ACTION ALERT: Dear Mr. President. Congratulations on the Nobel Peace Prize.
October 10, 2009
Drew Hudson / TrueMajority / USAction
Just nine months after taking office, President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. While we remain mired in two wars right now, many of us share the Committee's hope and expectation that Obama will end these conflicts, and lead our country and the world towards a more peaceful future. Let's congratulate President Obama today and remind him that while there's more to be done.
Dear Mr. President. Congratulations on the Nobel Peace Prize. Now Its Time to Earn the Honor
(October 9, 2009) Just nine months after taking office, President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nominating Committee praised our President "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," especially his work on nuclear disarmament. And while we remain mired in two wars right now, many of us share the Committee's hope and expectation that Obama will end these conflicts, and lead our country and the world towards a more peaceful future.
Let's congratulate President Obama today and remind him that while there's more to be done, we'll be with him all the way as he continues to work for peace.
Sign our petition which says: "Congratulations President Obama on winning the Nobel Prize for Peace. You are showing leadership in the global movement for peace and diplomacy, and we expect even greater things from you in the future."
The news came as a complete surprise to all of us, but it's not undeserved. Obama has made HUGE steps toward winding down the Bush-era policies of endless war and cowboy diplomacy. Just consider:
Obama de-escalated the conflict with Russia by ending Bush's needless missile defense programs;
After years of bluster and military threats from Bush, Obama successfully re-reopened dialogue with Iran, including their nuclear program;
In Egypt and Eastern Europe, where Bush's government was a symbol of tyranny and empire, Obama electrified young people and reformers while pointing the way to a nuclear-free future;
And where Bush wanted to begin a new arms race, Obama has begun to bring sanity to the military budget by ending programs like the F-22 and missile defense.
Most of all, Obama's election represented the triumph of all the things that are best about America - hope, tolerance, diversity and a willingness to re-invent ourselves for the betterment of our world. But while Obama's victories are substantial, they're also only a start. And this award was given as much to honor President Obama's aspirations as his accomplishments.
So let's celebrate this amazing recognition of what Obama represents and what he's done - And also remind him that while the road ahead will be hard, nothing can stand in the way of millions of people united for peace.
Obama Wins 2009 Nobel Peace Prize
(October 9, 2009) US President Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee said he won it for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples". The committee highlighted Mr Obama's efforts to support international bodies and promote nuclear disarmament.
Mr Obama - woken up with the news early on Friday - said in an address at the White House that he was "surprised and deeply humbled" by the award. He said he did not feel he deserved to be in the company of some of the "transformative figures" who had previously received the award.
Speaking outside the White House, he said he would accept the prize as a "call to action".
There were a record 205 nominations for this year's peace prize. Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Chinese dissident Hu Jia had been among the favourites. Instead, the committee chose Mr Obama, who was inaugurated less than two weeks before the 1 February nomination deadline.
There was widespread surprise at the committee's decision. While world leaders were largely supportive of the award, thousands of people have contacted the BBC with more sceptical views.
An estimated 75% of comment sent to the BBC expressed surprise at the award. Some said awarding the prize to Mr Obama was plain wrong, others that the decision had come too soon, before he had made any concrete foreign policy achievement.
Asked why the prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve".
"It is a clear signal that we want to advocate the same as he has done," he said. He specifically mentioned Mr Obama's work to strengthen international institutions and work towards a world free of nuclear arms.
Reaction to the committee's decision from around the world was swift and varied. Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, said he could not think of anyone more deserving of the award. "In less than a year in office, he has transformed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in and rekindled hope for a world at peace with itself," Mr ElBaradei said.
At the other end of the spectrum, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the Reuters news agency the award was ridiculous. "The Nobel prize for peace? Obama should have won the 'Nobel Prize for escalating violence and killing civilians'," he said.
Since taking office in January, President Obama has pursued an ambitious international agenda including a push for peace in the Middle East and negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme. But critics say he has failed to make breakthroughs. Domestically, Mr Obama has been working to tackle an economic crisis and win support for healthcare reform.
Some said they saw the prize as a way of encouraging the US leader early in his presidency. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope," said Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, a former winner. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the award confirmed "America's return to the hearts of the people of the world".
The statement from the Nobel Committee said Mr Obama had "created a new climate in international politics". "Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play," it said.
The committee added that the US was now playing a more constructive role in meeting "the great climatic challenges" facing the world, and that democracy and human rights would be strengthened.
Mr Obama is the first US president to win the prize since former US President Jimmy Carter in 2002. Former vice-president Al Gore shared the prize in 2007. Among earlier US leaders, Theodore Roosevelt won the prize in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson won it in 1919.
The Nobel prize was invented by the Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel, and was first awarded in 1901. He designated the parliament in Norway, which at the time was united with Sweden, to elect the peace prize committee. Swedish academies are responsible for other prizes.
The prize-giving ceremony for the peace award is due to take place on 10 December in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
© BBC MMIX
THE SELECTION PROCESS
Those qualified to nominate candidates include members of national governments, international judiciary, academics and previous prize winners
Five Norwegians are chosen by Norway's parliament to sit on the Nobel Committee
The committee compiles a shortlist of between five and 20 candidates
The shortlist is considered by the Nobel Institute's permanent advisers, mainly Norwegian academics
The Nobel Committee chooses the winner
Details of the nominations and selection process are kept secret for 50 years
Paul Reynolds / BBC News
LONDON (October 10, 2009) The award is certainly unexpected and might be regarded as more of an encouragement for intentions than a reward for achievements. After all, the president has been in office for a little over eight months and he might hope to serve eight years. His ambition for a world free of nuclear weapons is one that is easier to declare than to achieve and a climate control agreement has yet to be reached. Indeed, the citation indicates that it is President Obama's world view that attracted the Nobel committee - that diplomacy should be founded "on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population".
The Nobel laureate chosen by a five-member committee wins a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.4 million).
"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 Norwegian committee said in a statement.
"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."
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