While many, the recipient included, were shocked, and others apoplectic or ecstatic over Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, at least one local makes an argument for why it’s justified.
Sarah van Gelder, executive editor at YES! magazine (based in Bainbridge Island) acknowledges that it is early in Obama’s presidency, but these are unusual times and the major challenges call for recognition of someone willing to change the previous American course on nuclear proliferation and global warming. From van Gelder:
“The people of the world have everything at stake in these two issues. It’s no wonder that the Nobel Peace Committee would want to encourage an embattled U.S. president who is trying to do the right thing. After eight years of neocon recklessness, there’s a lot of catch-up to do. President Obama has the goodwill of most of the world (with the notable exception of the Taliban, Rush Limbaugh, and a few others, who would defeat the U.S. president no matter what the cost).
“When I see this move on the part of the Nobel Committee, I see a world willing to give the U.S. a chance to be great–a world that’s actually desperate for real U.S. leadership on the crises that threaten us all.”