The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, October 07, 2005

What Was The Point In That? 

Today it was announced that the co-winners of this years Nobel Peace Prize were... get this... the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei:

"At a time when the threat of nuclear arms is again increasing, the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to underline that this threat must be met through the broadest possible international cooperation.

"This principle finds its clearest expression today in the work of the IAEA and its Director General. In the nuclear non-proliferation regime, it is the IAEA which controls that nuclear energy is not misused for military purposes, and the Director General has stood out as an unafraid advocate of new measures to strengthen that regime."

This ought to leave me dumbfounded, but I'm frankly not surprised. This is simply an act by the international community to pat itself on it's collective back. It is shameful, stupid, and a waste of money. First of all, what did the IAEA do to deserve this award? Write letters condemning Iran and North Korea for developing nuclear weapons programs, which they continue to do? Great job! And let's not forget the terrific job they did in handling Saddam Hussein. They sure showed backbone every time they left Iraq with their tail between their legs every time he told them to stop inspecting his palaces.

Yesterday I heard on the radio that some of the trade sports sites were predicting Bono to win at rates as high as 70%. This too would be a waste. Frankly, I find it just lazy. Do these committees just page through the newspaper and see whose name showed up most prominently in the last year, and fork over some cash and notoriety to them? Is that all the Nobel Peace Prize is worth any more?

The committee ought to look at smaller organizations, and less well known people who are doing real good to promote peace. I'm not saying it would be easy, but it would definitely be more worthwhile. The prize this year was $1.3 million. Does the IAEA or Bono really need another million dollars to do what they do? They have plenty of money to do what they do already. Imagine how much that money would do for a smaller less known person or group fighting genocide or hunger in Africa. Imagine the impact it would have to give that sort of publicity to a group who never has appeared in the international press.

But instead the Nobel committee has squandered a great opportunity again. Shame on them. But at least Hans Blix is happy about it:

Former chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, a friend and colleague of ElBaradei, told The Associated Press the award was "very encouraging and fortunate."

"I see it as an endorsement of the professional and independent role of the IAEA and of international verification in the field of nuclear power and nonproliferation," Blix said.

Too bad he really wasn't eaten by gold fish. LGF has more if you can stomach reading more about this.


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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.

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