News Release

Will the Nobel Peace Prize Actually be Given to a “Champion of Peace”?

FREDRIK HEFFERMEHL, fredpax at online.no
Author of The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted, Heffermehl, said today: “The Norwegian Nobel Committee pretends it pays attention to what Alfred Nobel stated about who should get the Peace Prize, but it’s not legally sound — it’s simply pretend.” Heffermehl’s views are summarized in the recent piece “Save the Nobel Peace Prize from Itself.” 

JOHN Y. JONES, jones at networkers.org
Jones is with Networkers SouthNorth. He said today: “On Friday, 11 am CET [Oslo time; 5 a.m. U.S. ET], Torbjorn Jagland, the chair of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Committee, will announce the 2013 winner from a record high 259 candidates. During the last two decades the world has witnessed a vicious series of aggressive wars, unlawful jails, assassinations, torture, ignoring of human rights violations and increased suppression of peoples and nations, land theft, and unprecedented developing of the superpowers’ killing capacities that increasingly target civilians. Peace has been the prime victim like never before. The Nobel committee cannot miss: World leaders are lining up in front of the committee like villains caught red-handed to be disclosed, ridiculed and punished through the committee’s decision. Will the Nobel Committee deliver this time?”

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at gmail.com, @normansolomon
Solomon just wrote the piece “Here Comes the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, Dragging a Broken Moral Compass,” which states: “The announcement of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, set for October 11, is sure to make big news. The prize remains the most prestigious in the world. But the award has fallen into an evasive pattern, ignoring the USA’s continuous ‘war on terror’ and even giving it tacit support.

“In his 1895 will, the dynamite inventor and ammunition magnate Alfred Nobel specified that Norway’s parliament should elect a five-member committee for awarding the prize to ‘champions of peace.’ Yet the list of recent Nobel peace laureates is notably short on such champions. Instead, the erstwhile politicians on the Norwegian Nobel Committee have largely bypassed the original purpose of the prize.

“Despite all its claims of independence, the Oslo-based Nobel Committee is enmeshed in Norwegian politics. The global prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize has obscured the reality that its selection committee is chosen by leaders of Norway’s main political parties — and, as a member of NATO, Norway is deeply entangled in the military alliance.

“When the Nobel Peace Prize went to President Obama in 2009, he was in the midst of drastically escalating the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, in tandem with the rest of NATO. The same prize went to the European Union in 2012, a year after many of its member states intervened with military force in Libya. On both occasions, in effect, the Nobel Committee bestowed a ‘good war-making seal of approval.’

“Since 2001, the Nobel Peace Prize has been on a prolonged detour around the U.S. government’s far-flung warfare, declining to honor anyone who had challenged any of it anywhere in the world. But the Nobel Committee has done more than just ignore peace activism seeking to stop U.S.-led war efforts. By giving the Peace Prize to Obama and the E.U., the committee has implicitly endorsed those military efforts as part of a rhetorical process that conflates war-making with peace-making. Orwell’s 1984 specter of ‘War Is Peace’ looms uncomfortably large.”

“At times, the Peace Prize has earned goodwill in NGO circles by honoring humanitarian work that is laudable but not directly related to peace. …”

Solomon is founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. His is the co-founder of RootsAction.org.