This is NOT about Obama the politician. Please. There is another thread for that.
The above article makes an outstanding point. What has become of the Nobel awarding process?? I read “Three Cups of Tea” by Mortensen (HIGHLY recommended) and what he has done over there is utterly flabbergasting! He has almost singlehandedly transformed the lives of DOZENS of villages in Pakistan by bringing education for girls. With virtually NOTHING for resources, he has done more to bring peace to that part of the world than almost any government program or heavily funded NGO.
Leaving our domestic political views out of this completely, what has Obama done that remotely compares to the complete committment and almost miraculous accomplishments of this man? Remember, the award is supposed to be for achievement, not great speeches or dreams. Obviously, the committe knew about Mortensen because he was nominated. Is there any other explanation for this except the idea that the committee is cynically using this prize as a means to try to “vote” in USA politics by swaying US public opinion???
It is likely that we don’t “get it” since we are not Europeans looking at him from the perspective that they have outside of our country. The people awarding this prize are not Americans. Many people in other countries admire him for what they see as a significant shift in American policy relating to how we relate to other nations and deal with them. I’ve read articles and watched news programs from outside of the USA where they see him as leading us away from what many overseas view as an “empire” mentality where other countries are not our peers but lesser places that should follow obediently when we lead and get out of our way when we want to go “cowboy” and do whatever we want regardless of the concerns of other countries. There were hard feelings toward us from many people outside of the USA well before GWB became president, but he seemed to cause an increase in some of those feelings about our country. I heard the cowboy comments back in the 70s in discussions, but they were definitely applied to GWB as well.
I’m not saying that these are my views, so I don’t want people to start trashing me over this explanation. I’m answering the question in the original post about why the selection committee might have chosen Obama over the other nominees. I’m sure that this explanation will rub many people here the wrong way and probably start a couple of rants about how everyone wants to come here and how we saved Europe’s rearend in 2 world wars, but none of that means that many of those outside of the USA don’t agree with, like or respect many of our past actions and policies when dealing with the rest of the world. Would one of us choose him for an award and write him a check? Probably not, but it does not mean that others are not entitled to see the world and our president through the prism of their own values and experiences when they are giving out their awards and money.
For fifteen years, Mortensen has opened schools in an areas run by terrorists.
As of 2009, Mortenson has established or significantly supports 131 schools in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which provide education to over 58,000 children, including 44,000 girls, where few education opportunities existed before.
I am not persuaded that all Europeans think the U.S. is the primary threat to world peace. I think a lot of European leftists do, as do a lot of American leftists. The left controls the media in Europe, just as it does here.
But since Obama has not really affected world peace one way or another except to continue one war and expand another, about the only way a person can read the committee giving the Nobel to Obama is to consider that they are responding affirmatively to Obama’s “America is the problem” rhetoric. I imagine that reflects their belief, as it does of the left in general.
But I don’t know that the Poles or the Ukrainians or the Georgians, who are right next to an aggressive power that once ruled them, think “America is the problem”, except to the extent America shrinks from defending free nations that it ought to feel a moral imperative to protect.