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12 Oct, 2009 10:00

ROAR: “All US presidents should receive a Nobel Prize during inauguration”

ROAR: “All US presidents should receive a Nobel Prize during inauguration”

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for a “charming smile” and declarations rather than for achievements, Russian analysts think.

“It’s the first time a verdict of the Nobel Committee has had such reaction as this year’s one,” Fedor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine, noted. “Never before has a politician been awarded not for his deeds, but for intentions,” Lukyanov stressed, writing for Vremya Novostey daily.

When political figures such as Obama are considered for the prize, usually real achievements are appreciated, the analyst said. He believes that the award for Obama was simultaneously “a gesture of despair and a symbol of belief in miracles.” He explains this by the fact that over 20 years since the end of cold war “the world order has not been created.”

“No structures, no individuals are able to stop a gradual structural destabilization,” Lukyanov said. And now a man has appeared who personifies changes for his own nation and millions of people on the planet,” the analyst said. “He is charming and eloquent; he is saying only right things and is calling for fine aims.”

“Everyone wants to believe that [Obama] is able not only to speak, but also to do what he says,” Lukyanov stressed. “Because if he will not be able to do it, it is unclear if there is something to rely on.”

At the same time, the winner found himself in an awkward position, the analyst said. The US president has got “an advance that he did not ask for,” Lukyanov added. On the other hand, the Nobel Committee has taken risks, he said. Now its reputation will be dependent on the policies of the president of the country “which is involved in two big armed conflicts and is always ready to use force,” he noted.

Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize has provoked bewilderment “because he has not done anything,” Vedomosti daily wrote. But the Peace Prize is, more than other Nobel prizes, based on the personal biases of experts and members of the Nobel Committee, the paper added.

“Many in the world are discontented with neoconservative messianic efforts of the previous US administration, and awarding Obama a Nobel Prize is a reflection of this trend,” the daily said. “Yes, the decision is politicized, but the prize is politicized too,” the paper noted.

Evgenia Voyko of the Center for Political Conjuncture also called the decision of the Nobel Committee “one of the most controversial over the recent years.” The Peace Prize went to a president of the US who has been elected less that a year ago, the analyst said. She also noted that Washington at the moment “is strengthening the military component of its foreign policy, in particular, in Afghanistan and in the post-Soviet space.”

The Nobel Committee chose a winner from 172 people and 33 organizations. And the world is still to see Obama’s deeds, not only good words, the paper added.

Obama’s promises to build a dialogue with the Islamic world and to withdraw troops from Afghanistan have not been realized, the paper wrote. He also spoke about the stability in Afghanistan, but “has begun to strengthen a military operation in that country,” the daily noted.

The US president also refused to deploy its missile defense system in Europe, “just to modernize it and to deploy it on battleships and to make it mobile,” at the same time considering deploying its elements in Ukraine, the daily said.

The paper accused the Nobel Committee of “pleasing” the United States, referring to many prizes that went to American scientists and cultural figures. The paper also stressed that previous winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have not received it “in advance.”

“It seems that the Obamamania that shook the US (as it’s the first time an Afro-American has been elected) has also been taken by European comrades: what is good for America is very good for Europe, let alone the rest of the world,” the paper said.

Political analyst Vitaly Tretyakov noted that it is now absolutely clear that “these prizes are absolutely political.” He agrees with other observers that it was strange that the Peace Prize goes to the president of the country waging two wars “on the territories that do not threaten the US.” Tretyakov also suggested awarding “all US presidents a Nobel Prize on a day of their inauguration.”

It seems that the prize was awarded to Obama “for the most charming smile,” believes Mikhail Neyzhmakov, head of the Center for International Politics at the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements.

The decision to give him the prize was another case of the well-known “Obama effect,” the analyst told Rosbalt news agency. The world public opinion gives him carte blanche “because he is charming, young, liberal, the first Afro-American among US presidents, and the main thing: he is not Bush,” Neyzhmakov said.

Obama cannot boast of “any breakthroughs in solving acute international issues or conflicts,” the analyst said. The US leader is not a dissident either, who has had to defend his citizen’s position, Neyzmakov added. Only proposals for nuclear arms reduction could be to some extent be a reason for awarding him, but they are also only “declarations,” the analyst said.

The policies of the previous US administration were “often aggressive,” Tatyana Stanovaya, head of analytical department of the Center for Political Technologies, said. She believes that awarding Obama Peace Prize is connected with the fact that the world has appreciated the turn that the US president had made in Washington’s foreign policy.

During the short period of time of his presidency, Obama has managed to change attitudes toward the US in the world, to build to some extent balanced relations with Moscow and mend ties with Europe, Stanovaya told Gazeta daily. Obama is emphasizing “the importance of diplomacy, not force,” she said. “And the world has estimated this at its true worth,” she added.

Such was the irritation with policies of George W. Bush and the neoconservatives that “even the first reasonable moves of the new US president have evoked the elation of the international community,” Mikhail Margelov, head of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Kommersant daily. The prize is an advance for Obama, and he will have “to work it off” during his first presidency or maybe the second one, Margelov said.

Many Russian bloggers called the decision of the Nobel Committee “opportunistic,” while politicians and observers also stress that the prize was awarded to Obama “in advance.” Many of them note that the Peace Prize should be given to public figures rather than world leaders.

However, Viktor Kremenyuk, deputy director of the US and Canada Institute, thinks that “the Nobel Committee knows better to whom it should award the prize.” Obama has set “good goals,” the analyst told Moskovsky Komsomolets daily.

“He wants to end the war in Iraq, he is dreaming of destroying all nuclear arms in the world and he wants to establish peace in Afghanistan,” Kremenyuk said. “Why not encourage these intentions?” he asked.

The award went to a man who may do much in creating a “more secure climate” in a number of unstable regions of the planet. “Sometimes such advances are given to other political figures,” he added.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the former President of the USSR, and 1990 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, has congratulated Obama, saying it was “the right decision.” He believes Obama’s efforts “have helped to bring about a significant change in the international climate.”

The US president’s success is “in the interest of all those who want to see a secure and just peace in the 21st century,” Gorbachev added.

Sergey Borisov, RT

Read also Is Obama's Nobel Prize a preemptive prize?