The head of the Norwegian panel that awarded President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize defended the choice in really lukewarm language. The AP reports that Thorbjorn Jagland cites "Obama's efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe" and concludes:
"All these things have contributed to — I wouldn't say a safer world — but a world with less tension."
Over at The Daily Beast, Elaine Lafferty reports on one of the other Nobel finalists, the Afghan doctor Sima Samar, and makes a strong case that she should have gotten the prize. Certainly, Samar's efforts at bringing health care to her misbegotten country earned her the ire of communists and Taliban leaders alike, certainly deserves to be better known. A snippet:
Openly opposed to religious extremism and questioning Sharia law, Samar has noted that high incidence of bone fragility among Afghan women is due to an absence of sunlight because of the forced wearing of the burqa. She was driven from office by death threats when a Mullah announced a fatwa on her and called her Afghanistan's Salman Rushdie.
And watch Reason.tv's recent video, "Obama Wins Nobel Prize And...":