Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Peace Prize

 

Why I can’t celebrate Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this Friday to India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai for their struggles against the suppression of children and for young people’s rights, including the right to education.

That is great news, and it might almost mean Nobel Peace Prize makes sense again.

Mind you that this year prize is meaningful after being awarded to Barack Obama in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”,

This prize  was also awarded to European Union in 2012 “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe” (at least this make sense, while the Obama excuse is pretty lame and totally erroneous).

(Again, international politics abridge the years that a person has to struggle before being considered for a prize. Though Kailash Satyarthi has already served his dues after 14 years of steadfast struggles to prohibit kids from being used as labor in India. He managed to save 75,000 kids from this awful state of slavery)

Still, there is something that really troubles me. How come we (meaning the West) always recognize the “devils” of the East, the torments children like Malala had to and have to go through (in her case, with the Taliban), but always fail to recognize our own participation in creating those “devils”?

How come we never talk about the things our governments are doing to the children of Pakistan, or Syria, or Iraq, or Palestine, or Yemen?

Let’s just take drone strikes as an example. Last year’s tweet by George Galloway might illustrate this hypocrisy.

10494696_10205086935471637_7493940445304227766_n

Galloway is absolutely right. We would never even know her name.

But, since Malala’s story fits into the western narrative of the oriental oppression (in which the context underlying the creation of the oppression is left out), we all know Malala’s name. Like Assed Baig writes:

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalized.

Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armour to save her. 

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations the wars all seem justified now, ‘see, we told you, this is why we intervene to save the natives.’”

The problem is, there are thousands of Malalas that the West helped create with endless wars, occupations, interventions, drone strikes, etc.

In Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, one can hear how little we know about the drone strikes – its aims, targets, results. Right now we have the executive branch making a claim that it has the right to kill anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, for secret reasons based on secret evidence, in a secret process undertaken by unidentified officials. That frightens me.

This is how Rosa Brooks, a Georgetown professor and former Pentagon official under President Obama, explained the US policy on drone strikes during a congressional hearing last year.

The following photo presents the piece that was installed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province, close to Pakistan’s northwest border with Afghanistan, by an art collective that includes Pakistanis, Americans and others associated with the French artist JR.

The collective said it produced the work in the hope that U.S. drone operators will see the human face of their victims in a region that has been the target of frequent strikes.

foto/photo via notabugsplat/

That is the reality we are not being presented with.

Another reality is the story of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, 14-year-old Iraqi girl, who was gang raped by five U.S. Army soldiers and killed in her house in Yusufiyah (Iraq) in 2006.

She was raped and murdered after her parents and six-year-old sister Hadeel Qasim Hamza were killed.

Also not irrelevant to mention is that Abeer was going to school before the US invasion but had to stop going because of her father’s concerns for her safety.

article-0-0C89D3B2000005DC-51_634x548Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi

And while the West applauds Malala (as they should), I am afraid it might be for the wrong reasons, or with a wrong perspective.

It feels like the West wants to gain an agenda that suits them or the policies they want.

That is also why Malala’s views on Islam are rarely presented.

She uses her faith as a framework to argue for the importance of education rather than making Islam a justification for oppression, but that is rarely mentioned. It also “doesn’t fit”.

So, my thoughts were mixed this Friday when I heard the news about the Nobel Peace Prize. On so many levels. They still are. We’ve entered a new war, and peace prize award ceremonies seem ridiculous after looking at this photo.

tumblr_nd1ycaClBV1tgyqboo1_1280“They say that if God loves you, He will let you live a long life, but I wish that He loved me a little less. I wish that I didn’t live long enough to see my country in ruins.”  Ahmad, a 102 year old Syrian refugee /photo by A. McConnell, UNHCR/

Sure, we must acknowledge the efforts of those who are fighting for a better world, but when it is done in a way that feels so calculated, unidimensional, loaded with secret agendas and tons of hypocrisy – I just can’t celebrate it.

What that! Nobel Prize for Passivity? (October 17, 2009)

 

            A new Nobel Prize is created!  The criteria are no longer life-time award for active fight on famine, diseases, human rights, establishing international organizations for caring to the wounded fallen on battle fields (Red Cross), catering to the lowest castes of humanity, coming to the scour of human dignity buffeted and trampled by the blood sucking “mosquitoes”.  Nobel Peace Prize has changed criterion: it is awarded to new political leaders to encourage them to work toward peace; a sort of pre-emptive incentive hoping that the dangled “bait” might promote peace more effectively than waiting for actual deeds.

            What that? He is barely 9 months in office and nothing tangible to show and account for that he might be a potential “peace loving” leader.  Was Barak Obama awarded the most honored Peace prize for canceling the “offensive missile shield” in Europe simply because the US can no longer afford extra expenses and China refused to cough up the dough? Was Obama rewarded in exchange of Brazil being selected as the next soccer Olympic site?  Was Obama awarded this prestigious prize for voting NO to the discussion of the report on crimes against humanity committed in Gaza? Was Obama rewarded for increasing troops in Afghanistan (over 40,000 soldiers) since he came to power?  Was Obama rewarded this life-time achieving work for failing to put a hold on further Israeli expansion on lands not its own?

            Is the Nobel committee too lax and anxious to debase the value of Peace Prizes?  I sit lacking worthy nominees and opting for the last come first served candidates?

            What that?  How come the Peace Prize has become exclusively awarded to political leaders?  Why all these political leaders were selected from among those who signed “peace treaties” on the White House Lawn (blue, rose, green, I forgot, but never white) before waiting for the proper execution of the terms of the peace contracts?  Began and Sadate were awarded this prize and then Begin started his pre-emptive war on Lebanon in 1982 and Sadate encouraged the civil war in Lebanon to go on indefinitely. Arafat and Rabin were awarded the same prize and then all the peace process terms were freezed and canceled by successive Israeli leaders.

            The Norwegian Nobel committee, used to award “Peace Prizes” for personalities who contributed greatly to communicating the spirit of peace and actively working toward instituting peace around the world and in their communities; the decisions have been politicizing: they contributed to lavishing this prize to totally undeserving individuals of war criminals and criminals against humanity. The latest of awardees is Israel President Simon Perez who said lately: “Israel can protect its babies against Gaza babies” and who participated in the decision making to perpetrate genocide on the Palestinian civilians in Gaza and shelled the UN peace keeping forces in Qana Lebanon in 1986 killing 120 civilians and double in severe casualties.  Many deserving Nobel Peace Prize awardees signed a petition saying that they feel ashamed that Peres was awarded such an honorable prize.

            The Norwegian committee has awarded this prize to Kissinger, the US Secretary of State under Nixon who prosecuted the Viet Nam war until it was a losing case; Kissinger is the one who planned and prosecuted the Lebanese civil war in conjunction with Sadate of Egypt.

            What that? Any President to the US after Bush Junior could have gotten this award!  Should this prize be extended to the American people simply because they got tired of all the Bush Junior Administration nonsense and for witnessing the worst world financial crash?

            I suggest that the Nobel Peace Prize be split into two prizes: the life-time social activists for human peace and the most passive political leader who refrained from interfering in other states affairs. It is the responsibly of the Norwegian government or its Parliament to strip the names of those who won these prizes and then proven to be undeserving from the list of this Hall of Fame or we will label this list the Hall of Shame!

 

Note: Read my previous post “No mas for Nobel Peace prizes” published on January 15, 2009.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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