Nobel Peace Prize committee sacks chairman who awarded Obama the prize

Nobel Peace Prize committee sacks chairman who awarded Obama the prize
Thorbjoern Jagland and Barack Obama in a less disillusioned time. (Image via WSJ)

Not sure how we missed this one last week.

The move is reportedly unprecedented.  On Tuesday 3 March, Mr. Thorbjoern Jagland, formerly a prime minister of Norway, was removed from the chairmanship of the Nobel Peace Prize committee and relegated to simple “member” status.  (H/t: Zero Hedge)  AP explains (emphasis added):

The Nobel Peace Prize awarding Norwegian Nobel Committee on Tuesday elected a new chairman to replace Thorbjoern Jagland, whose six-year tenure has been lined with controversies.

Jagland will remain a member of the voting panel but was a contentious leader, attracting criticism for his dual role as committee chairman and head of the European Council when the prize was awarded to the European Union in 2012. His leadership also was clouded by the decision to give the prize to Barack Obama in 2009 after he had just been elected president, and the 2010 prize to the jailed dissident Liu Xiabo drew fury from China.

The former labor politician was replaced by the panel’s deputy chairman, Kaci Kullmann Five, a former conservative party leader. She denied that Jagland’s ousting had anything to do with pressure from China, which froze diplomatic ties to Norway after the 2010 award.

The composition of the committee reflects the power structure in Norway’s Parliament which appoints the members. The leadership change follows 2013 parliamentary elections that brought the Conservatives into power after years of Labor Party rule.

So there are politics behind this.  The Conservatives who took over in Norway have changed the leadership of the Nobel committee accordingly.  That said, their electoral win was given to them by Norwegian voters, who apparently were looking for leadership different from the leftist Labor agenda that ruled Norwegian politics for decades.  Putting Jagland out of his chairmanship may be a minor symbol, but there’s substance behind it.

AP gamely tries to make the move appear to be about Jagland’s tenure being generally “controversial” — as if the Norwegian parliament under the Conservatives would remove a chairman over awarding the Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident.  Conservative parties in Europe usually have notable differences in philosophy from the conservatism of America, but they do typically share the principles that would applaud honoring Liu Xiabo — and would give no ear to China’s anger about that.  It’s awfully unlikely that this move is about China being upset.

Tyler Durden has no quarrel with it, at any rate:

She [Kaci Kullmann Five] did not deny that [Jagland’s] ousting had anything to do with Obama who has since the awar[d] become a neo-con warhawk, who has put some of the most bloodthirsty republicans to shame, and whose actions (and lack thereof) have led to not only global conflict intensity spiking To a 7-year high, but have generated untold riches to the shareholders of the military industrial complex.

OK, so that’s not quite the case I would make about Obama.  But he doesn’t have many defenders now, outside the chronically sycophantic MSM.  Even the Norwegians are thinking better of that prom-king-crowning thing the Nobel committee did in 2009, when Obama’s only accomplishment at that point was winning the 2008 election.  Awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize was even dumber than awarding it to Al Gore in 2007 — and that’s saying something.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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