THE SUPREME IRONY OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Irony – a figure of speech in which the literal meaning is the opposite of the intended meaning; used in ridicule, contempt or humor. Liter – technique often used in writing satire; a method of expression in which the author veils his real meaning behind plot or character development which portrays the opposite. An outcome opposed to that which one has been lead to expect. (The New Websteras Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language)

The gym where I work out has several television screens tuned to a variety of stations. I went to the gym early on Friday because I had a full day of activities: a memorial service later that morning, I had to get back home to finish packing and head to Cheyney University for Homecoming Weekend. I was amused when I saw on the television monitor tuned to CNN that Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize! I have always wondered what the criteria was for one to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Obama Nobel Peace Price
Obama Nobel Peace Prize

Irony – a figure of speech in which the literal meaning is the opposite of the intended meaning; used in ridicule, contempt or humor. Liter – technique often used in writing satire; a method of expression in which the author veils his real meaning behind plot or character development which portrays the opposite. An outcome opposed to that which one has been lead to expect. (The New Websteras Comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language)

The gym where I work out has several television screens tuned to a variety of stations. I went to the gym early on Friday because I had a full day of activities: a memorial service later that morning, I had to get back home to finish packing and head to Cheyney University for Homecoming Weekend. I was amused when I saw on the television monitor tuned to CNN that Barack Obama had been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize! I have always wondered what the criteria was for one to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the case of Martin Luther King Jr or Desmond Tutu I could see because they challenged extremely vicious systems of European oppression and genocide using non-violent tactics; so of course white folks would give them a prize. But over the years there have been some truly questionable picks for the Noble Peace Prize; like Henry Kissinger whose actions resulted in massive loss of life all around the world on behalf of Western imperialist geo-political and economic interests.

In literature there is a style of writing called irony whereby the writer’s words disguise: the true goings on, the motives of the characters, the outcome of their plotting or the resulting circumstances. In the real world, the Noble Prize is itself a form of irony. Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm Sweden in 1833. He was the son of an engineer. He too became an engineer, an inventor and entrepreneur. When I think of Alfred Noble, I think of destruction and devastation because he invented dynamite.

Nobel’s father was an engineer who had developed naval mines, and explosives. Alfred Noble was sent to school to study chemical engineering. Upon graduation he worked for his fathers company which had contracts for both civil and military work. His father went bankrupt for a second time and Alfred Nobel went to work on a process to create a way to stabilize nitroglycerin which was an extremely volatile liquid. Noble eventually developed a way to turn it into a paste and make it practical by using a blasting or detonating cap. He kept at it and developed a totally new compound he called dynamite. Noble also invented smokeless gun powder.

Dynamite was first used as an excavating tool to blast heavy rock but it didn’t take long for a people who love war to use it as the most potent weapon of mass destruction of its day and well into the future. Noble traveled throughout Europe and America obtaining patents and setting up companies. He and his investment partners set up sixteen dynamite companies in fourteen countries. Noble flourished and became extremely wealthy. Mining, excavating and war were and are very lucrative businesses.

Due to the extensive travel required to maintain his business empire during that time, Noble’s health began to deteriorate. He developed a heart condition and was forced to use nitroglycerine as a treatment (another irony). Noble, according to most accounts, never married and had no heirs. He died on December 10, 1896 in Sanremo Italy. In his will he ordered a committee be established to award monetary prizes for developments and accomplishments in the fields of: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and world peace.

The supreme irony is that Alfred Noble the man who helped make it easier for Europeans to terrorize and subjugate the world (keep in mind his father developed naval mines), became rich beyond measure and in his will decreed an award be given for those who work for world peace. There is no definitive evidence that I could find proving Alfred Noble was ever a pacifist. Certainly if Alfred Nobel a white man had been one during the late nineteenth century, he would have been an anomaly.

Is it possible that the establishment of the Noble prize was a public relations ploy to clean up the legacy of the man who invented true weapons of mass destruction and human devastation?

Keep in mind the Chinese invented gun powder and used it to make flame, as an esoteric elixir for immortality and for public celebrations hundreds of years before the Mongols and subsequently the Arabs developed and used it for weaponry. Europeans saw it and took it to a whole new level in terms of warfare and destruction.This brings me back to Barack Obama. Here is a man who campaigned and won the US presidency in 2008 on the slogan of change, who as President continues his predecessor’s global imperialist wars.

Its diabolically ironic that Obama was awarded the Noble Peace Prize despite: using drones to bomb and kill innocent people in Afghanistan and expand the war into Pakistan, is maintaining Iraq as a colony, is continuing a proxy war in Somalia, is threatening to use force against Iran for their pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy; meanwhile he never says anything about Israel’s nuclear arsenal or its mischief throughout the world! Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize (an item of irony itself) is the epitome of Orwellian doublespeak; where war is peace, oppression is freedom and death is life.

