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Victoria Silverwolf
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QUOTE
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei, for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way.


ElBaradei has not always been so popular with everyone:

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QUOTE
ElBaradei, who was reappointed last month to a third term, has had to contend with U.S. opposition to his tenure. Much of the opposition stemmed from Washington's perception that he was being too soft on Iran for not declaring it in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That stance blocked a U.S. bid to haul Tehran before the U.N. Security Council for more than two years.

He also refused to endorse Washington's contention that Iran was working to make nuclear weapons and disputed U.S. assertions that Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq had an active atomic weapons program -- both claims that remain unproven, despite growing suspicions about Tehran's nuclear agenda.


To Be Debated:

1. Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who would you suggest?

2. Whether or not ElBaradei is a good choice, do you think he was too soft on Iraq and/or Iran? Was U.S. opposition to his tenure justified?



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carlitoswhey
Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize?
No. The Peace Prize has truly evolved into a sort of US-bashing exercise. When a terrorist kleptocrat like Yassir Arafat can win the peace prize, you know it has "jumped the shark" to borrow a phrase. I've been to the Nobel museum, and it's highly recommended, but they should get out of the "peace" business, about which they are clueless.

Let's see - look at the facts and tell me how the IAEA qualify:
- North Korea cheats the deal they made with the US and defies the world to start enriching uranium.
- Iran defies the world, starts enriching uranium for a "peaceful power program" despite their vast oil and natural gas reserves. Moreover, they offer to share this knowledge with other Islamic states.
- Pakistan and India continue to test-fire nukes in the world's most dangerous game of chicken.
- AQ Khan network exposed as a "K-Mart for nuclear weapons"
- Russian special forces move into Iraq just before we invade to destroy evidence that they were working on Saddam's nuclear program.

Give me a break. Call it the "anti-American award" or the "Nobel Appeasement Prize" or something else. The United States has done more to promote lasting peace in the past 5 years than the IAEA ever will do.

If not, who would you suggest?
George Bush, Ariel Sharon, Lu Banglie or any other Chinese dissident.
Renger
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 11 2005, 08:14 PM)
 
The Peace Prize has truly evolved into a sort of US-bashing exercise.  When a terrorist kleptocrat like Yassir Arafat can win the peace prize, you know it has "jumped the shark" to borrow a phrase. 

Give me a break.  Call it the "anti-American award" or the "Nobel Appeasement Prize" or something else.  The United States has done more to promote lasting peace in the past 5 years than the IAEA ever will do.

If not, who would you suggest?
George Bush, Ariel Sharon, Lu Banglie or any other Chinese dissident.
*



I am sorry CW, but your arguments are truly bizarre. The Noble Peace prize a "US-Bashing exercise", a "anti-America award". In 2002 Jimmy Carter was awarded this price...

(Wikipedia)
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"for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"


Lets review the last 15 arward winners shall we ....:
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1990 President Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (USSR) "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community"
1991 Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar) "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights"
1992 Author Rigoberta Menchú (Guatemala) "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples"
1993 President Nelson Mandela (South Africa) and former President Frederik Willem de Klerk (South Africa) "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa"
1994 PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres (Israel) and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (Israel) "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East"
1995 Józef Rotblat (Poland/UK) and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs "for their efforts to diminish the part played by nuclear arms in international politics and, in the longer run, to eliminate such arms"
1996 Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo (East Timor) and José Ramos Horta (East Timor) "for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor"
1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and Jody Williams "for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines"
1998 John Hume and David Trimble (both Northern Ireland) "for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland"
1999 Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels. "in recognition of the organization's pioneering humanitarian work on several continents"
2000 President Kim Dae Jung (김대중) (South Korea) "for his work for democracy and human rights in South Korea and in East Asia in general, and for peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular"
2001 The United Nations and Secretary-General Kofi Annan (Ghana) "for their work for a better organized and more peaceful world"
2002 Jimmy Carter (USA) - former President of the United States "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"
2003 Shirin Ebadi (شیرین عبادی), (Iran) "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children."
2004 Wangari Maathai (Kenya) "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace"
2005 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed ElBaradei (Egypt) "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way"


Yes it seems that the Noble Prize award is really anti-America, it is a real bashing. rolleyes.gif Come on, you can see for yourself that most of these people surely earned this recognition and honour. The IAEA is still far from being an efficient and smooth organization, but they undoubtely play a significant role in front and behind the scenes in the prevention of the manifacture of atomic bombs. Although I do admit that they have made mistakes.*

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The United States has done more to promote lasting peace in the past 5 years than the IAEA ever will do.


