Barack Obama's Nobel prize greeted with cynicism and surprise

For the crowd gathered for a second day of festivities at one of the Afghan capital garish wedding halls this afternoon there was widespread cynicism at the news of Obama Nobel peace prize win.

"I don't know how he can get this prize," said Najeeb, a 30-year-old shopkeeper attending a friend's wedding party. "Maybe it's been awarded for all the houses they are bombing, or perhaps it's for all his soldiers that are dying in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Next to him a local staff member of a western NGO called Elyas wondered whether Obama will ever be able to bring peace to Afghanistan. "Obama and his favourite president [Karzai] haven't been able to do anything here. We used to be able to drive to Kunduz and Mazar-i-Sharif [two northern cities considered safe until recently] but now we can't because fighters are coming to the roads and looting people."

But a tribal elder from western Kabul called Shafi said Obama should be given a chance as he reviews his Afghanistan strategy. "If someone spent 20 years doing nothing for peace he shouldn't get the Nobel prize ‑ but if he does good things for peace even if it is just for three or four months then I am happy. He should send more troops to Afghanistan. If we don't have support of the world community we won't have one hour of peace, again it will be the fighting, civil war and misfortune."


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