In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings...

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Spambot5546
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In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings...

Postby Spambot5546 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:40 pm UTC

This year's Peace prize went to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the work they're doing to dismantle chemical weapons in Syria.

The topic title isn't phrased the way it is because I believe their work isn't worthwhile. It's just that two of the other top contenders were the girl who was shot in the face while sparking a movement to increase access to education for girls worldwide and a doctor who ran a clinic for rape victims in Africa, despite having been personally targeted by militants in the region. So, y'know, not to mitigate the very real impact of and dangers to the OPCW in Syria, I really don't feel like "doing your job as a weapons inspector" really compares to the others in consideration. It's a frustratingly political decision.
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Mambrino » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:05 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:This year's Peace prize went to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for the work they're doing to dismantle chemical weapons in Syria.

The topic title isn't phrased the way it is because I believe their work isn't worthwhile. It's just that two of the other top contenders were the girl who was shot in the face while sparking a movement to increase access to education for girls worldwide and a doctor who ran a clinic for rape victims in Africa, despite having been personally targeted by militants in the region. So, y'know, not to mitigate the very real impact of and dangers to the OPCW in Syria, I really don't feel like "doing your job as a weapons inspector" really compares to the others in consideration. It's a frustratingly political decision.


I think it's very traditional choice, and it also ... humours (I think that is the correct word?) Alfred Nobel's original will* quite well, better than choosing someone who has done otherwise 'something generally very nice and good' (according to the conceptions of liberal Swedish Norwegian** academics) that has been the prevailing trend lately.

*
Wikipedia wrote:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded 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."


Getting rid of the use of chemical weapons in a on-going war and also preventing its escalation into even more wider and horrible conflict (of course its quite horrible even as it is now), plus considering that UN is about the nearest thing resembling 'a peace congress' what we've got, it fits quite nicely.

**Edit. Somehow I always forget the the peace prize is awarded by Norwegians.

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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Tirian » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

I agree. The vision of the Nobel Peace Prize is to recognize those who 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." It is the more recent trends towards rewarding social or environmental activists that is the aberration*. Given Alfred Nobel's biography, I suspect he would be pleased that this year's honorees work under stressful and dangerous conditions to bring clarity to global diplomats about the proliferation and use of weapons of mass destruction.

* One might make the claim that someone like Al Gore works to prevent the post-apocalyptic wars of scarcity that will be brought on by global climate change, but even that is a shift from Nobel's vision.

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folkhero
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby folkhero » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:02 pm UTC

Does anyone else find it ironic that a recent snub for the Nobel Peace Prize is asking a former winner of the prize to please stop dropping so many bombs on people?
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Cleverbeans » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:06 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:Does anyone else find it ironic that a recent snub for the Nobel Peace Prize is asking a former winner of the prize to please stop dropping so many bombs on people?


I found it ironic that Obama won in the first place. It pretty much destroyed any perception of relevance that I once held for the Nobel Prize.
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CorruptUser
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:12 pm UTC

He was awarded the prize for the accomplishment of not being George Bush. An impressive accomplishment, considering 2 of the previous 3 presidents were George Bush.

But in all seriousness, Obama's peace prize was supposed to commemorate that the US has moved on from its racist past and was making steady progress to a more egalitarian society. The first problem was that it was the US that elected him, and rather than praising the electorate they praised him, which made little sense (organizations have won in the past). The second problem was, what if the electorate wasn't constrained by racism, but had simply decided McCain was a better candidate? Would the US be less deserving of the prize if they had indeed moved on from racism but simply decided that the white guy just happened to be the better choice?

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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby charliepanayi » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:20 pm UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:
folkhero wrote:Does anyone else find it ironic that a recent snub for the Nobel Peace Prize is asking a former winner of the prize to please stop dropping so many bombs on people?


I found it ironic that Obama won in the first place. It pretty much destroyed any perception of relevance that I once held for the Nobel Prize.


That ship sailed a few decades earlier when Henry Kissinger won.
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Soralin » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:19 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:He was awarded the prize for the accomplishment of not being George Bush. An impressive accomplishment, considering 2 of the previous 3 presidents were George Bush.

But in all seriousness, Obama's peace prize was supposed to commemorate that the US has moved on from its racist past and was making steady progress to a more egalitarian society. The first problem was that it was the US that elected him, and rather than praising the electorate they praised him, which made little sense (organizations have won in the past). The second problem was, what if the electorate wasn't constrained by racism, but had simply decided McCain was a better candidate? Would the US be less deserving of the prize if they had indeed moved on from racism but simply decided that the white guy just happened to be the better choice?