Oh yeah? hmmm.gif What did they exactly do, apart from waging a war in Iraq on shaky grounds. Destabilizing the Middle East region and holding people in custody on Guantanamo Bay. Or maybe the torture practises in the Abu Graib? Please explain me what the U.S. did the last five years to improve world peace? What did the U.S. do to make you feel proud? us.gif hmmm.gif

* Edited to add.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Renger @ Oct 11 2005, 01:45 PM)

I am sorry CW, but your arguments are truly bizarre. The Noble Peace prize a "US-Bashing exercise", a "anti-America award". In 2002 Jimmy Carter was awarded this price...

(Wikipedia)
QUOTE
"for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"

Right. Jimmy Carter has been the most outspoken critic of the US government of any living president in history. What is your point here?

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Lets review the last 15 award winners shall we ....:

Of 12 winners listed, 6 could arguably be perceived as a slap in the face of US policies or leaders.

Carter - slap
IAEA - slap
Kofi Annan - big huge slap
Arafat - slap and frankly the most bizarre thing ever
ICBL Landmine Campaign - slap (USA not a signatory due to Korean Peninsula)
Gorbachev - mini-slap (note he's not sharing this with Reagan)

QUOTE(renger)
QUOTE
The United States has done more to promote lasting peace in the past 5 years than the IAEA ever will do.


Oh yeah? hmmm.gif What did they exactly do, apart from waging a war in Iraq on shaky grounds. Destabilizing the Middle East region and holding people in custody on Guantanamo Bay. Or maybe the torture practises in the Abu Graib? Please explain me what the U.S. did the last five years to improve world peace? What did the U.S. do to make you feel proud? us.gif hmmm.gif

We've killed several thousand terrorists, fostered democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, caused Libya to give up its weapons program, saved thousands of people in South Asia from the effects of the tsunami (and now earthquake), fed millions of poor people, encouraged nascent democracies from Kyrgistan to Lebanon, significantly increased anti-AIDS funding for Africa.

Frankly, I'm really restraining myself in responding to what you wrote. As if all the US does happens in one Iraqi prison or in Guantanamo. Have you ever noticed that THE REST OF CUBA IS ONE BIG PRISON and the USA is the only nation that seems to notice this? If you lived in America, you would see every day that Cubans are willing to risk their lives to escape Castro, but let's worry about 500 terrorists prisoners who have ALL HAD HEARINGS IN A COURT!

As for 'de-stabilizing the mid east region' - I can't stop laughing enough to type a response. Right. We de-stabilized the middle east who were all doing super-keen before Bush was elected. Excellent.
Renger
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 11 2005, 09:21 PM)
Right.  Jimmy Carter has been the most outspoken critic of the US government of any living president in history.  What is your point here?


Why did he critize his country so much? That is certainly not a normal reaction for an ex-president. Maybe he had good reasons? hmmm.gif

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Of 12 winners listed, 6 could arguably be perceived as a slap in the face of US policies or leaders.

Carter - slap
IAEA - slap
Kofi Annan - big huge slap
Arafat - slap and frankly the most bizarre thing ever
ICBL Landmine Campaign - slap (USA not a signatory due to Korean Peninsula)
Gorbachev - mini-slap (note he's not sharing this with Reagan)


... 6 could arguably be perceived ... So you agree with me that these persons did contribute a lot to world peace. That they rightfully recieved this prestigious award? The fact that you see these nominations as a slap in the face, is all based on your perception . I don't share this perception. I do not see any conspiracy against the U.S.

QUOTE
We've killed several thousand terrorists, fostered democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, caused Libya to give up its weapons program, saved thousands of people in South Asia from the effects of the tsunami (and now earthquake), fed millions of poor people, encouraged nascent democracies from Kyrgistan to Lebanon, significantly increased anti-AIDS funding for Africa.


And at the same time your popularity in the whole world drops. Militant anti-americanism flourishes in the Middle East and Europe is no longer following your lead without questioning, because of the agressive policy of the administration of Bush. I am not saying that the U.S. does nothing to improve the peace and the help the needy in the world, but you said that the U.S. has done more to promote lasting peace than the IAEA in the last five years. I just pointed out some big minors in the American international policy from the past five years. I really don't think that the U.S. has any right for a Noble Price on this moment.

