The Nobel Committee and Its Orwellian Peace Prize

Norway’s Nobel Committee added yet another absurd pick to its long list of politicized and shameful Peace Prize awards. Giving the prize to the disintegrating European Union is not as despicable as giving it to the bloodstained terrorist Yasser Arafat, or as laughably naive as bestowing it on the communist fraud Rigoberta Menchú. But awarding it to the E.U. is yet again a mark of the Committee’s long commitment to the questionable and serially unsuccessful notion of internationalist idealism, and its corollary disdain for national loyalties and interests.

The Nobel Peace Prize for most of its existence has favored the idealistic internationalism that believes international law, trans-national organizations, and diplomatic “engagement” can create peace and order and replace national self-interests and the use of force to maintain global order and stop aggression. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson won the prize for creating the serially impotent League of Nations, and for the next three years, the Prize was awarded to people connected with the League. In 1925, England’s Austen Chamberlain won for signing the Locarno Treaty, along with England, Italy, Belgium, and Germany, claiming it would “close the war chapter and start Europe afresh.” A New York Times headline celebrated, “France and Germany Ban War Forever.” In 1926, the Prize went to Aristide Briand, the French Prime Minister, who also had signed Locarno. In 1929, United States Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg won the Peace Prize for co-authoring, along with Aristide Briand, the Kellogg-Briand Pact. By the terms of this agreement, the contracting parties “condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another,” and “agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts . . . shall never be sought except by pacific means.” Forty-nine nations signed it, including the future Axis aggressors Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Anyone familiar with the history of the low, dishonest decade following the Kellogg-Briand Pact’s “outlawing” of war knows that all these idealistic agreements did nothing to stop the relentless march to world war facilitated by those appeasers in the West who believed such diplomatic magical thinking could be effective against aggressors’ willingness to use violence to achieve their aims.

Yet such failures have not deterred the Nobel Committee from continuing to reward internationalist delusions. The 2009 prize was awarded to Barack Obama not for accomplishing anything, but “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” the Committee announced. “Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.” A mere 3 years later, the abject failure of Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world, his “reset” with Russia, his empowerment of the jihadist Muslim Brothers in Egypt, and his “extended hand” to Iran’s genocidal mullahs have yet again revealed the dangers of idealistic internationalism.

The corollary of internationalism is a profound distrust of sovereign nation-states with their parochial interests and exclusionary identities. Misinterpreting history, the internationalists blamed the Great War on nationalist loyalties and national sovereignty, and thought the answer was some form of “world government,” or at least a “world parliament” like the League of Nations. Woodrow Wilson expressed this faith when he said in 1917, “National purposes have fallen more and more into the background; and the common purpose of enlightened mankind has taken their place.” Even the failure of the League, however, didn’t prevent the creation of the U.N. after World War II.

Since then, the U.N. has functioned as nothing more than the creature of the nationalist interests of member states, particularly those hostile to the interests of the United States. And it has failed abjectly at its mission to stop war and crimes against humanity, from Sudan to Kosovo and now Syria. No matter: in 2001 the Committee awarded the prize to the U.N. and Secretary General Kofi Annan “for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world.” The U.N.’s failure has reflected the failed philosophy of idealistic internationalism that created it, and the reason for that failure is obvious: despite all of internationalism’s wish-fulfilling fantasies, nations continue to see their identities and particular interests as reflections of their own unique cultures, not some imaginary global “common purpose” or identity.

Given this history, awarding the Peace Prize to the E.U. because it has “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe,” as the Committee said, makes perfect sense, though it conveniently ignores the role of American money and military power in achieving those boons. The E.U was created out of the same mistaken notion that national loyalties and interests had caused all the misery and wars of the previous century. By more closely joining European nations, especially France and Germany, with a common currency, common laws, an E.U. court and parliament, and closer economic integration, these selfish interests and nationalist loyalties could be diminished and their malign effects minimized.

The Eurozone’s financial meltdown has exploded that ideal, unleashing long-simmering nationalist hatreds and resentments, as Angela Merkel learned firsthand when she was met in Athens with protestors greeting her with the Nazi salute. Nor are most thrifty, hard-working Germans happy about subsidizing the dolce vita lifestyle of spendthrift Mediterranean countries. The foundational dream of the E.U. is awakening to the reality of national differences, yet the Nobel Committee––from a country that has twice rejected joining the E.U.––could not overcome its long love affair with trans-national government and idealistic internationalism, both predicated on a dislike of nations that pursue their own interests.

