Saturday, October 08, 2005

Is Nobel Peace Prize for IAEA a Slap in the Face for Bush

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its director-general, Mohammed ElBaradei were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Peace. Some think that the choice was a slap in the face for George Bush.

ElBaradei is an Egyptian lawyer who was educated, in part, in the United States. Under ElBaradei the IAEA refused to support White House claims, before the Iraq war was begun, that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program.

Among those are Peace Action, a nuclear disarmament group. According to the group, he awarding of the prize to ElBaradei "helps to shine a spotlight on the urgent need to deal seriously with the increasing danger of nuclear weapons, their spread and potential use."

"The Nobel Committee obviously understands something the Bush Administration does not, namely that international cooperation, rather than unilateral, pre-emptive war (or threats of such action) is the best way to halt the spread of WMD and enhance global security," said Kevin Martin, executive director of Peace Action.

According to Peace Action, "Awarding the prize to the IAEA and ElBaradei is also a none- too-subtle rebuke to the Bush Administration, which has sought ElBaradei's ouster. The Bush Administration tried to bully ElBaradei and the IAEA into supporting its erroneous claim that Iraq was attempting to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program in the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2002 and early 2003. The Bush Administration has also accused the agency of being too soft on Iran regarding its nuclear development."

"While ElBaradei called them as he saw them -- supported by the facts on the ground -- regarding WMD in Iraq during the run up to the U.S. invasion, the Bush administration fixed facts to support their foregone conclusions and unilateralist ambitions. The bravery of ElBaradei in maintaining impartiality and professionalism in his mission to stem nuclear proliferation stands in stark contrast to the Bush administration's bending of intelligence to support their invasion plans," concluded Martin.