Peter Van Den Dungen Explains Why Nobel Price for Obama
I wish I had more time to engage in this discussion with you because I greatly appreciate your peace journalism. You are one of the few to follow in Fried’s footsteps and you should take heart from this. Most of the media are more interested in reporting violence and conflict, and blowing up such stories so that more people will buy or watch their products.
As regards Obama’s Nobel, have you carefully read the official statement from Oslo (it is on their website)?
Nobel specified in his will three kinds of activities which deserved to be honoured with the peace prize:
– fraternity between nations: Obama has extended a friendly hand (not a
fist!) to Iran, and now China, and to the Muslim world/Middle East when he
spoke in Cairo. It is not an argument to say ‚ these are only words‘. You as
a journalist know that words matter a great deal (esp. those spoken by the
world’s most powerful man). And he means it.
– abolition or reduction of standing armies: Obama has reinvigorated the
nuclear disarmament discussion. See his speech in Prague, e.g. This is very
important, especially with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review
conference starting in New York next May.
The last such conference, in 2005, was an absolute disgrace and disaster,
thanks to the Bush administration. The one in 2010 can be a great success,
because of a positive US attitude. The Nobel Committee made explicit mention
of Obama’s positive stance on nuclear abolition.
– holding and promotion of peace congresses: Nobel put this in because
this is what B. von Suttner was doing. Obama is travelling the world and
addresses congresses, in a spirit of friendship, cooperation, etc.
On all three scores, he could not be more different than Bush
(and the above is just a quick and hasty reply).
I will forward you an interesting initiative about a campaign for the 2010
Nobel peace prize for the Hibakusha, in case this is new to you.
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