Recovering my composure after hearing that the Nobel Peace Prize is going to someone who has not actually made any peace yet..
Apparently the committee believes it's valid to bung their dynamite funded cash to someone setting out on a long and arduous path to peace, rather than actually achieving it. So congratulations, Mr Obama, lets hope works out for you.
A couple of awkward thoughts though - he's being praised for his commitment to global nuclear disarmament. Not sure how global this commitment is judging by this report about his position regarding Israel's secret stash of nukes. While on the subject of the Middle East, as the committee must have been deliberating its headline-grabbing peace laureate candidate, his administration was performing a humiliating U-turn on the demand that Israel end illegal settlement construction in the occupied West Bank (and don't forget all the settlements are illegal, not just the new ones). Then came the mess over the Goldstone report, a crucial test for global accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and what did the US do? What it's always done, throw a diplomatic cloak of impunity over Israel, by pressurising the Palestinians to seek deferral of the report until next March (for which, read "for ever"). I'm no big fan of the PA, but the impact of this all-too-familiar routine calls to mind Ariel Sharon's description of Mahmoud Abbas a few years ago. And I know this blog is about Mid-East affairs, but I'm not sure that US plans for Afghanistan are that peaceful either.
So if this prize is meant to encourage more of same from Mr Obama...