Nobel: Chamberlain enfin récompensé 70 ans après! (Norwegian quislings repair one of History’s greatest injustices)

Chamberlain-ObamaNous avons subi une défaite totale et sans mélange (…). Notre peuple doit savoir que nous avons subi une défaite sans guerre, dont les conséquences nous accompagneront longtemps sur notre chemin. (…) Ils ont accepté le déshonneur pour avoir la paix. Ils auront le déshonneur et la guerre. Churchill (1938)
Le pacifisme multiplie quelquefois les guerres et l’indulgence, la criminalité. Marcel Proust (1918)
‘Avoir la paix’, le grand mot de toutes les lâchetés civiques et intellectuelles. Péguy
Quand je me suis réveillé, je suis allé sur le site du New York Times et j’ai cru que j’étais sur la page de l’Onion. Richard Kim (The Nation)
Il y a un léger relent de condescendance dans l’annonce de l’attribution du prix Nobel de la paix à Barack Obama. Une impression qu’Obama a gagné juste parce qu’il n’était pas George Bush. Une Europe décadente félicite une Amérique turbulente de s’être assagie et de ne pas avoir amené de flingues au dîner. Joe Klein (Time)
Beaucoup pensaient qu’Obama aurait dû attendre un an ou deux pour décrocher le prix. Mais maintenant que c’est fait, le Comité du prix Nobel a dégagé la piste pour l’an prochain. Vous ne voyez pas ? ‘À Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – pour être venu à la table des négociations!’ Vous riez. Rendez-vous dans un an. Jennifer Rubin (Commentary)
Ainsi, du point de vue norvégien de gauche, c’est un coup double: dénigrer Bush et en même temps museler Obama. Daniel Pipes
Ceci révèle parfaitement l’illusion qu’est Barack Obama. Avec ce prix, les élites mondiales poussent Obama, l’homme de paix, à ne pas envoyer plus de troupes en Afghanistan, à ne pas s’en prendre à l’Iran et son programme nucléaire et en somme à continuer à émasculer les Etats-Unis. Ce qu’ils aiment par dessus tout, c’est des Etats-Unis affaiblis et castrés et c’est leur manière de promouvoir ce concept. Rush Limbaugh
Cela peut et doit aussi être interprété comme une critique de la politique de l’administration actuellement au pouvoir aux Etats-Unis vis-à-vis de l’Irak. (…) Elle constitue en outre une critique à tous les pays qui ont adopté la même position que les Etats-Unis. Gunnar Berge (président du Comité Nobel, sur l’attribution du prix à Carter, 2002)

Après Quisling, Carter, Arafat, le bon Dr. Mads Gilbert

Un grand bravo à nos amis norvégiens pour avoir réparé l’une des plus grandes injustices de l’Histoire …

Et d’avoir enfin reconnu, 70 ans après et via son dernier avatar,… les incommensurables mérites de Chamberlain!

What did Obama do to win the Nobel Peace Prize?
Gideon Rachman
Financial Times
October 8, 2009

In an earlier version of this article, posted late last night (see post below this one), I expressed some scepticism about the Nobel Peace Prize, even suggesting that it might be pointless. Now that Barack Obama has been awarded the peace prize, I would like to withdraw this criticism. The prize is clearly an award of huge significance, awarded after only the deepest reflection, and won only by demi-Gods. (See reactions further down.)

I am a genuine admirer of Obama. And I am very pleased that George W Bush is no longer president. But I doubt that I am alone in wondering whether this award is slightly premature. It is hard to point to a single place where Obama’s efforts have actually brought about peace – Gaza, Iran, Sri Lanka? The peace prize committee say that he is being rewarded for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy”. But while it is OK to give school children prizes for “effort” – my kids get them all the time – I think international statesmen should probably be held to a higher standard.

It is also very odd timing. In the next couple of weeks, Obama is likely to yield to the wishes of his generals and to send many thousands more troops to Afghanistan. That will mean he is a wartime president, just as much as Bush or Lyndon Johnson. If Afghanistan ends up being Obama’s Vietnam, giving him the Nobel Peace Prize will look even sillier in a few years time.

Voir aussi:

Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize. For What?
Iain Martin
WSJ blogs
October 9, 2009

This is completely bizarre. President Barack Obama has just won the Nobel Peace Prize. It is unclear why. For making peace, of a kind, with Hillary Clinton? For giving up the missile shield and cheering up the Iranians? For preparing a surge of troops and weaponry in Afghanistan?

Of course, traditionally it has been standard procedure that winners of the prize do their peacemaking first and are only given the prize after they have achieved something. But this innovation sweeps aside such old-fashioned notions of reward following effort.

Think about it, it’s so post-modern: a leader can now win the peace prize for saying that he hopes to bring about peace at some point in the future. He doesn’t actually have to do it, he just has to have aspirations. Brilliant.

