All Nobel Prizes are political: Parody is redundant

The news of the EU’s prize win is already inspiring more nationalistic rage rather than quelling it. The Guardian reported that the decision was greeted with disbelief by many in Greece, with some saying that their nation is at an economic war partly because of the new Peace Prize winner.

The greatest asset of the Nobel Peace Prize is not its immediate impact but the fact that it celebrates achievements and noble deeds that will outlive our current worries and will set examples for humanity. To use the prize as a political tool is to ruin that invaluable asset.


On Friday, the 27-nation European Union received the Nobel Peace prize for six decades of contributions “to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

The $1.2 million, or 930,000 euros, awarded prize comes during the union’s biggest internal crisis since it was established in the 1950s, the Associated Press reported.

Unfortunately, the prize money is a drop in the bucket for Europe’s indebted nations like Greece, Spain and Portugal.

After Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896, his executors discovered that the inventor of dynamite had secretly set aside about 35 million Swedish kronor (about $225 million today) for the creation of five annual prizes to honor those who bestowed the “greatest benefit on mankind” in science, literature and diplomacy.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 to the European Union (EU). Although conceding in its press release that “the EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee rationalized its choice by claiming that it “wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.

In a speech to the Council of Europe last January, British Prime Minister David Cameron explained the distorted priorities of the EU’s approach to human rights:

“We do have a real problem when it comes to foreign national who threaten our security. The problem today is that you can end up with someone who has no right to live in your country, who you are convinced – and have good reason to be convinced – means to do your country harm. And yet there are circumstances in which you cannot try them, you cannot detain them and you cannot deport them. So having put in place every possible safeguard to ensure that (human rights) rights are not violated, we still cannot fulfill our duty to our law-abiding citizens to protect them.”

The Nobel Committee made a dumb decision in selecting the EU for its 2012 peace prize, squandering an opportunity to use its peace prize for a truly noble purpose. For example, instead they could have selected two of Nigeria’s prominent religious leaders, who were nominated for the prize this year. They are the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, and the Muslim Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III.

Nigeria is split almost evenly between Muslims and Christians. With the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, regularly committing atrocities and threatening to forcibly replace the current constitutional government with a theocracy based on Sharia law, Onaiyekan and the Sultan have been working for peace between the adherents of the two major religions in the country.

The Nobel Committee could have provided a morale boost to the two religious leaders for their courage.  Instead, it settled for an award to the unaccountable transnational bureaucracy that defines the European Union today.

The recipient, which Nobel instructed should be the person who has performed the “best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses,” is determined by a five-member committee appointed by Norway’s Parliament. Nominations are solicited from an undisclosed number of contributors–past winners, prominent institutions–and the winner is decided by a simple majority vote.

Reaction to the committee’s choice has often been anything but peaceful. In 1973, Henry Kissinger and North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho shared the award for negotiating a cease-fire that ended U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War–despite Kissinger’s role in the secret bombing of Cambodia. (Tho rejected his award, the only person to do so, saying there was no peace in his country.) One Nobel Committee member resigned in protest over Yasser Arafat’s 1994 win, calling the Palestinian leader a “terrorist.” Even Joseph Stalin was nominated twice for his efforts to end World War II (he did not win).

Much has been made of EU  win and the committee’s vague reasoning. Unfortunately, those seeking answers are out of luck: Nobel documents are sealed for 50 years.

 

All Nobel Peace Prizes

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 93 times to 124 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2012, 100 individuals and 24 organizations. Since International Committee of the Red Cross was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1917, 1944 and 1963, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981, 100 individuals and 21 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Infographic by The Guardian



Click on the links to get more information.

