The left-wing NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands): ”What got into the committee to award this prize to a man who has yet to live up to the high expectations? Were they drunk?”
Center-left to center Volkskrant (Netherlands): ”It’s clear that Obama has increasingly more difficulty meeting expectations. His inspiring words about peace and deproliferation have yet to be supported by any concrete results. What is meant to be a reward [for great achievements], could very well end up being tremendous burden for Obama.”
The right-of-center Telegraaf (Netherlands): “This isn’t the first mistake of the Committee, but it is the biggest. The value of the Nobel Peace Prize has been diminished.”
Benedict Brogan, writing for the British newspaper the Telegraph: “To reward him for a blank results sheet, to inflate him when he has no achievements to his name, makes a mockery of what, let’s face it, is an already fairly discredited process (remember Rigoberta Menchu in 1992? Ha!). That’s not the point. What this does is accelerate the elevation of President Obama to a comedy confection, which he does not deserve, and gives his critics yet another bat to whack him with. Shame on the Swedes Norwegians*. He should turn it down, even if he does look great in white tie and tails.”
The Times of London: “Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.
“Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.”
Left-wing rag the Guardian: “Indeed, the reasoning behind the awarding of the prize to previous American presidents has been easier to discern. Teddy Roosevelt opened the court of arbitration in the Hague and helped mediate a peace treaty between Russia and Japan; Woodrow Wilson was the founder of the League of Nations. Jimmy Carter won his prize for his “untiring efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts”.
“Which is what makes the awarding of this year’s prize to a president who has been in office for a mere nine months an odd departure. It is as if the prize committee had been persuaded to give the award on the future delivery of promises.”
The Sydney Morning Herald: “YES, surprisingly, he could. Barack Obama, is the shock choice for the Nobel Peace Prize, less than a year after his election as U.S. President.”
Il Giornale (Italy): “Let me be clear: the discourse on Islam in Cairo was beautiful, tall, and it opens up new horizons, but did not lead to anything. And on the other matter, as pointed out repeatedly in this blog, Obama has been evasive or inconclusive, starting with Iran and Afghanistan. Nor can he boast the merits of rapprochement with North Korea, which was brought about by Bill Clinton. He kept only one real promise: the gradual withdrawal from Iraq. Enough to deserve the Nobel Prize?”
Center-left the Spiegel (Germany): “The Nobel Peace Prize has come too early for Barack Obama. The US president cannot point to any real diplomatic successes to date and there are few prospects of any to come.”
National Post (Canada): “Obama is being given his award for mere words — for striking fashionable poses in favour of multilateralism, for making a nice speech in Cairo, for offering “hope.” Months after Americans learned to dismiss Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign slogans as the meaningless bromides they were, Scandinavians are still drinking his Kool-aid.”