George W. Bush and Tony Blair – that is, if the Nobel Peace Price committee actually follows the advice of
„Jan Simonsen, formerly from the Progress Party, (now an independent MP), [who] have proposed George W. Bush and Tony Blair as candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, following the successful war on Iraq“
as Bjorn Staerk tells us today. While he realizes that giving the two politicians the price would infringe its fundamental idea, he argues that this has become a practice in recent years anyway – just why did Jimmy Carter in 2002? And he continues –
„[s]o, why not use it to send a different signal alltogether? Why not use it to send the signal that the efforts Bush and Blair have made – against the high-pitched protests of the ‚world‘ – were appreciated by at least some of us? Why not balance the usual message that talk solves everything with the often proved idea that force is a good second resort?“
Well, I would say that being appreciated by some implies that their policy has been rejected by many, which is usually not the way to win a world-wide competition. But Bjorn’s second argument is quite interesting, in my opinion. In general as well as, I think, in the case at hand.
Making peace sometimes does require violence. Even the staunchest opponents of last months war in Iraq accepted that – so yes, why not award a Nobel Peace Prce to someone who employed violence for the greater good of mankind? I have no objections to this in general. In fact, could such a case be made one day, I would happily support it. Why not give it to the international troops that forcefully ensure peace around Kabul, help the Afghan government trying to negotiate with the warlords out in the country and thus aid in ending a decade old civil war?
But as far as Iraq is concerned I am not at all with Bjorn. Certainly not for the time being. Should the project of a „Middle Eastern Pax Americana“ turn out to foster modernizsation instead of ethnic conflict and religious fundamentalism in the region – and, yes, to a certain extent this also applies to the fundamentalist factions of the Israeli society – I would be willing to give the credit to those who pursued it, even though they had to trick their own people by exaggerating the risk posed by a specific regime, and even though they had been closely affiliated to private enterprises that benefit significantly from the military action they pursued.
But let’s face it: It is far too early to tell. Maybe in 15 years we will be able to tell if this war was not just one useful in geo-strategic terms, but also one worthy of a Nobel Peace Price.