Few spectacles so clearly show the politicization of life than the surreally silly award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama. The Nobel Prize has long been a reflection of the whims of those who run political correctness. The politicization of peace extends beyond just the Nobel Prize. The very day that the Nobel Committee announced its choice of Obama, Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin miraculously "discovered," eight years after American forces invaded Afghanistan that "If the U.S. troops left - the country would collapse. We'd go into civil war." The about face on our domestic peace movement reflects only who now commands American forces. Benjamin likes Obama, so her doctrinaire commitment to peace goes wobbly when Obama is Commander-in-Chief.
Many people have noted the total disconnect between Peace Prize winners, like Al Gore and Jimmy Carter, and world peace. Gore, of course, supported our undeclared war against Serbia ten years ago. Before that, Gore supported "Operation Just Cause," the insertion by Clinton of American troops into Haiti to impose our will on that nation's politics. He voted for Operation Desert Storm, but most notably, he pandered his vote on that crucial question based upon how it would help him politically. Gore does not even seem to care about world peace.
The politicization stretches back earlier. Woodrow Wilson, who campaigned in 1916 with the slogan "He kept us out of war," and five months after his re-election, shortly after his inauguration, Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany, plunging us into an utterly unnecessary war whose ultimate end almost ensured a Second World War. Wilson, the vile racist bigot who lied to the American people about going into war, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Terrorists like Yasser Arafat, Communist apparatchiks like Michael Gorbachev and Le Duc Tho, have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Willy Brandt, the socialist chancellor of West Germany who left office under a scandal when it was revealed that his closest aide was a Communist spy, won the Nobel Peace Prize. What is the common thread that links Obama, Arafat, Carter, Gorbachev, Tho, Wilson, and Gore? All are planted firmly on the left of the political spectrum.
Even when the winner is a truly decent man, like Andrei Sakharov, if the candidate does not support the left, he does not win and if he supports the left then he can win the Peace Prize no matter what. Sakharov, after all, won the Stalin Prize and the Lenin Prize for helping the Soviet Union build an Atomic Bomb and then masterminding the Soviet development of the Hydrogen Bomb. The greatest nuclear explosion in human history, a 25 megaton blast, occurred in 1961 under the guidance of Sakharov. When Sakharov began to worry about the nuclear weapons he built, his attitude was traditionally leftist: he called, specifically, for an end to anti-ballistic defenses. Sakharov opposed building weapons which could make nuclear missiles useless.
Just as revealing are all the people who did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot, the greatest triumph for peace in world history. Pope John Paul II boldly reached out to end the historic distrust between the Catholic Church and Jews; he also showed how passive resistance could work in Poland; he also went around the world preaching peace and love; he also forgave the Moslem who tried to assassinate him. Alexander Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Prize for Literature, but not for Peace, even though he proved, perhaps more courageously than any man in modern history, that the pen could be mightier than the sword. Konrad Adenauer worked hard for a peaceful Germany at the end of the First World War; he opposed the Nazis and spent time in a concentration camp for that; after the Second World War ended, Adenauer reunited the three western sectors of Germany and reached out to Israel and offered, without being asked, for the Federal Republic of Germany to pay reparations to Israel. None of these magnificent champions of peace won the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Peace Prize, like the support of Code Pink is based upon ideology and nothing else. So Obama, Gore, Carter, and Wilson have won the Peace Prize, but Reagan, who dedicated his last term in office to ridding the world of nuclear weapons and who actually won a world war without violence, does not. Willy Brandt, a thoroughly unlikable socialist West German chancellor, who left office in scandal, wins the award, while a magnificently noble conservative West German chancellor does not. So two Soviets who buy the rhetoric of the chic left - Gorbachev and Sakharov - win the award, while a much braver and clear voice for peace, Solzhenitsyn, does not?
We should know by now, if we ever needed to know, that the awards, compliments, and honors which the establishment of the world offers is offered only to those who have first paid homage to the ideology of the left. Awards given to communist terrorists, like Le Duc Tho, or anti-Semitic ogres like Jimmy Carter, are no badges of achievement: such awards are evidence of moral surrender.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.