Alfred Nobel – The Champion of Peace
The original article was published on October 6 2008 , in Norwegian. This piece is a somewhat revised version of the original.
When the batteries which keeps the Norwegian government up and playing are about to run out of power early in the autumn, after months of criticism of inefficient work and lack of leadership, the government can rest on one reliable source of superb energy that forces the limelight away from whatever wrongdoings and misconducts that is about to be shed light on, towards the next peace maker of the world.
The most exciting moment - for some - is when the doors of peace opens in the middle of October in front of foreign journalists, headed by CNN, crowding around the door wondering what surprise the Peace Committee has up in its sleeves this time.
The 2007-award for "The Champion of Peace" was for instance handed over to Mr. Albert Arnold Gore, the environmentalist. If you read Alfred Nobel’s Will – which you obviously should if you intend to understand what I am writing about – you will see that to give the peace prize to Mr. Gore would be the equivalent of bestowing the former Norwegian Minister of Justice and Police, Mr. Odd Einar Dorum, a gift from "Mrs. Elen Margrethe Anker F Stang's trust fund for poor widows and aged women in Halden" (a city closed to the Swedish border), and get away with it. I will elaborate this below.
The story behind the Prize
What is the basis for the Peace prize? What kind of an award is this really, that is; what did Alfred Nobel really mean with this awarding? What conditions must be met to obtain this "grand" price that to a certain extent has been awarded to the oppressed and prisoners or to terrorists, or both?
Let us have a closer look into Alfred Nobel’s story and how he was thinking. We don’t have to dig for long to find his idea of peace, and what and who – by his discretion – can make peace, and therefore what actions he believes are the best to achieve peace, and thus who should get the reward in Oslo.
Alfred Nobel's father, Immanuel, was a weapon producer, but this fact has conveniently been concealed by the Norwegian Peace Institute in their “timeline” of Alfreds life: http://nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/timeline/index.html (the link is broken, or site has been taken down).
In 1841 the Nobel-family moved from Stockholm to Leningrad/St. Petersburg, from where they started to produce weapons for the military, such as landmines.
As we all know the concept of mines (thanks to the Nobel-family, really) is to surprise the soldier (or the little ten-year-old girl running happily across the meadow with a doll in her hand and suddenly gets her limbs and life shattered) by tearing off a foot or two.
The Family-company, the Nobel’s, was to such an extent dependent on warfare, that when the Crimean War was over and the distinguished nurse Florence Nightingale had gone home after patching up the Nobel’s victims, the family business went bankrupt.
Great, but this didn’t stop Alfred's desire to make money on war and misery.
When Alfred was 30 years old, he moved back to Sweden to learn more about explosives, weapons and their destructive potential. After some years of playing with nitroglycerine, he felt he was skilful enough to initiate the production of explosives. This was in 1864. Thorough studies mixed with nitroglycerine, diatomaceous earth, a little bit of luck and a bombed-to-pieces brother, led to his hard-earned; eureka - Dynamite.
The Family-company’s War Department must have praised the young and eager Alfred and his results, and when he in 1867 was granted patent on dynamite, he had also secured his family financially.
At the same time he secured the responsibility for the destructions caused by his explosives and weapons around the world (a clever lawyer could have earned some change in initiating a class-action against the Nobel Foundation. After all, the funds this foundation is created on derives in all its simplicity from Nobel’s weapons and their destruction; human blood).
The following year Mr. Nobel was awarded the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences special award for "Important inventions to the practical benefit of mankind". Yes, they really know all the answers, these Swedes.
The practical benefit – which was awarded – was to blow armies and people to pieces, and at the same time make big money of this enterprise.
At the Nobel Institute's home page, one can read that:
“Alfred Nobel supported those who spoke up against militarism and war, and wanted to make a contribution to work for disarmament and the peaceful solution of international conflicts.”
This sounds nice, until you read the following words:
“In 1891 he moved to San Remo, Italy. A few years later, he bought the Bofors ironworks and armaments factories…”
The only reason why Mr. Nobel bought this armaments factory must have been to close it, right? Hardly. Alfred was a business man and did obviously not intend to close down the factory. Quite on the contrary. He was to earn money on weapons and destruction, and this at the same time as he was fumbling with this Peace Prize Testament which he finally manage to finish the year before he passed away, only 63 years old.