Voir également:

Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Laureate: Whatever Happened to Awarding for Deeds Actually Done?
Michael Russnow
The Huffington Post
October 9, 2009

I am generally a supporter of Barack Obama. I voted for him and campaigned in print for his election. However, as I turned on CNN early this morning and saw the news that he’d been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I actually gasped in disbelief. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube videos were destined to be in overdrive, not to mention the texts on millions of BlackBerrys.

As the 2 a.m. PDT CNN commentator interviewed Norwegian experts and past Peace Laureates, just about all of them repeated the obvious: Obama was being honored for the hope of what he might accomplish as opposed to what he has actually achieved.

The Nobel Peace Committee has been accused in the past of trying to make a political statement, and perhaps, because they admire Obama and his groundbreaking presidency, in addition to his earlier anti-war statements and recent speech to the Muslim world, they are, by this action, hoping to jump start his ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why else give him the honor now? Whatever one might feel about Obama, he has not earned this singular award. Few American presidents have received it and of those who have it was bestowed after they’d been engaged in something special. Theodore Roosevelt had helped to negotiate peace in the Russo-Japanese War. Woodrow Wilson had tirelessly worked for the creation of the League of Nations — a struggle that was blamed for causing the serious stroke he suffered, which left him disengaged in the last years of his presidency.

Jimmy Carter received the Peace Prize after he left office, but in the wake of huge achievements monitoring worldwide elections and in his efforts with Habitat for Humanity, building homes for the poor.

Former Vice President Al Gore got the prize after years of working for the environment. And whether you appreciated Henry Kissinger’s getting the award it was in response to his efforts to effect a peace in the Vietnam War.

So, at the moment, I believe it is enormously premature for Obama to be getting this great tribute, which to a certain extent cheapens the prior recipients and the work all of them performed over so many years.

It is traditional for Nobel honorees to be named a long time after their achievements in the sciences and literature. Indeed, the winners announced this week in other categories performed their amazing work and discoveries decades ago. Obama’s designation is akin to giving an Oscar to a young director for films we hope that he or she will produce or for a first-time published author getting a Pulitzer for a book he is destined to write some day.

The time has not yet arrived and circumstances have not yet evolved where Barack Obama is anywhere near the point where he has earned this prize. I don’t blame him for this capricious action; it was the Nobel Peace Committee which committed the offense, which no doubt has Alfred Nobel thumping his head against his casket.

I only hope that President Obama takes this honor to heart to the extent that his policies and statements and deeds will someday make him deserving of this singular trophy. However, that time has not yet arrived, and I fear there will be a backlash to this announcement that may well lessen the significance this award has generally meant for well over a century.

Michael Russnow’s website is

Voir de même:

Nobel prize for President Obama is a shocker. He should turn it down.

Benedict Brogan
The Telegraph
October 9th, 2009

They could have awarded it to Kylie Minogue and I wouldn’t have been half as surprised as I am watching the television screens around me proclaiming that Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel peace prize. The whole business of a bunch of Scandinavian worthies doling out the profits of a long-gone dynamite maker’s fortune has always smacked of the worst sort of self-satisfied plutocratic worthiness. But this takes the biscuit. President Obama remains the barely man of world politics, barely a senator now barely a president, yet in the land of the Euro-weenies (copyright PJ O’Rourke) the great and the good remain in his thrall. To reward him for a blank results sheet, to inflate him when he has no achievements to his name, makes a mockery of what, let’s face it, is an already fairly discredited process (remember Rigoberta Menchu in 1992? Ha!). That’s not the point. What this does is accelerate the elevation of President Obama to a comedy confection, which he does not deserve, and gives his critics yet another bat to whack him with. Shame on the Swedes Norwegians*. He should turn it down, even if he does look great in white tie and tails.

*Thank you to Morten Josefsen for reminding me that it is in fact the Norwegians who award the peace prize.

Voir de plus:

Barack Obama and the Nobel peace prize
Even greater expectations
The Economist
Oct 9th 2009

Is it premature to give Barack Obama the Nobel peace prize, less than a year into his presidency?

BARACK OBAMA, who has been America’s president for just nine months, has won the 2009 Nobel peace prize. Perhaps the Nordic judges felt it was a suitable consolation after Chicago lost out to Rio de Janeiro in its bid to host the 2016 Olympic games. Or the prizegivers might have felt moved by Mr Obama’s personal story: that a mixed-race man is president says much about the peaceful progress on race relations in America. Instead they emphasised Mr Obama’s aspirations and his commitment to diplomacy, even if, so far, he has achieved little that is concrete.

Most broadly, he has sought to engage with opponents, saying that America would “extend a hand, if you unclench your fist”, for example to those who were earlier dismissed as an “axis of evil”. Somewhat to the discomfort of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had bolstered his domestic support by vilifying America as an aggressor, Mr Obama has proposed holding talks about nuclear affairs, removing a precondition that Iran first abandon enrichment of uranium. Mr Obama made withdrawal of American forces from Iraq one of the main pledges of his election campaign and has since overseen a slightly quicker run down of troops than was envisaged by Mr Bush. Towards North Korea, too, Mr Obama has dangled the prospect of bilateral talks and closer engagement.

