Obama’s response acknowledges his lack of accomplishment:
“I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership. I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st century.”
Alfred Nobel set up the Peace Prize in his will to be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
The purpose of the prize is notably not a “call to action.” It is intended to be a recognition of accomplishment.
Here’s a look at one of the other 172 nominees for the 2009 Peace Prize:
A bipartisan group of six members of the U.S. Congress have nominated humanitarian Greg Mortenson of Bozeman for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mortenson, 51, founder of the Central Asia Institute and co-author of the bestselling book “Three Cups of Tea,” has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years.
Instead of giving the prize to a man who has built schools in remote areas where education had been denied to young girls, the committee gives it to a man who has to concede that he has done nothing that deserves the prize. His prize is for what he might do in his “call to action.”