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Frankly, I'm really restraining myself in responding to what you wrote.  As if all the US does happens in one Iraqi prison or in Guantanamo.  Have you ever noticed that THE REST OF CUBA IS ONE BIG PRISON and the USA is the only nation that seems to notice this?  If you lived in America, you would see every day that Cubans are willing to risk their lives to escape Castro, but let's worry about 500 terrorists prisoners who have ALL HAD HEARINGS IN A COURT!


http://web.amnesty.org/pages/guantanamobay-index-eng
QUOTE
The detention camp at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba has become a symbol of the US administration’s refusal to put human rights and the rule of law at the heart of its response to the atrocities of 11 September 2001. Hundreds of people of around 35 different nationalities remain held in effect in a legal black hole, many without access to any court, legal counsel or family visits.

As evidence of torture and widespread cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment mounts, it is more urgent than ever that the US Government bring the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and any other facilities it is operating outside the USA into full compliance with international law and standards. The only alternative is to close them down.


Does this deserve a Noble Prize of Peace? I do not think so.

QUOTE
As for 'de-stabilizing the mid east region' - I can't stop laughing enough to type a response.  Right.  We de-stabilized the middle east who were all doing super-keen before Bush was elected.  Excellent.


Ask yourself the question: Did the Iraq War bring peace and stability to the country? They are liberated from Sadam and that is a good thing. But are they better off at this moment? Fighting is still going on in their cities, suicidebombers terrorists etc etc. Iraq is still far from being peaceful. From the very beginning of the war up to THIS moment the U.S has not brought any safety to the country. Maybe in the future if all turns out well and Iraq has become a stable democracy Bush should receive the Noble Prize, but up till now I think ElBaradei and the IAEA deserve it more.






English Horn
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 11 2005, 02:21 PM)
Carter - slap
IAEA - slap
Kofi Annan - big huge slap
Arafat - slap and frankly the most bizarre thing ever
ICBL Landmine Campaign - slap (USA not a signatory due to Korean Peninsula)
Gorbachev - mini-slap (note he's not sharing this with Reagan)


So what's your point, that Gorbachev or ICBL or even Carter are not deserving because awarding them a prize would somehow slap the American administration in the face? That's quite a perverted logic. While I do agree that award to Arafat is somewhat strange, the rest of awards are totally justified - including the one to Gorbachev (without him Reagan would continue making his fiery speeches all the way till the end of his term in 1988 and status quo would remain to that day... but this is a discussion for a different thread).
If anything, it's quite telling that so many Nobel Peace prizes are a slap to the American administration.

QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 11 2005, 02:21 PM)
Frankly, I'm really restraining myself in responding to what you wrote.  As if all the US does happens in one Iraqi prison or in Guantanamo.  Have you ever noticed that THE REST OF CUBA IS ONE BIG PRISON and the USA is the only nation that seems to notice this?  If you lived in America, you would see every day that Cubans are willing to risk their lives to escape Castro, but let's worry about 500 terrorists prisoners who have ALL HAD HEARINGS IN A COURT!


Are come on Carlito... there's no need to repeat the official propaganda lines. Cubans are willing to risk their lives to escape poverty, not Castro - just like Mexicans and Guatemalans and Nicaraguans are willing to risk their lives to get to United States. Mexico is a democracy, so why there're so many mexicans trying to cross the border? Cuba has a first-rate education system, a health system which is an envy of all of Latin America, and a developed industry (microbiology and biotechnology - they're one of the leaders in the field) which helped them to sustain the island's independence having the world's sole superpower as their sworn enemy. You chose not to notice all that, as well as the fact that Americans are the only citizens of the western world who are prohibited to visit Cuba (talk about freedoms!)
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(Renger @ Oct 11 2005, 03:28 PM)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 11 2005, 09:21 PM)
Right.  Jimmy Carter has been the most outspoken critic of the US government of any living president in history.  What is your point here?


Why did he critize his country so much? That is certainly not a normal reaction for an ex-president. Maybe he had good reasons?
Worst. President. Ever. Sure, he deserved something for his tireless humanitarian work during the 80's and 90's, but now he's a complete joke, "blessing" the "free" elections in places like Zimbabwe and hanging out with the dictators of Cuba and Venezuela.

QUOTE(Renger @ Oct 11 2005, 03:28 PM)
QUOTE(carlito)
We've killed several thousand terrorists, fostered democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, caused Libya to give up its weapons program, saved thousands of people in South Asia from the effects of the tsunami (and now earthquake), fed millions of poor people, encouraged nascent democracies from Kyrgistan to Lebanon, significantly increased anti-AIDS funding for Africa.


