October 9, 2009
Posted: 1607 GMT


There were audible gasps of surprise from journalists gathered in Oslo when the Nobel committee announced it was giving U.S. President Barack Obama its peace prize.

Critics said it was too soon to give Mister Obama, in office only nine months, whose country is involved in two wars, an award that should be reserved for men and women whose achievements are more tangible.

Foreign Policy's Joshua Keating wrote in his blog: "If ever there was a moment for Kanye West" to intervene, this would be it, referring to West's spectacle at the MTV Video Music Awards.

"Giving the president this award only nine months into his presidency (and nominating him less than two weeks into it) will draw attention to his shortcoming more than his actual achievements," writes Keating.

Others, such as 2006 Nobel winner Muhammad Yunus, whom I interviewed this morning, welcomed the Nobel committee's decision. Yunus said Obama's multi-lateral approach to foreign policy and his willingness to open dialogue with foes was reason enough to merit the honor.

Then, we heard from the man himself. President Obama addressed his critics head on by acknowledging he didn't feel he "deserves" to be in the company of past recipients, but that he will accept the Nobel as a "call for action" to achieve peace.

Hundreds of you have already voted in today's Idesk poll on whether you think President Obama deserves to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Keep voting and commenting: we will read results on air at 7pm CET.

Also today, we will take you live to Islamabad. A suicide bomber killed dozens in an open-air market in Peshawar. This type of bloodbath highlights precisely what Obama will have to take into account when making tough decisions on Afghanistan: Al Qaeda militants are wreaking havoc and gaining strength in parts of neighboring Pakistan.

Should the U.S. effort focus more on Afghanistan? What type of cooperation does America need to establish with Pakistan to fight insurgent groups on both sides of the border? Does sending more troops to Afghanistan drain resources that are needed elsewhere?

We are also live on Wall Street and around the world, with reaction to the day's top stories.

See you at the IDesk!


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Sayan Majumdar   October 9th, 2009 4:17 pm ET

The Nobel Peace Prize will put enormous strain on President Obama’s policies and decisions especially regarding disarmament and non-proliferation, robbing much needed flexibility in the process.


Judy   October 9th, 2009 4:44 pm ET

I thought this was very surprising. A Nobel Peace Prize is nothing you should get as a president after this short time in the White House.He has to shoulder a lot of pressure and has to meet high expectations now, I think.

Andrew   October 9th, 2009 5:15 pm ET

The real reason President Obama won the peace prize? Ending George Bush's unilateral and thuggish approach to US diplomacy did more to heal international relations and bring about world peace than anything else that happened in 2009.

Twigi   October 9th, 2009 5:26 pm ET

President Obama is only 10 months in office, few or nobody heard of him talking Peace as a Senator even in his book. Please the mockery of the Nobel prize should stop immediately. Past winners won this award through their actions and not words.
Don't mess the tradition, why not give it to the PM of Zimbabwe?

M Ariely   October 9th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

Nobel for results and not desires!

I ike president Obama
President Obama is a great charismatic speaker for change
However the results are in contradiction to his desires:

N Korea is increasing the NUC capability openly as never before.

The Islamists are on offensive in Afghanistan and Pakistan as never before

Chaves is trying to create a NATA type organization of dictators and theocratic as never before

Iran is increasing the NUC and attack missile capability openly as never before

No Islamic leader has made a public speech perusing for equality between world cults

WHOEVER   October 9th, 2009 5:30 pm ET

Ofcourse Obama did not deserve such price (now)!! For (doing) what? Maybe they didn't have anyone better to give it to! It wouldn't be the first time Obama wins something due to lack of competence/competition!! It's how he won the US-presidency in the first place as McCain wasn't an option to so many US voters: after 8 years Bush really Ruined it for any GOP candidate for US-president. Not that Bush cares about Kainy losing the 2008 Election. All he and his father care about is how to get a REAL CHANCE for brother and son Jeb Bush to win in 2012 by what Obama will NOT get done in 4 years of time. But that's another story to tell. Obama didn't do/achieve anything yet: not on national level and let alone on international level and that prize should have gone to anyone but him. Awarding him for doing nothing is not the right thing to do cos people like him (and I hope you understand what I mean) tend to stay, doing nothing, the more you reward them for their inactivity. In Norway they apparently aren't that well known with how the lazy minds of black people "works" and that would be why they think Obama would do his best by giving him a prize for doing nothing! Well, that is not how you'll get (people like) him TO WORK. Those Arctic Norwegians don't know!

