In A Relative Universe, Putin Up For Nobel Peace Prize

by
Abby Zimet

Russia's Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize - despite his arming of Assad and aggression against Chechnya, Georgia, gay people and shirts - for his efforts to prevent a US air strike against Syria. In nominating him, the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World argued Putin “actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet,” adding that he deserves the prize at least as much as 2009 winner Barack Obama - a good point, at least in a relative universe. That current, lesser-evil definition of "peace" many say, is the problem. In Let's Try Democracy, David Swanson notes that Alfred Nobel's vision for the prize is to reward, not just "war reformers or war civilizers," but those actively working toward "fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies" who "shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind" - or, in the words of 1964 Peace Prize winner, Martin Luther King Jr., a member of the too-rare species who upholds "the principle of love."

 "True peace is not the absence of tension - it is the presence of justice." - MLK

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