President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009, the third U.S. President to be given this award.  The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President 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. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

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. 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.

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Looking at their reasoning I have to wonder what fighting climate change has to do with peace?  What extraordinary efforts has he given?  He’s not even been in office a year?  He’s gone on a worldwide apology tour so perhaps that is what they are talking about.

He’s adopted a policy on nuclear weapons that even the French sees as naive, and his desire to present this vision kept the disclosure of a second Iranian nuclear facility from being disclosed during the time he spent with the U.N. Security Council.  I’m wondering as well how exactly his policies are strengthening democracy and human rights?  Has he spoken out again human rights abuses in China?  How about human rights abuses that go on in the Middle East?  Where exactly has President Obama been successful in bringing peace?

Matt Lewis notes that this is a little premature:

The award could not have been given for accomplishments, but the committee did note in a citation that Obama has, "captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future."

It seems Obama was awarded based on zero accomplishments, but on lots of "hope" for the future …

So he was basically awarded this for rhetoric.  Considering this same committee gave the prize to Yasser Arafat in 1994 it goes to show you that the prize has become a leftist back slapping ceremony.  It really has become a meaningless award, but hey, glad to see hope and change recognized globally.

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