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Tildelingen av årets Fredspris får folk ute i verden til å spørre: hva slags land er Norge blitt? Hva foregikk i hodene på Nobelkomiteen? Svarene er ikke udelt til Norges fordel.

Anne Appelbaum i Washington Post blir lest og lyttet til, hun blir endog syndikalisert til Dagsavisen. Hun hadde en opplevelse sist hun var i Norge, som kan gi en pekepinn om hvorfor Obama fikk årets pris. Da råket hun ut i en diskusjon som gikk på hvilket land som var verst og farligst – USA eller Nord-Korea. Det kan neppe ha vært en tilfeldig person, for Applebaum husker samtalen fortsatt:

Why did they give it to him, did he deserve it, should he have accepted it, who else should have gotten it: The nation is speaking of nothing else except President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Here is a better question for us to ask ourselves: Why should we care?

Think about it: The Nobel Committee consists of five Norwegians, selected by the Norwegian parliament. In his will, Alfred Nobel, the Swedish dynamite tycoon who thought up this whole thing, specifically wanted Norwegians to choose the winner, apparently because Norwegians, being outside the European mainstream, would be less likely to be politically corrupt. The trouble is that Norwegians, being outside the European mainstream, are also more likely to be eccentric. Norway is a wonderful country and Norwegians have some of the highest living standards in the world — thanks to their low population numbers and their large deposits of oil and gas – but the last time I was there, I got in an argument with someone over which country was more evil, the United States or North Korea. This being a few years ago, at the height of the Bush Terror, you can guess which side the Norwegian was on.

Perhaps as a result of their eccentricity, the five Norwegians who choose the Nobel Peace Prize winner have made quite a few odd decisions over the years. Look at the most recent American winners. In what sense did Al Gore, whatever you think about his movie on global warming, fulfill the wishes of Alfred Nobel, who wanted his money to go to «to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses»?

Tittelen er illevarslende for Nobelkomiteen:

Why Should We Care About the Nobel?