So proud was Alfred of his innovations and so confident in his conviction of the dynamite’s brilliance he had become that he began to see himself as the first human creature who, unlike Jesus, really would be able to create peace on earth.
Just listen, or read, how he pictured the potential of his dynamite:
"My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace."
What he says in effect is the following: My arms will create peace much faster than everyone else's weapons – or peace treaties for that matter – would manage. Once the humanity understands that they can be destroyed, they will bow for my arms and my terror.
In short: Terror is by Alfred's opinion the only way to solve world peace. One can almost hear him: - Run for the stores and buy my dynamite!
His majestic, or say, devout statement above declares neither more nor less that: - Govern the countries of the world with terror, and you will avoid unrest and war! (sounds like the New World Order to me).
Another Nobel Laureate, the physiologist Charles Robert Richler (1913 physiology and medicine), has stated the following opinion about weapons of peace:
"Quick-firing rifle, Monstrous artillery, improved shells, smokeless and noise less gunpowder-these are so destructive that a great battle ... could cause the deaths of 300,000 but in a few hours. It is evident that the nations, no matter how unconcerned they may be at times when driven by a false pride, will draw back (in the twentieth century) from this fearful vision.”
One is left with the view that these wise heads really believed that world peace could be achieved only through threats and thus by the reign of terror.
Alfred Nobel Peace Prize is therefore not based on anything other than terror as a peace-fixer, and we are left alone with a terrorist prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway, once a year.
50 years after the creation of Mr. Nobel’s Will, the author and military historian Lynn Montross expressed his thoughts - after having reviewed the circumstances surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima, which resulted in hundreds of thousands dead and maimed people - on the peace weapons of his time in this way:
”Never in history has mankind been given more reason to look forward to the future with hope. For the blast which blew nineteenth-century nationalism to pieces at Hiroshima may also have cleared the way for a new Renaissance—a new era of co-operation leading up to the twentieth-century Empire of the World” (Again it sounds suspiciously similar to the brave ideas behind the concept of the New World Order: One army, one law, one leader and a bunch of brainwashed nitwits carrying out the word of peace to the terrorised people).
It is quite amazing, isn’t it, how some of our leaders look upon humanity. They really don’t bother covering their disdain, and there is a reason for that.
According to these great people the humanity is to be governed by terror and violence, and the conditions of the Peace Prize seem to have been fulfilled some several hundred thousand times with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
So when any group of, let’s say believers in a society based on equality before the law, would suspect that the current system of government has ceased to function correctly, or the current leaders in a given country are corrupt and has reached far enough in running the country into the ditch, then the leaders – supported by Nobel's words and innovations – can blow the “rebels” in pieces, and by this “democratic” action tell the rest of the terrorised population who might think of opposing to "Our great system of government" that it could pay to bow and scrape to the weapons.
Back to the 1800-century Italy. Nothing could stop the Alfred now, or?
One morning Alfred got a bit of a shock as he opened the morning newspaper. In the newspaper he could read that the local newspaper from his hometown in Sweden had received a notification of his death. Obviously someone quite hastily authored an obituary, where Alfred was described as: "The King of dynamite". In this obituary, Nobel was accused of the death and mutilation of thousands of people. He was described as the person who had made possible the horrors of warfare. Read more from the young author's writing here (link to the site is broken).
Now Alfred had really gotten something to think about. Obviously he didn’t fancy the thought of having this statement nailed to his legacy.
Nobel was rich, yes, he had become filthy rich of selling explosives to the weapon industry.
Yet, having thought through what he had done for the wars of the world, as well as the outside world's view of him, a dissatisfied Alfred stated (three years before his death and two years after buying Bofors, the weapon factory):
"I wish all guns with their belongings and everything could be sent to hell, which is the proper place for their exhibition and use" (Should we believe him?).
