Friday, October 07, 2016
A FARCical Nobel Peace Prize
Former president Alvaro Uribe, an opponent of the deal, argued for a revised proposal that would provide:
- FARC members found guilty of crimes be barred from running for public office
- FARC leaders serve time in prison for crimes committed
- That FARC use use its illicit gains to pay compensation to victims
- That no changes be made to the Colombian constitution
All of that seems eminently reasonable. FARC, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, began as a Marxist guerilla group and, appropriately enough, evolved into a narco-gang, a major producer of cocaine and other drugs. In addition to wholesale terrorism and murder, FARC engaged in kidnapping for profit, employed conscripted child soldiers, and used torture and sex abuse.
I find the awarding of the Nobel to Santos disturbing for two reasons. First, it constitutes interference in the very serious internal politics of Colombia. As always, for the Norwegian prize committee this is simply a chance for moral posturing, a costless opportunity for them to proclaim their own imagined moral superiority, but for Colombians, getting the internal politics right is a life-and-death matter. The Nobel committee should stay out. Award the prize where at least it will do little harm. But second, and more importantly, I think it shows the degraded nature of contemporary morals. Marxism is not a peaceful philosophy and is incompatible with the principles of a liberal society. A compromise between the peaceful principles of liberalism and violently illiberal philosophies is not peace. In fact, that which brings real peace might sometimes be a war that crushes the enemies of peace. As I pointed out in my commentary on the EU Peace Nobel, if one really were serious about an award for promoting peace, it ought to go to the United States, which ended two world wars started by other people (mostly Europeans) and also blocked the USSR from starting a third. No country has done more to prevent totalitarianism from reigning than the United States.
But let's go farther. The real peacemakers are the various branches of the United States military. I want a Nobel Peace prize for them. Until they receive it, the nicest thing I can say about the Nobel Peace Prize is that it is largely a sick joke.