And at the same time your popularity in the whole world drops. Militant anti-americanism flourishes in the Middle East and Europe is no longer following your lead without questioning, because of the agressive policy of the administration of Bush. I am not saying that the U.S. does nothing to improve the peace and the help the needy in the world, but you said that the U.S. has done more to promote lasting peace than the IAEA in the last five years. I just pointed out some big minors in the American international policy from the past five years. I really don't think that the U.S. has any right for a Noble Price on this moment.


You asked me what the US has done that I was proud of. I answered. If you want to criticize these policies, we can discuss them in another thread. You are looking at the USA through a straw, only able to see two small incidents that you perceive (incorrectly in my view) as human-rights violations. Yet, the wonderful IAEA who has allowed nuclear proliferation by the most evil regimes on the planet (Iran and North Korea) wins an award for peace. I find this amusing.

QUOTE(Renger @ Oct 11 2005, 03:28 PM)
QUOTE(carlito)
Frankly, I'm really restraining myself in responding to what you wrote.  As if all the US does happens in one Iraqi prison or in Guantanamo.  Have you ever noticed that THE REST OF CUBA IS ONE BIG PRISON and the USA is the only nation that seems to notice this?  If you lived in America, you would see every day that Cubans are willing to risk their lives to escape Castro, but let's worry about 500 terrorists prisoners who have ALL HAD HEARINGS IN A COURT!


http://web.amnesty.org/pages/guantanamobay-index-eng
QUOTE
The detention camp at the US Naval Base in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba has become a symbol of the US administration’s refusal to put human rights and the rule of law at the heart of its response to the atrocities of 11 September 2001. Hundreds of people of around 35 different nationalities remain held in effect in a legal black hole, many without access to any court, legal counsel or family visits.

As evidence of torture and widespread cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment mounts, it is more urgent than ever that the US Government bring the Guantánamo Bay detention camp and any other facilities it is operating outside the USA into full compliance with international law and standards. The only alternative is to close them down.


Does this deserve a Noble Prize of Peace? I do not think so.
I don't recall ever saying that the USA should win a prize for Guantanamo. I do recall saying in another thread that I no longer pay dues to Amnesty International because of their clear anti-freedom stance in regards to the war on terror. The people in our prison, if not in that prison, would be killing innocents abroad, which really doesn't enhance "human rights" now, but this is the subject of another topic.

This type of logic is so twisted, it would be as if I said "we can't have a French Nobel Prize winner because the French are torturing and killing refugees from North Africa." Ridiculous. The French are fine people, and it would be unfair to judge them on one situation only. Now if we added UN-sanctioned systematic child rape in Africa and French diplomats being jailed in the oil-for-food scandal, I could make this case against Kofi Annan, but he's already won so never mind...

QUOTE(Renger @ Oct 11 2005, 03:28 PM)
QUOTE
As for 'de-stabilizing the mid east region' - I can't stop laughing enough to type a response.  Right.  We de-stabilized the middle east who were all doing super-keen before Bush was elected.  Excellent.


Ask yourself the question: Did the Iraq War bring peace and stability to the country? They are liberated from Sadam and that is a good thing. But are they better off at this moment? Fighting is still going on in their cities, suicidebombers terrorists etc etc. Iraq is still far from being peaceful. From the very beginning of the war up to THIS moment the U.S has not brought any safety to the country. Maybe in the future if all turns out well and Iraq has become a stable democracy Bush should receive the Noble Prize, but up till now I think ElBaradei and the IAEA deserve it more.

Well, you are wrong about this. As for bringing 'peace' to Iraq, it's true that our presence has forced some issues, and attracted many foreign jihadists. It's also true that we are killing many of them, even while they bomb innocents to make political points. Just today, the New York Times published a letter, where you can see that the terrorists are convinced they are losing and worried about their future. Lastly, if you take the number of people killed by Saddam Hussein, either due to aggressive war with Iran or Kuwait, or his impoverishing his people due to UN non-compliance, or his systematic torture, or his genocide of the Marsh Arabs, I say with confidence that LESS Iraqis will die due to violence in 2005 - 2010 than have died in 1980 - 1985, for example. PS - constitution still on track.

