A Prize for What?
Early in the presidency of Barack Obama, he was given attention that some see as being premature. The Norwegian Nobel Committee saw it fit to reward Obama with the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, not much had changed in America during Obama’s time as president. Many people saw the award as a strict political act by the Committee. Others simply see the award as something that Obama has not done anything to deserve. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama is considered to be a political act that was not deserved.Shortly after the award was presented, cartoons and articles dominated the news about Obama. Most of them saw him as being unworthy of the award at this point in his presidency. A cartoon created by the credible cartoonist Tom Toles of the Washington Post appeared in 2009 shortly after the award ceremony. Toles depicts President Obama as a runner just about to start his race. However, a member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee is blocking him with a medal in his hands. Without earning the medal, Obama is given the award. It is considered to be a heavy medal that may slow the president down in the long run. The medal makes Americans feel proud of their president, but they also feel like nothing has occurred just yet. He is still at the start, just like the country itself. On the other hand, political writers also saw the award as a clear way for the Norwegian Nobel Committee to make political strides in the world. By giving an award to the first black president in America’s history, they hope the American government will “re-engage with the world.” America at the time had not been open to the world under the Bush administration, due to the September 11th attacks. By awarding the successor of Bush, the foreign nation hopes to spring Washington into action with the world. However, the Committee failed to see the true meaning of the award. It is an award for “peace.” Obama, planning to send 40,000 soldiers to Afghanistan and expand the war, was not exactly advocating peace at the time of the award.Another element of the London Times article by Michael Binyon is the examples at the end of the deduction style essay. The years of 1973, 1976, and 1978 were not the best years for the prize. Binyon uses straw man fallacy with regard to 1973 awarding of Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho after the Vietnam War. Kissinger was seen as a “monger” who supported the bombing of Cambodia. He was seen as someone who never supported the peace deal after the war. This man did not deserve the prize, and due to him prematurely receiving it, the prize lost prestige. Barack Obama, also premature in his receiving of the award, may end up similar. His presidency still has time to grow and no one knows where it will lead the country.Emotions flare while Americans see their president represented in this way. People love seeing their president receive a prestigious award, but may think twice about whether or not he deserves it. In 2009, it was unknown what the plan of Barack Obama was. He made plenty of promises that sounded peaceful and right for the country, but would he be able to carry them out. The Norwegian Nobel Committee thought so, however not all people were in agreement. The Americans who read the Washington post could interpret the award as a bad thing. They could be frightened by the way the “heavy medal” could potentially weigh down the president. Readers and Binyon’s article may fear the examples described. Obama, who has not yet shown peaceful ways, could turn out to be a horrible recipient of the award. Hence, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama in 2009 was one that had conflicting opinions. Most people used reasonable thought and saw the award as premature and unnecessary at the time. Yes, he was the first African American president ever in the country, but that does not make him the prefect choice for the award. Politics were seen as a strong reason for the award being given to Obama. It always looks good when you are seen as a non-racist organization that supports the United States. It could have been an attempt to open America up to the world once again. Either way, opinions are in unison that the award was diminished by Obama receiving it so early in his presidency.