The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, October 07, 2005

Nobel Peace Prize sure to set righties ablaze

When I heard abour the decision to give the award to the IAEA chief, my first thought was "brace yourself for a wave of right-wing pundits dusting off their black helicopter-isms and hyper-nationalistic rants. They sure did it with Jimmy Carter, and here it comes again.

Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Mohamed ElBaradei is a slap in the face for the United States.

That was surely the motivation; it is hard to see any other reasons for the award to him, shared with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In the past eight years, they have failed to detect covert nuclear programmes in at least three countries - and failed to get diplomatic purchase on the problems when others have finally brought them to light. That does not amount to a contribution to world peace.

The single judgment which ElBaradei has got right in his eight years as Director-General of the IAEA is the one most provocative to the US: that Iraq, in 2003, had no significant nuclear programme.

My man, physicist Robert Parks has a slightly different take on the decision:

Today it was announced that Mohammed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, was the co-winner of the 2005 Peace Prize, along with the agency he heads. It was a stunning vindication of ElBaradei, who was reelected to a third term as IAEA director in June only after the U.S. grudgingly withdrew its opposition. Before the U.S. invasion, ElBaradei and the IAEA repeatedly insisted, over American objections, that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. None have ever been found.