Tag Archives: Nobel Peace Prize

No Peace Prize for POTUS this year

Well, there goes the Nobel Peace Prize for Donald John Trump.

Some folks had been beating the Peace Prize drum for the president on the basis of a proposed summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Then the North Korean despot began talking negatively about Donald Trump, the United States, South Korea … you name it.

Now the summit is a goner. It won’t happen as planned on June 12 in Singapore. Will it be revived? Who knows?

I was one who had some hope that it could produce a breakthrough in U.S.-North Korea relations. It won’t.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the president’s announcement that the summit had been canceled was his return to the tough-guy rhetoric that mentions the immense power of the U.S. nuclear weaponry. As CNN reported: And he renewed his boasts of America’s nuclear weapons, which he called “so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” 

Then he added this in a statement from the Roosevelt Room in the White House: “Our military, which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world — that has been greatly enhanced recently, as we all know — is ready as necessary.”

It makes me respond: Duh!

The entire world knows this already, Mr. President. Including Kim Jong Un. There was some thought expressed that Trump’s in-your-face rhetoric about the size of his nuclear arsenal brought about the prospects of the summit in the first place.

I hope we’re not headed back to Square One with Kim Jong Un.

Today, though, was a serious setback in the quest for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Peace Prize? Stop already!

Now it’s South Korean President Moon Jae-in who’s climbed aboard a bandwagon that needs to be put back in the barn.

Moon says Donald J. Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Why? His pressure on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has brought the former Little Rocket Man to his senses.

Hold on a minute! Let’s revisit another premature Peace Prize recipient.

The Trumpsters out there who read this blog will love the example. I offer former President Barack Obama for them … and the rest of you.

The Nobel committee awarded the then-brand new U.S. president the Peace Prize in 2009 even though he had just assumed his high office. The committee gave him the award on the promise that he would bring world peace.

To be totally candid, it didn’t work out that way. Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued. Other conflicts broke out in Syria and Yemen. Tensions built between Israel and Iran.

To his credit, President Obama recognized the awkwardness of the award timing when he accepted it.

I say this as a staunch admirer of Barack Obama, who I consider to be among the top tier of U.S. presidents.

As for the current president, my feelings about him are, um, radically different. I want to be fair, though, in hoping that his efforts to bring North and South Korea together do produce tangible benefit for the rest of the world.

Only then should this talk about a Peace Prize proceed.

What might happen if POTUS wins the Prize?

It’s actually kind of fun to consider what might happen if Donald John Trump wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

He’s being talked up by his political base of supporters as a Nobel Prize candidate if North and South Korea are able to forge a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War — and, oh yes, de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

My hunch is twofold. If he wins the prize, there will be end to the braggadocio that comes from the president of the United States. He’ll be more than delighted to crow until he runs out of breath about how he was the only president to accomplish it.

The second hunch is even more annoying if you can believe it.

Suppose he is nominated for the Peace Prize, but gets beat out by someone else. Maybe someone other than Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner can forge a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Maybe someone will persuade Iran to end its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

If the president is nominated, but doesn’t actually win the prize, the winner had better really and truly be the hands-down individual or group that deserves it.

If not, then we’re going to hear the Mother of All Twitter Tirades from Trump bitching about the political correctness that went into the selection. I mean, he did all that work to bring peace to Korea, even resorting to the Little Rocket Man epithet he hurled at Kim Jong Un from the United Nations lectern.

It might not get that far. The upcoming Trump-Kim summit might not produce anything. It might be a bust. I hope it works out for both nations. The bluster and bombast frighten me and I want it to end.

If the summit can bring an end to the nastiness, then perhaps the president will deserve a nomination. But … oh, brother. What would happen were he to win it or get passed over?

Let’s all stand by and hope for the best, whatever that might be.

Nobel for Trump? Not … just … yet!

They’re chanting “No-bel! No-bel! No-bel!” at a political rally in Michigan, where the president of the United States is staging a campaign rally.

Why the chant? Well, the crowd of Trumpkins thinks Donald Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize because North and South Korea’s leaders shook hands at the DMZ and promised to pledged to sign a peace treaty that ends the Korean War, where the shooting stopped in 1953.

My response? Hold the phone! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

If North Korean President Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in sign that peace treaty, if Kim Jong Un disassembles nuclear weapons, and if there is a demonstrable lessening of tension on the Korean Peninsula, then let’s consider whether the president deserves the Peace Prize.

Nothing of substance has happened. There might be nothing that will happen. The planned Kim meeting with Donald Trump still hasn’t occurred. Trump has said if it is “not fruitful,” he would walk away from the meeting with Kim.

How would that look to the Nobel committee that awards these prizes? Not well, if you ask me.

