The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, a Russian advocacy group approved by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to submit proposals for candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, has nominated President Vladimir Putin in a letter written to the committee on September 16.
“Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet,” read the letter supporting Putin’s nomination.
The effort to maintain peace and tranquility, cited in the letter as a reason for Putin’s nomination, is a reference to Russia’s efforts to peacefully resolve the issue of Syria’s chemical weapon cache, and squash the missile strike proposed by President Obama against Syria earlier last month.
The call to find a means of resolving the Syrian conflict without the threat of a missile strike, called “one of the most deft diplomatic maneuvers of all time” by Fox News, began when United States Secretary of State John Kerry remarked that the only way the missile strike would be called off is if the Syrian state turned over its chemical weapons to a neutral international body.
Kerry is known for his candid remarks during his tenure as diplomat for the US, a quality of his that sometimes lands him in trouble. But in this instance, Kerry’s stray remark sparked action, on part of Russian Former Minister Minister Sergei Lavrov, that lead to a peaceful resolution of what could have been a disastrous conflict.
“We aren’t looking for any credit,” Lavrov told the Washington Post about the incident on September 25.
“We initiated through John Kerry’s statement,” Lavrov continued, “and my support of that statement [is]the process which is now underway. And we are gratified that the Syrian government responded very efficiently and promptly.”
So what does all this have to do with Putin being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?
The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World feels that Putin deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for the resolution of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, especially in light of the fact that President Barack Obama, who proposed using aggressive force against Syria, was awarded the prize back in 2009.
“Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States’ aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he is preparing for an invasion into Syria. He bears this title nevertheless,” UPI reports Iosif Kobzon, a popular Russian singer and supporter of Putin, as saying at a press conference about the nomination.
Obama’s nomination and subsequent naming as a Nobel Laureate has been throughly discussed and criticized, in light of the actions he has taken while in office, since his win in 2009.
Questions as to the validity of the prize, and also of the political implications of who it is given to, are nothing new.
The nomination of Putin for the prize, which is obviously an underhanded criticism of both the Nobel Prize and President Obama’s status as a laureate, is nothing more than a politically motivated gesture, one that has implications for the queer community.
The idea that Putin attempts to “maintain peace and tranquillity” in his territory, in light of the violence and oppression faced by the Russian LGBTQ community because of the notorious “Homosexual Propaganda” laws, is an insult to the queer people who are regularly discriminated against in the Russian state.
As reported by dot429, ten queer activists were arrested for protesting the Sochi Olympics outside of its headquarters in Moscow in an effort to silence the voice of opponents of the state’s anti-gay legislation on September 25.
And at a press conference held for US Olympic hopefuls on October 1, Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller spoke out about his views on Russia’s treatment of the LGBT community.
“I think it’s absolutely embarrassing that there’s countries and there’s people who are that intolerant and that ignorant,” he said to reporters in Park City, Utah, where the conference was held.
“But it’s not the first time,” Miller continued. “We’ve been dealing with human-rights issues probably since there were humans.”