1994: Yasser Arafat, along with Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, “for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.” You know how that went…
2000: Kim Dae Jung, president of South Korea, with special emphasis on his work for peace and reconciliation with North Korea. Kim’s Sunshine policy toward North Korea proved an abysmal failure; North Korea moved right along with the usual totalitarianism, further hostilities and ultimately to two nuclear tests; and Kim, soon after winning his Nobel, was engulfed in corruption scandals.
2001: Kofi Annan and the United Nations. The prize coincided with the near-zenith of corruption in the UN’s Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, which became the signature scandal of an Annan tenure that also encompassed peacekeeper rape, massive corruption in the procurement department, and the roots of the Cash-for-Kim transfers of cash and dual-use technology by the UN Development Program to the government of North Korea.
2002: Jimmy Carter. This was a late-in-the-day prize; Carter had already racked up an astonishing set of failures, from Iran’s Islamic revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during his presidency, to his inspiration for a predictably doomed North Korean nuclear freeze deal in 1994, and so forth. But we can credit Carter for such post-prize feats as his continuing support for the Hugo Chavez electoral system in Venezuela.
2005: Mohamed ElBaradei and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. In a fascinating book about the Nobel Peace Prize, Peace They Say, author Jay Nordlinger suggests that this was arguably the “very worst award” of the Nobel Committee. For almost 20 years, writes Nordlinger, the IAEA was “clueless about Iran.” ElBaradei himself, writes Nordlinger, seemed more interested in protecting the Iranian regime than in holding it to account.
2007: Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2009: Climategate.
2009: Barack Obama. Fill in the blanks…Even Obama himself, in the thick of a reelection campaign, hasn’t been citing this prize.
2012: The EU. Uh-oh.