In 1978 then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter brokered a historic peace agreement between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
The Camp David Peace Accords ended nearly three and a half decades of a declared state of war between the two countries, which was punctuated by the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
Through his foundation, the Carter Center, Carter has brought humanitarian relief and furthered peaceful goals in places such as Haiti and North Korea.
Truly, in his 25 years as a humanitarian, Carter has proved himself again and again worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize, which the Nobel Committee awarded him on Friday.
The committee cited his “untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development,” when announcing their selection of Carter.
However, while this prestigious award is usually meant to honor and praise an individual’s life’s work, this year’s award carries some heavy political ramifications and a sharp international criticism of the stance the current U.S. president is taking toward Iraq.
Gunner Berge, head of the Nobel Committee, said, “With the position Carter has taken (on Iraq), it can and must also be seen as a criticism of the line the current U.S. administration has taken on Iraq.”
Furthermore, in a joint message to the press, the committee stated that, “In a situation marked by threats of the use of power, Carter has stood by the principles that conflicts must, as far as possible, be resolved through mediation and international cooperation.”
With this thinly veiled slam of President Bush, the Nobel Committee only sullied what should have been a singularly meaningful award to Carter.