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The Nobel Prizes, first awarded in 1901, were funded by a Swedish industrialist, Alfred Nobel, who had invented dynamite. For such an inventor to fund a peace award may seem incongruous, but Nobel himself said that with the existence of dynamite, “warmongers would have no choice but to seek peace with one another.” Okay. By that criterion, what invention kept the peace through the Cold War? The hydrogen bomb. Who, then, was the most unjustly neglected candidate for the peace prize in our time? The late and great physicist, Edward Teller.
In fact, his Soviet counterpart, Andrei Sakharov, often called the father of the Soviet H-bomb, did receive the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1975. And so should Teller have been honored, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
But that is not how the prize is seen today. It is awarded, exclusively, to people who express pious hopes for peace. It goes to groups who want to “abolish” nuclear weapons, as though that were possible. It is seen as an opportunity to reward those whose good intentions have inspired them to take actions that are often foolish and may pose grave risks to their own interests. This was plainly seen in the case of Israel’s prime minister Yitzak Rabin, who was awarded the prize in 1994 for allowing himself to be sucked into a misnamed “peace process” with an insincere partner, Yasir Arafat. Rabin paid for it with his life.
With the award of the prize to Wangari Maathai, Nobel’s aspirations have been further degraded. This time, however, tragedy turned into farce.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?