Of all the Nobel Prizes that are awarded, the one that is the most debased and devalued is the Nobel Peace Prize. Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho of Vietnam were offered the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for a peace plan that resulted in South Vietnam being overrun, tens of thousands of political prisoners, and thousands of ethnic Chinese being forced to flee Vietnam after it fell under complete communist control. At least le Duc Tho had the decency to decline the prize.
Jimmy Carter plunged the Nobel Peace Prize further down the toilet when he accepted it in 2002 “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development”.
So he tried. Why ain’t that special…
Barack Obama snagged the prize fr promising to make the world a better place when he became President. I promise to make the world a better place. Can I have a prize too?
Everyone agrees that John Kerry really, really wants a Nobel Peace prize. Even his opponents agree that he deserves it as much as Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. And he certainly deserves it more than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pol Pot and Jeffrey Dahmer. Ok, he looks a little militaristic when he’s saluting, but we can overlook that.
It’s one thing to give a restaurant a five-star review the morning after a great meal. But what about a car? Don’t you want to drive it for a week to make sure you have seen its performance range? Kissinger and Le Duc Tho got a Nobel Peace Prize for a peace plan that was dead in the water two years later. Carter and Obama got prizes for effort, and for visualising world peace. Maybe we should wait a little longer before we give out this award. If a peace agreement is still going strong after ten years, maybe it is a good one. But what about a war-torn region that remains war-torn, or a war zone in which one of the warring parties no longer exists?
There should be a 15 year waiting period for a Nobel Prize. Here’s how it should work. Let’s say you want to nominate John Kerry for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on a Middle East Peace Plan. First, there should be a concrete treaty, like the one that Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler had in 1939, in which Chamberlain had a piece of paper from “Herr Hitler”. If Kerry is nominated today, he would be eligible for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2029, when he will turn 86. If his peace plan looks better after 15 years than the one between Hitler and Chamberlain, then there would be a general consensus that he would deserve such recognition. Along with politically biased judges, maybe time should render its verdict as well on the matter of who is a peace maker.
I am sure that such a selfless public servant as Kerry wouldn’t mind waiting until he is 86 for a Nobel Peace Prize. And I’m sure that Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, would want it that way as well.