Year After Obama Won Nobel, World Looks for Signs of Peace


Acknowledging the growing body count of Afghan civilians, Yasini said: "Whether there is peace in Afghanistan is a different subject than whether President Obama is promoting good ideals. We must do many things to make peace -- development, justice, good governance, democracy. He cannot do this alone."

Following the announcement of Obama's nomination last year, America's two most prominent peace laureates, Carter and Gore, hailed Obama's selection. Carter called Obama's nomination a "bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment."

But perhaps as a statement on the difficulty of measuring peace efforts, both Carter and Gore declined to comment on the anniversary of Obama's prize.

The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker anti-war group that has received a Nobel Peace Prize, also chose not to comment on Obama's record versus expectations.

One of Obama's riskiest efforts has been his attempt to kick start long stalled talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. The president set himself the high bar of achieving a peace deal in one year, on the eve of his next election.

"The president gets some credit for having made this a priority," said Dan levy a Middle East analyst and former Israeli peace negotiator.

Some Praise President Obama's Peace Efforts Amid War

"He deserves credit for putting pressure on himself to deliver. Has he delivered? No. Does it look like he will deliver? No. But would it be unique in presidential history not to achieve peace? No," said Levy.

Levy said Obama made some critical missteps when he first decided to enter the contentious Mideast negotiations.

"He had the opportunity to go about this in a new way. Instead, what we're looking at is not promising or encouraging. Unfortunately, he's still working in the same fashion that has fallen short for the past 20 years. As a practioner, and now analyst, I'm disappointed that he didn't review things and say let's change what we're doing wrong. Are we taking the power of the settlement lobby serious? Are we taking Palestinian divisions serious enough? He dropped the ball," Levy said.

The Palestinians, too, acknowledged the effort Obama has shown in recent weeks, but are not holding their breath for a deal.

"I was hoping he would accomplish peace in three months or six months," said Riyad H. Mansour, permanent observer ambassador from Palestine to the U.N.

"But knowing the complexity of political situation, I know it isn't possible. He has put in a tremendous effort and his heart in the right place. Now we have to wait and see," he said.

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