Officially, it was awarded for his work on nuclear disarmament. Although all the stuff you mention probably had some effect on the votes of the Nobel committee.

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LaserGuy
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:28 am UTC

I've always felt that the biggest problem with the Peace Prize is that it reflects contemporary events rather than past ones. If the Peace Prize was awarded in a similar way to most of the other prizes, where you could see, ten, twenty years down the road, how that person or group's actions actually affected world peace, it might be more credible.

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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Diadem » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:34 am UTC

charliepanayi wrote:That ship sailed a few decades earlier when Henry Kissinger won.

Or when Arafat won. Or when De Klerk won, or when Mother Theresa won. Or more recently when Al Gore won. I could go on. One could also argue it lost its relevancy when Gandhi failed to win. Either way, the peace prize really can't be taken seriously.
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Alexius » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:57 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
charliepanayi wrote:That ship sailed a few decades earlier when Henry Kissinger won.

Or when Arafat won. Or when De Klerk won, or when Mother Theresa won. Or more recently when Al Gore won. I could go on. One could also argue it lost its relevancy when Gandhi failed to win. Either way, the peace prize really can't be taken seriously.

Gandhi failed to win due to being dead. The 1948 Prize, which he would almost certainly have one, was "not awarded due to lack of a suitable candidate".

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CorruptUser
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:07 pm UTC

Depending whom you ask, Nelson Mandela. People tend to gloss over that he was head of the ARMED portion of the Umkonto Ze. The ones that admit it, claim he 'intentionally tried to minimize casualties' when he was bombing police stations and so forth, never mind that attacking an empty building is safer. If he he did what he did at the time in the US, he would've been executed.

I dont know whether that says more about how awful the US was or if comparing Jim Crow to Apartheid is an exaggeration. Mandela's goals were good, and it's really not fair for me to say 'oh well he should've done XYZ' when it wasn't my neck in the noose. Just that he was NOT the South African Ghandi.

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Mauthe Dhoo
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Mauthe Dhoo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:58 pm UTC

So, what I'm getting from the latter half of this thread is that the Nobel Peace Prize has become irrelevant because the selections are controversial? Because when it comes to internationally-known advocates who take sides in complicated conflicts, we should definitely expect the prize to go to the one perfect person who totally exists every year.

The first two winners were Henry Dunant, a founder of the ICRC, and Frédéric Passy, who ran international peace conferences. At the time, people derided the choice of the former because the ICRC was seen as justifying war by establishing a system to repair its consequences. The prize has always been debatable. That's kind of the point. I somewhat agree with the sentiment behind LaserGuy's idea about awarding it 10 years later, but honestly do we really think that would make it an easier decision?

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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:28 pm UTC

I do, yeah. If despite the person's actions, war/conflict still totally kept going, then they shouldn't deserve the prize.

For example, Obama's election might deserve some kind of "World Equality Prize", but definitely not a Peace one. He is not a peacemaker.
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

Neither was MLK or Ghandi. What wars did they end?

The Peace Prize is really a humanitarian thing. If you end systematic suffering by huge swaths of a population, you earn the prize, even if few were directly being killed.

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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby KrytenKoro » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:43 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Neither was MLK or Ghandi. What wars did they end?

The Peace Prize is really a humanitarian thing. If you end systematic suffering by huge swaths of a population, you earn the prize, even if few were directly being killed.

Sure, but Obama didn't do that either. He's not an awful president, but he hasn't accomplished much in the way of easing systematic suffering, or doing anything but being a thoroughly normal president.
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Re: In continuing the trend of moronic peace prize awardings

Postby Mauthe Dhoo » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:42 pm UTC

Obama was singled out for his policy prioritization early on of promoting nuclear disarmament. From the beginning of his presidency his stance on nukes represented a significant change in American policy and it was hoped that it would grant considerable momentum to disarmament globally. The prize committee explicitly intended to help his momentum on that front by giving him the award early on in his term, and it wasn't the first time they tried to use the name of the prize to bolster a particular ongoing movement. (source)

They could certainly have used similar reasoning to give the award to Malala Yousafzai. She is an advocate for non-violent reform and her mission for education would support the prize's ideals. Likewise, it'd be hard to argue that the OPCW was not also a very good candidate.


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