I have had it with the rightwing nuts who alternately celebrate wildly when their country loses its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2016 and grumble and complain when their sitting president brings home the Nobel Peace Prize.
“He hasn’t accomplished anything to deserve it,” they whine.
Well, OK, I’ll bite. Let’s do a brief review of a few of the people who have won the Nobel Peace Prize in the past, and what their accomplishments were.1906
: President Theodore Roosevelt, the first sitting president to win The Prize, won it for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War. A war that had already effectively ended with Japan taking possession of the Sakhalin Islands and all of Korea. Reeling from this defeat, Tsar Nicholas II was soon thereafter deposed by the Bolsheviks leading to 80 years of communist oppression. The USSR retook the Sakhalin Islands from Japan as their reward for declaring war on Japan in August 1945 – after America dropped their atomic bombs on Japan.
So much for that accomplishment.1919
: President Woodrow Wilson, the second sitting president to win The Prize, won it for negotiating the Treaty of Versailles and pushing for the creation of The League of Nations. The Treaty of Versailles was seen as such a singular act of punishment of the German people, through their errant government, that it was very effectively waved as a bloody shirt by the fledgling Nazi Party leading to their ultimate takeover of the German government. The League of Nations, an organization that Wilson could not convince his own country to join, was a joke that didn’t stop a single bullet from being fired in anger.
So much for that accomplishment.1929
: Frank Billings Kellogg, a Secretary of State under Herbert Hoover, won The Prize when he negotiated what became known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, a non-aggression pact that was ultimately signed by 65 countries including Germany, Italy and Japan.
So much for that accomplishment.1934
: Arthur Henderson, British Foreign Secretary, won The Prize after he led the ill-fated World Disarmament Conference, a conference of the League of Nations that sought to limit the size and scope of armaments, chiefly in Europe. The conference broke down when Adolf Hitler withdrew from both the conference and the League of Nations in October 1933.
So much for that accomplishment.1950
: Dr. Ralph Bunche, first African-American Nobel laureate, received his Prize for his efforts in negotiating the 1949 Armistice Agreements between the new state of Israel and its next door neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Each negotiation resulted in the creation of a Mixed Armistice Commission, or MAC, which oversaw the cease fire at each border. Israel stopped attending these in 1951. Regional war broke out in 1967 and again in 1973. Palestinian refugee camps exist to this day.
So much for that accomplishment.1978
: Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin jointly shared The Prize that year for negotiating an end to Arab-Israeli hostilities. For his trouble, Anwar Sadat was assassinated. See above for the rest of the story.
So much for that accomplishment.1984
: Bishop Desmond Tutu was awarded his Prize for his work in ending Apartheid in South Africa. Never mind the fact that Apartheid existed as a social system for another 10 years until it was ultimately ushered to the ash can of history by F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela, who shared The Prize the previous year.
That accomplishment needed to be rewarded twice before it took hold.1997
: Jody Williams got her Nobel Peace Prize for her work in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Landmines, however, are alive and well in the world and claim an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 new victims
every year worldwide.
So much for that accomplishment.
Do you see a trend here? Do these rightwing fanatical nutjobs have a good handle on why or how the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded? Obviously it is not all about accomplishments, is it? It is all about good intentions, all about creating a setting for the accomplishment of peaceful pursuits. It’s not about accomplishments or none but two of the above would have gotten their prizes would they? As a matter of fact, if it was about accomplishment, some of the above need to return the prize money. It’s not about accomplishment. It’s all about what you do to promote world peace and how effective you are in doing that.
Really, it’s all about getting an “A” for effort.