Anaka Kaundinya   October 9th, 2009 5:39 pm ET

As the President of one of the most powerful nations in the world, as a representative of the people of a democratic nation and as sane human being in a position of great power, it is largely President Obama's duty to facilitate and strengthen ties between nations the world over.

Yes, he is inspirational – I'm a fan but so far, he's been more of a 'feel-good' President, instilling hope in people than one who is achieving anything concrete – Well said, SNL.

He says, in a more eloquent way, what millions of educated people the world over think.

If anything, he's indirectly supporting terrorism by 'sending aid' to Pakistan.

Anaka Kaundinya   October 9th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

As the President of one of the most powerful nations in the world, as a representative of the people of a democratic nation and as sane human being in a position of great power, it is largely President Obama's duty to facilitate and strengthen ties between nations the world over.

Yes, he is inspirational – I'm a fan but so far, he's been more of a 'feel-good' President, instilling hope in people than one who is achieving anything concrete – Well said, SNL.

He says, in a more eloquent way, what millions of educated people the world over think.

If anything, he's indirectly supporting terrorism by 'sending aid' to Pakistan.

– Mumbai, India.

Lionel Busson   October 9th, 2009 5:42 pm ET

If Arafat and Al-Baradei got the Nobel prize ..Obama can get it without a year I predict it coulb be Ahmadinejad.

Anthony   October 9th, 2009 5:51 pm ET

I support the Peace Prize. President Obama has embraced old allies in Europe, visited Egypt starting a new relationship with Muslims, and has gone to the UN and called for scrapping nukes!

What more do you want?

Soga   October 9th, 2009 5:52 pm ET

It is disheartning that when no one would do anything the only one person to do at least one thing is receiving criticisms for a Nobel Award. Don't forget also that you could take a carmel to the river but can't force water down its throat. President Obama is preaching peace everyday but can we blame him if those against peace are not relenting. So why question the timing of his award. He is a man of Honor. You are blessed Mr President.


Azra Masood   October 9th, 2009 5:52 pm ET

This is the first time the Nobel Committee has taken a right decision at a right time. By awarding The Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama, the value of the Prize has definitely put him under great obligation to justify the award and its implication. The President of the United States has always played a key pivotal role in maintaining peace and balance and we are sure enough President Obama Is capable of doing so, in his policy of peaceful change and greater stability.

We wish him all the best for this great honor.

Poilagratter   October 9th, 2009 5:57 pm ET

To give president Obama the peace Nobel prize before he really did anything concerning peace or war is a way to influence the most important leader of the world. If the Nobel Institut thinks it have enough capabilities to reach this goal, it must be the craziest group of the best and brightest people on earth !

Soga   October 9th, 2009 5:57 pm ET

Come to think of it, Al Gore won the Noble Prize yet global warming and greenhouse effect has not been overcome, why didn't we wait for the success before giving him the Award. Therefore is it fair to condemn the timing of Obama's? People will never appreciate a man who stands for peace no matter what, as they themselves are embodiment of anarchy.

udo kluge   October 9th, 2009 6:02 pm ET

YES, HE CAN.....

Say NO to this prestigious award, as he himself dont think he deserves it... I am not against Obama by no means at all... I find him sympatic nd voted for him in the last Presidents election...

This Nobel gesture of the Commitee shows the world formost ONE THING... After a week of (with 1 exeption) votes of all this years Price Winners in Physics etc., that the Zionist are in total control, otherwise how can there only be American winnners?

I know he (Obama) will not keep the money for himself, but much more honerable would be if he says NO to the price he dont deserve even i am sure he will not deny that price as he goes in again in historie as first african american who won the Nobel Price..

After all, hes just another politician who keep on promisses and dont keep any, esp. in america ... Hope he at least keeps his promise with the immigration reform... But i am afrait he wont, same like Guantanamo, Irak, Palaestine, Health care...

U. Kluge

Dr. Tony Nwaka   October 9th, 2009 6:06 pm ET

If not Obama then who else among today's world political leaders has clearly demonstrateed the vision, genuine commitment to multilateral approach to global security and evident departure from the old mutually adversarial order. This disposition is evidently deserving of commendation and encouragement.

