Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Audacity of Peace

President Barack Obama recently traveled to Scandinavia to try to bring home the Olympics but got the Nobel Peace Prize instead. Critics have complained about both. In fact, pretty much the only thing for which President Obama has not been criticized since being sworn in as President was taking his wife out to dinner on their anniversary. No, I stand corrected. I actually I did hear somebody criticize him about that, too, because he did not wear a tie.

At the White House, the un-Peace councils are trying to decide whether to send 20,000 to 60,000 additional U.S. troops to the poppy fields of Afghanistan now that Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have fled to Pakistan and elsewhere. Maybe the Nobel Peace Prize committee is trying to influence discussions to which they were not invited. A surge in Afghanistan would provide something to do with the U.S. military personnel to be withdrawn from Iraq. Also it would help prevent a recession in what General/President Dwight Eisenhower in the innocent 1950’s termed modestly “the military-industrial complex.”

Obama is only the second sitting President of the United States to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The other was Woodrow Wilson. Two former U.S. Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Theodore Roosevelt, were named Nobel laureates, as well as Al Gore, who was almost President. Humanitarian icons Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa, Andrei Sakharov, Linus Pauling, Albert Sweitzer and Martin Luther King, Jr, are also on the list. Since it takes two to tango, make war, and sign a peace treaty, add Yasser Arafat, F.W. de Klerk, Michail Gorbachev, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, and Le Doc Tho. Five U.S. Secretaries of State have received the Nobel Peace Prize: Henry Kissinger, George C. Marshall, Cordell Hull, Frank B. Kellogg, and Elihu Root. Are you paying attention, Hillary?

If you’re like me and can’t resist, click here for the complete list.

The Nobel Prizes were provided for in the last will and testament of Alfred Nobel, Sweedish chemist, engineer, armaments manufacturer and the inventor of dynamite. According to his will, the Peace Prize is for "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". During World Wars I and II, 1914-18 and 1939-43, no Peace Prize was awarded. Also the years 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1948, 1955-1956, 1966-1967 and 1972 were Peace Prizeless.

If you gave a war and nobody came, would everybody get a Nobel Peace Prize?

Copyright 2009 by William C. Cotter

1 comment:

Tina said...

Sarah Palin should be nominated for the Nobel Prize for Vision because she can see Stockholm from her back yard.


Hit Counter
Boden Clothes