US President Obama has won a Nobel Peace Prize.
I agree that the man has greatly improved American relations with the rest of the world (not really that hard after Bush). He also has a lot of good ideas, not least of which are the health reform, universal nuclear disarmament and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay torture facility.
However... what has he really accomplished yet? I won't say he's not trying. He's achieved greater government transparency (meaning we get to know more about what happened under Bush and Cheney, but not necessarily in the present). He's working hard to get his greatly needed, albeit not perfect health reform approved (what system is really perfect anyway?). And he's trying to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, even if he's pissing a lot of people off by trying to introduce bills making people pay more taxes (gasp! not taxes!).
On the other hand, he is still deeply involved in fighting an illegal war in the Middle East. He supports the kind of big business that chews up and spits out everyone it doesn't like, including workers, competitors and the proverbial little guy. He bought out the banks while leaving people with mortgages in the lurch.
Okay, so the man's not perfect. He's not bad, he's not good, but at least he's trying.
But he really doesn't deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. People don't get prizes for good intentions and positive rhetoric. Knowing how to give speeches doesn't really constitute working for peace.
On top of that, the deadline for nominations for the prize was 12 days after Obama took office. 12 days.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Norwegian committee said in a statement. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." (BBC News)
He got the prize for being popular... interesting. Hopefully, he really will use it as a call to action like he says. Otherwise, it's about as meaningful as being Prom Queen.