Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free Will Nobels

Obama now has his Nobel Prize, one which even he admits he did not earn. But, like Tiger Woods' floozies, the Obama Peace Prize was unexpected, but not surprising. While the other Nobels celebrate the advancement of knowledge and the rigors of intellectual merit (Literature Prize, excepted), the Peace Prize has become little more than an award for progressive activism and UN-style internationalism- the moral equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar.

If the Nobel Committee wants to regain its credibility, not to mention its pride, it would do well to award the prize to real peace-makers; men and women who ensured the freedom, liberty, and safety of millions - something you can't say about Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, or Yasir Arafat. There are plenty of worthy candidates, but just as a start I would nominate the following (your results may vary):

George W Bush: brought America back from the depths of 9/11. deposed the Taliban. Deposed Saddam. Wrecked al-Qaeda. Ended the Iraqi Insurgency in the face of a deadly enemy and a querulous fifth column at home. He kept us safe.

Rudy Giuliani & Bill Bratton: After two decades of liberal law enforcement, G & B came up with a radical new approach; fight crime by attacking criminals. ended the reign of criminality that had come to define the "ungovernable" New York City. Improved everyone's safety and quality of life by targeting both the dangerous felons who actively assailed the innocent and the small-time scum who created the dreary street scenes that allowed criminality to flourish. Giuliani also deserves credit for his leadership during 9/11 when his pitch perfect expressions of defiance and sorrow brought stability to chaos.

Vaclev Havel: actually, he would seem to be an obvious candidate for a Peace Prize; a literary figure and dissident who improbably became president of a republic after a bloodless revolution. He also presided over a bloodless partition of his country, a unique event in European history. Plus, his revolution also had the coolest music; instead of dull folk singers and "Imagine," the Velvet Revolution was fired by Frank Zappa and Lou Reed. And, Havel did all of this while wearing turtlenecks, smoking like a chimney, and hanging out at cafe's. But there's one problem: his revolution was anti-socialist and pro-freedom, not to mention pro-American. No Nobel for you!

Paul Kagame: president of Rwanda and a real peacemaker. After a genocidal bloodbath threatened to destroy the Rwandan Tutsis, the exile Kagame led an army into the charnel house and drove the killers from the country. After this triumph, Kagame called for an end to bloodletting within the borders of his nation, convening a reconciliation commission and orchestrating a system of tribunals that have made real strides towards preserving Rwanda's civil society. Kagame has also noisily criticized the UN and France for their inaction during the genocide and after.

Helmut Kohl: united East and West Germany after the bloodless fall of the East that Kohl played a large part in orchestrating.

Norman Podheretz: Cold Warrior. Anti-communist. A proud American. A conservative intellectual, which meant he spent most of his career swimming against the intellectual tide.

Natan Sharansky: has spent virtually his entire life on the front-lines of the war on evil. Imprisoned by the Soviets, where he remained a voice of conscience during the last decades of the Cold War. Once he was able to leave Russia, he moved to Israel just in time to join the government and face-down the increasingly genocidal enemies of the Middle East's only western-style democracy. His Case For Democracy was one of the great books of this decade.

Margaret Thatcher: it's too late for Reagan and Pope John Paul II, but the Iron Lady can still accept an award on their behalf, both for helping end the Cold War and for restoring individual liberty and economic prosperity to the western world.

Alvaro Uribe: think the United States is "ungovernable" because you can't get health care reform passed? You should try Colombia at the start of Uribe's term. He faced a decades old communist insurgency from the FARC which controlled wide swaths of the country, rampaging drug squads, and a civil society where drug lords flaunted their wealth and power. 7 years later, the drug lords are gone, the paramilitaries are de-mobbing, and best of all the FARC is on the run. Plus, Uribe is a free trader, and a welcome pro-American presence in a continent riven with knee-jerk leftists.

Lee Kwan Yew: "minister mentor" of Singapore, which only hints at his remarkable record as prime minister of Singapore. Yew's city-state emerged from the same post-colonial, post-WW2 stew as the rest of the Pacific, but - while its neighbors alternated between dreary socialism, destructive fascism and crony capitalism - Singapore pursued pro-market policies that made his nation wealthier, safer and more free than those of his neighbors. Also made vigorous use of caning as punishment. Maybe not peaceful, but something that puts a gleam in the eye of anyone who has seen the cops release a kid they have caught "tagging" a wall with grafitti.

No comments:

Post a Comment