The Peace activist Bertha von Suttner’s short stay as a housekeeper/secretary with the weapon manufacturer and dynamite-innovator, could in itself serve as an indication that different and conflicting ideas and thoughts about humanity and the future to some extent occurred in Alfred’s mind. But then again there is always another alternative: If you can’t beat the enemy, join him/her and then…
Nevertheless, Alfred was a business man, while Suttner was a peace-thinker in development who later on became one of the leading peace activists of her time. In 1905 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite the brief stay she had with Alfred, it nevertheless could have marked him somewhat. It has been said that it was von Suttner and her thoughts that moved Alfred to leave close to his entire wealth to a foundation, which was established through his Will of five articles attempting to explain the terms of what we today know as the Nobel’s Prizes.
The fifth award - the so-called Peace Prize – is described like this in the Testament:
"... and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
With these words, in the light of the prehistory around Nobel, one can see and feel his desire to withdraw whatever he had done and sold, perhaps not only due to the unfortunate perception that parts of his contemporaries had of him.
Subjectively viewed, it appears as if he simply wanted to reduce the damage he had inflicted on the world. Objectively viewed article 5 is a contradiction to his entire existence.
It is therefore rather excessive – just like that - to describe Article 5 in the will as an unspoiled genuine Peace Prize (God only knows, by the way, how Al Gore got the award).
In fact it seems that the Nobel Peace Prize has been used for political purposes, in connection with and after damages have been inflicted on the humanity, somewhat in the same way as the story Alfred-Nobel ended, where he actually ended up giving himself the first Peace Prize ever, as a kind of an indulgence for a repentant sinner.
Several times the Peace Prize has been granted to people who have ruined each other's neighbourhoods, and where the prize itself seems - at least this is how it looks like for the commoners – to have been used as a reward for leaders that have lost the energy to fight.
The Peace Prize appears thus as a couple of dark sunglasses for the use of the outside world to ensure that we no longer need to see what has happened in the neighbourhood. We get the impression that everything is now taken care of. They have got their Peace Prize, thus it can’t be that bad. The damage and scope will be reduced to fragments and will eventually be forgotten.
The only thing you will remember after a certain laps of time is the peace prize itself, and that it was some strange incident connected to the award, but ok, forget it.
The procedure of the awarding
What is the procedure of the selection of a winner, really?
I was going to write something about the Peace Prize at these times last year (2007), but got my fingers entangled in something else, which seems to have come out fortunately for me anyway.
In the spring of 2008 a series of documents were released from the archive after the American, Richard Helms, an OSS-/OSO- agent and former CIA chief. In some of the documents that have been released you can read how the Norwegian Peace Prize Committee in fact has been manipulated to hand out this terror-award.
In a "For your eyes only” -marked document of April 11 1973 (link to the document is open, but not accessible; http://www.foia.cia.gov/helms/pdf/73_1499541.pdf), from Helms to President Nixon's adviser, Mr. Henry A. Kissinger, Kissinger is asked whether Nixon is nominated for this award. In the same document it emerges that the Iranian government (in reality the Shah) is under pressure to support a Croatian, the partisan leader Josip Broz Tito’s nomination, but that they could support Nixon if he were to be nominated.
Hey! Stop! "... Under pressure to support."? Settle down for a while and give this a thought. According to the Will, the only contact the Nobel committee is to have with the outside world is to accept proposals/nominations for candidates. This nomination is to be submitted no later than February 1 of that year. Supporting a candidacy is an unknown possibility, at least for me it is.
As far as I know there is no secretariat in Oslo – or anywhere else – which is to receive support for candidates and then is to bring this “support” to the Committee who shall in turn award the peace prize to the person who has got the most compelling support from more or less powerful groups around the globe.
Once the nomination deadline has expired (sometime in February), there is no point in submitting anything to the Nobel committee (except the nominations for next year). However, this procedure (giving a heck about nomination deadlines) is exactly what is described in the letter from Helms to Kissinger. Is this how the selection process takes place in Oslo? That it is possible to manipulate the system and the committee to grant the peace prize to a certain person, regardless of Alfred Nobel’s statutes doodled down in his Will?
