by Saswat Pattanayak
“Nobel Prizes are offered by the royalists, the status quo upholders, the deniers of class society.” Such people don't want peace, but stability for the existing order. The Nobel Committee prizes continuity above all else. That's why they gave Barack Obama their vote of confidence in his bid to maintain U.S. global domination while shouting less and smiling more. “Barack Obama’s win is the most natural continuation of Nobel Peace Prize tradition.”
Militarist Obama and Corporate Nobel: Peaceful Partnership
by Saswat Pattanayak
This article previously appeared in Voxunion.com.
“Obama is the latest torchbearer of the most overrated award in human history.”
There simply need not be any elements of surprise or shock at Barack Obama receiving Nobel Peace Prize. Almost every year, this award has been granted to neoliberal policy brokers otherwise known as liberals, social democrats, or simply the firm believers in Eurocentric democratic ethos that can be ruthlessly applied on lesser countries via doublespeak. Obama joins Ahtisaari, Gore, Dae-jung, Trimble, Belo, Walesa, Robles, Esquivel, Begin, Sakharov, Sato, Cassin, Kissinger, Wilson, etc., as the latest torchbearer of the most overrated award in human history.
Liberal media are attributing his win to moments in anticipation, while conservatives are yet to get over the shock. However, Obama is absolutely worthy of winning the prize and he must be congratulated for the same as a regular recipient of this insipid achievement. Even a cursory look at a few past winners should indicate that Obama’s prize perfectly fits.
Last year’s winner, Martti Ahtisaari was almost a NATO agent who worked tirelessly as an anti-communist and aspired to end Finland’s neutrality through his fetishized versions of a corporate Finland as a prosperous Finland.
“Gore’s multi-billion dollar campaigners have been chiefly free market champions.”
The year before, Al Gore – a dubious champion of environmental hanky-panky that has no pragmatic basis but plenty of populist boasts with an ability to marry corporate America with the Zionist media lobby received the award. Gore’s multi-billion dollar campaigners have been chiefly free market champions who “reformed” the Soviet Union and infamous money launderers such as Howard Glicken, Nate Landow and terrorist Rabbi Meir Kahane.
When Kim Dae-jung won the award, he was known as a firmly indoctrinated champion of capitalism, and a tireless communicator in the process of introducing “democracy” in North Korea, the kind of diplomatic talks which can bring down socialistic systems rather smoothly.
David Trimble, a Protestant leader from Ireland hell bent to punish Sinn Fein, the left-wing political wing of the IRA, has also been an obvious choice. Comparable to him was previous winner Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, a Roman Catholic bishop appointed to rid East Timor of the last of its radical strands. As though Portuguese occupation was not enough, an illegal encroachment of the country via NATO-backed Indonesia was designed to eliminate the communists. After its successful atrocities, Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta have become the human face to the “peaceful” interventions in the lives of indigenous peoples through religious pacifications. The peoples can make no demands for reparations in a religious colony.
“Belo and Jose Ramos-Horta have become the human face to the ‘peaceful’ interventions in the lives of indigenous peoples through religious pacifications.”
Lech Walesa, a pronounced reactionary leader in Poland, received the Nobel for organizing trade unions against the communists. Alfonso García Robles collaborated with the nuclear powers in order to promote a non-nuclear zone for Latin America without demanding nuclear dismantling of the West. The Nobel Peace Prize has traditionally been conferred upon non-agitating peaceniks who, like most social democrats, do not wish to alter the equation of the privileged while ensuring limitations for the oppressed. Dangerous tools are safe in the hands of the mafia, and very dangerous in the hands of the commoners. Nobel prize committees have year after year acknowledged this colonial notion.
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel is another product of Christian missionary efforts to effect change without revolutions. Even when vocally opposed to wars and policies laid down by the likes of Bush, the Nobel Peace winners do not address the root causes of wars – class conflicts – and have acutely selective memories when it comes to linking the Church with perpetuation of bourgeois wars.
Menachem Begin, a Zionist militarist who launched massive attacks against Iraq and Lebanon even before the Gulf Wars, was another perfect winner. One of the biggest war maniacs in recent history, he was the architect of Begin Doctrine – way more vicious than any unofficial Bush doctrines the peaceniks have opposed.
