The winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, as you know, is Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia. He won for his peace negotiations with the FARC (the worst of Colombia’s revolutionary and narco-terrorist groups). Did he tailor his peace calendar to the Nobel calendar? That is, did he aim for the Nobel Peace Prize?
I address this subject today in my series on Colombia. Part II is here.
In the 115 years of the prize, many people have aimed for it; many will aim for it in the future. Many have lobbied for it too (usually through others). Often, the lobbying backfires; sometimes it does not.
The Nobel Peace Prize can be a spur. It can be a useful incentive. The desire for it can be a friend to peace. At other times, this desire may lead people down unwise paths.
You will find all this — pardon the plug — in Peace, They Say, my history of the prize.
I think the most mordant thing ever said about the prize was said by Tony Blair. He said it to George W. Bush. Embarking on a round of Middle East diplomacy, he said, “If I win the Nobel Peace Prize, you will know I have failed.”