Saturday, September 03, 2011

Heroes of the Peace Prize

Not all winners of the Nobel Peace Prize were undeserving, well connected hypocrites. Some were so deserving they put the Noble in Nobel.
  1. Carl von Ossietzky (1935) - An opponent of the Nazi regime before it was common, von Ossietzky was awarded the Peace Prize while imprisoned in a concentration camp. He died a prisoner three years later.
  2. Aung San Suu Kyi (1991) - The champion of Burmese democracy she was held under house arrest for 15 years between 1989 and 2010. 
  3. Shirin Ebadi (2003) - Iranian lawyer who courageously defended people targeted by the Iran government in the face of frequent death threats. She sued the Bush Administration when the US government attempted to ban the publication of her memoir in 2004. She won.
  4. Liu Xiaobo (2010) - Chinese democracy advocate currently serving an eleven year sentence for subverting the country and authority by helping to write and signing Charter 08 which supported human rights, free elections, and an independent judiciary for China.
  5. Mohandas Gandhi (never) - The Nobel committee has been open about their embarrassment over the fact that the greatest advocate for peaceful non-violence in the past two centuries was never awarded the Peace Prize. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi have all studied the philosophies and tactics of Gandhi. He was nominated five times for the prize and made the short list twice (1937 and 1947). In 1937 the Nobel Committee choose over Gandhi a notably uninspiring British and League of Nations diplomat (Lord Cecil of Chelwood). Cecil was most noted for urging pedestrian rights versus cars and supporting the made up language Esperanto.

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