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Friday, October 9, 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Award

I believe this is the most deserving award ever given. This man is going to change the way people think and work together. He is a catalyst for creating a world of co-existence, Congratulations!

Obama believes in justice and justice is the only thing that will last and brings sustainable security and hope to the Israelis and the Palestinians. What is good for one has got to be good for the other, for it to continue, if not, it is not justice.

Mike Ghouse
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"The best way to congratulate President Obama is to show him that
his efforts matter. Let him know that you share the optimism of
the Nobel Prize Committee and the hope that he will go the full
nine yards for Mideast peace. Tell the President, Mazel Tov!

We look forward to the day when this prize is shared with
Israeli and Palestinian leadership against the backdrop of two
states living side-by-side in peace and security."

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom writes
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We know Obama cares about global public opinion -- indeed, we may be his best conscience. So let’s send him a flood of congratulations and urge him to fulfil his promise through real action -- take action now at this link, then spread the word, and we’ll deliver a global flood of signatures direct to the White House:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/obama_nobel_prize

Avaaz
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This Nobel peace prize is a down-payment on work yet to be done. It is an act of faith, based on the fact that Obama is making the right noises and seems to know what he is doing; and on the fact that, compared to his predecessor, he already looks like a master-craftsman.
Julian Borger, Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/09/barack-obama-nobel-peace-prize1
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By KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writers Karl Ritter And Matt Moore, Associated Press Writers – 13 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/eu_nobel_peace

OSLO – President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.

Many observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline and has yet to yield concrete achievements in peacemaking.

Some around the world objected to the choice of Obama, who still oversees wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has launched deadly counter-terror strikes in Pakistan and Somalia.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee countered that it was trying "to promote what he stands for and the positive processes that have started now." It lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change.

The peace prize was created partly to encourage ongoing peace efforts but Obama's efforts are at far earlier stages than past winners'. The Nobel committee acknowledged that they may not bear fruit at all.

"He got the prize because he has been able to change the international climate," Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said. "Some people say, and I understand it, isn't it premature? Too early? Well, I'd say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now. It is now that we have the opportunity to respond — all of us."

The selection to some extent reflects a trans-Atlantic divergence on Obama. In Europe and much of the world he is lionized for bringing the United States closer to mainstream global thinking on issues like climate change and multilateralism. At home, the picture is more complicated. As president, Obama is often criticized as he attempts to carry out his agenda — drawing fire over a host of issues from government spending to health care to the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele contended that Obama won the prize as a result of his "star power" rather than meaningful accomplishments.

"The real question Americans are asking is, What has President Obama actually accomplished?" Steele said.

Obama's election and foreign policy moves caused a dramatic improvement in the image of the U.S. around the world. A 25-nation poll of 27,000 people released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found double-digit boosts to the percentage of people viewing the U.S. favorably in countries around the world. That indicator had plunged across the world under President George W. Bush.

"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," Jagland said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has made no secret of his admiration for Obama, called the decision the embodiment of the "return of America into the hearts of the people of the world."

But Obama's work is far from done, on numerous fronts.

He said he would end the Iraq war but has been slow to bring the troops home and the real end of the U.S. military presence there won't come until at least 2012.

He's running a second war in the Muslim world, in Afghanistan — and is seriously considering ramping up the number of U.S. troops on the ground and asking for help from others, too.

"I don't think Obama deserves this. I don't know who's making all these decisions. The prize should go to someone who has done something for peace and humanity," said Ahmad Shabir, 18-year-old student in Kabul. "Since he is the president, I don't see any change in U.S. strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Obama has said that battling climate change is a priority. But the U.S. seems likely to head into crucial international negotiations set for Copenhagen in December with Obama-backed legislation still stalled in Congress.

Former Polish President Lech Walesa, who won the prize in 1983, questioned whether Obama deserved it now.

"So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act," Walesa said.

"This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let's see if he perseveres. Let's give him time to act," Walesa said.

Last year's prize winner, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, saw the award as vindication that Obama "is ready to seriously seek a solution to the question of Israel and Palestine," he told Finnish broadcaster YLE.

"Of course, this puts pressure on Obama. The world expects that he will also achieve something," Ahtisaari said.

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, the peace prize is given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Like the Parliament, the committee has a leftist slant, with three members elected by left-of-center parties. Jagland said the decision to honor Obama was unanimous.

The award appeared to be at least partly a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of "a new climate in international politics" and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.

"You have to remember that the world has been in a pretty dangerous phase," Jagland said. "And anybody who can contribute to getting the world out of this situation deserves a Nobel Peace Prize."

