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Peace Prize Prevaricators

Thorbjoern Jagland Nobel Peace Committee Chairman

Thorbjoern Jagland - AFP

OSLO: The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced one week ago that Barack Obama had won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. It was reported that he was nominated two weeks after taking office. Announcing the award their secretary Geir Lundestad told the Agence France Presse, “The committee was unanimous.”

That depends what you mean by “unanimous.” When most readers hear that declaration, they think that all committee members voted for Obama. However in this case that appears far from the truth. The Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang reported on Thursday that a majority, three of the five members of the committee, had serious objections. The newspaper also reported that committee member Inger-Marie Ytterhorn led the way in objecting to the choice of Obama because “she questioned his ability to keep his promises.”

However it was reported that the committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland pressured the other members to vote his way. Evidently the influential Jagland, newly elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe, felt Obama’s world view supported the one government objectives of the Council of Europe.

David Ridenour, VP of the National Center for Public Policy Research puts it this way:

Unanimous decision? It really depends on what your definition of “unanimous” is. Bill Clinton may not have received the Nobel Peace Prize, but it turns out the Nobel Committee has found another way to honor him. www.nationalcenter.org

Mark Silva in the Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau reports that not all reaction to the award was favorable:

For some “Obamadulators,” the fact that he is not George W. Bush is enough in itself to merit the Nobel Prize… In the East, reactions were much slower and often also more dismissive, from Lech Walesa’s “Too soon!” or the “What For?” of the Slovak daily SME. www.swamppolitics.com

We at the Institute are happy that Obama received the award. That certainly can’t hurt the US in terms of world opinion. Let’s pray that he can keep the peace as well as George W. Bush.

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