2012
European Union (EU)
2011
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman
2010
Liu Xiaobo
2009
Barack H. Obama
2008
Martti Ahtisaari
2007
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.
2006
Muhammad Yunus, Grameen Bank
2005
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , Mohamed ElBaradei
2004
Wangari Muta Maathai
2003
Shirin Ebadi
2002
Jimmy Carter
2001
United Nations (U.N.) , Kofi Annan
2000
Kim Dae-jung
1999
Médecins Sans Frontières
1998
John Hume, David Trimble
1997
International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) , Jody Williams
1996
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, José Ramos-Horta
1995
Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
1994
Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin
1993
Nelson Mandela, Frederik Willem de Klerk
1992
Rigoberta Menchú Tum
1991
Aung San Suu Kyi
1990
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev
1989
The 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)
1988
United Nations Peacekeeping Forces
1987
Oscar Arias Sánchez
1986
Elie Wiesel
1985
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
1984
Desmond Mpilo Tutu
1983
Lech Walesa
1982
Alva Myrdal, Alfonso García Robles
1981
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
1980
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
1979
Mother Teresa
1978
Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin
1977
Amnesty International
1976
Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan
1975
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov
1974
Seán MacBride, Eisaku Sato
1973
Henry A. Kissinger, Le Duc Tho
1972
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money for 1972 was allocated to the Main Fund.
1971
Willy Brandt
1970
Norman E. Borlaug
1969
International Labour Organization (I.L.O.)
1968
René Cassin
1967
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1966
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1965
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
1964
Martin Luther King Jr.
1963
Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross) , Ligue des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge (League of Red Cross Societies)
1962
Linus Carl Pauling
1961
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld
1960
Albert John Lutuli
1959
Philip J. Noel-Baker
1958
Georges Pire
1957
Lester Bowles Pearson
1956
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1955
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1954
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
1953
George Catlett Marshall
1952
Albert Schweitzer
1951
Léon Jouhaux
1950
Ralph Bunche
1949
Lord (John) Boyd Orr of Brechin
1948
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1947
Friends Service Council (The Quakers) , American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers)
1946
Emily Greene Balch, John Raleigh Mott
1945
Cordell Hull
1944
Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross)
1943
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1942
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1941
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1940
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1939
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1938
Office international Nansen pour les Réfugiés (Nansen International Office for Refugees)
1937
Cecil of Chelwood, Viscount (Lord Edgar Algernon Robert Gascoyne Cecil)
1936
Carlos Saavedra Lamas
1935
Carl von Ossietzky
1934
Arthur Henderson
1933
Sir Norman Angell (Ralph Lane)
1932
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1931
Jane Addams, Nicholas Murray Butler
1930
Lars Olof Jonathan (Nathan) Söderblom
1929
Frank Billings Kellogg
1928
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1927
Ferdinand Buisson, Ludwig Quidde
1926
Aristide Briand, Gustav Stresemann
1925
Sir Austen Chamberlain, Charles Gates Dawes
1924
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1923
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1922
Fridtjof Nansen
1921
Karl Hjalmar Branting, Christian Lous Lange
1920
Léon Victor Auguste Bourgeois
1919
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
1918
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1917
Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross)
1916
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1915
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1914
No Nobel Prize was awarded this year. The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.
1913
Henri La Fontaine
1912
Elihu Root
1911
Tobias Michael Carel Asser, Alfred Hermann Fried
1910
Bureau international permanent de la Paix (Permanent International Peace Bureau)
1909
Auguste Marie François Beernaert, Paul Henri Benjamin Balluet d’Estournelles de Constant, Baron de Constant de Rebecque
1908
Klas Pontus Arnoldson, Fredrik Bajer
1907
Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, Louis Renault
1906
Theodore Roosevelt
1905
Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner, née Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau
1904
Institut de droit international (Institute of International Law)
1903
William Randal Cremer
1902
Élie Ducommun, Charles Albert Gobat
1901
Jean Henry Dunant
1901
Jean Henry Dunant, Frédéric Passy

The Nobel Prizes for Literature and Peace this year have become highly politicized — the former by the Chinese state propaganda machine and Beijing-bashing commentators, and the latter by the committee that awards the coveted awards.

 


StrawberryNET FREE Shipping

As in

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1930515,00.html

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/50281

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/the-eu-gets-a-nobel-peace-prize/2012/10/14/ad3a7a48-158e-11e2-ba83-a7a396e6b2a7_blog.html

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2012/10/nobel-prize-winners-eurozone-award-controversy/

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/editorial/world-issues/2012/10/16/357714/p2/Nobel-Prizes.htm



Leave a Reply