Sunday Catholic Weekley - Poland
This is not the first time the Norwegian Committee has made a scandalous decision
When I talked to Antonio Gaspari, President of the movement Cristiani per l’ambiente [Christians for the Natural Environment], he criticised the decision to give the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore. Gaspari claimed that the Prize for Al Gore was a real scandal and he added that the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee had already made many controversial decisions. It is worth mentioning what ‘personalities’ have already been given this prestigious prize.
In the year 2004 it was Wangari Maathai from Kenya that won the Nobel ‘peace’ Prize. She was presented as an outstanding activist for course of natural environment (as you can see ecological problems are the obsession of the Committee in Oslo). The problem is that the Kenyan woman, famous for her campaign to plant trees to prevent desertification of Africa, is a very controversial personality.
When she ran in the presidential election in 1997 she claimed that Kenya should get rid of the immigrants from India who had settled in western Africa. The world media reported that the tones of the future Nobel Peace Prize winner’s statements concerning the Indians living in her country ‘were not far from an advanced ethnic clearance.’ Wangari Maathai is also in favour of the barbarian practice of clitoridectomia, which has been widely spread in Africa (it is estimated that almost 100 million women have been victims of the practice in the Black Continent). The Kenyan woman was very active in various international bodies dealing with environment. She was a speaker in the meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme during which the participants discussed the new universal and pantheistic religiousness that was to replace the Christian-Judaic vision of the world. The meeting was part of the project to prepare the so-called Earth Charter. Wangari Maathai said that ‘the Earth Charter is a list of new commandments’, adding that its preparation was ‘as if writing the Bible anew.’ It is worth adding that Rev. Professor Michael Schooyans from the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences called ‘the Earth Charter’, which was to replace the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an anti-human, pagan and pantheistic project. These are the merits for which one can get the Nobel Peace Prize!
Awarding Rigoberta Menchú Tum from Guatemala in 1992 was even a bigger scandal than awarding Wangara Maathai. Rigoberta Menchú Tum was famous for her biography written in 1982 by the anthropologist Elisabeth Burgos, the former wife of the leftist French activist Régis Debray. Burgos recorded the recollections of Menchú for eight days and then the book entitled ‘I, Rigoberta Menchú’ was published. Rigoberta spoke about the hard childhood of a poor girl from the Mayas, who was a victim of the descendants of the Spanish conquistadors. Her father Vincente did not let her go to school because she was to help him cultivate the land. The Menchú family was so poor that one of Rigoberta’s brothers died of hunger. The despairing father became the leader of the Indians who organized an uprising against the owners of the great estates and demanded plots of land. Unfortunately, the army suppressed the uprising and Vincente was killed. Moreover, Rigoberta’s brother was burned in the square of the village and the Menchús were to watch it. The mother also suffered a tragic fate. Those were Rigoberta’s memoirs. The book became a bestseller and the unknown Guatemalan woman from the Mayas was seen as a symbol of the fights of the natives against exploitation, slavery and poverty, the fight for a better world. Menchú repeated that her personal experiences reflected the real situation of many tribes. That’s why, she felt that she was called to represent them. She became so very famous and popular, especially in the leftist ad radical intellectual circles of the West that the Oslo Committee gave her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. The fame and the prestigious distinction made some people look closer at the personality of the Guatemalan Nobel Prize winner. The anthropologist David Stoll visited her village and then he unmasked the lies included in the biography of the most famous Guatemalan woman. It turned out that Rigoberta’s father was not a landless peasant but he owned 2,700 ha. The girl was not forced to work on the farm but attended two known schools run by the religious convent. The pathetic fight for the land was actually an argument between her father and his relatives. Nobody heard that his brother was burned. In a word, ‘the heroic’ life of the resourceful Rigoberta, which made her famous and brought her the Nobel Peace Prize and the function of the United Nation Ambassador, was a pack of lies, which was confirmed by a journalist working for New York Times who was sent to Guatemala. The astonishing fact is that the Nobel Committee did not deprive her of the prize and the United Nations still treat her as ambassador, thus in some way becoming a warranty of her moral and intellectual integrity. The defenders of Menchú repeat that the end justifies the means and the aim of her activities is noble. Therefore, she still travels around the world as a Nobel Prize Winner; she is invited to various congresses, conferences and meetings; she gives interviews and is active in the political scene.
When on 20 September 2003 the Italian freemasons celebrated the anniversary of the capture of Rome by the Piermont forces and the fall of the earthly power of the popes, their main guest was Rigoberta Menchú who was to give ‘her testimony to the fight to defend the people who are deprived of the fundamental rights’ (that was very meaningful). Famous abroad, Rigoberta is not seriously treated in Guatemala. That self-appointed defender of the oppressed folk ran in the presidential election on 9 September 2007 she received a lamentable result - she had only 3.05% of the votes! In this context it is worth mentioning that in 2003 many personalities and world organizations showed John Paul II as the best candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to prevent the war in Iraq and his great contribution in the reconciliation of the followers of various religions. However, the Oslo Committee did not consider the real merits of the candidates for the Peace Prize but followed the criteria of political correctness and short-term political interests, choosing the Iranian lawyer. Awarding religious personalities is not politically correct and besides, the secular circles saw John Paul II only as the head of the institution that persecuted women (the Catholic Church opposes women’s priesthood), homosexuals (the Catholic Church does not want to acknowledge the marriage of the same sex) and hinders the fight with AIDS (the Catholic Church thinks that the massive distribution of condoms is not a method to solve the AIDS problem at all). The great merits of the Pope for peace in the world and for reconciliation among nations were only secondary matters. Having analysed the above-mentioned facts one should reflect whether the Nobel Peace Prize should be still regarded as the most prestigious distinction in the world. The choice of the candidates in the recent years inclines us to state that it is only awarding the people, not always outstanding and meritorious, who in some way have implemented bias ideological and political views of the members of the Nobel Prize Committee.
When I talked to my Italian acquaintance Antonio Gaspari about the scandalous Nobel Peace Prizes he told me that some decisions of the Committee concerning the Nobel Prize in Literature were also debatable (to use a euphemism). He gave me two concrete examples concerning the Italian winners. In 1959 the Nobel Prize in Literature was given to Salvatore Quasimodo, a good translator and a poor poet although the unquestionably most outstanding Italian poet was Giuseppe Ungaretti. In 1997 it was Dario Fo, rather unknown poet who wrote in the Lombardian dialect and was active in the theatre, and by the way he was never a writer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The members of the Nobel Prize Committee ignored the greatest Italian poet Mario Luzzi. What non-artistic criteria made the members give the prestigious distinction, which is the Nobel Prize, to less meritorious personalities instead of the most eminent poets? Antonio Gaspari suggested an explanation: Ungaretti and Luzzi were Catholics whereas Quasimodo and Fo were communists (the latter was also fervently anti-clerical). The communists - yes and the Catholics - no. If these are the criteria for the Nobel Prize in Literature let us stop calling it the most prestigious distinction in the world.