If North and South Korea strike a peace deal, if the North de-nukes the peninsula and if Kim and Trump strike a long-term agreement that leads to normalization of relations between the U.S. and the reclusive Marxist regime …

By all means, consider the president as a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. But not before.

Oh, and one more thing. If by chance Donald Trump actually is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the entire world will never hear the end of it.

Never!

Elie Wiesel: ‘Messenger to mankind’

wiesel

The Nobel Peace Prize citation said it with simple eloquence.

Elie Wiesel, the document stated, had been the “messenger to mankind.”

His message was to alert the world of the horror that occurred in Europe prior to and during World War II. The Holocaust became thrust onto the world’s conscience thanks to the Wiesel, who died today at the age of 87.

He was born in what is now Romania and became a captive of the Nazi tyrants who rounded him up and kept him captive in one of the death camps scattered throughout Europe.

That he survived Auschwitz in itself is a miracle. That he found his voice later to bring to light the horror that occurred throughout Europe is his lasting contribution to humankind.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/elie-wiesel-auschwitz-survivor-and-nobel-peace-prize-winner-dies-at-87/ar-AAhVt8M?li=BBnb7Kz

It would be Wiesel who would remind the world of a once-little-known truth. It was that the opposite of “hate” wasn’t “love,” he said. The opposite was “indifference.” Indeed, Wiesel reminded us that “indifference” was the antithesis of many human emotions, such as love and compassion.

He was courageous, scolding President Reagan for touring a cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, where many SS officers are buried. The president should be with the “victims of the SS,” Wiesel said.

President Obama paid tribute today to Wiesel: “He raised his voice, not just against anti-Semitism, but against hatred, bigotry and intolerance in all its forms,” the president said Saturday in a statement. “He implored each of us, as nations and as human beings, to do the same, to see ourselves in each other and to make real that pledge of ‘never again.’”

The world has lost a powerful and eloquence voice against evil.

May this courageous and good man rest in the eternal peace he deserves so richly.

Yes, he got the Nobel Peace Prize

obama nobel

The New York Times has posted a story that bestows a dubious legacy on President Barack Obama.

He’s about to exit the presidency after serving two full terms with the country at war.

His time in office will include more time at war than FDR, Richard Nixon, LBJ or Abraham Lincoln, the Times reports.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/us/politics/obama-as-wartime-president-has-wrestled-with-protecting-nation-and-troops.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

I doubt very much that President Obama is going to tout this legacy, particularly as he starts serious planning for his presidential library.

It brings to mind something I brought up in this blog a while back, which is his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize during the first year of his presidency.

He’ll never give it back. I’m not suggesting he should, although I did write a blog that said I wouldn’t be all that upset if he did.

Should the president return that Peace Prize?

The Nobel committee honored the then-brand-new president as a rebuke, or so it has been speculated, to his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush. The Nobel panel thought little of President Bush’s decision to go to war with Iraq and many analysts suggested that awarding Obama the Peace Prize was meant to stick it in Bush’s ear over the Iraq War.

The official reason was that the Nobel Prize committee felt Obama had the promise of bringing the world to a new era of peace.

It hasn’t happened.

Is it the president’s fault? Does he shoulder the burden of continuing conflict around the world? No.

We’re still killing terrorists. We’ve been fighting a virtual all-out war with the Islamic State, which emerged from the rubble of the Iraq War as that country established a Shiite Muslim government, which is anathema to the Sunni Muslims comprising the Islamic State.

It’s clear that Obama delivered on his pledge to end our active combat role in Iraq. The Afghan War rages on as well, with troops remaining in that theater well past the time the president had hoped to bring them home.

I remain a supporter of Barack Obama. I believe he did a masterful job of infusing aid to shore up an economy in free fall. I also believe he’s done well in developing alliances around the world.

This wartime presidential legacy, though, is one that shouldn’t make any of us proud … least of all the man whose time as leader of the Free World is about to end.

 

Should the president return that Peace Prize?

barack obama

Barack H. Obama campaigned for the presidency vowing to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His election in 2008 prompted the Nobel Committee to award him the Peace Prize the following year with the hope of a peaceful future in those two countries. The new president accepted the prize while acknowledging the unusual context in which the committee awarded it.

I never thought I’d say this, but I have to wonder if President Obama has ever considered giving the award back.

Why? Well, consider that that he vowed to end both wars. They haven’t ended. Now he’s about to commit a handful of U.S. troops into a third country to engage in the battle against the Islamic State.

Obama faces dilemma

The president recently announced that he would keep troops fighting in Afghanistan past the time he leaves office in January 2017; our commitment in Iraq remains, despite the pullout of frontline combat troops. Now this, the deployment of Special Forces to assist the Kurds fighting ISIS in northern Syria.

