Obama is no Nelson Mandela or Mother TeresaDecember 10th, 2009 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS
By Arun Kumar
Washington, Dec 10 (IANS) US President Barack Obama does not consider himself in the same league as Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, but would nevertheless address critics who question his fitness for the Nobel Peace Prize even as he fights wars in two countries.
He may even pick up a few thoughts from Mahatma Gandhi as he gets the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 in Oslo Thursday but would focus on why he sees no contradiction in authorising a 30,000 troop increase in Afghanistan and accepting the peace prize.
“…the president will address the notion that last week he authorised a 30,000- person increase in our commitment to Afghanistan, and this week accepts a prize for peace,’ White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Wednesday.
“The president understands and again will also recognize that he doesn’t belong in the same discussion as Mandela and Mother Teresa,” when asked if Obama would feel any embarrassment upon accepting a peace prize when he’s escalating a big war.
“But I think what the president is proud of is the steps that this administration has taken to reengage the world; that through that reengagement we see some of that reengagement is to bring increased peace and stability to this big planet,” Gibbs said.
“And he is proud that the committee recognised that this nation has once again re-emerged and engaging the world in greater pursuits,” he added.
Asked if the peace award fitted with Obama’s thoughts and ideas as he was also a believer in Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of peace and non-violence, Gibbs said: “…Certainly he’s been asked if he could gather thoughts from those that walked on this Earth before him.”
“There are a number of people, including Gandhi, that obviously he’d be interested in getting their thoughts on,” he said. But “I don’t think that’s addressed specifically tomorrow.”
Obama’s Nobel Prize win, announced in October, elicited swift reaction- some hailing the choice; others asking what he had accomplished to deserve it.
Obama, the first African-American to win the White House, is the fourth US president to win the prestigious prize and the third sitting president to do so. December 10 is the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite and founder of the prizes.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Obama 'proud' to accept Nobel Peace Prize - Dec 10, 2009
- India an important ally: US - Oct 10, 2009
- Indo-Americans laud Obama for quoting Gandhi while addressing young African leaders - Aug 08, 2010
- Punjab before elections; Nobel rhetoric sans substance (Punjab Newsletter) - Dec 04, 2011
- Mandela looks healthy on TV - May 31, 2012
- Now, a peek into secretive Nobel selection process - Mar 30, 2012
- A little Gandhian club among Nobel peace laureates - Oct 09, 2009
- US firms to sign large contracts on Obama's India visit - Oct 28, 2010
- Peace prize awaits `war president' Obama in Oslo - Dec 09, 2009
- India, South Africa share cordial relations: Meira Kumar - Jul 10, 2012
- South Africa to celebrate Mandela's 94th birthday in style - Jun 08, 2012
- Nelson Mandela discharged from hospital (Lead) - Feb 26, 2012
- Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa among Time's 25 most influential women - Nov 20, 2010
- Brack Obama Defends His Policies In Acceptance Speech For Nobel Prize - Dec 11, 2009
- Bikers ride with Mandela's message in Delhi - Jul 19, 2012
Tags: arun kumar, barack obama, believer, contradiction, embarrassment, mahatma gandhi, mother teresa, nelson mandela, nobel peace prize, nobel prize, notion, oslo, peace and stability, peace award, person increase, robert gibbs, swift reaction, thoughts and ideas, white house, white house spokesman