09 October 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

This morning I awoke to the news that President Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

This caught me by surprise, because Obama has been in the White House for less than a year. And has he really done much yet to achieve peace in the world?

But, of course, the Nobel Peace Prize is about more than just ending the wars that your predecessor created. And Obama really has made some high-profile efforts to "strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation."

Shortly after taking office in January, Obama issued an executive order calling for closure of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay and requiring that all our prisoners be treated humanely in compliance with the Geneva Conventions.

In April, he promised to work towards "a world without nuclear weapons."

In June, he delivered an address to the Muslim world in which he called for an end to the divisions between the Muslim world and the western world, a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian mess, and a unified approach to more effectively fight violent extremism.

And, most recently at the United Nations General Assembly and the G20, he spoke of the need for international cooperation in order to defeat terrorism, fight global warming, fight HIV/AIDS, handle Ahmadinejad, and address other challenges and crises in the world.

And when compared with the cowboy-style foreign policy of his predecessor, the contrast makes Obama's diplomatic style seem even more impressive.

Congratulations, Mr. President. Keep up the good work. I'll be watching and writing.

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