Today, Israel will sign the historic peace deals that Trump brokered with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Well, at least the Norwegian lawmaker who nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize thinks they’re historic. Trump’s domestic opponents are less impressed; they point out that Trump’s efforts to secure world peace consist solely of brokering deals with two Gulf countries with which Israel was never at war, and of brokering a deal between Serbia and Kosovo, which were at war, but only a very long time ago.
Actually, it really doesn’t matter whether Trump promoted peace at all. He should win the Nobel peace prize because he did much more for world peace than many people who already won the prize.
Barack Obama, for example. He won the peace prize just nine months into his presidency, for his “efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people,” and for promoting a new climate in international relations, especially with the Muslim world.
To be fair, Obama had a very active relationship with the Muslim world.
For instance, he was dismayed by the brutality with which Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi was crushing a rebellion. Specifically, Obama was shocked that Ghaddafi was bombing fellow Libyans. Obama’s diplomatic solution was to bomb some Libyans, including Ghaddafi, and then to leave the surviving warlords to fill the resulting power vacuum. Not surprisingly, Libya is still enmeshed in civil war, eight years on. So Obama didn’t exactly bring peace to Libya, but at least he did send the world a powerful message: it’s horrible for Libyans to kill each other, but it’s less horrible when foreigners do it.
And the world listened. Most of the belligerents in the Libyan civil war are now foreign countries. Even the different Libyan factions have hired Russian and Syrian mercenaries to kill Libyans for them.
Obama’s Libya adventure killed many people, but not compared to his greatest diplomatic achievement: the Iran nuclear deal.
Basically, Iran was a problem because it insisted on developing nuclear weapons so it could kill and terrorize its neighbors. Obama solved the problem by offering the Iranians a deal: Iran would slow down its nuclear program for a few years, and, in exchange, the US would lift all sanctions, which would give Iran more money to fund its proxies, so that Iran could terrorize its neighbors even without nuclear weapons. Effectively, Obama gave the Iranians more money to help support their ally Bashar al-Assad’s butchering of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, as well as to finance Iran’s proxy war in Yemen, which caused a famine that killed over 80,000 children alone.
Of course, Obama wasn’t the only winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who didn’t make the world more peaceful. Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin won the 1994 peace prize for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And in 2012, the Norwegian Nobel committee gave the peace prize to the EU, largely to commemorate the fact that the French and Germans haven’t killed each other for almost 70 years, which is really nice.
So if Trump’s critics are right in claiming that he’s just a showman who did nothing real to advance world peace, then Trump certainly deserves to get what so-called peacemakers get for doing actually nothing.
The Nobel peace prize.