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The War Over the Peace Prize

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Quick, name the last time you were upset over who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Did last year's winner not fully grasp the right ideals when it comes to chemical equilibrium or osmotic pressure? Are you upset that your mail-in vote for "Walter White" keeps getting returned? No? Then why is it everyone always has something to say about the Nobel Peace Prize winner? It's because unlike science, "peace" is something we Americans can understand. Assuming we're talking about a piece of a Twinkie or something.

To no one's surprise, people are once again discussing who should and shouldn't win the Nobel Peace Prize this year, except they're getting a jump start by complaining now, instead of after the winner is announced, like they normally do. So, who is the nominee that has everyone talking? Well, a Swedish sociology professor has nominated Edward Snowden for this year's Nobel Peace Prize -- since he thinks the NSA whistleblower could help "save the prize from the disrepute incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision" to give the 2009 award to Barack Obama.

Hold on a second. This would "save the prize from the disrepute incurred" by the Obama award? What about the disrepute incurred by Henry Kissinger winning the award in 1973 for Vietnam? Which I'm not sure if you've ever seen the movies Platoon or Full Metal Jacket, but there was nothing peaceful about that situation. Or what about in 1994 when Yasser Arafat won the award? I mean, Miss America contestants have a better chance at achieving "world peace" than that guy did. And Jimmy Carter in 2002? He couldn't even win a reelection, but somehow won a Nobel Peace Prize. And last but not least, what about that time GANDHI NEVER WON IT AT ALL. Gandhi, a man whose name is synonymous with "peace," has never won the PEACE PRIZE. That's like telling The Beatles they didn't make it into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Or telling Chumbawamba that they have.

The point is, the entire history of the Nobel Peace Prize has been in disrepute, and nominating Snowden certainly won't turn things around. (Just like giving it to the "European Union" last year didn't help either.) You really want to turn things around this year? Don't give it to a guy who sent out a couple of emails and then ran away. Give it to a man who fought for what he believed in and never ran from anything. Give it to a man who embodied peace, and actually changed the world. Give The Nobel Peace Prize to Mahatma Gandhi. Then the award might actually mean something again.

Or at least give the award to Ben Kingsley.