Until seconds before the award, speculation had focused on a wide variety of candidates besides Obama: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator, a Chinese dissident and an Afghan woman's rights activist, among others. The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize, though it was not immediately apparent who nominated Obama.

"The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it's given to someone ... who has the power to contribute to peace," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, said Obama's award shows great things are expected from him in coming years.

"It's an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all," Tutu said. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope."

Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award: President Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919.

Wilson received the prize for his role in founding the League of Nations, the hopeful but ultimately failed precursor to the contemporary United Nations.

The Nobel committee chairman said after awarding the 2002 prize to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, for his mediation in international conflicts, that it should be seen as a "kick in the leg" to the Bush administration's hard line in the buildup to the Iraq war.

Five years later, the committee honored Bush's adversary in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, for his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.

In July talks in Moscow, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed that their negotiators would work out a new limit on delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads of between 500 and 1,100. They also agreed that warhead limits would be reduced from the current range of 1,700-2,200 to as low as 1,500. The United States now has about 2,200 such warheads, compared to about 2,800 for the Russians.

But there has been no word on whether either side has started to act on the reductions.

Former Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, said Obama has already provided outstanding leadership in the effort to prevent nuclear proliferation.

"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," ElBaradei said. "He has shown an unshakable commitment to diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts."

Obama also has attempted to restart stalled talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, but just a day after Obama hosted the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York, Israeli officials boasted that they had fended off U.S. pressure to halt settlement construction. Moderate Palestinians said they felt undermined by Obama's failure to back up his demand for a freeze.

Obama was to meet with his top advisers on the Afghan war on Friday to consider a request by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to send as many as 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan as the U.S war there enters its ninth year.

Obama ordered 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan earlier this year and has continued the use of unmanned drones for attacks on militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a strategy devised by the Bush administration. The attacks often kill or injure civilians living in the area.

Nominators for the prize include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."

The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel's guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided not to inform Obama before the announcement because it didn't want to wake him up, committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said.

"Waking up a president in the middle of the night, this isn't really something you do," Jagland said.

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Associated Press writers Ian MacDougall in Oslo, Rahim Faiez in Kabul, Celean Jacobson in Johannesburg, George Jahn in Vienna, Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland, Matti Huuhtanen in Helsinki and Jennifer Loven in Washington contributed to this report.

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On the Net:

http://www.nobelpeaceprize.org


6 comments:

  1. Friends,



    This morning I heard the news about the Nobel Committee awarding the Peace Prize President Obama. It was a surprise and my first thought was that perhaps it is premature. But considering in the past Nobel committee is often awarded peace prizes to supposedly nudge the process onwards, it was a good choice. I hope in time he would prove that he deserved it. Regards,
    Mirza

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  2. Nobel Prize for Peace to Obama is surely premature, as it comes in the midst of growing concern among Muslims and other peace lovers that he has so far failed to make any major breakthroughs, and several of his decisions are almost the replica of Bush era. He has failed to deliver on the Afghan front, and his continued aggression against the “terrorists” there has caused considerable depletion in his popularity. His double standards in trying to do everything in his power to undermine the elections in Iran (despite an overwhelming evidence against the alleged fraud) and support elections in Afghanistan (despite an overwhelming evidence in favour of the alleged fraud) have also reduced the confidence of the Islamic world in his honesty. He has also not done enough to make any major breakthroughs in West Asia, where he seems to be more determined to assure Israel than Palestinians. But I still feel he was perhaps a better choice than most of the other nominees whose contributions are hardly known to the world. Most of the times it is the announcement that brings attention to the winner’s work, which is often of only local significance. Obama has at least brought some hope to a world that had been fast moving towards an open and dangerous confrontation between the Western and Islamic world. Let’s hope Noble makes him realize that the world had pinned huge hope in him and he must not led it down! He must act as a world leader who wants America to be a respected partner in the world affairs rather than a dictator who wants the world to bow before the might of America.

