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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/5/18

The Politics of Nobel Peace Prize Take Two

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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A group of 18 GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana, have formally nominated President Donald Trump for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his work toward peace in the Korean Peninsula.

The nomination letter states that President Trump has worked "tirelessly to apply maximum pressure to North Korea to end its illicit weapons programs and bring peace to the region.

"His Administration successfully united the international community, including China, to impose one of the most successful international sanctions regimes in history," the letter says. "The sanctions have decimated the North Korean economy and have been largely credited for bringing North Korea to the negotiating table.

"Although North Korea has evaded demands from the international community to cease its aggression for decades, President Trump's peace through strength policies are working and bringing peace to the Korean peninsula," the letter reads. "We can think of no one more deserving of the Committee's recognition in 2019 than President Trump for his tireless work to bring peace to our world.

"The peace through strength approach to national security is delivering results, not just in North Korea," Messer said. "ISIS is on the run and I think the world is waking up to the fact that there's a new sheriff in town and the world's most important leader today is Donald Trump."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also offered his possible support for a Trump Nobel prize on Sunday, saying on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures" that if things work out, Trump deserves the award.

"President Trump, if he can lead us to ending the Korean War after 70 years and getting North Korea to give up their nuclear program in a verifiable way deserves the Nobel Peace Prize and then some," Graham said.

This is the second time Trump is nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. In February 2016, the French news agency quoted Kristian Berg Harpviken, the director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, as saying that the Nobel committee received a letter nominating Trump for his "vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China."

Not surprisingly, the Nobel Peace Prize has always been a political tool used by the West to promote its political objectives. The Nobel Peace Prize has, more often than not, raised eyebrows and created controversies. The politics of the Nobel Peace Prize have been described as tragic, outrageous and sometimes cringe-worthy. While meant to recognize those whose work has greatly benefited or contributed to the advancement and unity of mankind, the Nobel Peace Prize has sometimes been given to those with violent pasts or who have been exposed for lying in the so-called factual work that earned them the award. In recent years the Nobel prize committee has made some controversial decision on those who were awarded the peace prize.

Here are some controversial awards:

In 2010, the Norwegian committee gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident and political prisoner Lu Xiaobo. An enraged Chinese government snapped political and economic ties with Norway. Norway could only restore relations in 2014, when the government refused to meet the Dalai Lama who was visiting the country.

President Barrack Obama was given Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 just nine months into office. Much of the surprise arose from the fact that nominations for the award had been due by February 1, 2009, only 12 days after Obama took office.

Former Vice President Al Gore won the Peace Prize in 2007 for creating a documentary to popularize environmentalist views. This prize had nothing to do with the establishment or seeking of peace, again it was an attempt to promote a viewpoint unconnected to peace.

The Dalai Lama won in 1989 for being a Tibetan exile, which has nothing to do with seeking to establish peace. Again, we see the same pattern: The peace prize was given as a sign of friendship, not as an acknowledgement of real work on the part of the recipient to promote peace.

In 1973, Henry Kissinger was given the Peace Prize with North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho. Le Duc Tho rejected the award, given for the pair's peace work in South Vietnam, because he felt that peace had not yet been achieved in the area. Kissinger, President Nixon's Secretary of State, accepted the award, but many felt that it should never have been offered to him in the first place. There were two reasons for this controversy: Kissinger was accused of war crimes for his assistance in America's secret bombing of Cambodia from 1969-1975, as well as for helping to contribute arms to South American dictators who would slaughter thousands of people during the terror campaign Operation Condor. Two Norwegian Nobel Committee members resigned to protest Kissinger's win.

In 1945, Secretary of State Cordell Hull was awarded peace prize for his prominent role in the creation of the United Nations, his peace efforts, and his trade agreements. But many felt he was undeserving of the award because his callous anti-immigration stance only years earlier meant almost 1,000 Jewish refugees were denied asylum. In 1939, the SS St. Louis attempted to carry 950 Jewish refugees from Hamburg to America in order to avoid the impending Holocaust. Although President Franklin D. Roosevelt seemed in favor of this action, it was largely due to Cordell Hull's advice, and the opposition of Southern Democrats, that the ship was turned away and forced to return to Germany, where many of the refugees suffered torture and death at the hands of Hitler's Nazis.

The 1918 Nobel Peace Prize winner was Fritz Haber, awarded for his significant discoveries in chemistry, specifically his discovery of a method to synthesize ammonia from its elements, something that was sought after for over 100 years prior to Haber's solution. The controversy surrounding Haber's win lies in his past. Haber was the director of the Institute for Physical Chemistry when it was making poisonous chlorine gas. Besides assisting in the development of the poison, which would go on to kill over 1.3 million people in World War I, Haber vehemently lobbied for its usage.

Tellingly, the process for Nobel Prize nominations and selections is secretive and has been so since the prize's inception in 1901. The names of the nominees and any information about how the winners were selected cannot be revealed for 50 years.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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