Adam Graham
It's time for a real peace prize
By Adam Graham
October 12, 2009

Does everyone remember the year that Yankees #1 draft pick Brian Taylor was awarded the Cy Young Award for intending to be a great major league pitcher, or when they gave a young soldier the Medal of Honor because somebody thought he might one day deserve it. There are many apt comparisons to the Nobel Peace Prize given to President Obama for good intentions and an ambitious agenda.

Obama's Nobel Prize is the latest actions of a Prize Committee that has been acting with an overt agenda since at least Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, and Al Gore's Prize in 2007. I could see awarding these gentlemen with prizes of some sort, but peace? Carter does deserve some credit for the Camp David accord bringing peace between Israel and Egypt, as well as negotiating with the Haitian government to avoid the loss of American soldiers when Bill Clinton planned to invade to return marxist Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power in the mid-1990s, and Carter's work with Habitat for Humanity is to be commended.

However, Carter has spent most of his national political career as an apologist and dupe for every leftist dictatorship under the sun, as well as making outrageous anti-Semitic statements. Perhaps, a Neville Chamberlain prize would be in order, along with a nice Father Coughlin award for outstanding achievements in mainstream anti-semitic polemics. .

As for Gore, perhaps he deserves a Pharisee Award for hypocrisy as a jet-setter with a carbon footprint that would make the average American blush while lecturing the rest of us to live a carbon neutral life. Al Gore justifies his "eco-sins" like a medieval lord, buying indulgences through the specious theory of carbon offsets. In addition, I would suggest Mr. Gore deserves a Bogeyman award for undue environmental alarmism used to make children believe that the world is coming to an end because Mommy drives an SUV.

As for President Obama, perhaps a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame would be appropriate, given his celebrity status. Maybe, if you want to be obscure, a King Aethelred II award would be appropriate, as that 11th century monarch was known as Aethelred the Unready.

Of course, unlike other Nobel Prizes, which are given for actual achievement, the Nobel Peace Prize is often based on things like "good effort and nice try." While no one would be seriously considered for a Nobel Prize for Literature by talking about how they intended to write books that would stir the Human Spirit, and awaken our self-awareness without writing anything, the same logic flies for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The left around the world believes that all that matters is good intentions. That if we really mean well and try to do nice things, peace will come. It's a great theory, with the only argument against it being thousands of years of the human experience. And the Committee's belief in good intentions has often led to some embarrassing errors, such as their 1994 Nobel Prize to terrorist Yasser Arafat for signing a peace treaty with the Israelis that he never honored.

In addition, the peace envisioned by the left is simply an absence of conflict. The left imagination envisioned peaceful coexistence with a Communist system that in the name of liberation made all men the slaves of the state, just as President Obama imagines peaceful coexistence with the Taliban in Afghanistan. (Yes, Obama is working on his Neville Chamberlain Award.)

Having people who have no clue what brings real peace hand out awards honoring those who have made a contribution to peace is like having people who have no understanding of what makes a good baseball player award the MVP Award. However, excellence in the achievement of meaningful peace should be recognized.

It is time for right-thinking people to offer an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize to honor those who truly make meaningful peace possible. Let us call it the Churchill Prize. The first thing that must be recognized is that coexisting with evil is not really peace. To imagine we can simply tolerate radical Islam and hope that the practitioners of terrorism will stay away from America is more than stupid, it is insane and speaks against everything we know about radical Islam.

Peace comes through military strength. While some imagine a world where handouts and cultural understanding prevents conflicts, there are some rogue regimes that will only behave themselves if there's a threat of certain annihilation if they step out of line. Those who maintain strong defenses and show strength that tyrants must respect should be considered prime candidates for the Churchill prize.

Peace also comes through strong economic trade. Nations that become capitalists have a different view of the world when people from every nation on Earth becomes your customer. Killing your customer or going to war with them is bad for business. True, there are a few ideologically driven states (such as Iran) that don't understand this logic, but for the rest of the world, trade is a great reason for peace. Therefore, businesses that create jobs and help bring our world closer together through new technology, along with those political leaders that enact wise trade and economic policies would be eligible for the Churchill prize.

Finally, peace often comes through the work of religious groups to help poor people around the world and the groups' own communities. Of course, religious groups exist that are hateful (such as Fred Phelps and Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright) and even violent, and then there are other groups that sell religion as spiritual comfort food. However, faith-based groups can bring physical and economic relief to poverty stricken areas, support and strengthen families and marriages, and help troubled youth avoid the path of destruction through crime and violence.

If one were to create a Churchill Prize that recognized those who promoted those ideals which actually bring peace: military strength, trade, faith, family, charity, and personal responsibility, pictures of the ideal Churchill prize winners would occur to us as Ronald Reagan, Bill Gates, and Pope John Paul II. For this year, one might consider French President Nicholas Sarchozy a fitting candidate for his resolutely realistic stance on foreign affairs, which provides a needed balance to President Obama's naïveté, or the award could be given to a charitable organization, such as Compassion International, the Red Cross, or the Salvation Army.

If the purpose of a peace prize is to promote peace, it is far past time for an alternative to the Nobel Prize, as it only promotes political correctness. Sadly, while the President's policies are well-intentioned, he is showing weakness and uncertainty to the rest of the world. While the Nobel Committee may applaud Obama's feckless leadership, history shows that it will only serve to encourage aggression from the world's worst actors.

© Adam Graham


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Adam Graham

Adam Graham was Montana State Coordinator for the Alan Keyes campaign in 2000, and in 2004 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Idaho State House... (more)

More by this author