Monday, January 25, 2010

On the Immorality of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee

Democracy Now! quotes Haitian authorities as saying that the death toll due to the earthquake may exceed 300,000. Public service organizations around the world have been donating to the relief effort. Police officers from New York City, the Red Cross and many other organizations have been donating time and money. CNN lists the highest rated American charities that have been helping the Haitians.

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has failed to contribute to the Haitian relief effort. Much as Wal-Mart failed to contribute to environmental causes, so might the Nobel Peace Prize Committee be considered to have behaved selfishly and with disdain for world peace. Its self-centered commitment to its charter overlooks more important social justice considerations. If Wal-Mart ought to have breached its duty to shareholders, why might the Nobel Foundation be exempt from a parallel moral imperative? As of 2007, the Foundation had over $500 million laying fallow.

The mass deaths in Haiti would seem to outweigh the committee's obsession with fiduciary duty. If one might complain about a business firm's lack of corporate social responsibility, might we say that the morals of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are tainted? And because they are tainted, the Committee has lost credibility in designating a peace prize, which by its own nature depends on good ethics.

Thierry Meyssan of Voltaire.net asserts that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee breached its fiduciary duty in an additional way. Meyssan claims that there was a "despicable relationship between Barack Obama and the Nobel Committee" before the Committee chose to grant the award to him. Meyssan writes:

"in 2006, the European Command (i.e. the regional command of U.S. troops whose authority then covered both Europe and most of Africa) solicited Barack Obama, a Senator of Kenyan origin, to participate in a secret inter-agency (CIA-NED-USAID-NSA)" task force that was meant to destabilize the Kenyan government. The goal was to use his status as a parliamentarian to conduct a tour of Africa that would defend the interests of pharmaceutical companies (against off-patent productions) and to counter Chinese influence in Kenya and Sudan..."

Washington wanted to topple the regime in Kenya, according to Meyssan and recruited Obama to make a much-publicized trip to Kenya, in which he interfered with local politics and indeed helped to destabilize the country and helped his cousin, Odinga. The intervention led to a political crisis, and Madelaine Albright invited the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights to mediate. The Prime Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland chaired the Center. Jagland went on to become chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. Meyssan seems to be asserting that Obama and Jagland cooperated in the destabilization of Kenya. As a result, there were elements of self dealing and a moral breach in the award to Obama.

In any case, it is evident that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee has ceased acting as a socially responsible body. The appointment of a political hack like Jagland, who also has been appointed "Secretary General of the Council of Europe following a behind-the-scenes agreement between Washington and Moscow" is consistent with my letter last week that the Committee has become politicized and so no longer retains credibility. In particular, Madeleine Albright is a Democrat and the Committee has awarded two prizes to US Democrats in the past two years.

The public ought to demand that the Nobel Foundation end its self-centered and frivolous fixation on peace prizes and donate the large growth in Alfred Nobel's original endowment to dying Haitians. If Wal-Mart is expected to behave charitably, should we ask less of those who award peace prizes?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then call for "Peace on Earth."


~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/

Also see Gary Yourofsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagt5L9wXGo

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