Monday, November 02, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize and its intention

A lot of debate got into this years peace prize for Barack H. Obama. The left is mostly satisfied (but still a bit mystified why this year) and the right ridiculous the prize. Though, the right never had this problem, when someone they liked got their peace prize. So it is about which politician from which side gets the prize and not if it is stupid to give the peace prize to a politician at all.

If I look at the list of possible peace prize laureates and think about which got picked, I am often a bit shocked: Arafat, Barack Obama, Gore, United Nations etc.

Yes, some of them had high and "morally good" ideas they wanted to realize, but the prize is not for loft aspirations but for deeds done. Even Stalin had good ideals (if you follow the consensus of most social democrats and left of center people) though what he made of it in real life was shocking and appaling. I, of course, don't share this opinion. I thought even the idea was shocking once you factored in Human nature.

The list above shows why the Nobel peace prize is often so misplaced. Arafat was the leader of a terrorist organization and responsible for the death of many. Yes, he helped forge a peace treaty that's undeniable, but only when he saw the bleakness of his position and got the promise to be the leader of this new peace movement (thus escaping responsibility for his deeds). He may be not the worst man in the world, but compared to others he wasn't fit for a peace prize.

The United Nations have the goal to be the setting for world peace and diplomatic solutions. But most of the time they are the playing field for tyrany, totalitarianism and anti-semitism. Most of the countries in the UN are defacto neither democracies nor are they countries with a rule of law and enough civil liberties. A prize for the UN is a prize thrown away and totally misplaced.

Then we have Al Gore, another politician, who was (as a vice president) responsible for the wars in the Balkan and the bombing of facilities in the Middle East. At the same time he was at least partially responsible (as a figure head of the US) for the ongoing effort of foreign aid that killed millions of people in Africa. I am sorry, but you can't give a person like that a Nobel peace prize and still stay credible.

I won't go into Barack Obama (who at the moment is handling a crisis in two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) which he didn't start, but also didn't end!) here. However, I want to point to this piece, which is inspiring and should be read by those Norwegians who determine peace prizes. It gives a good pointer to what sort of people are really ready for a peace prize.

We don't have to stop with entrepreneurs, there have been a lot of people clearly qualifying as a peace prize recipient. There are people who fight for human rights, who help forge neighbourhoodly bondings and thus preventing violence and war from ever happening. You don't have to be a big news magnet to qualify for this. And thus I hope in the future no politician will ever get this prize again! There are people a lot more worthy of it.

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