Barack Obama appears to have achieved a great deal on the 'home front' in a relatively short time but the announcement that he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize took me completely by surprise because I was unaware he had made any significant contribution to 'World Peace'.
Correct me if I am wrong but isn't the US is still at war in Afghanistan? Troops are still in Iraq are they not? Sabre rattling continues towards Iran and North Korea. There is still chaos in the Middle East? Or did I miss something?
Obama has been concentrating on domestic issues since his inauguration. He has given many hopeful speeches, visited a number of countries and even found time to pop to Europe and give his support for an Olympic bid. Hard-working as he is, and even though his speeches inspire hope in many people around the world, my understanding has always been that a Nobel Prize has always been a mark of great contribution in a particular sphere. For actions - not just words.
As far as I am aware there isn't a Nobel Prize for Hope (although perhaps there should be). In the absence of such an award, I think those who decide these matters have opted to give him the Peace Prize as the next best thing. Trouble is, it puts enormous pressure on one man to achieve 'greatness'. He is actually going to have to do something now, other than just deliver a cool speech.
As Shakespeare once wrote: 'Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them'. My concern for Obama is that in having greatness thrust upon him in this way he will mistakenly present himself cross-gartered to the world and end up as foolish as Malvolio.