On one hand: Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa,Anwar Sadat, Martin Luther King Jr.
On the other hand: Yasser Arafat, Mikhail Gorbachev, F.W. de Klerk, Henry Kissinger.
I am suggesting that the Nobel Peace Prize is, at best, a mixed bag. It doesn't always recognize a lifetime lived in peace, as was the case with Sean MacBride. This one-time chief of staff for the Irish Republican Army was also one of the founding members of Amnesty International. Even Mister Glasnost, Mikhail Gorbachev, stayed in Afghanistan too long to be considered a peacenick, and Ronald "Star Wars" Reagan got all the pub for tearing down "that wall." Ronnie never won a Nobel Peace Prize. Neither did Richard Nixon, but his Secretary of State did. The guy who helped open China and sponsored the secret bombing of Cambodia also negotiated a peace treaty with Vietnam.
Now Barack Obama has one. His promises of diplomacy and nuclear disarmament were just too good to pass up. "Some people say — and I understand it — 'Isn't it premature? Too early?' Well, I'd say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now," Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, said to those who gasped when the announcement was made. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope," said Desmond Tutu . He should have two.
And what exactly is the prize worth? Obama will donate the $1.4 million cash award that comes with the prize to charity. How about Amnesty International?