“Nobel Peace winners do not address the root causes of wars.”
Andrei Sakharov was an exaggerated dissident who at the peak of the Cold War was perhaps so oblivious of American expansions that he created a stir through his support of imperialist policies – and was immediately conferred the Nobel Peace Prize.
Yet another winner was Eisaku Sato, a reactionary commingler of Japanese-American interests, the principal opponent to Communist China’s recognition as a UN member, and a prime donor to Taiwanese causes. Here was another classic example of rewarding a liberal crony of those who routinely assault the concept of national sovereignty.
In previous years, René Cassin, chief legal advisor to Charles de Gaulle, won this coveted award, as has George Marshall. Marshall, the post-war propagandist, was instrumental in implanting market economies in communist Europe through bribery and coercion.
Albert Schweitzer’s racist stances on African peoples were well known when he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Woodrow Wilson was a racist, segregationist president whose life was marked by pursuance of the American doctrine of imperialism and global hegemony.
The less said the better about Henry Kissinger, his pronounced hatred for Third World solidarity movements and his war-mongering. The Cold War achieved the demise of global communism through the capitalist weapons of choice: money, diplomacy and religion. The Nobel Peace Committee’s role in transforming interventionists into heroes and legitimizing their covert propaganda operations, is unparalleled.
“Albert Schweitzer’s racist stances on African peoples were well known when he won the Nobel Peace Prize.”
If the Dalai Lama through soothing words of peace and spirituality attempted to undermine a peoples’ republic and won the award by trying to pull Tibet back into ancient times, then it should not surprise anyone why F.W. de Klerk also won on behalf of South Africa. “Non-violence” in a time of global capitalism equals unconditional surrender on part of the agitating masses. Reforms must take place within the parameters established by the former colonial masters. Aung San Suu Kyi is another instance of a revolutionary whose limits have been set by Washington DC.
Since the inception of the Nobel Peace Prize, most of the awards have gone to pronounced anti-communists, masquerading as “reformers.” Mikhail Gorbachev is the brightest instance. Second largest category is Christian religious saints, bishops and preachers. As goes without saying, their roles have been exemplary in complimenting the “pacifist” reformers. Wherever there was a communistic presence, Christian “values” needed to be imported to sabotage peoples’ movements. West Bengal in India is a case in point, where Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity won the Nobel Peace Prize through covert operations of religious conversion, selective care, and influence upon CIA-backed dictators in Africa. Communists are bound to agitate the hungry against their class exploiters, but the Saints pacify the hungry through capitalistic charity funds. Who wins the Nobel Peace is anyone’s guess.
“The Saints pacify the hungry through capitalistic charity.”
Around the time when revolutionary spirits in Latin America was sky-high and Che’s dreams of unifying the region was slowly gaining grounds, Nobel Committee chose Oscar Arias Sánchez who through smooth means, implemented neoliberal economic policies in Costa Rica.
The last category of Nobel Peace Prize winners have great affinity with Zionist causes. The brightest scholar here is Elie Wiesel – the man with the irresponsible claims on the “uniqueness of Holocaust” and one infamous for downplaying or flatly refusing to acknowledge that other genocides caused by the Nazis have any comparable significance. Speaking of Israelis, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin were certainly not the exceptions.
Deconstruction of “Peace” in the Nobel and Lenin Prizes
With so many hardcore militarists (Wilson, Kissinger, Begin, Sato, etc.,) winning Nobel Peace Prizes, not to mention scores of illustrious supporters of the aggressive Euro-American bloc during Cold War, how exactly is “peace” defined by the wise committee?
Nobel jurists further the Eurocentric view of the world and should not be blamed for it. After all, people of color, the oppressed people in the majority of the world, don’t have the financial means to combat the “advertorial” impact of The Prize. For instance, The Lenin Peace Prize has been awarded to freedom fighters against colonial masters in many African and Asian countries, but the relevance of that great award has never been highlighted as part of humanity’s collective historical legacy.
