Peace Prize to Bush and Blair?
Jan Simonsen, formerly from the Progress Party, (now an independent MP), have proposed George W. Bush and Tony Blair as candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, following the successful war on Iraq. Advantage: Fredrik Norman, who suggested something similar more than a year ago. I didn't like the idea then. Although the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq were morally right, liberating two oppressed people, and probably preventing more destructive wars in the future, I thought that to use the peace prize for that purpose would go against the whole point of the prize, which is to promote peaceful solutions to conflicts. Let peace prizes go to the peacemakers, and let the warlords get their praise elsewhere.
Now I'm beginning to like the idea. For one thing, the "spirit of the peace prize" has been undergoing regular violation for years - most notably when it went to Yassir Arafat. At the very least, giving it Bush and Blair would violate its spirit in a good way. Furthermore, the prize has become increasingly used to send political signals. Last year, with Jimmy Carter, to send a strong anti-war signal, a "kick in the leg" of George W. Bush. So, why not use it to send a different signal alltogether? Why not use it to send the signal that the efforts Bush and Blair have made - against the high-pitched protests of the "world" - were appreciated by at least some of us? Why not balance the usual message that talk solves everything with the often proved idea that force is a good second resort?
Besides, it would totally infuriate a large number of annoying people. Yes, I'm beginning to like it very much.
Fredrik Norman, Oslo | 2003-05-10 02:08 | Link
As you mention, I suggested this more than a year ago in the entry you linked, as well as through the Norwegian Friends of America quite recently.
Unfortunately, it's probably not going to happen. Such a decision would take balls and chutzpah, none of which is represented in the Kofi Annan-adoring Nobel Committee. But yeah, it would be a nice "balance" indeed.
John Anderson, RI USA | 2003-05-10 22:50 | Link
Good, you are posting again.
Alan K. Henderson | 2003-05-11 12:24 | Link
Historically, the Nobel Peace Prize goes mostly to peace think tanks, untested peace plans, disarmament proposals (remember the Kellogg-Briand Pact that was supposed to end war?), and other causes that contribute nothing to peace. The prize isn't worth a warm saucer of spit.
Bjørn Stærk | 2003-05-11 13:09 | Link
Alan: A symbolically important warm saucer of spit, mind you.
Taco, Norway | 2003-05-11 21:24 | Link
Wouldn't that raise the value of a prize that is currently worth little? Would it not be desirable to keep it's value low, considering the ones holding the prize (Arafat, Carter, etc.)?
Steve, Chicago, USA | 2004-01-31 17:18 | Link
Here's a letter I composed for Mr. Simonsen:
Dear Jan Simonsen,
I am writing to commend you on your recent nomination of George W. Bush and Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize. You are indeed a brave man to stand strong against the mindless pacifism that has left most of Europe impotent to confront evil. I salute you.
A newspaper quoted you the other day as saying that the war in Iraq "made it possible to create democracy and respect for human rights in a country which for so many years has been ruled by one of the worst dictators in modern times." I came as close to tears as a man can come when I read that. As you so eloquently put it: “Sometimes it's necessary to use a small and effective war to prevent a much more dangerous war in the future.”
I’ve heard many folks argue that trying to bring peace to the world by waging war is like trying to love a person by hating them. Yet I believe – and I have a feeling you’re on the same page as me on this one – that war and peace, like love and hate, are really two sides of the same coin. I think the great American president Teddy Roosevelt expressed this philosophy best with his dictum: “Walk softly, but carry a big stick.” I try to live my live by those words. Let me give you a “for-instance” from my personal life that will help clarify the immediate purpose of this correspondence.
I love my wife dearly, and most of the time our relationship is as peaceful as a big green field full of lilies. Just last weekend, however, our blissful marriage hit a rocky patch. You see, after a long Saturday night of hard drinking I like nothing better than to come home and have my way (an American euphemism for relations) with my wife. I admit that she’s usually less than enthusiastic about having sex under these circumstances – at three in the morning with me stinking drunk – but for me, the conquest is half of the fun. Something got into her the other night, however, that made her ornerier than usual (probably that Hillary Clinton book she’s been reading – I hope for your sake that it hasn’t been translated into whatever you speak in Norway). Anyhow, when I climbed up on top of her, instead of reluctantly succumbing to my will as usual, she kneed me in the groin, jumped out of bed, and screamed that if I came near her again that she’d cut my manhood (American for male genitals) off with a pair of hedge-clippers.
Actually, that’s just the story I told the police. Honestly, I don’t really remember if she mentioned hedge clippers or not. In fact, I know she has no hedge-clippers in the house, let alone the bedroom. The point is that I’ve seen the witch brandish other instruments that could slice off my genitals, like steak knives and scissors. This is how I saw it: if I laughed the whole thing off and just went to bed, what’s to stop her from getting up at the crack of dawn, driving down the Kmart and buying a pair of hedge-clippers with which to sever my manhood as I lay in a drunken stupor? If I hesitated, proof that she had hedge-clippers may have come too late, in the form of my castration.
So I struck pre-emptively. As she cowered in the corner and sobbed that she wanted to make up, I picked up a baseball bat. I walked softly across the room and then swung hard, shattering her front teeth with my big stick. She slumped to the floor in shock and awe.
The nosy neighbors heard the commotion and called the police. A half hour later, as the cops were walking me, dazed and handcuffed, out of my own house, I wondered at my predicament. After all, I had only stepped in to prevent my wife from doing something both of us would have regretted. As the cops attempted to restrain me, I yelled: “You’re arresting me for assault?! I should be nominated for the husband of the year award!”
They didn’t understand, but I knew you would.
So, I’m in a bit of a pickle (that’s an Americanism for legal trouble). Any chance you could offer me political asylum in Norway?
willem van der Laan | 2004-02-02 16:28 | Link
2/2/2004 Maastricht, Holland
I'd like to comment on recent media releases on bush's nomination. This nomination is wrong and nothing else but a political step.
Reason nr. 2: All mr. Bush his actions have been a result of america's protectionism, not to forget nationalism. If he could sacrifice 200 Iraki civilians to save 10 US soldiers i'd bet he would do it!! Now somebody tell me, where does the ambition of making peace pop up in this man his mind? I don't believe it for one...
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