When I first read that Barrack Obama, incumbent president of the USA (for those who have not been living on this earth in the last couple year or so), won the Noble Peace Prize I thought it was a hoax: some news editor couldn’t wait until April 1st ’10 probably; it seemed like the only plausible explanation.
But no, we are witnessing what can only be described as Nobel Prize inflation. My theory being that the Norwegian Nobel Committee thought they should follow the international trend set by the economy in recent years and reevaluate the meaning of the prize alongside with the devaluation of the fixed prize money (about 10 million Swedish krona, which is a bit more than US$1,2 million) attached to Nobel Prizes.
For a man who has been in office for only 9 months and has yet to full-fill the promises he made during his campaign, to be put on the same level as Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi is not just premature; it’s pre-embryotic if you ask me.
The Times of London (in some online opinion piece):
“the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.”
Mairead Corrigan (1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate)
“[g]iving this award to the leader of the most militarized country in the world, which has taken the human family against its will to war, will be rightly seen by many people around the world as a reward for his country’s aggression and domination.”
Of course, it being a political faux pas to do otherwise, no official representative from any government has said anything else but positive. I distinctively remember Obama muttering the word “change”, a lot; seems nothing has…