Armin   October 9th, 2009 6:39 pm ET

It was fantastic he really deserved it bbut please don't make peace with the dictators in my beloved Iran,these dictators are killing us,they rigged our votes and now they're killing my bros and sises

Adeline Uchenna Nwazota   October 9th, 2009 6:40 pm ET

President Barack Obama is conservative and balanced by radicalisim. Conservative in Afghanistan by toeing the part of his predecesors because he realises that a withdrawal of US troops from that territory will make Afghanistan a terrorist haven. He is radical enough to see that it is time for a change/style- an appropriate change in approach to world search for peace. "We need to be conservative enough not to change for change's sake and radical enough to change is needed". (Selwyn Hughes- Everyday with Jesus for 9th October, 2009).

This is being celebrated today by this well deserved Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama.

Submitted : Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Mazz   October 9th, 2009 8:06 pm ET

I wonder what all the bruhaha and negative comments are all about. Afterall, President Obama did not bribe his way to getting this award!

When Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh was awarded the prize in 2006, together with the Grameen Bank some people complained he hadn't stopped any war.

Former Vice President Al Gore was awarded it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, they said something similar. People also said his research work wasn't based on scientific facts! A couple of years down the line, the inhabitants of some parts of Solomon Islands might need to relocate due to flooding. Their Islands are literarily being overun by the ocean!

The thing is, Negative people would always seek to thing negative, talk divisively, and act destructively. We constructive people should continue to go out in the world and make a positive change wherever we go.

President Obama, I salute and congratulate you on the receipt of this award. Like you said earlier today, there's a lot of work to be done. Let this challenge and spur you on to achieve the things you've set out to achieve in your Presidency, for your family, for the American people, and the world in general.

God bless you!

– United Kingdom

Prem Nizar Hameed   October 9th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Optimism is the essence in him/
Broadminded views of democracy/
And true spirit of humanitarian ethics/
Merge in his unquestionable diplomacy/
A wind of change emanates from him/

Let us hope that an American President holding the Nobel Peace Prize will not indulge in any war or atrocities at least for the next three years. I think the Nobel committee might have taken a thought provoking decision by looking forward to a peaceful world in the offing. Now the Prez will think twice, unlike his predecessor, before he orders his military forces to show a war mongering reality show on someone’s land. And let us also hope that he will control his spy agencies from fingering the external affairs.

On the other hand, his intentions are good. And if the past offers some inspirations to move forward or some lessons to learn, we should take them with us for the present and for the future. Otherwise leave them behind forever. Obama might have gone through this. And he seems to be in the White House to remove some black spots from the minds of people at home and abroad. Optimism is the essence of his speech. Abraham Lincoln once told he had destroyed his enemies by making them friends. And his bold step helped eradicate slavery. Obama seems to follow him. Of course any outcome is not expected overnight. In politics, political opportunism is dangerous. Even if he and his like minded are sincerely on the move towards peace and tranquility, the hardliners from every part of the world await chances of their wrong steps .Religious interferences some times deviate the process of a good proposal or they come as stumbling blocks. People who are committed to the peace initiatives must be brave to take up all such challenges, if they really want to translate their vision. All the peace loving citizens of the world hope that the long standing conflicts may come one by one in the funeral queue with an epitaph.

Muthyavan.   October 10th, 2009 1:42 am ET

Though President Barrack Obama was in office for only eight month many action taken by him after coming into power has reduced tension in many conflict around the world. Besides these action his declaration in UN of creating a nuclear weapon free world is another important action of creating peaceful world. When the world economy was in a dawn turn US states together with other world G20 economic powers has created an environments of world economic recovery now the worst fears are over. Based on all these action in a short time, taken by US Under the leadership of Barrack Obama he deserve the Nobel peace price for 2009.

Jackie   October 10th, 2009 8:25 am ET

Absolutely. This is a prize for America for having the guts to elect Obama. I love the whole story. Maybe now the world stands a chance to be a little better off. I'm an American. But I also in Gaza. It's finally OK to say "I'm an American."

Muntasir Muzahid C   October 10th, 2009 12:13 pm ET

This prize has gone to the likes of Henry Kissinger while he was secretary of state. Look at the horrible atrocities he went on to commit after that.
This won't change anything.

halozcel   October 10th, 2009 2:48 pm ET

Should the US effort focus more on Afghanistan ?
Not only US,but Big Muslim Countries such as Egypt,Indonesia,Turkey,Saudi Arabia,
Bangladesh,Morocco ought to focus as well and should deploy troops/soldiers(Ground
Forces) and Aircrafts if they really want/intend to struggle with Terror/Cult of Violence
Which may strike their own lands at any time.