That commitment to internationalism and disdain for national loyalty and interests is why in 2002 the Nobel Committee awarded the prize to Jimmy Carter. Though ostensibly awarded “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts,” the perennial Nobel highest good, the award was announced about the time the U.S. Congress authorized the war in Iraq. It also didn’t hurt that Carter had been a vocal critic of George Bush. With this award the Committee expressed its traditional preference for internationalism and diplomacy. But it also signaled its distaste for nations that believe their own interests and security sometimes will be pursued by force, and that decide the choice is ultimately theirs to make. So too with Al Gore’s 2007 prize for his advocacy on global warming. That choice was another rebuke of the United States, this time for rejecting the Kyoto Treaty and thus refusing to pass legislation that would have seriously damaged America’s economy and subordinated its own interests to those of the “international community.” The Committee likes only those Americans who criticize their own country and are happy to cede sovereignty to international institutions. What else explains the absurdity of awarding Mikhail Gorbachev the Prize in 1990 and ignoring Ronald Reagan, the real architect of bringing down the Soviet Union?

Giving the Peace Prize to the E.U. is yet another nail in the coffin of Nobel credibility. The delusions of idealistic internationalism and diplomacy that dominate the Committee’s ideology––and that underlie Barack Obama’s foreign policy–– have been exposed over and over for more than a century. We are witnessing its dangers right now in the Middle East, where Iran relentlessly marches towards a nuclear weapon, Egypt is morphing into another Islamist state, a Libya liberated by the West swarms with terrorist militias, and the civil war in Syria is breeding another generation of battle-seasoned jihadists. And though the E.U. is unlikely to descend into such Darwinian violence, its further disintegration could very likely lead to civic disorder and the empowerment of extremist political parties. Its long history of failure makes “Nobel Peace Prize” an Orwellian name.

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  • harrylies

    The Nobel went to Motherr Teresa, a woman Christiper Hithens called an enemy of the poor. It went to Martin Luther King Jr., who felt that the Founding Fathers were wrong to support slavery. If they were alive, you'd write about them the same as Obama.

    The EU is not perfect. Note they did not give it for economics, but it means American boys are not going to die in places you couldn't find on a map. The EU means that the borders between Germany and France and Gerrmany and Poland are like California and Nevada.

    The EU is a compact of 27 countries. Next year, it will be 28 (Croatia), just like the US is a compact of 50 States, and for instance, no State can deny black people services. In spite of Barry Goldwater. Remember how Robert Lee was so full of hate for America, he killed thousands of people, many just boys, untillhe surrendered.

    • Omar

      First of all, the Founding Fathers did not support slavery. Despite owning slaves themselves, they set America on a path to gradually abolish slavery. Benjamin Franklin founded one of the first abolitionist organizations, even before the Declaration of Independence. In fact, Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration of Independence said that people were equal regardless of race and that slavery was immoral, but Jefferson had to edit that out in order to get Southern support for the war against the British. The so-called 3/5 clause was a defeat for the slaveholding South because it limited the southern states' representation in the House of Representatives. After the Civil War, the 3/5 clause was abolished, since slavery was abolished with the 13th Amendment. The Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. King was based on the principles of the Declaration of Independence ("all men are created equal") and American democracy. The reason there was so much controversy surrounding Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize is because he was nominated for the prize only 12 days after being sworn-in as President of the United States. Other than being elected president, Obama didn't accomplish much in the world at that time in early 2009. Therefore, it was ridiculous to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize almost immediately after being sworn in. As for Barry Goldwater, he desegregated the Arizona National Guard before Harry Truman desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces. He also supported civil rights legislation during the Eisenhower years. While Goldwater did vote no on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he did so mainly for reasons of small government, not for race relations at all. There is almost nothing more ridiculous and annoying than to re-write history, and that was what you did, harrylies. Quit repeating propaganda and learn from the truth.

    • UCSPanther

      Yet another smug and stupid European who believes in an illusion of moral superiority.

      You clowns not only have a history of colonialism, but did it in a way that made the British look like saints in their treatment of indigenous populations. King Leopold II of Belgium was a prime example.

      Pot, meet kettle.

