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Oh boy, oh boy…(Obama’s Nobel)

October 9, 2009

One exploded internet, right there.

I’m not going to get in much detail on whether I think there were candidates better suited to winning it. There almost always are. The problem is, if I were to list five candidates I thought should have gotten the Nobel first, and you were to list the same, and that guy over there was to list the same, we’d probably have fourteen or fifteen different names on the list.

I am, however, going to urge people to remember that the Nobel Prize is given based on how the world at large view a person. I’m aware in the United States Obama is seen as having accomplished little tangible among his promises, and having done a lot that is questionable (eg, Patriot Act, Guantanamo, plus the spending). I’m also aware that a lot of that opinion has filtered onto the English internet, due to the preponderance of American posters and news source on it.

That does not reflect the global view of Obama. In the world-at large, “Yes we can”, and the fact that a black man was elected president of the United States, and his various speeches, still looms largest in how people view him, with the healthcare debate and Guantanamo being largely pinned on a handful of reactionaries in the Senate (accurate? Perhaps not. But blaming Obama for it all is hardly accurate either!).

In large parts of the world, Obama became and remain a powerful force for hope and peaceful change, and for popular unity (seriously, how often do you see a single individual’s political victory being celebrated from Kenya to Montreal and from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, as CNN’s “WE can now predict…” was?), and a peaceful but critical revolution from the America of the Bush years, in that he listens to the world (the Berlin visit comes to mind).

That doesn’t mean there may not have been better recipients, but that his getting the prize (aside from the very obvious F.U. Bush message) is hardly as senseless as it may appear at a glance from the USA.

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