By Junious Ricardo Stanton

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4 thoughts on “THE SUPREME IRONY OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

  1. I disagree with many foreign policies of the US as a nation. Remember it was the same US policy that toppled Nkrumah, Lumumba & many Latin american leaders off their regimes. It was the same policy that made Bush waged unjustified war on Iraq. Same policy collapsed many industries across the world and led to the cycle of dependency on all powerful US and her trans-national corporations. Yes, historically, the US, in her quest for economic and ideological domination of the world, caused untold havoc on many parts of the world. It’s the same US and its systems and ideology that nurtured politicians like Obama into office! I have the feeling that if Obama takes radical measures such abrogating aid to historical ally – Israel, he might not last a yr as the prez of the US. It’s got to be a gradual process to change tradtional US dealings with the world. The bold decision to close Guatanamo bay & release most inmates, stop the launching of US military base in Europe, restore a measure of trust with the arab world, open up to Russia, direct israel to stop to illegal occupation, remove some embargo on cuba etc are significant measures (although not enough) of Obama that I believe have made the world a bit peaceful and which to me, made him deserve the Nobel Peace award than any other personality in 2008/9. Thus, although he’s got so much more to do, I believe he’s done more to bring the world closer together than any other personality within the same time frame.

  2. To me, it’s unsettling reality that from the time of Nkrumah, Selasie, Nyerere and the few others, Africa as a continent has not had visionary, selfless leaders with the interest of the continent at heart. If even one African leader can do the little that Obama is doing for the US in Africa, I bet you, the history of Africa will begin to unchain.

    This is a wake up call to we the young generation of Africa today, to begin to think and act differently; think and dream beyond the pseudo-colonial boundaries of Africa, to the larger African interest. American leadership will continue to pursue her interests, first to the prime benefit of the American, whose ancestors thought it wise to unite the separate states into a powerful union. The same way, the EU will continue to pursue the interest of Europe, whether to the detriment of the poor African or not! If all that we, Africans can do is to sit in our poor, but comfortable corner and to expect the West and her cohorts to liberate us from the neo-colonial shackles which is making them rich and powerful in the first place, only to lament, complain, envy, and hate without recourse to our collective force and strength of action, then we have no legitimate reason not to remain poor, weak and dependent!

    If awards are meant to motivate people to doing more of the things that made them deserve the award in the first place, then I believe Obama and not Morgan or any other leader of Africa deserves the Noble Peace award! If the US can defy the seemingly impregnable force of racial gravity and lift the blackman to the whitest and highest office of the presidency under the wind of “yes we can”, then we, Africans can defy the tribal, ethnic, national and religious boundaries which divide us to form a UNION of true independent African States!

  3. Beside nice speeches there is nothing much to merit Obama’s Nobel award unless it is for the most famous stateman or the most outspoken stateman. Considering the closing date for Nobel nominations was only barely two month after he became president, holding his ticket of Hope which is yet to be realised.

    With regard to Iran he was one step closer to the mistake Bush did, of parading this pseudo-evidence to the UN that there is a possibility of Nuclear arms in production in Iran; which is excatly what Bush did in Iraq.
    Although they still called for sunctions they couldn’t prtoduce real evidence of Nuclear arms productions instead they talked about Uranium enrichment which is also done in India, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other American allies. And for that matter Israel has never complied with the International Regulator as far as Uranium enrichment and nucleqar arms is concerned but He fails to bring it to book.

    In the Israel/Palestine issue Obama has failed to even stop continuing settlment in the occupied Palestine territory. In the meeting held recently in New York it was obvious the Israel Prime Minister was a victor. And Obama is also one of the statesmen refusing to recognise the highly acclaimed UN Goldstone Report into the Gaza offensive, which as an indication of objectivity was able to find both sides guilty. But Obama in defense of his ally says the Report is biased which is an unfound allegation.

    Guatanamo bay is not yet closed and the release of prisoners is PR campaign, until the day it is closed it remains a promise.

    And Obama’s refusal to form an inquiry and possible procecutions over America’s inhumane interogations and decisions is another thing that makes me wonder if he is all for peace or just for America’s self centered interest.

    But the real litmus test for Obama if the Afgan war where he is deciding to send in more troops, on a war against the Afgan people. And that he had to be told of the Nobel on the day they were deliberating about the Afgan war is another irony.

    We must not be blinded, i think in Obama’s mind he is The President of USA before before being an African. And as far as Africa is concerned it does not seem he has any ambitious plans bside continuing with the HIV Aids funding that was started by the Bush Administration.

  4. ) Add your voice to the millions calling for Suu Kyi’s immediate release – sign the petition here and urge the U. Beijing officials are not struck by the prestige of Xiaobo’s new distinction. Earlier today, the Norwegian Nobel Committee declared Liu Xiaobo the winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

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