Last week Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos was granted the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the country’s decades-long conflict, just days after the people of Colombia rejected his agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels. Although the much-feted award is granted with the best intentions, unfortunately, the prize will do little to further the peace process in the South American nation. Often, if anything, the Nobel Peace Prize is an omen for dark times ahead.
President Obama accepted the prize in 2009, despite the fact that nominations for the award closed just 11 days after he took office. Although he was praised for the “new climate” of international relations he fostered, that was before he bungled America’s response to successive crises in Syria and Ukraine. The Nobel Committee applauded Mr. Obama, noting “never before has anyone been made a Peace Laureate so early into their term of office.” That inexperience manifested itself in a tepid response to Russian aggression and the Arab Spring, leaving 1.4 million Ukrainians displaced, and the Assad regime free to use chemical weapons on civilians with impunity. Ironically, the Nobel Committee has honored leaders who have fostered peace between Israel and Palestine, as well as one who incited hostility. With Russia deploying missiles in Europe and the Middle East, Mr. Obama’s “new climate” ended long before his approaching exit from the White House.