Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Blessed - though not necessarily rewarded - are the peacemakers 

A few weeks ago, Daniel Henninger of the "Wall Street Journal" suggested that the Nobel Peace Prize should go to Iraqi voters ("They have already won the world's peace prize by demonstrating in a single day a commitment not seen in our lifetime to peace, self-determination and human rights--the goals for which the Nobel Peace Prize began in 1901."). Today, I'm reading news that a group of Iraqi Christians living in the United States has launched an online petition to nominate the Grand Ayatollah Sistani for the prize. According to the group, Sistani "gave Muslims all around the globe a good example how to follow peaceful ways to resolve complex social (and) political challenges that face them, condemning terror and emphasizing ... rule of law."

I won't be the first one to suggest it, but how about President Bush? Both Bush and Blair were
already nominated last year (in case you're wondering: they did not win it), in the words of the nominator, independent Norwegian member of parliament Jan Simonsen, because they "got rid of a dictator and made the world more safe."

A year later, the case for the Peace Prize is if anything stronger, with elections having taken place in Afghanistan, Iraq and among the Palestinians, and with the winds of change blowing through Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the region.

Personally, I think there is wisdom in waiting - after all, Arafat and Rabin had shared their instantaneous Peace Prize for the initiative that did not in the end lead anywhere - but should the current trends continue in the Middle East for the next few year, why not Bush in 2008? It would make a nice retirement present for the President and it would drive the left absolute bonkers. Alas, it's unlikely to happen, but still, it's a nice thought.


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