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October 10, 2008 4:30 AM   Subscribe

President Martti Ahtisaari wins the Nobel Peace Prize. A former Finnish President, an UN envoy, a social democrat, a school teacher and founder of Crisis Management Initiative has negotiated for peace in many troubled areas for three decades. Last fall and last summer CMI (without Ahtisaari's presence) called former Northern Ireland and South African militants to use their experience for finding Iraqi factions a way out of bloodshed. A plan for Kosovo. Negotiations ending 30-year conflict in Aceh, Indonesia. Negotiating Namibia independence. Got conflict? Mr. Ahtisaari is your man.
posted by Free word order! (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Close, but no Frans Emil Sillanpää.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:02 AM on October 10, 2008


No George W. Bush ? Anti-American bias!!!!!
posted by Pendragon at 5:06 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the last link:

He recalls how he brokered the first meeting between the South African authorities and leaders of the South West African Peoples' Organization (SWAPO), fighting for Namibian independence.

"We were all in New York," he remembers. "I told them that if they came to my apartment I would provide the electricity and take-out Chinese food and they could get on with it. I just went to my study. If you can make yourself useless and unnecessary in a process, that's the best thing you can do."


I love it when the Nobel prize points me to someone cool I'd never heard of before, but am a little disappointed the committee didn't call the Chinese bluff. It seems more urgent than honoring Ahtisaari, worthy as he appears at first look.
posted by mediareport at 5:17 AM on October 10, 2008


he sounds really cool, seems like Finns are inn this year
posted by infini at 5:34 AM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


No George W. Bush ? Anti-American bias!!!!!

It's a peace prize. The anti-American bias is built in.
posted by srboisvert at 7:12 AM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


he's like a community organizer
posted by matteo at 7:13 AM on October 10, 2008


He was a lousy president but great in what he does for peace. Congratulations. Although not everyone agrees.
posted by keijo at 7:21 AM on October 10, 2008


Ahtisaari had been shortlisted for the Peace Prize seemingly for years, although the nomination process is notoriously goofy since any name could be submitted for consideration.

I'm surprised no anecdotes about using the sauna as part of the negotiation process have surfaced yet, since that's been a typical meeting spot to establish equality. New Yorkers can see a signed portrait of Ahtisaari in the main room of the Russian & Turkish baths on East 10th.
posted by myopicman at 7:26 AM on October 10, 2008


It's a peace prize. The anti-American bias is built in.
posted by srboisvert 14 minutes ago


A favourite just isn't good enough for a high quality snark. Can we get some pointage around here to denote real quality? ;p
posted by infini at 7:28 AM on October 10, 2008


That's the Finnish way - steam them hot enough and they'll agree to anything. Hmm... wait. Or was it the American way? Very confused here.
posted by keijo at 7:36 AM on October 10, 2008


Yeah he never seemed comfortable in his job as president. He didn't take well to being a public persona and clearly his desires, talents and ambitions were in the international arena doing the very things he got the peace prize for. He wasn't all that bad as president but it clearly wasn't his thing. He did not seek re-election after his first term.
posted by Authorized User at 8:05 AM on October 10, 2008


seems the coverage is helping balance the overwhelming association with Nokia till now
posted by infini at 8:16 AM on October 10, 2008


At least his price is getting up, can't say the same of Nokia.
posted by keijo at 9:00 AM on October 10, 2008


LOL@keijo
posted by infini at 11:58 AM on October 10, 2008


How this guy got the Peace Prize instead of the Chinese dissident is beyond me.

I mean, they went from awarding it to the likes of Mandela and Walesa to giving it up to Al Gore and Ahtisaari.

Does the Nobel Peace Prize mean anything anymore?
posted by adricv at 2:38 AM on October 12, 2008


Europe vexes China with rights award to dissident
posted by homunculus at 9:58 AM on October 23, 2008


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