Friday 12 October 2012

Nobel Peace Prize has been a joke for decades.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 has, in the last hour, been awarded to the EU. For um, there not being war within EU countries since WWII. Of course, that has nothing to do with cold war geopolitics (and thus people being rather reluctant to go to war with USSR). Or Western Europe being generally pretty rich (lots to lose from war), like North America or most of East Asia today (other areas with little conflict since 60s about the time the EU was former). The Treaty of Rome, establishing the EU, in 1958 came some 13 years after WWII, and yet there was no major war. To claim that the EU was what caused peace since them seems rather bizarre, given this. Given the Balkans, where the EU at best stood back, at worst help generate tension, and the current strife in Greece and elsewhere within the EU, and EU support for dodgy groups worldwide; I see plenty of reasons why the EU definitely should not have won the award.

Most people understand that this is a complete joke of an award, but few people realise that the Nobel Peace Prize has been a joke regularly - going back decades. One of last years' winners Leymah Gbowee, stood for re-election even though initially promising not to, and has been involved in corruption scandals. Perhaps minor on the face of it, and happened after the award, but still something to consider. Then there's Barack "Drone Strike" Obama, who had done nothing but make one speech on reducing the number of nuclear arms worldwide, to win the 2010 prize - having been nominated, in fact, before he made the speech. He did nothing to earn the prize, and has done much since to discredit the award.

The recent trend may strongly suggest a right-on, left-liberal sentiment to the awards, especially when you consider Al Gore and the IPCC jointly won the award in 2007. Despite global warming not having a great deal to do with peace and despite Al Gore being Vice-President when Clinton was bombing Sudan etc. without the authority of Congress. De Klerk won in 1993 - whilst I understand the reconciliation needed, it is still quite sickening to see him win the award. In 1988 the award went to UN Peacekeeping Forces. Apparently soldiers who fought in the Korean war are peaceful. There are lots of others where the award seems dodgy, like the ILO in 1969, but perhaps the worst of all, was the 1973 award to Henry Kissenger, who played a key role in illegally bombing Cambodia, the 1970 incursion into Cambodia, leading to the Cambodian civil war and napalm bombing campaigns across Vietnam (as well as the deliberate flooding of land). Kissenger was given the award alongside Le Duc Tho for bringing peace to Vietnam. Le Duc Tho refused the award on the basis that there was no peace in South Vietnam. This view was proved correct, given that South Vietnam no longer exists.

The Nobel Peace Prize has long been a joke - the trend however, seems to be one of increasing ridiculousness. Just like the Economics prize.

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