect that Obama would magically transform all of this in nine months, and he certainly hasn't.  Instead, he presides over it and is continuing much of it.  One can reasonably debate how much blame he merits for all of that, but there are simply no meaningful "peace" accomplishment in his record -- at least not yet -- and there's plenty of the opposite.  That's what makes this Prize so painfully and self-evidently ludicrous.      

Jim Henley:

I like to think that all people of good will, no matter our opinions on health-insurance reform, a second stimulus or cap-and-trade legislation, can agree that awarding the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama is one of the bigger fucking absurd fucking travesties of a low fucking dishonest fucking decade.

Marc Lynch:

Based on conversations in Amman there's not going to be much Arab enthusiasm for Obama peace prize.