    • MaryS, CA

      After seeing the the Nobel Peace Prize went to the E.U. it becomes a joke, are they going to divey it up to all the residents of the E.U. …? who gets the money? what a joke the next thing you will hear is that they give the Nobel Peace Prize to Osama Bin Laden after death and burial at sea…they have lost all credibility but then they did that when they gave it to Jimmy Carter. What a joke. I always thought the Norwegians
      had some brains but I guess the lack of sunshine up in the north country, too much fish, who knows, it's still a joke. MaryS, CA

      • Stale Urbye

        As a Norwegian I must say that Norwegians in general are quite operative intellectually, but the problem is that a moron is heading the Nobel Price Committee. He is a kind of Norwegian answer to Alfred E. Neuman, and whereever he appears he has stupid comments and is making gross mistakes.

  • Alexander Gofen

    No surprise. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee in itself is a department of the One-Socialist-World-Order cabal.

    In its time, the very emergence of the Nobel institutions exemplified the triumph and absolute superiority of the Judeo-Christian civilization over anything ever existing in the world. However the "socialist international" was also an exceptional achievement of the West. This "achievement" infected the West so much, that the course was set for demise of the West. The goal is almost reached…

  • Kostoglotov

    The immigration policies supported and promoted by the EU are directly responsible for plunging Europe into the greatest crime epidemic since WWII. The victims of this number in the tens of thousands.

    These immigration policies have also created hundreds of violent ghettos throughout Europe; burdened European societies with huge numbers of unassimiable Muslim immigrants who consume billions in social benefits n turned formerly peaceful Sweden into the rape capital of Europe, among many other crises.

    Like most actions of left-over 70s lefties, awarding the EU a Nobel peace prize is inexplicable and insane. If anything, EU leadership should be prosecuted and imprisoned for crimes against humanity.

    • mlcblog

      It's all there in Proverbs. They gloat and congratulate themselves, or is it written somewhere else in history?

  • A Conservative

    Possible candidates for Nobel Peace Prize 2013? CAIR for combating hatred towards Muslims, Muhammad Mursi for democracy in Egypt, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright for promoting the rights of Blacks, Hamas for not firing rockets at Israel for 1 day, Feisal Abdul Rauf for building bridges, Occupy Movement….(the list goes on)

    Let's not forget that the Nobel foundation is located in Norway, every Socialist's/Liberal's/Multiculturalist's utopia, where criticism of Islam is classified as a racist offense, Muslim mobs call to behead anyone who insults the Muhammad and anyone who is successful is penalised. The EU winning the Nobel Prize for peace? Birds of the same feather flock together.

  • Omar

    Good article, Mr. Thornton, but I have a question for you. Why do you insist on calling the United Kingdom "England"? England is not a country and hasn't been since 1707, when the Acts of Union with Scotland was signed (leading to the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain). We all know that the UK consists of four main internal divisions (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) plus other islands and territories under British sovereignty. Calling the UK "England" is offensive to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Here is the link to the Acts of Union:
    Bottom line, the United Kingdom (or Britain) is one country, not four.

    • Roger Cole

      England certainly is a country, and soon will hopefully be rid of its obligation to support the perpetually insolvent Scotland, at least. You mean England is not the U.K. It certainly isn't..

      • Omar

        Well, no. England is not a country and hasn't been a country since 1707. when England and Scotland merged to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the previously separate kingdoms gave up their own sovereignty to form a new, sovereign country. You can learn more about the qualifications for being a country from Matt Rosenberg's Geography pages:… Why England is not a country:… and why Scotland is not a country:
        The main point is that England and the United Kingdom are not interchangable. The UK is the sovereign country. England (along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) is part of the UK.

  • Schlomotion

    I agree with this article, but is there not a conundrum here? Did people cheer the collapse of the USSR? Did they cheer the collapse of Iraq? Don't people eagerly drool for the hacking apart of Iran? Don't people love when countries are dismembered? Wouldn't someone offer a Peace Prize to Ahmadinejad if he disbanded his country? How is this different from the Nobel Prize? Another question: do people not deserve prizes for trying, only for winning? Aren't there some competitions in which the prize is an 180-way Nash Equilibrium? Are we to believe that someone like Mikhail Khodorkofsky who walked away with all of Russian Oil in his pocket is a hero of the Disintegration? Do the Guantanamo Bay wardens deserve the Peace Prize for finding out who the terrorists are through torture? Does the Peace Prize go to Redflex Technologies for installing surveillance cameras all over the United States? Does the Carlyle Group deserve the Peace Prize for trying but failing to buy out Redflex Technologies and put the national surveillance system under Bush's control in 2011?

