Regarding John Hughes's May 4 Opinion piece, "Nobel for Bush and Blair":
That's a joke, right?
Edward J. Szewczyk
Granite City, Ill.
It is far too soon to know whether to award the Nobel Peace Prize to George W. Bush and Tony Blair. President Bush and Prime Minister Blair misled their respective nations in promoting an attack on Iraq.
Whether their attacking and occupying Iraq led to lasting peace won't be known for years.
Waging war is never the path for peacemakers to take. True advocates for peace work to find the root causes of terrorism and strive to eradicate the causes. It will be very hard for the United States and Britain to untangle themselves from the Middle East's "eye for an eye" cycle of violence.
A rush to crown Bush and Blair as princes of peace would be a huge mistake. It will take time for historians to assess their peace efforts.
Paul L. Whiteley, Sr.
The war may have liberated Iraqis but it has not advanced their interests. More important, the US made a mockery of international law and the United Nations, which are instruments used to preserve international peace.
Accordingly, I hereby nominate the following people for the Nobel peace prize: Margaret Hassan, who headed CARE International's humanitarian projects in Iraq and who was murdered by insurgents; and Sergio Viera de Mello, who as the UN secretary-general's special representative to Iraq was trying to find a way of ending the occupation by transferring power to a democratic state.
These individuals gave up their lives trying to improve the lives of Iraqis. Their work was not informed by other motivations. Their No. 1 concern was Iraqis' welfare.
Yes, Blair and Bush wanted to see democracy in Iraq, but unfortunately the driving reason was their own self-interest.
By suggesting these two leaders for the prize, Hughes is basically endorsing the old proverb that "might makes right." This is not a positive definition of peace, but a negative one.
Carlos L. Yordan
I approve of the idea of a Nobel Peace Prize for Bush and Blair as outlined in John Hughes's piece. Several luminaries were mentioned as setting such a precedent, of having been involved in both war and peace, including Jimmy Carter.
I thought it unusual to leave out the name of Anwar Sadat, in my mind one of the bravest and most successful peacemakers. Known as "the war and peace man," he won the Nobel Peace Prize in l978.
Nanaimo, British Columbia
I agree whole-heartedly with John Hughes's suggestion that Bush and Blair should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I agree so much, in fact, that I made the very same suggestion two and a half years ago (www.techcentralstation.com/100202E.html).
In my open letter to the Nobel Prize Committee, I echoed the message of Norwegian Parliamentarian Harald Tom Nesvik, who praised "their decisive action against terrorism, something I believe in the future will be the greatest threat to peace."
The case for a Nobel Prize is even stronger today than it was back then.
I ask that Bush and Blair be considered for the prize not because of military campaigns, but for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, the suppression of terrorism, the establishment of liberal democracy where brutal regimes once existed, and the legacy of peace they are making possible.
Stephen W. Stanton
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