    Dr Javed Jamil

    India

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  3. What a way to celebrate Nobel! Obama bows before Gays



    The very next day after he got the Nobel for Peace, Obama was delivering a “historical” speech to an organization of gays telling them that they would no longer need to hide their sexual preferences in order to serve the US military. No statement on redoubling the efforts to take its armies out of Muslim countries. No pledge never to invade other countries again. But gays must be reassured of his total unconditional support. What a way to celebrate the coveted honour: Do something which despite the growing corporate and political support to homosexuality still shames and worries the overwhelming majority not only of the world but also of America. (Democratic norms don’t work here.)What an ideology of freedom! Prostitutes and wives must be equal, straights and gays must be equal, and criminals and law-abiding must be equal. But the rights of those denying and accepting Holocaust, those criticizing and supporting America, those entering America with Muslim and non Muslim names cannot be equal. Visas have been denied to people (like Prof. Tariq Ramadhan) on the grounds of their views, their religion and political alignments. What a sad commentary on the modernity that human rights today have come to be equated with the rights of gays. This despite the fact that homosexuality has proved to be the most dangerous of all forms of sexual relationships, and the life expectancy among gays has been found to be at least 25 years less than the average. This despite the fact that homosexuality has been proved to be one of the biggest factors (along with promiscuity and prostitution) in the spread of AIDS that has already consumed more than 45 million lives. Interestingly, you are not supposed to make public your religious and cultural preferences; but you are egged on not to hide your sexual preferences. Go ahead Obama, your concession of greater rights to gays will perhaps be a fitting tribute to the ideology of those who have chosen you for Nobel.

    Dr Javed Jamil

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  4. Not only Muslim world at large but many Westerners and Americans
    were surprised as Nobel Peace award was announced for Obama
    and most Moslems are critical because of unprincipled support to
    Israel, India over nuclear deal and Kashmir, continued occupation of
    Afghanistan and Iraq and bullying attitude toward Iran and failing
    to meet the requirements of Pakistan in dealing with war on terror
    imposed on Pakistan because of US interference.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OBama’s Peace Prize Premature.


    One of the reasons sited for the award of the Peace Prize to President Obama was that he promised to promote nuclear disarmament. A noble gesture indeed, but not new at all, for others have been calling for it for years!


    On this basis a cynic would quite rightly say that the prize is extremely premature, as it is only in the form of an announcement of a sort and a shift in American policy . Particularly when the hawks in the USA and the military brass (and by implication its Allies) are already making noises that it will restrict the military options of America in negotiating for peace.


    A skeptic may also argue that if the Nobel Committee was ‘fair dinkum’ in its deliberations then it should have shared the prize with many other world leaders who were instrumental in raising the profile of Nuclear issue on the world stage. Theirs too was “extraordinary efforts”.


    And it can also be argued that the greatness thrust on President OBama was as a result of the need to stand on a moral high ground to look in the eyes and with straight face, when pressuring others to abandon their nuclear programmes.


    Being premature, one can only take solace in the ‘potential’ of the Nobel Committee’s gesture to make this world a better place for tomorrow. One hopes that the potential will be realised.

    Rashid

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  6. Dr. Jameel,

    your comments are appreciated. Indeed, Dr. Manmohan Singh is visiting the USA now, his three Muslims on the press entourage were denied the visa, and one of them is still left behind because he was a Muslim. It is a shame on the US and India. The Tariq Ramadan case is also shameful.

    Full story at:
    http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2009/10/manmohans-team-subjected-to-ameri\
    can.html

    If you were given 15 minutes and asked to speak about Prophet Muhammad's Hujarat from Mecca to Madinah, would you speak about Bibi Khadija,Bibi Ayesha, Hazrat Umar and others? Or would you focus on what you were asked to speak? Obama just
    did that, he was there to speak about one topic and not other issues. Focus should be one item at a time.

    Obama represents the interests of every American, that is 301 Million of us, he is elected to protect the rights and ensure safety of every citizen, that includes Gays and Lesbians. Many of us disagree with their sexual orientation and even hate them, but that is not the role of the president, to hate.

    I would not want Manmohan Singh of India to mistreat India's minorities even if 80% of the majority want otherwise. As we live in civil societies, we may not agree with some one's practices, but we have to defend the civil rights of every member of the society who are minding their own business.

    Discrimination has no end, today it is them and some day it is us. The Christians, Muslims, Jews and others whose scripture have been interpreted to condemn the gays and lesbians, need to verify if those interpretations were short-sighted and time-suited. As God has gifted as with the ability to think,we need to employ it.

    Thanks to the variations in translations, it shows us the limitations of human understanding, and challenges us to strive to grasp the whole truth. What was hitherto cut and dry is no more. May be it is Allah's hint to us to get closer
    to understanding the truth. The focus ought be on the essence rather than literal meaning. Presently there are 21 translations of Quraan available.

    Religion is about justice, inclusiveness and common goodness. Islam is for Aalameen.

    Mike Ghouse

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