Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Nuclear Peace Prize

Tens of thousands of Iranians demonstrated hours before IAEA was awarded the ultimate peace prize for opposing the spread of nuclear arms. “Nuclear science is our right;” “Death to America, death to Israel and death to Great Britain,” chanted demonstrators gathered after Friday prayers. [Iranmania]

U.N. inspections could stop said Iran’s FM on state TV, unless the IAEA changes its resolution passed last month that is warning Iran it could be referred to the Security Council unless it allayed fears about its nuclear program. [Guardian]

In no other Nobel category could the prize go to someone who accomplished precisely nothing. You can't win for Physics just because you tried — really, really hard, mind you — to achieve cold fusion. Even Literature laureates have to write something. [Riding Sun]

Bookmaker Ladbrokes list of likely winners were topped by Finland’s former president, Martti Ahtisaari. His efforts to broker a peace deal in Indonesia have made him a three-to-one favorite. Rock singer Bono had eight-to-one odds. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair were at 500-to-one. [AP]

But why did not Mahatma Gandhi win? His omission has been criticized to the extent that later members of the Nobel committee publicly regretted it. When the Dalai Lama was awarded the prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi". Gandhi was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948. [India Times]

Perhaps this tip gives a clue: for anyone aspiring to win the Nobel Peace Prize: visit Norway. In a curious mix of coincidence, luck and lobbying... Since 1990 alone, about half the laureates have visited Norway, won another Norwegian prize beforehand or had some other strong prior link to Norway. [Reuters]

Was the prize a critique of President Bush's administration, which tried, but ultimately failed, to remove him from his post for much of the last year? Nobel Prize officials denied this was a political statement and said ElBaradei had been a strong advocate for diplomacy while working to rid the world from the threat of nuclear weapons. [Slate]

While tasked with policing the spread of nuclear weapons, the IAEA is also responsible for spreading the very technologies and materials used to make nuclear weapons. However, in opposing the Iraq war and championing a nuclear free Middle East, ElBaradie has in recent years been a voice of sanity in the world of nuclear non-proliferation. [Greenpeace]

The prime mover in dismantling the most dangerous focii of nuclear weapons production was the Bush administration rather than the UN nuclear watchdog and its director. It was only after these episodes were successfully concluded that ElBaradei realized that Washington had drawn up new rules for the international nuclear game. He began cooperating in earnest with America’s effort to disarm North Korea. [Debka]

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