| by Yasmeen Ali
( February 27, Lahore, Sri Lanka Guardian) Alfred Nobel must be turning in his grave. In 1895, he left the largest share of his fortune, to a series of prizes, the Nobel Prizes.
On Peace Prizes, as described in Nobel’s will, one part was dedicated to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.
According to the Nobelprize.Org, “92 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on 19 occasions: in 1914-1918, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1939- 1943, 1948, 1955-1956, 1966-1967 and 1972.
Why were the Peace Prizes not awarded in those years? In the statutes of the Nobel Foundation it says: “If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation’s restricted funds.” During World War I and II, fewer Nobel Prizes were awarded.” ( more )
So what exactly did Obama achieve to earn the award being only 12 days in office as President? Obama had not been mentioned as among front-runners for the prize, and his winning the prestigious award left the world gasping.” The Nobel committee recognized Obama’s efforts at dialogue to solve complex global problems, including working toward a world free of nuclear weapons”.(more).
Invasion of Libya, by US under Obama, do not sound as dialogue to me. Amy Goodman, stated, in an interview dated March 2nd, 2007, that US must “take out” 7 countries in the next five years, this included Libya and Syria. Clearly, Obama follows the same line of action. ( more)
On January 22nd, 2009, Obama issued three executive orders. This was a day after his inauguration. One dealt with closing of Guantanamo Bay(which merrily continues playing it’s torture games to date).This was loudly touted as a promise in his election campaign too. The other was to wind up war in Afghanistan as soon as possible and “bring the boys home”. After 4 years of being in office, the election claims remain just that: empty claims, showing not an inch forward in terms of delivering.
“The boys” never went home. Not from Afghanistan. Timeline of 2014 has been given for withdrawal of combat troops, training forces will stay on. Meanwhile, besides the killing spree, US soldiers are involved in rape cases. Quoting one case only, daughter of an Afghan politician died owing to multiple injuries & rape in the hands of American soldiers stationed in Afghanistan’s southwestern province of Farah.
Not only this, but blundering and blasting through a lose cannon, Obama has made sure to destroy relations with the Muslim world. Ranging from drone attacks to burning Quran to trying to overturn the sovereignty of Pakistan by Congress Meeting ,Congress Members openly supporting Independent Baluchistan, every step is wrong, wrong, wrong!
Sanjeev Miglani, in his article,” Culture Wars: Burning of the Quran”, quotes Martine van Bijlert ,” Eleven years into the war in Afghanistan, interspersed by the invasion of Iraq, you would expect the world’s most advanced and, according to some, the most moral force, to have picked up the most basic of do’s and don’ts while operating in a Muslim country.”The desecration of the a Quran to many Afghans is even more emotive than civilian casualties or disrespect towards dead bodies and there is more social pressure to react”. http://blogs.reuters.com/pakistan/
The drones have killed more civilians; innocent men, women & children than the bad guys! According to a report released in October 2011, between 386 and 775 civilians, including 173 children, were killed in the 300 drone attacks since June 17, 2004. The report says between 1,141 and 1,225 persons were injured. ““The US covert drone war in Pakistan reached a new milestone with the 300th attack on alleged militants in the country’s tribal areas,” says the opening of the report, adding that the attack by the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) is the fourth in North and South Waziristan in 48 hours. Of the 300 drone strikes since June 17, 2004, it says, 248 occurred during President Barack Obama’s first three years, rising to a frequency of almost one strike every four days.”
And I’m not talking of Killer Drones in Afghanistan yet!
No one has ever been stripped of the Nobel Prize once awarded. This is expressly been forbidden by the organization. However, there have been calls to do this in case of Obama. After the Obama Administration attacked Libya, the Russian leader & Vice-Chairman of the State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky & the Bolivian President launched a campaign to do just that.
Not even touching the tip of the iceberg, does this picture reflect the actions of the Head of a State that has World Peace through dialogue dear to his heart?
The Peace Prize cannot be stripped.
Can it be declared “suspended”? If yes, the Nobel Committee must think about it.
(The writer is a lawyer & professor in a Lahore based University. She may be reached on: email@example.com).