Trump's Nobel Peace Prize nomination is futile – opinion

The Nobel Peace Prize may garner nearly a million bucks for its laureates with liberal appeal, but it’s not worth the medal it’s engraved on.

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Basler Flight Service in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (photo credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Basler Flight Service in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
(photo credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)
 The announcement that US President Donald Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize provided much headline fodder this week, but was it really that dramatic? The answer is no.
For starters, this isn’t the first time that Trump has been nominated for the coveted award that grants laureates nine million Swedish kronor ($935,366). A bit more than two years ago, a group of 18 members of Congress – Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana) and 17 other House lawmakers – including Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), Diane Black (R-Tennessee) and Steve King (R-Iowa) – nominated him for having worked “tirelessly to apply maximum pressure to North Korea to end its illicit weapons programs and bring peace to the region.”
In their letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee on May 2, 2018, the congresspeople stated that Trump “successfully united the international community, including China, to impose one of the most successful international sanctions regimes in history.”
They further argued that the sanctions “decimated the North Korean economy and have been largely credited for bringing North Korea to the negotiating table. Although North Korea has evaded demands from the international community to cease its aggression for decades, President Trump’s peace through strength policies are working and bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula.”
Therefore, they concluded, “We can think of no one more deserving of the committee’s recognition in 2019 than President Trump for his tireless work to bring peace to our world.”
A day earlier, less than a week after the summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at which the two leaders vowed to work toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula, Moon was quoted by a Blue House official as having made an informal suggestion that “President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace.”
As she walked the red carpet of the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner the previous evening, then-House minority leader (current House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi (D-California) was asked by a Pajamas Media reporter whether Trump would be eligible for a Nobel Peace Prize in the event that North Korea actually agreed to denuclearize.
“We’re a long way from that, but let’s see,” she replied. “There’s always an opportunity for a president of the United States to qualify. Let’s see how it goes.”
The question put Pelosi in an uncomfortable position. Trump was and still is her nemesis. But his predecessor, the hallowed Barack Obama, had been nominated for and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, mere months after entering the Oval Office. Even she may have raised an eyebrow at the time, when the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that Obama deserved the award for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” and his “vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”
It would have been difficult for her or anybody else, then, to find fault with Geir Lundestad – who served for a quarter of a century as the non-voting director of the Nobel Institute – for expressing retrospective regret about the decision to give the prize to Obama. In his 2015 memoir, Fredens Sekretær. 25 år med Nobelprisen (Secretary of Peace: 25 years with the Nobel Prize), Lundestad wrote that the award “did not achieve what the committee had hoped for.”
Translated into English, this means that the darling of the Left didn’t live up to the committee members’ fantasy of the great strides in world peace they believed he would make at some point.
NO SATIRIST could do this reality justice, particularly not after reading the committee’s more in-depth explanation for its selection of the White House novice.
“Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics,” the committee wrote. “Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.”
The fawning went on, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
And then came the clincher, the real reason for bestowing such an honor on someone who hadn’t yet proven himself: “For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman.”
Yes, without the slightest blush, the committee simultaneously acknowledged its political agenda and admitted using the prize as an incentive to those who would carry it out. In this respect, Obama was a highly worthy, if not perfect, choice for a laureate. He certainly did everything in his “leading-from-behind” power to appease the enemies of the West into pretending that they might consider beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Just ask the ayatollah-led regime in Tehran, which became the key beneficiary of Obama’s genuine attempt to make good on the promises that caught the starry eyes of the Nobel Committee.
Enter Trump. Like a bull in a china shop, the unlikely victor in the 2016 US presidential election proceeded to smash all of Obama’s disastrous domestic and foreign policies. Though his champions were confident in his ability to replace and revitalize the former, many of those who supported him as a preferable alternative to Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were nevertheless nervous about his attitude toward – and inexperience in relation to – the latter.
To the great surprise of both categories of voters, Trump exceeded all expectations in the international arena. The list of his achievements in this realm is long and ongoing.
Aside from his above-mentioned carrot-and-stick stance with Pyongyang, he withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran nuclear deal. He recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv. He recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and never interfered with IDF operations in Syria. He halted funding to UNRWA, demanding that the Palestinian Authority cease paying terrorists’ salaries, and declared that Israeli settlements are not illegal.
He brokered the Abraham Accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, encouraging other Gulf states to follow suit, and oversaw a normalization pact between Kosovo and Serbia.
It was his facilitation of the Jerusalem-Abu Dhabi treaty, however, that spurred Norwegian Parliament member Christian Tybring-Giedde to nominate him on Wednesday for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
On his Facebook page, Tybring-Giedde wrote that Israel-UAE agreement “can open for lasting peace between several Arab countries and Israel.... It is now to hope that the Nobel Committee is able to consider what Trump has achieved internationally and that it does not stumble in established prejudice against the US president.”
There is little chance that the Norwegian lawmaker – who, it turns out, also nominated Trump for the prize in 2018, the same year and for the same reason that the Republican reps did – will get his wish. Given his mention of “established prejudice,” he already knows that it’s a lost cause.
As someone referred to in virtually every report on the nomination as a “far-right parliamentarian,” he’s clearly familiar with the purpose of the slant: to downplay the significance of his praise for Trump. And he’s surely aware of the multitude of appalling previous winners of the dubious distinction.
None of this matters, however. The Nobel Peace Prize may garner nearly a million bucks for its laureates with liberal appeal, but it’s not worth the medal it’s engraved on.