QUOTE(English Horn)
Are come on Carlito... there's no need to repeat the official propaganda lines. Cubans are willing to risk their lives to escape poverty, not Castro - just like Mexicans and Guatemalans and Nicaraguans are willing to risk their lives to get to United States. Mexico is a democracy, so why there're so many mexicans trying to cross the border? Cuba has a first-rate education system, a health system which is an envy of all of Latin America, and a developed industry (microbiology and biotechnology - they're one of the leaders in the field) which helped them to sustain the island's independence having the world's sole superpower as their sworn enemy. You chose not to notice all that, as well as the fact that Americans are the only citizens of the western world who are prohibited to visit Cuba (talk about freedoms!)
I'll agree with you about the US policy, but if you really want to go, it's easy from Toronto or Mexico City.

As for the 'first rate' anything in Cuba, if you would rather have good health care at the expense of being jailed for criticizing your government, then you can have it. Please move on down - the weather is great. It's a whole lot more than poverty which makes people leave.
turnea
I considered the anti-American angle when I heard of this award, but I've come the conclusion that that in not the message the Nobel Committee intended to send.

There was a time when the IAEA and the US cooperated very closely.

The IAEA was instrumental in discovering and dismantling Iraq's nuclear program, they accepted and used American intelligence in North Korea to inspect hidden nuclear facilities and likely stopped the North Koreans from getting the bomb years before they did.

The IAEA has no enforcement arm, it must rely on the Security Council to send carrots and sticks.

I see no reason to blame it for North Korea or Iran.

I believe the IAEA deserves the prize. I don't know enough about ElBaradei to make a decision either way.

The organization itself is vital.
English Horn
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 12 2005, 10:13 AM)
As for the 'first rate' anything in Cuba, if you would rather have good health care at the expense of being jailed for criticizing your government, then you can have it.  Please move on down - the weather is great.  It's a whole lot more than poverty which makes people leave.


There's no reason to make it personal - "move on down yourself" is akin to argument "if you're for Iraqi war, then go and enlist". But I tell you what - first-rate healthcare translates to longer life expectancy. You may find it surprising, but for the most regular people good healthcare is more important than the right to critisize the government. Cubans have life expectancy similar to the most developed western nations. It's a mistake to lump Saddam's Iraq, North Korea, and Cuba into the same bundle.

By offering to visit through Toronto or Mexico City are you advocating breaking the law? rolleyes.gif
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(English Horn @ Oct 12 2005, 10:44 AM)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 12 2005, 10:13 AM)
As for the 'first rate' anything in Cuba, if you would rather have good health care at the expense of being jailed for criticizing your government, then you can have it.  Please move on down - the weather is great.  It's a whole lot more than poverty which makes people leave.


There's no reason to make it personal - "move on down yourself" is akin to argument "if you're for Iraqi war, then go and enlist".
Sorry for the personal dig, but as I mentioned, everyone who can steal a boat is voting with their feet and leaving. They have weighed the health-care against the economy and level of freedom, and the vast majority who have a choice choose Miami over Cuba. Even patriotic Cubans like Jose Contreras (who pitches for the White Sox) who had their families held hostage when they defected - they still defected. Freedom and opportunity were more important than "first-rate healthcare."

QUOTE
But I tell you what - first-rate healthcare translates to longer life expectancy. You may find it surprising, but for the most regular people good healthcare is more important than the right to critisize the government. Cubans have  life expectancy similar to the most developed western nations. It's a mistake to lump Saddam's Iraq, North Korea, and Cuba into the same bundle.
Would you rather live 80 years in freedom or 85 years under the thumb of a dictator?

Would you rather be healthy and wonder what psychotic Raul Castro will be like when his brother dies and he inherits the 'revolution' or put up with HMO's or charity health care and have political self-determination?

QUOTE
By offering to visit through Toronto or Mexico City are you advocating breaking the law

Yes - and get some cigars and Habana Club 6-year-old rum for me if you go. mrsparkle.gif
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moif
1. Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who would you suggest?

I don't like when they give the award to organisations that are, basically, just doing their job. I much prefer when the Nobel prize is given to those who are facing opposition thats is near overwhelming, such as Shirin Ebadi (2003) and Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). The reason being, these individuals show far more courage than any organisation and deserve to be recognized for their personal efforts.

I'm not convinced that El Baradei deserves this honour since I am hard pressed to know how he has promoted peace. I don't regard the IAEA in a negative light, but like the UN I see it as a purely political entity who's mere existence does not merit this award. Kofi Anan and El Baradei are politicians, functionaries, carrying out a job. To regard them in the same light as Shirin Ebadi, Aung San Suu Kyi and Wangari Maathai seems (to me) to belittle the risk of death these individuals faced in their perilous struggles.

