So, it was announced today that this year's Nobel Peace price goes to Barack Obama, president of the United States. Let me be the first to say "Huh?!"
I'm perhaps naive here, but I assumed the Peace price was like the other Nobel prices in that it went to people who had, you know, actually done something. I mean, he's been president for all of nine months, and all he's done is basically to continue a withdrawal of occupying forces in Iraq that his predecessor already initiated. The Norwegian Nobel committee's handwaving about giving hope for the future sounds suspiciously like giving, say, the price in chemistry to some young researchers with the motivation that they're young and bright and seem likely to discover something significant in the future. Sure, Obama improved the prospects for peace simply by replacing Bush, but frankly, a moderately bright gerbil winning the presidency would have had the same result.
The Peace price has often been criticized for being controversial. This is not controversial however; this is just vaguely embarrassing.