Members of the Norwegian committee that gave Barack Obama the are strongly defending their choice against a storm of criticism that the award was premature and a potential liability for the U.S. president.
Three of them rejected the notion that Obama hadn't accomplished anything to deserve the award, while the fourth declined to answer that question. A fifth member didn't answer calls seeking comment.
"We simply disagree that he has done nothing," committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the AP on Tuesday. "He got the prize for what he has done."
Jagland singled out Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.
"All these things have contributed to — I wouldn't say a safer world — but a world with less tension," Jagland said by phone from the French city of Strasbourg, where he was attending meetings in his other role as secretary-general of the Council of Europe.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
When the general consensus is you made a wrong decision, it's pretty clear you made a wrong decision. But since the Nobel Peace Prize is really just a popularity contest, Obama does deserve it for being the prettiest belle at the ball.