2009-2010 have not been good years for the Nobel Peace Prize. First came the silly award to Barack Obama. Next came the Climategate and related revelations that made the award to Al Gore and the IPCC look almost comically absurd and now – perhaps worst of all – comes the revelation by the UN IAEA that Iran may actually be working on a nuclear warhead.
Why is that bad for the Norwegian Prize Committee, you ask? After all, everybody and his brother knows the Iranians are working on nuclear weapons. Well, everybody but the IAEA’s previous chief. As Bridget Johnson puts it for The Hill:
The report by the new head of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, appears to raise greater concerns about Iran’s capabilities than the assessments of his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei.
“Altogether, this raises concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile,” said the report.
“These alleged activities consist of a number of projects and sub-projects, covering nuclear and missile related aspects, run by military related organizations.”
Of course it’s Mr. ELBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner for 2005, who missed all this. Did he miss it accidentally? Mr. Amano has only had the job for a couple of months. ElBaradei had it for twelve years. As most kids would say, what’s up with that? What’s up with that, indeed. My guess is that ElBaradei either deliberately or semi-deliberately turned away from obvious Iranian nuclear weapons development for the better part of a decade or more. In other words, he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize about as much as A. Q. Khan. In fact, if Khan is the father of the Islamic bomb, ElBaradei is probably its uncle. At least Gore isn’t responsible for anybody getting nuked, just bankrupt. ElBaradei is in another category. Next time, might as well give the prize posthumously to Dr. Strangelove.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Why do you even care about the Nobel Peace Prize? It’s already been given to Yasir Arafat, for crissakes. What could be sleazier than that? Well, yes, but people still make a big deal out of it for some reason. It still has great propaganda value. So perhaps we should give it a new name more in harmony with its true intentions. I was thinking of the Ahmadinejad Peace Prize but unfortunately the acronym APP has already been taken and Steve Jobs has powerful lawyers. Any other suggestions?