When the Nobel Prize committee in Oslo awarded the Peace Prize in 2009 to Barack Obama most observers were shocked about its inappropriate spontaneity. The Committee’s chairman Thorbjørn Jagland had apparently waived all 205 official nominations. Only the Committee can additionally nominate an individual after the deadline of February 1. Then, Obama had been ten days in office. The young president got the most important award after the deadline for nomination after he had delivered a couple of speeches in certain symbol-laden locations including Cairo where he had addressed the Muslim world. When the so-called Arab Spring, now a complete failure, broke out not even two years later after people had become impatient with Obama’s premature demands and empty promises, the president and his administration was long undetermined whether decade-long Egyptian dictator Husni Mubarak should be sacrificed. What followed was Obama’s drone war, his disposition matrix (a true Orwellian term), relentless prosecution of whistle-blowers and harrassing journalists, total surveillance; Obama’s new Cold War with Russia after attempts to meddle in the Ukraine were intercepted by Russia’s Vladimir Putin; Obama’s “strategy” of fighting jihadist Islamists in the chaos Americans and the “Coalition of the Willing” have left behind in Iraq. And now endless war against what is ill-defined “terrorism”.
Three years after Obama, Thorbjørn Jagland and his Nobel Prize Committee nominated the European Union, another highly questionable choice. The main reason, one may speculate, was to prevent discredited, due to his leading role in his party’s finance scandal of 1999, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (“Kanzler der Einheit”) once and forever from being nominated again after having been on the list for 20 years.
In 2013, Jagland again waived all nominations and apparently had just read in the news that there was an Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which might be awarded after Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad had agreed to join the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
Now, who will be the Peace laureate this year, announced after tomorrow? Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Noam Chomsky? Certainly not. Malala Yousafzai? Well, it might be. In the absence of any other suitable candidate, Jagland may recall last year’s favorite.
8 October 2014 @ 6:10 pm.
Last modified October 9, 2014.