BREAKING: Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

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BLOOMBERG: U.S. President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Nobel Committee said in Oslo today. Obama, 48, last year was elected the first black U.S. president on a platform of extracting the U.S. from the Iraq war while increasing focus on an eight-year conflict in Afghanistan. Obama is the third sitting U.S. President to be awarded the prize, following Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won in 2002. MORE

greenwald_art.thumbnail.gifGLENN GREENWALD: As critical as I’ve been of the Obama presidency regarding civil liberties and Terrorism, foreign affairs is actually one area where he’s shown genuine potential for some constructive “change” and has, on occasion, merited real praise for taking steps in the general “peace” direction which this Prize is meant to honor.  Obama has changed the tone America uses to speak to the world generally and the Muslim world specifically.  His speech in Cairo, his first-week interview on al-Arabiya, and the extraordinarily conciliatory holiday video he sent to Iran are all substantial illustrations of that.  His willingness to sit down and negotiate with Iran — rather than threaten and berate them — has already produced tangible results.  He has at least preliminarily broken from Bush’s full-scale subservience to Israel and has applied steadfast pressure on the Israelis to cease settlement activities, even though it’s subjected him to the sorts of domestic political risks and vicious smears that have made prior Presidents afraid to do so.  His decision to use his first full day in office to issue Executive Orders to close Guantanamo, ostensibly ban torture, and bar CIA black sites was an important symbol offered to the world (even though it’s been followed by actions that make those commitments little more than empty symbols).  He refused to reflexively support the right-wing, civil-liberty-crushing coup leaders in Honduras merely because they were “pro-American” and “anti-Chavez,” thus siding with the vast bulk of Latin America’s governments — a move George Bush, or John McCain, never would have made.  And as a result of all of that, the U.S. — in a worldwide survey released just this week — rose from seventh to first on the list of “most admired countries.” MORE

 

HUFFPO:  And so, in the immediate aftermath, the meme had already been established — seconded by the usual purveyors of conventional wisdom — that the Nobel Prize was more burden than benefit for the White haterade_1.jpgHouse. The conclusion: the president needed to turn the prize down. “I predict right now that he will find a way to basically turn it down,” Time Magazine‘s Mark Halperin told MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I think he is going to say, I share this with the world or whatever. I don’t think he’ll embrace this. Because there is no upside.” “The damage is done,” added Mika Brzezinski shortly thereafter. MORE

RED STATE: I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for it, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news.

DNC: “The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists — the Taliban and Hamas this morning — in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” wrote DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse. “Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize — an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride — unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore – it’s an embarrassing label to claim.” MORE

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Barack_ObamaCROPPED.1_1.jpgOBAMA: jonathan — This morning, Michelle and I awoke to some surprising and humbling news. At 6 a.m., we received word that I’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. To be honest, I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize — men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace. But I also know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honor specific achievement; it’s also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. That is why I’ve said that I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations and all peoples to confront the common challenges of the 21st century. These challenges won’t all be met during my presidency, or even my lifetime. But I know these challenges can be met so long as it’s recognized that they will not be met by one person or one nation alone. This award — and the call to action that comes with it — does not belong simply to me or my administration; it belongs to all people around the world who have fought for justice and for peace. And most of all, it belongs to you, the men and women of America, who have dared to hope and have worked so hard to make our world a little better. So today we humbly recommit to the important work that we’ve begun together. I’m grateful that you’ve stood with me thus far, and I’m honored to continue our vital work in the years to come. Thank you, President Barack Obama

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