Abraham George   October 11th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

Dear CNN
Did you see the People of Honduras supporting their team in an international match between Honduras and the USA. This enthusiasm is representative of the boldest that President Micheletti and Honduranean Congress portrayed when they decided to get rid of corrupt leader such as Zalaya. What CNN does not get is that Zalaya is stealing from the government of Honduras and he is connected to Narco trafficking. In addition, Zalaya is known to have been involved in voter fraud and buying off voters.
Please get the story right here Honduras, you do a great in justice to the truth CNN. People here in Honduras want to do the right thing and they are tired of poltiticans who are theives.
In addition, if I want to get a meeting with Obama on a weeks notice do you believe I would get that meeting. Your little show about about trying to see the President of Honduras was a joke and did not represent the real world. It was arrogant at best. Please be responsible to the truth.

Greatness   October 11th, 2009 11:29 pm ET


I sincerely think that Mr. Obama deserves this years NPP. His effort at achieving peace may not be as old as the Egyptian Pyramid but it is definatly sincere and a right step in the right direction.

Am sure he did not believe he would win the prize at all. His effort at achieving peace in the world in less than ten months of his presedency is laudable.

Whether his efforts so far is worthy of the prize or not is inconsequential now because the Nobel committee obviously think it does and am on the same page with them.

Obama should see this Prize as a call to greater commitment and sincerity in acheiving world peace and the fight against global warming.

This prize should serve as an encouragement to do more.


Greatness ADISA
Lagos Nigeria

Abdul Jalal   October 12th, 2009 12:39 am ET

I think Obama Should have to find an altrnative way to suppurt US Troops in Afghanistan rather then through Pakistan. it May be Iran or Balochistan or whatever. He should have to turn over to Pakistan the Eye of strom and a biggest terrorist production company in the world.

So if he want to be succeed in Afghanistan the only possible way could be to destroy ISI or Pakistan. then he will be able to succeed.



Irony   October 12th, 2009 6:09 am ET

First of all congragulations to Mr. President Obama.
Now coming down to politics. Pakistan is taking a blood bath due to terrorism hatched and created at both sides of it's borders. For so long India has hoodwinked the world. India's charade wont last much longer when the world find's out that they are using Afghanistan as a launch pad for their brand of terrorism against Pakistan. History has repeated itself and it is an old tune.

Patrick B   October 13th, 2009 10:34 am ET

Give the man a break !!!! No one is perfect!!!! He has won it through the usual process and those of you who don't think so, should get a hobby!

Jack Quann- Dublin, Ireland   October 13th, 2009 8:14 pm ET

In a word -no. I find it a strange choice to award a man who has yet to achieve peace in any region of the world a 'peace prize'. Not to mention the fact that he is Commander-in-Chief of two wars right now. It strikes me that the Nobel thinkers may have decided to pick a "popular" choice this year rather than a factual one. If that was the case, it seems to have backfired.........

Engr. Comrade Agbili Martin O.   October 14th, 2009 3:55 pm ET

There will always be critics but it should not pull anybody down. Who said that it is too soon to give President Obama the Noble prize because he just in office for only nine months? Greater things will always come great people and great achievers. If his country is involved in two wars, must it stop the award? One must not build the world all alone before he can be recognized. If the award is reserved for men and women whose achievements are more tangible then President Obama is one of those men and women. It is not how far but how well. The question should be how far he has gone to resuscitate the state of peace and what efforts he has applied to achieve peace since he assumed office.
That Noble award is a call for action to continue achieves peace and an award of motivation. In fact President Obama deserves more than that Noble Peace Prize Award because he has given its people hope for a better future. Recognition is always the first while acceptance follows just like President Obama has done. As more is given to him today, we will continue to expect much from him tomorrow.

Engr.Comrade Agbili Martin O.
Awka – Anambra State

doug   November 24th, 2011 5:25 pm ET

The nobel peace prize was originaly intended 2b4 persons who achieved peace through diplomacy by transforming communist nations n2 democratic nations by way of peace treatys with certain pre-conditions 4 example fdr/truman/churchill-all who won ww2 by defeating the nazis&japs then another example reagan& his vp along with thatcher&the pope who all through their policies brought down the iron curtain n what came 2b knowne as the velvate revolution n 1989_sadly none meantioned above ever got the prize simply cuz thay were not n the democratic party – 4 the instituition has become way 2 liberal after ww2 now only democrats r allowed 2 recieve the prize---now enter stage obama > only 9 months n as prez & yet manages 2 recieve the nobel peace prize without working 4it-they site the reason 4 giving it2 him 4 making peace with enemy nations without forcing them 2 give up communism n the process&apologizing 2 them 4 not being on their side n the past > the meaning of the prize no longer carrys any weight !

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