Questions for Thorbjorn Jagland
As a former prime minister of Norway who currently serves as the chairman of the Oslo-based Norwegian Nobel Committee, are you surprised by the uproar taking place in America over your latest pick for the peace prize?
Yes and no. I knew this would launch a big debate. But we have to look strictly to what Alfred Nobel said in his will — namely, to give the prize to the person who has done most for peaceful development in the world in the last year. So we got to the conclusion unanimously that that is President Barack Obama.
He does want to start a worldwide conversation, to reverse the go-it-alone, cowboy current in American history.
These are your words. I agree it’s better to speak than to shoot. Obama has reduced tensions in the world to a large extent — namely, the divide between the Muslim world and the Western world, which is very dangerous. What he did was to go to Cairo and reach out to the Muslims. There must be a starting point, and this was a very important starting point.
What do you make of Republicans who view the prize as a repudiation of the policies of George Bush?
No, it is not. This prize is not against anybody...
Below is an interview with an official from the Nobel committee regarding Obama's award:
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Obama and the Nobel
Most of my students are saying that Obama should not have gotten the prize. I can see their point, but at the same time, I don't know if Americans are fully aware of his impact on the rest of the world.