Monday, October 12, 2009

Letter of the Week

Reward actions before rhetoric (Melbourne Age)

WHEN awarded to terrorist Yasser Arafat in 1994, the Nobel peace prize was devalued in the eyes of many. When awarded in 2007 to a political body (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and a failed politician (Al Gore), who are dedicated to a problem that we can't control and that may not even exist, it became a joke.

With its awarding this year to Barack Obama, it has become a prize for hope over substance, rhetoric over action. No one who has read the resumes of other nominees could still think that Obama is a worthy winner. Why the selection committee overlooked nominees such as Sima Samar, an Afghan women's rights activist, or Dr Denis Mukwege, founder and head of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is hard to fathom. Especially when you bear in mind that Obama was in office for just 12 days when nominations closed.

One day, if his lofty ideals and ambitions materialise and the world does become a safer place, he may merit a peace prize. Until then, shouldn't we reward people who are actually doing something now?

Robbie Gore, McKinnon

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