    • Omar

      In a truly moral world, Ahmadinejad wouldn't even be considered at all for nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize because of his endless rantings about denying the Holocaust and calling for the destruction of Israel. Heck, Rigoberta Menchu wouldn't even have won the prize due to her massive fraud about her story in Guatemala. As for you, Schlomotion, in a moral world, you wouldn't win the prize at all because you oppose democratic states and support despotic regimes. Quit repeating leftist/Islamist propaganda.

      • Schlomotion

        Israel isn't a democracy, it's an ethnocracy.

        • Omar

          Israel is most certainly a democracy and not an "ethnocracy", Schlomotion. You just keep repeating the ignorant lies that Israel's democratic, tolerant government is somehow the modern-day apartheid regime like what South Africa used to be. Well you (like the left and the Islamists) are wrong. Israel is a tolerant, democratic state which respects the rights and liberties of all people, regardless of characteristics. Arabs living in Israel have more rights and liberties as Israeli citizens than people living in other countries in the Middle East. In fact, Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East. All of the Islamist countries practice some form of apartheid. If there is a state which truly practices racial, religious and gender apartheid, it is in Sudan, where the ruling Islamist military dictatorship behave worse than what South Africa used to be. Yet, you and the left do not criticize the regime in Sudan because you view that regime as "progressive" and an advocate for "social justice". Once again, keep you ignorant leftist/Islamist propaganda to yourself.

          • Schlomotion

            "Israel is a tolerant, democratic state which respects the rights and liberties of all people, regardless of characteristics."

            What if they possess the characteristic of not supporting the settlers' movement?

          • Omar

            "What if they possess the characteristic of not supporting the settlers' movement?"
            Why are Jewish settlements a problem at all? There are over a million Arabs living in Israel with more rights and liberties as Israeli citizens than the people living in other countries in the Middle East. Jewish settlements are a problem only because the Islamists living in Gaza and the West Bank are racists and bigots and cannot live side by side with people of another faith, that's why. Quit repeating leftist/Islamist propaganda.

          • Schlomotion

            "Why are Jewish settlements a problem at all?"

            Actually, you don't get to set reality back that far. You can try, but it puts you in the ultra-minority of backside reverse birthers. There is a problem with Jewish settlements, one that is recognized worldwide, and not the least of which is that the movement is headed by Mike Guzofsky.

          • Omar

            Schlomotion, you just can't stop repeating your ignorance, huh? Mike Guzofsky is a virtual pariah. He is not idolized by anyone except for a small group of radical extremists. On the other hand, Yunis Al-Astal is glorified by Hamas and other Islamist groups. It is important to note that both men are banned from entering the United Kingdom. Also, isn't Hamas' unprovoked firing of rockets into Israel an international crime? Yet, you do not condemn Hamas for its crimes. Now that's a double standard.

          • Schlomotion

            He's a virtual pariah. Except for when he is writing in to Think-Israel beside Rachel Neuwirth and Joyce Chernick to solicit funds for the settler movement.

          • Omar

            You just don't want to accept reality, Schlomotion.

          • Schlomotion

            It's existential philosophy now? Very well. I will accept reality. Show me an "Israel." Show me a "Jew."

          • Omar

            Schlomotion, the reality is that Israel respects the rule of law, while its Islamist enemies want totalitarianism.

          • Schlomotion

            What a cliche.

    • UCSPanther

      That's rich, coming from someone who has claimed that the Japanese were innocent victims during WWII and had a right to go on their mindless rampages.

    • Ghostwriter

      History isn't your best subject eh,Schlockmotion?

  • guest

    When I first saw this I thought of the Office and Dwight's hay festival tourist trap:

    "And the crown of the hay king belongs to …


    All that's missing is that weird druid hay crown.

  • UCSPanther

    I'm sad to say the Norwegians of today aren't the same country that stubbornly resisted the Nazis to the best of their abilities during WWII, despite being betrayed from within.

  • clarespark

    Here is another blog where I firmly reject social democracy pretensions to opposition to "totalitarianism":…. "Orwell, Power, and the Totalitarian State."

  • Stuart Parsons

    Dammit those Idiots have overlooked Muhammad AGAIN !!!!

  • Yephora

    When those Leftist jokers awarded their 'peace' prize to Yasser Arafat they immediately lost all credibility.

    When they gave one to the unaccomplished Barack 0bama they reduced it to an affirmative action booby prize.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Put a final nail in their coffin, hardly, they have cremated their credibility and all the ashes
    do is stink…………………………William