Regarding Russia Mr Obama has developed a policy of notably warmer ties, dubbed “hitting the reset button”. Relations had become especially frosty towards the end of Mr Bush’s presidency when war broke out between Georgia, an ally of America, and Russia. Since coming to office Mr Obama has also overseen talks aimed at reducing the nuclear arsenals of Russia and America, while speaking of his ultimate wish to “get to zero”—somehow ridding the world of all nuclear weapons. Most substantially (and to the dismay of the Polish and Czech governments), he has scrapped an earlier plan to deploy a missile-defence shield on land in eastern Europe, which had been seen as a provocation by Russia.

Yet Mr Obama’s main achievement is a change of tone in foreign policy. A speech given in Egypt in June was an eloquent call for a new understanding between America and Islam. It was designed both to assure Muslims, now thought to number 1.6 billion around the world, that America is not set on a crusade. Similarly it was intended to convey to any Americans (and others) who believe in the notion of a “clash of civilisations” that friendly ties between religions is eminently possible.

Similarly, American policy towards small and repressive regimes, ranging from Myanmar to Cuba, has shifted in mood, if not yet substance, by offering the prospect of engagement if governments demonstrate progress towards democracy. Some may also see Mr Obama’s push for more action to tackle climate change as a factor—he is urging Congress to pass a cap-and-trade bill and has said that his administration would decree new environmental rules if Congress fails to do so. (Al Gore, another Democratic figure, also won the Nobel prize, for his campaigns against climate change.)

Yet critics will have plenty to complain about. The prize-giving committee was at pains to emphasise Mr Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. In the citation, the committee argued that 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.” But is the award premature? Although the prize may be given in the spirit of encouraging Mr Obama’s government, it might have been better to wait for more solid achievements. With so many good intentions, and so many initiatives scattered around the world (and an immensely busy domestic agenda, including health-care reform and averting economic collapse), Mr Obama appears to be racing around trying everything without yet achieving much.

One might point to Mr Obama’s lauded decision to close the military prison for terrorist suspects in Guantánamo Bay, and his explicit rejection of the use of torture by American spies and interrogators. Both are welcome, but for now Guantánamo Bay remains open. Carrying through on promises is proving far harder than making them. Similarly Mr Obama made progress in encouraging Israeli and Palestinian leaders to hold talks about peace earlier this year, but as he is distracted by other concerns both parties have since drifted away from negotiations. And so far North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Russia—among others—have offered nothing of substance to demonstrate that a policy of engagement will bring more results than Mr Bush’s tough line.

More troubling is Afghanistan. Although the Nobel committee has now rewarded Mr Obama with a title of peacemaker (plus $1.4m or so), he remains a war president. He must shortly decide whether to deploy an additional 40,000 soldiers to fight against Taliban and other insurgents in a conflict that has lasted for eight years. With no obvious means of ending that war, there is a serious possibility that Mr Obama’s presidency will become dominated by worsening conditions there.

Mr Obama’s aspirations may be laudable, but he has several tough years ahead. The Nobel committee evidently wants to encourage him but it might have been wiser to hold judgment until he has achieved more. In America itself, the decision has already infuriated conservative commentators, ensuring there will be no peace on the home front, at least.

Voir enfin:Meet the People Who Were Passed Over for Obama
Mary Katharine Ham
The Weekly Standard
October 9, 2009

Sima Samar, women’s rights activist in Afghanistan: « With dogged persistence and at great personal risk, she kept her schools and clinics open in Afghanistan even during the most repressive days of the Taliban regime, whose laws prohibited the education of girls past the age of eight. When the Taliban fell, Samar returned to Kabul and accepted the post of Minister for Women’s Affairs. »

Ingrid Betancourt: French-Colombian ex-hostage held for six years.

Handicap International and Cluster Munition Coalition: « These organizations are recognized for their consistently serious efforts to clean up cluster bombs, also known as land mines. Innocent civilians are regularly killed worldwide because the unseen bombs explode when stepped upon. »

« Hu Jia, a human rights activist and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, who was sentenced last year to a three-and-a-half-year prison term for ‘inciting subversion of state power.' »

« Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China’s communist system. He now lives in the United States. »

« Dr. Denis Mukwege: Doctor, founder and head of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping Congolese women and girls who are victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence. »

Video of Denis Mukwege:

Update: Flashback to 2007, and you’ll find some remarkable people passed over for Al Gore:

Irena Sendlerowa (also known as Irena Sendler): « A Roman Catholic who created a network of rescuers in Poland who smuggled about 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto in World War II, some of them in coffins. » She died in 2008. Read the entire obituary for the extent of her heroism. She smuggled children through underground tunnels, with fake documents, under ambulance floorboards, all at the risk of her own life.

She once said of her work: « Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory. »

12 Responses to Nobel: Chamberlain enfin récompensé 70 ans après! (Norwegian quislings repair one of History’s greatest injustices)

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