If I could have influenced the choice of who most deserved the 2005 award I would have nominated some obscure doctor fighting indifference and disease in the sub sahara area or a volunteer worker bringing relief supplies to war torn Afghanistan.


2. Whether or not ElBaradei is a good choice, do you think he was too soft on Iraq and/or Iran? Was U.S. opposition to his tenure justified?

Despite Carlito's apparent paranoia, I do not believe the Norwegians are out to score political points against the US government(s).

I think its actually dangerous to assume that just because you disagree with some one else, that they are then acting against you. This point of view indicates that Washington believes it is always in the right and any one who disagree's is a liability that must be opposed.

I do not think El Baradei was too soft on the Iranians because there is nothing any one else could have done better than he did. To say he was too soft is to ignore the multiple complexities of the issue. I'm sure El Baradei did the best he, or any one else in his position, could have done.

I think the American government often (wilfully) forgets that it does not own a monopoly on either moral authority or the truth. I believe their near constant opposition to any one or anything that does not follow the USA line is one of the biggest problems we face in the world today. I don't care how right the US government thinks it is, more and more often the rest of the world looks upon the US government as a hinderance to peace.
English Horn
QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ Oct 12 2005, 10:52 AM)
 
They have weighed the health-care against the economy and level of freedom, and the vast majority who have a choice choose Miami over Cuba.  Even patriotic Cubans like Jose Contreras (who pitches for the White Sox) who had their families held hostage when they defected - they still defected.  Freedom and opportunity were more important than "first-rate healthcare." 
Would you rather live 80 years in freedom or 85 years under the thumb of a dictator?   
 
Would you rather be healthy and wonder what psychotic Raul Castro will be like when his brother dies and he inherits the 'revolution' or put up with HMO's or charity health care and have political self-determination? 


This is not a fair comparison - Cuba and United States. See how life would be in United States if it was under an embargo by a neighbor with GDP 100 times larger than your own.
But what I am trying to say - you don't see scores of Cubans emigrating to Mexico or Dominican, or any other local democracy. It's easier to choose Miami over Cuba - but it's not so simple when the choice is between Havana and Santo Domingo.
In United States people have both - good healthcare and freedom. When you can have a cake and eat it, too, of course people will go here. When the choice is either democracy or good healthcare/education, the choice is not that obvious - and, apparently, people choose the latter by not emigrating in droves to closer, but poorer countries like Mexico, Haiti, or DR.
As for Contreras - he stood to make millions in United States by defecting. Not a very good example. If he, like some other immigrants, had to wait tables and mop floors instead of pitching for Cuban team, and he would have left anyway - than I would agree with you that he had a burning desire for freedom.
By the way, what happened to Contreras family? I thought they were reunited recently in the States. This regime doesn't hold their hostages for too long... smile.gif

After all that, it's time for me to answer the debate's question itself. I think that there're more worthy candidates - especially people who do things for which they're not being paid. However, the committee probably considered the impact that each nominee made on the entire humanity. In that case, the work of El Baradei has probably had more impact.
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(English Horn @ Oct 12 2005, 12:25 PM)
This is not a fair comparison - Cuba and United States. See how life would be in United States if it was under an embargo by a neighbor with GDP 100 times larger than your own. 
Well, I didn't start the comparison - you wanted to talk health-care...

QUOTE
But what I am trying to say - you don't see scores of Cubans emigrating to Mexico or Dominican, or any other local democracy. It's easier to choose Miami over Cuba - but it's not so simple when the choice is between Havana and Santo Domingo.
You may have missed it, but in 1980, 10,000 cubans stormed the Peruvian Embassy in Havana looking for asylum. This was one of the biggest reasons for Fidel allowing the Mariel Boatlift, which ended up sending over 100,000 Cubans to Miami.

As for why they didn't take their boats to Mexico or Haiti, if you're going to risk your life in a dangerous boat trip, why not head to a country that promises you legal residence if you land with 2 dry feet? As opposed to places like Mexico, who just might send you back home to face punishment from Castro, who has a tendency to execute "dissidents"? This seems self-evident to me.

edited to add - if you'll see the "Rags to Riches" thread, you'll note that you too can be a millionaire here in the USA - you don't have to be a major-league pitcher laugh.gif

Apologies for the off-topic diversion - I'll re-state my opposition to the IAEA for this particular award, this particular year. I'll also note that Annan and Arafat being on this list calls the whole thing into question. But I'll second moif's notion that winners who face overwhelming opposition in the name of peace should get special consideration - Dalai Lama, Lu Banglie, Aung San Suu Kyi, etc., would be better illustrations of Nobel Peace Prize candidates and more inspirational in my opinion.
Julian
1. Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who would you suggest?

