Posts Tagged ‘Nobel’
October 1st, 2013 at 5:20 pm
Putin for the Peace Prize?

Unlikely? Sure. But nonetheless a group of pro-Putin Russians sent a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize committee requesting consideration for their country’s president.

“The group says Putin deserves the honor for his efforts in brokering an agreement for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons under international control, a plan the group says helped avert a ‘new world war,’” according to

Then the story stops being funny.

Drawing a contrast to President of the United States Barack Obama, the group’s leader says that Putin, “who is trying to stop the war and suggest a political solution, is more worthy of such a title.”

Now, of course Putin – the man who invaded South Ossetia during the 2008 Summer Olympics – is no peace-loving reincarnation of Ghandi. The lifeline he threw to Obama over Syria was nothing more than a canny power politics move that makes it easier for his authoritarian allies in Damascus to oppress their people with impunity.

Still, the argument that Putin deserves a fair hearing to receive the Peace Prize is at least plausible since the committee in charge of conferring it debased its standards by awarding its 2009 installment to Obama on the pretext that he might do something worthy to receive it.

Four years later, Obama was poised to start a war until Putin negotiated a European-style system of endless weapons inspections and diplomatic meetings. Had the roles been reversed, Obama supporters would be claiming their man made good on the Nobel’s committee’s prediction. But since history played out the other way, perhaps the American president can do the Norwegians a favor and mail their devalued token to Russia.

February 1st, 2010 at 7:02 pm
Nigerian Nobel Laureate: “England is a Cesspit”

Nobel laureate in literature – and Nigerian democracy advocate – Wole Soyinka is angry that his country was put on the terrorism watch list in the wake of his countryman’s attempt to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009.  The finger of blame, he argues, shouldn’t be pointed at Nigeria, but at England.

The man did not get radicalized in Nigeria. It happened in England, where he went to university.

“England is a cesspit. England is the breeding ground of fundamentalist Muslims. Its social logic is to allow all religions to preach openly. But this is illogic, because none of the other religions preach apocalyptic violence. And yet England allows it. Remember, that country was the breeding ground for communism, too. Karl Marx did all his work in libraries there.”

Why is Britain the way it is? “This is part of the character of Great Britain,” Mr. Soyinka declares. “Colonialism bred an innate arrogance, but when you undertake that sort of imperial adventure, that arrogance gives way to a feeling of accommodativeness. You take pride in your openness.” And so it is, he says, that Britain lets everyone preach whatever they want: It confirms a self-image of greatness.

Later on, Soyinka identifies the cause of the present religious war of all against all: the Ayatollah Khomeini.  Why?  Because the fatwa against Salman Rushdie escalated the range of acceptable physical aggression within certain spheres of the Muslim world.  That heightened acceptable aggression eventually trickled down to other radical Muslim groups, sanctioning terrorism and murder for groups like Al Qaeda.

Luckily, Soyinka thinks radical Islam won’t take root in America because Muslims have gone mainstream through the work of the Nation of Islam.  I guess it’s all relative.

H/T: Daily Beast