Amid controversy at home and abroad, U.S. President Barack Obama was in Oslo, Norway today to receive the Nobel Peace Prize he won back in October.
The announcement of his award was met with both great praise and criticism, which the President addressed today in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
“I receive this honor with deep gratitude and humility.”
“This is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations – that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.”
“And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage.”
Is Barack Obama too unproven or just plain unworthy of the Nobel Prize? Or should he take his award as a vote of confidence and call to action from the world?
The President, whose wife was just named the most fascinating person of 2009, has come under fire for receiving the Nobel as a relative novice on the global stage.
He was inaugurated not even 11 months ago – as well as his particular brand of leadership has sparked great debate over whether he truly deserves this honor.
Reactions also seem to be falling along ideological lines, with the most specific critiques of Obama centering on his simultaneous attempts to balance widespread initiatives for peace while escalating the war in Afghanistan.
What do you think? Does Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?