Worth The Prize?
The War over The Peace Prize
Awards are always a great way to get debates and discussion started; The Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, etc usually get people discussing who deserves it and who didn't. The Nobel Peace Prize, awarded this year to the European Union, is a prize that has become more scrutinized in recent years.
A lot of this is along ideological lines. Those on the right like seeing the award go to dissidents against what they see as repressive regimes, as long as those regimes aren't an ally or trading partner. Those on the left like the award going to people and groups opposing poverty, war, etc. The award taking a green tint on a few occasions is something that the left sees as a good sign as well.
I will admit there have been some winners that have had me scratching my head; Arafat's win and even the one awarded to President Obama had me questioning the committee. Others that many argued with, Al Gore's for example, I saw as being reasonable.
Many on the left questioned the European Union's win. I am sure many of them would have liked to see Bradley Manning, or Julian Assange win. The Nobel Peace Prize, much like the prize for Literature, is often more of a lifetime achievement award. The prize is give for a body of work, Jimmy Carter's award would be an example of this concept.
But there are a few people and groups that have never won and we may not know if they have been nominated; author and human rights activist Arundhati Roy, linguist and dissenter Noam Chomsky, The Union Of Concerned Scientists, or even Greenpeace. Mala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student who was the target of a Taliban assassination attempt might bear watching in the years to come.
Of course, a case that since the world has been in a "War on Terror" since September of 2001, the award should not be given out at all makes a bit of sense.