In the context of the way the Peace Prize is dished out, this award is certainly no worse than uncontroversial past winners such as the Northern Irish leaders honoured a few years back. And it's certainly better than some past winners.

One thing that I think weakens the prize, more than any other factor, is the striving towards topicality. The Nobel Physics or Chemistry prizes are rarely awarded for work that took place less than 20 years ago, to allow the intervening years to form a truer measure of the greatness (or otherwise) of possible nominees. If someone developed a magical cure for all cancers tomorrow, they'd be nulikely to get a Nobel gong for at least a generation, when the full and lasting effects of their efforts can be judged.

Yet the Peace Prize always seems to be awarded for very recent (by comparison) efforts.

As for other choices, while realpolitik might sometimes see that an aggressive military campaign can lead to peace, the Nobel institute does not see it that way, so the likes of Bush or Sharon are never going to get the Peace Prize unless they actively work for peace by peaceful means. Which they haven't even tried to do, so nobody can say whether or not they would be roaring successes or signal failures if they ever did try a different route to peace.

2. Whether or not ElBaradei is a good choice, do you think he was too soft on Iraq and/or Iran? Was U.S. opposition to his tenure justified?

I don't think he was too soft, no. And whether or not US opposition is justified, given their wider policy in the Middle East and on nuclear proliferation, it would be hypocritical of them to do anything but publicly condemn this award. (So opponents of US policy may disagree, but at least they cannot accuse the US of hypocrisy, at least not on their specific opposition to El Baradei's award.)
carlitoswhey
In an amazing coincidence, virulently anti-American playright Harold Pinter has won the Nobel prize for literature. I'm sure his plays were brilliant, and frankly I love some of the screenplays he wrote, but geez. Harold Pinter's bio
QUOTE(from his bio)
Since the overthrow of Chile's President Allende in 1973, Pinter has been active in human rights issues, but his opinions have often been controversial. During the Kosovo crisis in 1999, Pinter condemned Nato's intervention and said it will "only aggravate the misery and the horror and devastate the country". In 2001 Pinter joined The International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic, which also included former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Milosevic was arrested by the U.N. war crimes tribunal, which plans to try him on charges of crimes against humanity. In January 2002 Pinter was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus. In his speech to an anti-war meeting at the House of Commons in November 2002 Pinter joined the world-wide debate over the so-called "preventive war" against Iraq: "Bush has said: "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to remain in the hands of the world's worst leaders." Quite right. Look in the mirror chum. That's you." In February 2005 Pinter announced in an interview that he has decided to abandon his career as a playwright and put all his energy into politics. "I've written 29 plays. Isn't that enough?"

I'm sure Mr. Pinter's move "into politics" and his recent criticism of Bush had absolutely nothing to do with his nomination this very year for the Nobel Prize. Some of his finer political critique - guardian link
QUOTE(guardian)
The playwright said: "The US is really beyond reason now. It is beyond our imagining to know what they are going to do next and what they are prepared to do. There is only one comparison: Nazi Germany.

"Nazi Germany wanted total domination of Europe and they nearly did it. The US wants total domination of the world and is about to consolidate that.

<snip>

Pinter blamed "millions of totally deluded American people" for not staging a mass revolt.

<snip>

The US population could not be let off scot-free for putting the country under the control of an "illegally elected president - in other words, a fake".


The American adminstration is a bloodthirsty animal
In this column, Mr. Pinter repeats the urban myth about depleted uranium shells causing birth defects, similar to Cindy Sheehan. At this time, he had probably just gotten the email that went around with the fake deformed baby pictures, saying they were caused by uranium in Iraq. Could happen to anyone I guess. Oh well, in researching this post, I find that I could just ignore everything he has written, since it could all be either true or false or neither...
QUOTE(Pinter)
"There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false."
DaffyGrl
1. Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who would you suggest?

