The Hasty And Ill-conceived Decision to Award U.S. President Barack Obama

University of Umeå professor of Sociology Stefan Svallfors’ remark to the Nobel Peace Prize committee in Oslo today when justifying his nomination of Edward Snowden may be true. But will it be of any advantage? All three, Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange (they have been nominated for three successive years now), as well as Snowden of course, deserve the prize which has been so much discredited for decades, at least since it was awarded to Henry Kissinger in 1974 and recently to the European Union. Obama was another outright wrong choice (and maybe one of the more spectacular ones) already in 2009 when he had taken all of us in with his verbose speeches.

By mentioning that mistake he will probably prevent chairman Thorbjørn Jagland and his committee from even considering him (or them).

Here is Svallfors’ letter in translation.

“Best committee members!

I suggest that the 2013 Peace Prize awarded to the American citizen Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden has – in a heroic effort at great personal cost – revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance, the U.S. government devotes electronic communications worldwide. By putting light on this monitoring program – conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements – Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer.

Through his personal efforts, he has also shown that individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms. This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945 has been clear that the slogan “I was just following orders” is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms. Despite this, it is very rare that individual citizens having the insight of their personal responsibility and courage Edward Snowden shown in his revelation of the American surveillance program. For this reason, he is a highly affordable candidate.

The decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would – in addition to being well justified in itself – also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award U.S. President Barack Obama 2009 award. It would show its willingness to stand up in defense of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defense be viewed with disfavor by the world’s dominant military power.

Sincerely,

Stefan Svallfors

Professor of Sociology at Umeå University”

Snowden’s situation in the transit area of an airport in Moscow seems to be quite desperate. He has just applied for temporary asylum in Russia. Sort of the goose asking the fox for shelter.

16 July 2013 @ 2:46 pm.

Last modified July 16, 2013.

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