Choices, Choices

Assigned Reading: Meet the People Who Were Passed Over for Obama
(FROM: The Weekly Standard)

This is one of the many things I wanted to get to yesterday but could not — a list showing a few of the people who were passed over by the Nobel Prize committee in favor of Barack Obama, who ended up winning the prize on the basis of perceived possible potential promise instead of actual performance.

For me, the most egregious Nobel snub of all time came in 2007, when the prize was awarded to former Vice President Al Gore for his work in raising awareness about the farcical perceived threat that is global warming rather than Irena Sendler, a 95-year-old Polish woman who saved more than 2,500 Jewish children from the actual threat posed by Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto. While I don’t necessarily see a candidate of Sendler’s magnitude in the list of people provided by Mary Katharine Ham at The Weekly Standard, it goes without saying that President Barack Obama was not the most deserved candidate available.

Here are a few from the list:

Sima Samar, women’s rights activist in Afghanistan: “With dogged persistence and at great personal risk, she kept her schools and clinics open in Afghanistan even during the most repressive days of the Taliban regime, whose laws prohibited the education of girls past the age of eight. When the Taliban fell, Samar returned to Kabul and accepted the post of Minister for Women’s Affairs.”

“Dr. Denis Mukwege: Doctor, founder and head of Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. He has dedicated his life to helping Congolese women and girls who are victims of gang rape and brutal sexual violence.”

“Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China’s communist system. He now lives in the United States.”

Also, while he wasn’t included in Ham’s list, I hope you will not forget Greg Mortonson, who in a Time article was described in the following way:

Compare this to Greg Mortenson, nominated for the prize by some members of Congress, whom the bookies gave 20-to-1 odds of winning. Son of a missionary, a former Army medic and mountaineer, he has made it his mission to build schools for girls in places where opium dealers and tribal warlords kill people for trying. His Central Asia Institute has built more than 130 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan – a mission which has, along the way, inspired millions of people to view the protection and education of girls as a key to peace and prosperity and progress.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Here's another person, who was passed over: Irena Sendler

    or here:

    (although it was a year earlier, 2008)

  2. Anonymous says:

    But to become President while having dual-citizenship is a much more amazing accomplishment.

  3. goddessdivine says:

    Thanks for the list. I knew of a few but not the others. Hands down, any of these would have been a better choice. Obama receiving this award cheapens it for those in the future, as well as the past.

    The Norwegian Committee doesn't have an agenda, now does it?

  4. Rix says:

    The Nobel Prize committees in Peace and Literature are the laughing stock of the world. If I were in Barack Obama's sneakers, I wouldn't brag too much about that prize come election time. If he does, a poster of him along with Yassir Arafat, both in Arafat's trademark kuffiyeh, will put that prize into the right perspective. Actually, if I had an ounce of graphic talent I'd already be working on it.

  5. Boston Blackie says:

    They lost what little credibility they had when the peace prize was awarded to Arafat and then Carter.

  6. A SMARTER NOBEL says:

    “I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion."
    – Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

  7. gorillamydreamz says:

    One of the things I can't stop thinking is that, by being awarded such a prestigious prize for doing essentially NOTHING, cheapens the value of the Nobel Peace Prize for all the past winners of that coveted award.

    I think Obie should have done the right thing and turned down the award to a more deserving individual or group. It would have shown class and respect for the Peace Prize, and it would have made him a more respected world figure for it. Sadly, it would seem that ego prevailed over respect in this instance.

    Too bad. It's another missed opportunity for Obie to show class.

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