Obama is the twenty first American to be awarded the prize. Other Presidents that have received the award were Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter. Other notable Americans to be awarded the prize include former Vice President Al Gore; civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The selection process starts with the Norwegian Nobel Committee inviting “qualified” people to submit nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The statutes of the Nobel Foundation specify categories of certain elitist, government intellectual types who can nominate someone for the prize. Past recipients can nominate, so perhaps Al Gore or Jimmy Carter submitted Obama’s name, but thus far neither have claimed responsibility, which you would expect.
This year 205 people were nominated for the Nobel. When you consider the deadline for this year’s nominations (February 1st) was just twelve days after President Obama was sworn into office, you have to wonder who submitted his name, but the nomination and selection process is so secretive that the files are not opened for fifty years, so we’ll have to wait for that information.
The bottom line is the Nobel committee was sending a message to the world that they love this liberal American President and his pacifist foreign policies, but they acted prematurely and inappropriately. To award someone for good intentions is not following Nobel’s criterion for the prize outlined in his will. In 1901, Henry Dunant, a Swiss was awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901 at the age of 73. The Geneva-based International Red Cross was founded by the devout Calvinist, Dunant, who also helped establish the Geneva Convention, was a humanitarian whose life work was substantive. He was not a classic pacifist who advocated world peace, but recognized the nature of man would always produce conflict. Dunant sought a way to be “humane” even in times of war. We still use the principles set forth by Dunant. Obama’s award was pretentious and exaggerated and takes away from the prestige of the once noble Nobel.