Obama seems destined to be somewhat controversial even when he has done nothing to deserve it. And this seems the main reason for all the noise around the Nobel Peace Prize, that still he did nothing to deserve it. Moreover, a cursory analysis of the list of the political colleagues predecessors, seems to show a tendency to give the prize to those who have finished a war or signed a peace treaty, no matter how many innocent victims have been responsible for previously.
Thus understood, the criterion of the Norwegian committee seems to have been so far to encourage wild animals to stop shooting in exchange for a glamorous prize. But now the approach seems to have changed to reward the most beautiful speeches and the best voice to tell them, though the protagonist is developing a devious war with many civilian casualties in two sovereign countries invaded by his troops. It seems easy to agree with the columnist of El Pais, when implied that this was not a Peace prize but one for the Communication.
Interestingly, the reasons cited by the committee seem to agree with some international surveys that show a dramatic improvement in the image of the United States of America in the world. And that, in the Age of Marketing, is crucial even for a committee of experts that demonstrates once more, how far the media construction of Common Sense exerts its influence penetrating any citadel.
Perhaps, the Norwegian committee should take the opportunity to put set a new subcategory for presidents of countries at war, adhering to the creative advertising of the Bushies: the Preventive Nobel Peace Prize.
PS: I just realize (damn Google!) that the “preventive peace prize” idea has been employed previously by Gerald Loftus of the Avuncular American blog. He’s a diplomat who resides in Europe; and a very articulated one as such! My excuses to him.