September 16, 2006

PeaceJam 2006: Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Gather For Peace; Bash Bush, United States



Nobel Peace Prize laureates, the Dalai Lama, third from left, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, bow to each other at the end of a press conference, featuring nine of the ten Nobel winners attending this weekend's PeaceJam at the Newman Center on the campus of the University of Denver. Darin McGregor, News

In Denver this weekend, the 10th anniversary of the PeaceJam organization, attended by 10 Nobel laureates--including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu--has started off with a rather familiar theme:
The largest gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners ever assembled launched a call for peace Friday from Denver that morphed into a lengthy diatribe of America as a rich country that was muscling out poor nations and misusing its military might.

The laureates are in town this weekend to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Colorado-based PeaceJam.

"Did all these weapons keep us safe from attack on Sept. 11? No. Or (will they) from the next attack? No. There's no justifying spending on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan when people live on less than $2 a day," said Jody Williams, who received the 1997 Nobel Prize for working to ban land mines.
That a peace planning conference for young people has already devolved into attacks on the United States and "rich countries" should be no surprise to anyone but journalists and moonbats. The attacks continued on capitalism, Bush, and U.S. foreign policy continued apace:
A few of the speakers, including the Dalai Lama and Tutu, stayed clear of politics, while the majority used their forum to blast the U.S. and its policies.

Speaking with a Spanish translator, Adolfo PĂ©rez Esquivel, who won the 1980 prize for starting a human rights movement in Latin America, got gasps and some laughter from the crowd when he excoriated President Bush, saying, "Bush says he prays. But I think God covers up his ears when George Bush prays."

Esquivel said the U.S. didn't appreciate that although nearly 3,000 people died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, on that same day 35,000 children died of hunger around the world.

"I call that economic terrorism," he said.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who won the prize in 1976 for founding a peace organization in Northern Ireland, criticized "the alleged civilized world leader," the U.S., for its anti-terrorism tactics. She said the United Nations offered a better model of peace.

"Uphold the United Nations!" she said. "Its the best we have as a human family."

Shirin Abadi, who won the 2003 Nobel Prize for human rights work in the Middle East, said the real roots of terrorism - prejudice, ignorance and illiteracy - haven't yet been addressed. Translated from Farsi, the former Iranian judge said, "When 80 percent of the world's wealth belongs to 1 percent of the people, how can we expect peace?"
So rather than setting a constructive tone for this weekend's peacefest, the opening press conference consisted of little more than boilerplate platitudes and potshots against the host country's leader, its economic system, and America's ability to defend itself. Instead, cover is given to jihadists currently calling for the Pope's apology/submission, and dictators like those attending the Non-Aligned Movement in Cuba the same weekend (who use similar comments to attack the United States). The useless United Nations is given a free pass on all its many shortcomings, and is in fact lionized as the only route to "peace".

Given the drivel that emerged on the first day alone, one can only expect further lowlights as the conference moves on. Eclipsing the potential positive outcome of such a gathering, even from a particularly cynical point of view, are the shameful words and ideas expressed by the Nobel Peace Prize winners themselves. Hoping to score political points with their moonbat followers, they defraud the young people gathered in Denver of the importance of critical thinking and analysis of the current world situation. Rather than engaging the "roots" of the problems in the world, and there are indeed many, they are given nothing more than knee-jerk emotionalism and leftist fantasy masked as effective problem solving. The 3,000 young people, and the world in general, deserve more from the likes of Nobel laureates.

PeaceJam founder Ivan Suvanjieff comments (video) on the role of young people, and the purpose of the PeaceJam conference.

The obligatory press conference (video) has, surprise surprise, no mention of the controversial remarks.

List Of Nobel Laureates Attending Peace Jam



Mairead Corrigan Maguire. Awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1977 along with Betty Williams for their efforts to create a grassroots movement to end the violence in Northern Ireland.



Betty Williams. 1977. Honored along with Mairead Corrigan Maguire.



Adolfo Perez Esquivel. 1980. Honored for his leadership for human rights and democracy in Latin America.



Archbishop Desmond Tutu
. 1984. Honored for his efforts to find a nonviolent solution to the conflicts over apartheid in South Africa.



The Dalai Lama. 1989. Honored for his nonviolent efforts to resolve the Tibetan conflict and for his worldwide role as a man of peace and advocate for the environment.



Rigoberta Menchu Tum. 1992. Honored for her advocacy of native Indian rights in Central America and leadership among indigenous peoples worldwide.



Jose Ramos-Horta. 1996. Honored for his efforts to end the oppression of the East Timorese people.



Jody Williams. 1997. Honored for her work through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in establishing an international treaty to outlaw landmines and for clearing landmine fields.



Shirin Ebadi. 2003. Honored for her efforts for women's rights in the Middle East.

Scheduled to attend:



President Oscar Arias. 1987. The president of Costa Rica was honored for his efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the years of conflict and war in Central America.

Also scheduled to participate:



Aung San Suu Kyi. 1991. Honored for her nonviolent leadership of the democratic opposition in Burma, where Kyi has been under house arrest since 1989. She was scheduled to participate by way of video.

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