Obama Was Given A Nobel Peace Prize, But Is Trump More Deserving?

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In 2009, just a few months after Barack Obama’s inauguration as President of the United States, he went to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He stepped onto the stage and suggested he was given the prize because he was the Commander-In-Chief of a Nation in the midst of two wars.

The Obama Presidency was expected to bring the troops home, and in fact, that was one of his campaign promises. According to reports by the Cato Institute, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to Obama because “(h)is diplomacy is founded on the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority.”

In 2009, just a few months after Barack Obama’s inauguration as President of the United States, he went to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He stepped onto the stage and suggested he was given the prize because he was the Commander-In-Chief of a Nation in the midst of two wars.

The Obama Presidency was expected to bring the troops home, and in fact, that was one of his campaign promises. According to reports by the Cato Institute, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to Obama because “(h)is diplomacy is founded on the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority.”

Barack Obama started his Presidency on the 20th of January of 2009, and only 11 days later, the nominations for that year’s Nobel Peace Prize would come to a close. This means that he was awarded the Prize based solely on expectations rather than results; which was unprecedented for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Only four years after he was in Oslo receiving the honor, Christofer Heyns, the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said that President’s Obama’s drone program threatens 50 years of international law by encouraging other states to violate long-standing human rights standards.

He had campaigned with the promise of ending Bush’s wars, but just how close did he come to that? Eight years after his inauguration, the US special forces could be found to be on 70% of the world’s nations (138 countries). That’s a 130% jump since the Bush administration. According to the Cato Institute, Obama had the distinction of being at war longer than any American President in US history.

In 2017, right before Trump was inaugurated, British newspaper The Guardian questioned if Trump would continue Obama’s bloody reign. The newspaper reported that in 2016, Obama’s last year in office, the US dropped 26,171 bombs. That’s an average of 3 bombs an hour, every hour, 24 hours a day for a year.

The question must be asked, what does the Obama administration have to show for fighting for so many years on so many fronts? According to The Guardian, terrorism spread, no war was “won,” and the middle east has been consumed in more conflict and division.

Reported Medea Benjamin wrote in 2017:

In May 2013, I interrupted President Obama during his foreign policy address at the National Defense University. I had just returned from visiting the families of innocent people killed by US drone attacks in Yemen and Pakistan, including the Rehman children who saw their grandmother blown to bits while in the field picking okra. Speaking out on behalf of grieving families whose losses have never been acknowledged by the US government, I asked President Obama to apologize to them. As I was being dragged out, President Obama said: “The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to.”

Too bad he never did.

When his administration was asked in 2016 to release the number of civilian deaths, the number released was a mere 116. On the other hand, a London based bureau of investigative journalism put the number in the thousands.

The promise of the Obama Presidency being more peaceful was not realized, and the only thing he has to show for diplomatic wins over diplomatic hostilities are the improvement of diplomatic relations with Cuba and the Iran nuclear deal – although even those have been called into question. Perhaps nothing was improved on the diplomatic front, yet Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize.

We then go back to the initial question; Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize, but is Trump more deserving?

Based on Obama’s hostile administration, the standards for the Prize should be easily achieved. The difference is that President Trump is a controversial figure that couldn’t rely on mere expectations. So far, the current President of the United States has most definitely scaled back some of the hostilities that the US has spread in the Middle East over the Obama years.

Most recently, his administration was a big part of a historic agreement to normalize the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Reuters reports that the agreement was the result of lengthy discussions between the UAE, Israel, and the United States. Finally, the deal was sealed in a phone call between President Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.

The joint statement says that “Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it.”

President Trump has also been adamant about bringing the troops home, more than Obama ever was. His efforts, however, have been thwarted by Congress.

Defense One reports that lawmakers from the Senate and House have, for the last three years used legislation from the Senate and House to prevent the President from pulling troops from Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, and now Germany.

Clearly, Trump’s results and active intentions are quite different than the results of the Obama administration. Will we see a Nobel Peace Prize for him in the future? Perhaps; but perhaps we can also take this to mean that such honors are not always awarded to the most deserving, but to that one who is only superficially perceived to be the better option.

-Elizabeth Rogliani

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