The Nobel "Peace" Prize

So the Nobel Committee doesn’t like George W. Bush. We get it. In 2002 they gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Jimmy Carter, saying the award “should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration has taken … it’s a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as the United States.” Now they give it to President Obama for “creat[ing] a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.” It’s pretty clear the committee thinks of the Nobel Prize as a tool they use to conduct their own diplomacy, rather than an award for those who have actually achieved some, you know, peace.

In 2007, you might remember, the committee said “By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.” Now they say:

For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

It seems the Nobel Committee really thinks the award for promoting world peace should go to itself.