Considering the spirit and intent of the Peace Prize as determined by its founder, I would say yes, the IAEA and its director are a good choice.
QUOTE
In his will, Alfred Nobel wrote that the Peace Prize should, among other criteria, be awarded to whoever had done most for the "abolition or reduction of standing armies". In its application of this criterion in recent decades, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has concentrated on the struggle to diminish the significance of nuclear arms in international politics, with a view to their abolition. That the world has achieved little in this respect makes active opposition to nuclear arms all the more important today. Nobel.org

As for all the “anti-American” yammer, maybe the Nobel Peace Prize truly is not for America. If the Nobel committee is anti-anything, it is anti-violence and anti-war. Come to think of it, I guess that would make it anti-American. laugh.gif After all, this country, in general, has done little toward abolishing or reducing our armed forces (quite the opposite, in fact), or make any real effort toward promoting or achieving world peace. There are some unique individuals who do stand for peace, and though they may be ridiculed by the American hawks, the Nobel committee recognizes their efforts as individuals, not as "a country".

And besides, the Nobel Prize for Economics, Medicine and Chemistry were all won by Americans…and some of them actually won as a team with (horrors!) the French and German. Imagine that. whistling.gif
carlitoswhey
QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ Oct 13 2005, 03:09 PM)
After all, this country, in general, has done little toward abolishing or reducing our armed forces (quite the opposite, in fact), or make any real effort toward promoting or achieving world peace.

Armed Forces personnel by branch by year: - link
Year Army Air Force Navy Marine Corps Total
1970 1,322,548 791,349 691,126 259,737 3,064,760
1975 784,333 612,751 535,085 195,951 2,128,120
1980 777,036 557,969 527,153 188,469 2,050,627
1985 780,787 601,515 570,705 198,025 2,151,032
1990 732,403 535,233 579,417 196,652 2,043,705
1995 508,559 400,409 434,617 174,639 1,518,224
2000 482,170 355,654 373,193 173,321 1,384,338
2005 490,472 360,578 364,504 177,380 1,392,934


We've reduced the size of our armed forces by half in 30 years. Wouldn't that be the exact definition of reduction of standing armies" ? blink.gif
DaffyGrl
QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
We've reduced the size of our armed forces by half in 30 years. Wouldn't that be the exact definition of reduction of standing armies" ? 

The fact that we keep instigating wars with the military we have kind of negates any positive from a reduction in forces. And besides, with technology improvements, the number of boots on the ground aren't as important as one well-trained soldier with all the latest kill 'em gizmos. thumbsup.gif
ConservPat
QUOTE
1. Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who would you suggest?

Hmmm, well, let's see. Iran is still openly pursuing a nuclear program, North Korea recently put there's together, every little conflict between Pakistan and India has people talking about nuclear war and China is also considering a nuclear weapon program...Oh yeah, the IAEA's done a cracker jack job. So no, he and the IAEA were horrible choices. I would suggest Ariel Sharone and/or PM Abbas
of the Palestinians, you know, people who actually accomplished something.

CP us.gif


turnea
QUOTE(ConservPat @ Oct 13 2005, 05:24 PM)

QUOTE
1. Are ElBaradei and the IAEA good choices for the Nobel Peace Prize? If not, who would you suggest?

Hmmm, well, let's see. Iran is still openly pursuing a nuclear program, North Korea recently put there's together, every little conflict between Pakistan and India has people talking about nuclear war and China is also considering a nuclear weapon program...Oh yeah, the IAEA's done a cracker jack job. So no, he and the IAEA were horrible choices. I would suggest Ariel Sharone and/or PM Abbas
of the Palestinians, you know, people who actually accomplished something.

CP us.gif
*


China is considering nuclear weapons?


Aren't we a bit late on that note? laugh.gif

Once again blaming the IAEA for Iran and North Korea's refusal to cooperate is pointless. The IAEA doesn't punish violations, it must refer them to the Security council, and even that is the decision of member states.

The situation would have been much worse without the IAEA keeping as close a watch on Iran and North Korea as humanly possible. They stayed firm in the face of repeated lies and threats form nations all over the world.

I think if people knew more about the IAEA and its recent history this award would make more sense.
ConservPat
Yeah, lol, I was just about to edit that and say HAS instead of considering, that was a typo.

Moving on...

QUOTE
Once again blaming the IAEA for Iran and North Korea's refusal to cooperate is pointless. The IAEA doesn't punish violations, it must refer them to the Security council, and even that is the decision of member states.

Okay, so having said that, what real good has the IAEA done? How has IT specifically helped the completely reachable [ rolleyes.gif ] goal of world peace? It doesn't have the power to make the world a less nuclear place, and the UN is useless right now, so I can't see how the IAEA is worthy, needless to say more worthy than Abbas and Sharon, of a Nobel Prize.

CP us.gif
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