He took office while the country was fighting in two countries. He likely will leave office with the nation fighting in three countries.

This is not the legacy that Barack Obama ever wanted, but it’s part of the legacy he will leave the next president of the United States.

I get that circumstances have changed since he took office as the so-called “transformational” president. The Islamic State has exploded onto the scene. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has brutalized and murdered hundreds of thousands of his people. The Iraqi military has fallen far short of its mission to defend the country against Islamic State murderers. The Taliban has fought back in Afghanistan.

Yes, we killed Osama bin Laden. We’ve continued to hunt down and kill terrorists all across the Middle East and South Asia. And we’ve known all along that the Global War on Terror would not end in the conventional way, with one side signing a peace treaty to end the hostilities. We are fighting an elusive and cunning enemy.

However, all that hope that Barack Obama brought to the presidency has dissipated as he heads for the final turn of his two terms in office.

I’m not going to say President Obama should give back the Nobel Peace Prize, although I wouldn’t complain out loud if he did.

 

Malala gets justice

Malala Yousafzi has gotten the justice she deserves … I hope.

Ten men who attacked the then-15-year-old child activist were sentenced in a Pakistani court to life in prison. Malala, who suffered a grievous gunshot wound to the head has recovered.

She’s gone on with her life and, oh by the way, winning the Nobel Peace Prize this past year for her work in advancing the cause of children in her native Pakistan.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32530324

The men who attacked here were Taliban terrorists — and, yes, I’ll call them “terrorists,” even though the White House declines to use that term to describe the monstrous men who align with the Taliban.

What troubles me, though, is that a Pakistani court has convicted these men. Why the concern? Pakistan hasn’t exactly been the most reliable U.S. ally in our fight against international terrorism. The Pakistanis haven’t committed themselves fully to the fight against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State.

Remember, too, that Osama bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs in May 2011 in his compound in the middle of a major Pakistani city.

Should we expect Malala’s assailants to spend the rest of their lives in prison?

The hope is that they will. The expectation, though, well … let’s just wait and see.

Second thoughts on 'scum' comment

We’re all entitled to having second thoughts, aren’t we?

I put a tweet out there a few days ago in response to Sen. John McCain’s angry comment at protesters who were holding up signs while several former secretaries of state were testifying before McCain’s Senate Armed Services Committee.

He called them “low-life scum.” I said they were entitled to protest.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/02/01/mccain-im-still-outraged-by-kissinger-protesters-at-hearing/?tid=sm_tw

Well, McCain’s anger was justified in one important sense.

One of the former diplomats they were accosting in the hearing room was 91-year-old Henry Kissinger, who served Presidents Nixon and Ford and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Vietnam War. Also testifying with Kissinger were Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

Yes, the demonstrators had a right to protest. They should have demonstrated at least a bit of decorum and kept their distance from Kissinger, Rice and Albright. Kissinger in particular was actually threatened physically by the demonstrators, who were carrying signs that declared Kissinger to be a “war criminal.”

McCain made no apologies for his outburst. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have apologized, either.

“Of course, I was outraged, and I’m still outraged. It’s one thing to stand up and protest. It’s another to physically threaten an individual,” Chairman McCain said.

You were right to be angry, Mr. Chairman.

 

Children become Nobel focus

Children have risen to the top of the world’s attention in this quite troubling time.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work in furthering the rights of children around the world.

http://news.yahoo.com/malala-kailash-satyarthi-win-nobel-peace-prize-090630266.html

Every so often, the Nobel committee’s Peace Prize selections draw some criticism. I dare anyone to be critical of the choice made this year — not just regarding the honorees, but regarding the cause they have taken up.

Of the two, most of us know already about Malala. She’s now 17. Two years ago she was shot in the head by a Taliban terrorist simply for insisting that girls have the right to an education in her native Pakistan.

Malala has recovered — mostly — from that terrible wound. She’s written a best-selling book, “I Am Malala,” and has gone on with her life, promoting the cause of education for young girls who had been denied an education by the Taliban.

Malala is the youngest ever Peace Prize recipient.

Kids today … indeed.

Satyarthi is a 60-year-old Indian who for years has  been a champion for children’s rights. Since 1960 he has been fighting against sex slavery and child labor exploitation. He gave up a career as a mechanical engineer and is believed to have saved thousands of children from the horrors of slavery and exploitation.

The Associated Press noted the selection creates an interesting juxtaposition as well. The Peace Prize honorees are from neighboring countries that long have had tense relations, often doing battle across their common border on the Asian sub-continent.

As AP reported: “The Nobel Committee said it was an important point to reward both an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim for joining ‘in a common struggle for education and against extremism.’ The two will split the Nobel award of $1.1 million.”

The Nobel Committee has made an inspired choice.