BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
While President Trump is visiting Japan this week, it is the appropriate time to comment about his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The nomination was announced by none other than Trump himself, who boasted that Abe had given him “the most beautiful copy of a five-page letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize.”
Japan’s Asahi newspaper reported that Trump had asked Shinzo Abe to nominate him. Abe refused to confirm the nomination, citing a Nobel Committee policy of not disclosing nominees for 50 years after prizes are awarded. When Abe was asked in Parliament if the report was accurate, he responded: “I am not saying it is not true.”
Two Norwegian lawmakers had already nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in June 2018. Interestingly, in February 2018, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that two Nobel Peace Prize nominations for Trump were forgeries. In addition, 18 Republican Members of Congress sent a joint letter to the Nobel Committee last year nominating Trump for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
Japanese Prime Minister’s nomination of Trump created a major political stir with domestic opposition leaders protesting Shinzo Abe’s move. Junya Ogawa, a lawmaker representing the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, criticized Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and the nuclear agreement with Iran, his decision to suspend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and his relocation of the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. These actions, Ogawa said, should make it “not possible to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it’s shameful for Japan.”
The reason the Japanese Prime Minister nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize is that the leader of Japan had figured out that flattery is the best way to be on Trump’s good side. Apparently, playing countless rounds of golf together was not sufficient. Japan has three requests from Trump:
- To seek Trump’s help in arranging for the Japanese Prime Minister to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss “unconditional” denuclearization. This is an important request for Japan as recent North Korean missiles have either fallen in or near Japanese territorial waters, or have overflown the Japanese territory panicking the population.
- To dissuade Trump from his repeated threats to impose U.S. tariffs on Japanese imports, mostly cars, which would impact Japan’s economy and undermine Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s re-election.
- To get Trump’s assistance in negotiating the return of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea between 1977 and 1982.
Nevertheless, Shinzo Abe’s nomination of Trump “was unexpected, given Trump’s aggressive ‘America first’ foreign policy and disdain for multilateral international cooperation. After U.S. talks with North Korea collapsed… a Nobel nod seemed wholly unwarranted,” according to the Washington Post.
While the Prime Minister of Japan may have good reasons for nominating Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Committee has better reasons to reject the request in order not to dishonor its prestigious award by presenting it to such a charlatan, liar and cheater, both financially and morally. He has insulted other races and religions, abused minorities and immigrants, and refused to comply with U.S. laws and international treaties.
Just in case some may think that my antagonism to Trump’s nomination stems from partisanship, I need to remind readers that when President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people,” I wrote an editorial expressing my opposition to his award. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Obama within the first year of his presidency, way too soon to judge his accomplishments. Trump had criticized Obama for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, and some say that he wants the same award that Obama received out of jealousy. Trump was quoted saying: “They gave it to Obama. He didn’t even know what he got it for. He was there for about 15 seconds, and he got the Nobel Prize.” In addition to Obama, three other U.S. Presidents were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize: Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter.
In Trump’s case, he has already served over two years as President, and it is clear that he does not deserve any kind of an award, let alone the Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, he does not even deserve to be President of the United States. With each passing day, the actions and statements of the self-declared “extremely stable genius” further antagonize more people both in the United States and around the world. As Lord Acton had wisely written: “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely!”
Not surprisingly, Trump continued his controversial behavior by sending a series of tweets during his first morning in Japan. In one of his tweets, Trump committed three errors or improprieties:
- He agreed with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that the leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is “a low IQ individual,” violating the long-held principle of not speaking about domestic divisions while overseas.
- He misspelled Biden’s name as “Bidan.”
- He contradicted the statements of his own National Security Adviser John Bolton and Japan’s Prime Minister that North Korea’s recent missile launches are a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Finally, Trump admitted that he will probably never get the Nobel Peace Prize. For once, I agree with him!