Voices from the papers: Lukewarm praise of Nobel Peace Prize award / News / The Foreigner

Voices from the papers: Lukewarm praise of Nobel Peace Prize award. Aftenposten applauds committee’s decision, whilst Dagens Næringsliv does them down. This year’s choice of President Barack Obama as winner of the Nobel Peace Prize dominated Saturday’s editorials in several of the major Norwegian newspapers. The majority of them agreed that the committee’s announcement on Friday was both bold and problematic.Hot and cold News of the committee’s decision pushed the temperature of the papers’ political thermometers in both directions.

norway, nobel, peace, prize, award, committee, 2009, barack, obama, norwegian, newspapers, bold, decision, usa



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Voices from the papers: Lukewarm praise of Nobel Peace Prize award

Published on Monday, 12th October, 2009 at 15:10 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 15th October 2009 at 11:46.

Aftenposten applauds committee’s decision, whilst Dagens Næringsliv does them down.

Barack Obama at Abington campaign rally
Barack Obama at Abington campaign rally
Photo: Bbsrock/Wikimedia Commons


This year’s choice of President Barack Obama as winner of the Nobel Peace Prize dominated Saturday’s editorials in several of the major Norwegian newspapers. The majority of them agreed that the committee’s announcement on Friday was both bold and problematic.

Hot and cold

News of the committee’s decision pushed the temperature of the papers’ political thermometers in both directions.

Whilst Aftenposten thought the committee made a brave decision and fully supports them, calling Obama a “worthy winner”, Dagbladet was rather lukewarm, claiming that

“Conferring the Peace Prize on Barack Obama is a clear shift in policy for the Nobel Committee.”

Dagens Næringsliv applied a cold compress, and viewed the committee’s decision to be both “peculiar” and “bizarre”.

Time

Obama hasn’t been in office very long; something that was both commented upon and criticised.

Again Aftenposten emerged as the most “positive” of the papers.

“In the course of less than nine months in the White House he has announced a series of ambitious objectives, but hasn’t yet managed to achieve results with the big issues he is working on.”

“(Obama has) also taken a new initiative towards peace in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, without it having lead to much so far,” writes Stavanger Aftenblad.

And Dagens Næringsliv was still the most openly critical.

“The problem with this year’s prize is that it can undermine the authority both of those who award it and who receives it. Obama gets the prize for what he has said, not for what he has done.”

Against a backdrop of war

Questions were also raised by the papers as to awarding the Peace Prize to the head of a country that is still in combat.

“At the same time the US is still engaged in to unfinished wars under Barack Obama. Perhaps the war in Iraq is nearing an end, but Obama has gone the other way in Afghanistan and decided on an escalation...this is by far from unproblematic,” writes Aftenbladet.

Dagbladet joins in, by saying that awarding the prize to someone so early on could call the Nobel committee’s judgement into question.

“From this point on Obama will both be referred to and described as the winner of the Nobel peace prize in everything that he does. Where he fails will emerge as being a contrast and a burden. Should this happen the Nobel Committee would also be burdened, just like it is continuously burdened after having awarded the Peace Prize to Foreign Minister Henry Kissinger, who became prize-winner whilst concurrently being responsible for warfare that contravened international law both in Vietnam, and neighbouring countries of Cambodia and Laos.”

Reasons

So why pick Obama? Two papers gave contrasting explanations; one factual, and one critical.

“The Nobel Committee is principled about this year’s reasons, and links them directly to the wording in Alfred Nobel’s will, where it is written that the prize shall go to the person who has made the biggest contribution to the development of peace in the world ‘in the last year’”, Dabladet wrote

And according to Dagens Næringsliv, it was this:

“The subtext of this year’s choice is that one wishes to lash Obama to the mast of peace. It suggests that the Nobel Committee has had an attack of megalomania. Defending his own standing as winner of the Peace Prize will mean almost nothing when Obama has to make decisions. At worst it could produce the reverse of the desired effect...”

“...Giving him the prize now could limit the President’s room for negotiation – and make the prize-givers look ridiculous.”




Published on Monday, 12th October, 2009 at 15:10 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 15th October 2009 at 11:46.

This post has the following tags: norway, nobel, peace, prize, award, committee, 2009, barack, obama, norwegian, newspapers, bold, decision, usa.





  
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