Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Peace Prize for Ma? Let’s be serious

Unless the Nobel prize has lost all meaning, it’s hard to imagine that the architects of a 'peace' plan in the Taiwan Strait deserve to be recognized. Not under current conditions

Although the Nobel Peace Prize may have recently lost some of its luster after it was awarded to a man not for his accomplishments, but for what he was expected to do after assuming office, it nevertheless remains a symbol of the good that people of all walks of life can aspire to, and as such, its potential conferral should not be mentioned in vain.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what some people, including renowned academics, have been doing by raising the possibility that in the not-so-distant future, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) could jointly be awarded the prize for resolving decades of conflict in the Taiwan Strait.

What would cheapen the coveted prize is not so much the fact that peace in the Taiwan Strait is undesirable — it is — but that by definition, “peace” between Taiwan and China would, under current conditions, inevitably involve decisions made against the will of the 23 million people of Taiwan.

Jerome Cohen, Ma’s former mentor at Harvard University and a well-known academic, was the latest to hint at the possibility of Ma being nominated for the prize if, during his second term, he managed to “work out unsolved issues between China and Taiwan.”

The devil, however, is in the details and in this case the details stem from the incompatibility of the two political systems that “peace” would bring together.

My op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

1 comment:

Michael Fagan said...

I cannot take seriously anybody who can take the Nobel Peace Prize seriously.

Either the Nobel Peace Prize was given to Barack Obama simply because he was the first black POTUS, in which case it was an instance of "affirmative action" writ large, or it was given to him as a gratuitous act of electoral miction by the international Left.

Yet even leaving that - and other - indefensible episodes aside, the NPP was always a vacuous fatuity; peace can only be achieved by justice or... by time.

That prize must be mercilessly ridiculed without end until it is abolished, for it no longer merits even a pretense of respect against which to cast criticism.