The Lenin Peace Prize, that truly revolutionary recognition of the people who strived to bring peace among nations, has been relegated to obscurity through the raw exhibitionism of the European capitalists disguising themselves under the banner of Nobel. The sheer magnitude of diversity among the winners of Lenin Peace Prize, their roles in the dismantling of colonial powers, and their relentless struggles on the side of the oppressed are testimony to what truly constitutes the struggle for peace.
“Not a single black person has won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Physics or Medicine.”
There is rejoicing among people of color at Barack Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. That is just and proper. But what escapes media attention is the fact that the prize has been a racist award ever since its inception. Not a single black person has won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Physics or Medicine. Out of a total of 789 Nobel Prizes conferred thus far, only 11 have been awarded to black people. Out of these 11, one was an economist, three were poet laureates, and as many as eight were pacifists!
How does it happen that while black accomplishments are overlooked by the colonial powers in every field of life, blacks become useful when they champion pacifist conduct? How is it that the oppressed are rewarded not for their agitations, but for their accommodations?
Nobel Prizes have been Eurocentric mechanisms to brand as the greatest human beings on the planet, those that dutifully submit to the whims of colonial and imperial powers. The Prize elevates those who intervene in revolutionary situations to prevent escalation of class wars. The recipients are most often those who declare that the exploiters and the exploited can and must live together in harmony, with class divisions remaining intact.
“The oppressed are rewarded not for their agitations, but for their accommodations?”
We should not be surprised by who wins the prize. Nobel Prizes are offered by the royalists, the status quo upholders, the deniers of class society. Their construction of “peace” is determined through their worldview, which rejects replacement of an unjust world order and deeply resents revolutionary forces. Barack Obama’s win is the most natural continuation of Nobel Peace Prize tradition. Peace, in Nobel Prize tradition, is capitalistic utopia. In the real world, peace can prevail only through equitable redistribution of privileges. Capitalism simply cannot accept that. Hence, peace itself has to be redefined.
In contrast to the Nobel Prize, the majority of Lenin Peace Prizes were granted to people of color, and a huge majority of them were agitators. These were true proponents of peace for the peoples in the world. Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Angela Davis (USA), Samora Machel (Mozambique), Agostinho Neto (Angola), Paul Robeson (USA), Ahmed Sékou Touré (Guinea), Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), W. E. B. Du Bois (USA) were some of the leading fighters against colonialism.
Lenin Peace Prizes were also awarded to Pablo Picasso (Spain), Brazil’s Jorge Amado, Saifuddin Kitchlew (India), Pablo Neruda (Chile), Bertolt Brecht (East Germany), Thakin Kodaw Hmaing of Burma, Nicolás Guillén of Cuba, Lázaro Cárdenas of Mexico, Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Modibo Keïta of Mali, Aruna Asaf Ali (India), Kamal Jumblatt of Lebanon, Salvador Allende of Chile, Lê Duẩn of Vietnam, Miguel Otero Silva of Venezuela, Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Mikis Theodorakis of Greece, and Abdul Sattar Edhi of Pakistan, among many other undisputed champions of human liberty. When Nelson Mandela was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1990, his legacy was not insulted by getting him to share the stage with F.W. de Clark.
“The majority of Lenin Peace Prizes were granted to people of color, and a huge majority of them were agitators.”
In the world of revolutionary history, there are heroes, and there are sycophants. There are radical activists who march on without awaiting an award, and there are naive moderates that fall into grander schemes of manipulated dictums. In its truest sense, the Nobel Peace Prize has only been awarded to true peace activists on only a couple of occasions. One worthy winner was Linus Pauling of the United States. The second one was Le Duc Tho of Vietnam. Like another radical, Jean-Paul Sartre, Le Duc Tho refused to accept his Nobel Prize. Sartre refused to bring glory to racist France, and Le Duc Tho refused to accept the prize on the same terms as Kissinger and to share the stage with him.
The Nobel Peace Prize, in reality, is an apologist for, and celebration of continued Eurocentric imperialism. Obama is the latest one to have been “humbled.” Amidst his militarist interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, his announcements of larger numbers of US troops and bigger budgets to feed the military-industrial complex, the Nobel committee has yet again perpetuated a reactionary definition of peace. They have crowned their King.
Saswat Pattanayak is a Human being, Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black Power comrade, Peacenik, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…