Here’s a story that might, at first blush, look like just another petty political move by supposed “journalists” who exhibit not only a lack of civility, but also monumental hypocrisy. But the problem goes deeper than that, and reflects a lack of understanding about how multi-national groups use and are used by media to drive political agendas.
Or, perhaps the “journalists” DO know, but would prefer it if their readers did not.
It’s about the recent tantrum from old leftist stalwart, The Atlantic, and its high profile writer Graeme Wood’s call for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to stop issuing the prize. This, argues Wood, is clearly necessary now that someone nominated Donald Trump (his second nomination in a week, after working to bring peace between Israel and Bahrain, and Israel and the UAE) after he brokered a peace deal between Serbia and Kosovo.
Wood writes that he would prefer to see the Nobel Clubhouse repeat what it’s done nineteen times in the past, and that’s to not issue the Peace Prize:
The committee has declined to award a peace prize 19 times, most recently in 1972. (The next year, in a decision so trollish it might have come out of the Prose Edda, they awarded the prize to Henry Kissinger.) Giving the peace prize to no one at all is a tradition the Nobel Committee should revive, perhaps on a permanent basis.
Wood certainly scores strong points on the salutary idea of no prize being issued, and the offensive idea that the committee gave the prize to Henry Kissinger, the man who coined the term “useless eaters” to describe elderly people. In fact, given the reality that any politician is in office only through the forced confiscation of tax money from state subjects, it might be wise to avoid giving the prize to any person in a government office. Taxation is not peaceful, so any action done with its support is not to be applauded.
But Wood seems less interested in this deeper logical and philosophical point than he is in the fact that someone he doesn’t seem to like has been nominated twice in a week. Yep. The nomination of Donald Trump appears to be the proverbial straw that broke Wood’s proverbial camel back.
Peace had its chance, and blew it. The Trump nomination—one of hundreds, including this second from a Swede—helps show why.
So, Trump brokers peace not once, not twice, but THREE times, and now, suddenly, it’s appropriate for The Atlantic to publish a screed decrying the Nobel Peace Prize? That’s kind of like Alfred Nobel – the inventor of dynamite – holding onto one of his explosive inventions as it blows. It’s a bit late to complain without an apology, at this point, isn’t it, Atlantic editors?
Where were you when Barack Obama received the prize a mere nine months into his Presidency? When it was revealed that, in order to reach the deadline at that time, he had to have been nominated within ten days of taking office in 2009?
Why were you AWOL when Obama overthrew the government of Libya in 2014? When trustworthy reporters noted what appeared to be strong connections between the Obama Administration and the coup-installed government of Ukraine earlier that year?
Sure, in 2016, the Atlantic published a piece criticizing Obama – not for engaging in Libyan “regime change”, as the euphemism for military invasion goes, but for not preparing “properly” to do it. But, of course, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement of peace.
And then there were Obama’s sky-high numbers of extra-judicial killings – not just of Qaddafi in Libya, but of thousands of people ranging from children to folks at wedding parties in numerous Middle East nations who died because Obama, John Brennan, and others ordered/advised for unconstitutional, internationally criminal drone strikes.
The Atlantic wasn’t calling for an end of the Nobel Peace Prize then, was it?
And how about when the Nobel Club gave the lovely prize to confirmed terrorist Yasser Arafat in 1994?
Was it possible that Arafat had changed his ways to such an extent that his past could be forgiven?
That’s possible. But with all the errors the Peace Prize Committee has committed, why can’t people see how politically charged its prize has been for decades?
Heck, even the Nobel Prize in economics isn’t really a Nobel Prize. The Nobel committee began renting the title to the central bank of Sweden in 1968, so you can be the judge of whether the committee for that might act erroneously on occasion (hint: Paul Krugman received the Nobel Prize for Economics for a paper he wrote about economy of scale and lower priced labor provided by larger populations -- something many of the eighteen-year-old students I’ve taught already understood in the first week of class).
How about the hoity-toity of the world stop concentrating on politically-charged awards, not just when the award recipient is someone The Atlantic doesn’t like, but ALWAYS?
That’s unlikely, because various special interests who influence nation-states around the planet use the Prize as rhetorical cover to promote certain people.
Just ask Al Gore, who received the Peace Prize in 2007, you know, after he and his wife threatened musicians and record companies with legal action in 1985 if they didn’t “label” their music. After Gore and Clinton attacked Serbia in 1999 and wiped out Iraqi aspiring factory workers in 1998 and Gore engaged in wholesale fraud with his “Inconvenient Truth” film.
There’s no way that people on the Nobel Peace Prize committee thought to boost Gore’s status and help him push his “anthropogenic climate change” mythology, is there?
Of course not. Nothing to see here. Just keep reading The Atlantic and don’t ask such silly, fundamental questions.
Independent thought is for suckers, and only the elite, like Wood and his editors, can tell us the “real of it” when it’s far, far too late.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)