Henry Kissinger answered Helms a few days later, on April 14 1973 (link to the document is open, but not accessible http://www.foia.cia.gov/helms/pdf/73_1499543.pdf) and told him that Nixon was nominated, and that they wanted the Shah's support, or at least a guarantee that the Shah would not supported anyone else. To ensure his vote, Nixon invited the Shah on a state visit that summer.
Although the documentation of manipulation is sufficient to prove foul play in Oslo, it is still not good enough to determine how the selection of a Nobel Peace Prize winner actually takes place. On the other hand these documents give you some clues: That one vote from Iran to the Nobel committee has a function in regards to the selection procedure, is pretty clear.
One thing that I don’t understand though is that the absence of a vote from Iran also will have a function in regards to the selection, unless we are confronted with secret elections with a given number of nations and votes which participate in the process.
I would like to add that it goes without saying that these letters which obviously are submitted should not be read by the committee-members, as there is a great risk of getting influenced by the content of those "supportive statements". Despite this, the letters are clearly read, and they have obviously some effect on the outcome.
In his correspondence with Helms, Kissinger failed to tell that he also was nominated for this award, an award he received just a few months later. Maybe he knew more than Nixon and thus had the power to mess up his candidacy. In any case there was no reason to trumpet his little secret, if he had one.
Both Kissinger and Nixon have recently been accused of war crimes in Cambodia, with good reasons, it seems. To get a picture of these two Peace-Prize-candidates’ thoughts about other people and their views on human life, you should read this document which in clear words summarises two stark raving mad persons playing and kidding with all kinds of weapons, and who want to kill as many Cambodians as possible, as quickly as possible. Basically the give you the formula of Genocide: “If you are in power, you can kill.”
One of these highly regarded persons was to get the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 – as mentioned it turned out to be Nixon's henchman, Kissinger.
It wouldn’t make any notable difference if Nixon had been awarded the price. No matter how you interpret and turn this award it will nevertheless appear as bizarre, and impossible to recognize or explain.
Another message (link to the document is open, but not accessible http://www.foia.cia.gov/helms/pdf/73_1499544.pdf) from Helms to Kissinger in April 1973 shows that the Americans have convinced the Shah to support Nixon's candidacy as a Peace Prize winner. In Helm’s response (link to the document is open, but not accessible http://www.foia.cia.gov/helms/pdf/73_1499545.pdf) to Kissinger, Helms asks what other people Kissinger believes that the Shah may appeal to and who could write letters on Nixon's behalf (to the Nobel committee) as a way of supporting his candidacy. Moreover, Helm emphasises that the Iranians is short on time and that they would appreciate a prompt statement in regards to Nixon’s/Kissinger’s wishes.
Short on time? They're several months late (if we're talking about the nomination), which clearly gives us the reason to believe that the real selection and awarding process is entirely different from that what we are taught to believe.
As you can see from the correspondence mention above, Helms refers to parts of the selection process in this way: "... their representative support to the Nobel Prize Committee ..." So, what is this peace prize thing? A playground for naughty boys?
In another (link to the document is open, but not accessible http://www.foia.cia.gov/helms/pdf/73_1499546.pdf) message from Helms to Kissinger it is noted that Iran had not fully understood the selection process of the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The U.S. intelligence services had revealed – it seems – that one could apply to certain notable persons in Norway, outside of government, who in turn would write to Members of the Parliament (Stortinget) supporting specific nominees. The MP would then – somehow - “support” or advice the Nobel Committee to make the right decision, which shouldn’t be that difficult having in regard that the Chairman of the Nobel Committee in 1973 (when Mr. Kissinger got his prize) was Mrs. Aase Lionaes, serving at the same time as one of the vice presidents of the Parliament.
This procedure is unheard of, nevertheless it seems obvious that it has been used.
Well, today the peace-doors once again were opened in Oslo, and now you might know a bit more about what happens the rest of the year while the doors are closed, and why.
And finally my recommendations to those of the nominees who have made an honest attempt on behalf of the humanity, and have been nominated for this prize, say NO! Say: - No thank you, I believe People can be governed without terror!
Herman J Berge