The Independent on the Nobel Peace Prize: compare and contrast.

From an article published today, on Vladimir Putin’s nomination for the prize:

‘Despite Russia’s role as the main supplier of weapons to Bashar al-Assad’s regime, an advocacy group has put the president’s name forward . . . made no mention of Putin’s ruthless and violent campaign against the separatists in Chechnya or the war he waged on Georgia’.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/vladimir-putin-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize-8853349.html

Fair enough, you might say, in the sense that his government does supply the Assad regime; did conduct a bloody military campaign in Chechnya; and did fight a war with Georgia. Not necessarily ‘peace prize’ material, then.

Now this, from an Independent Editorial published in October 2009, on Barack Obama actually being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:

‘Obama arrived with a heart for peace and an openness of mind to other nations which was in itself a huge transformation. He may see no alternative to fighting the war against al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan but everywhere else he has reasserted the importance of the United Nations and of multilateral diplomacy. He replaced military threats with dialogue with Iran and North Korea. He has begun talks with Russia over nuclear disarmament.

He has prioritised peace in the Middle East. He has reached out a hand of friendship to the Muslim world. He has thrown Washington’s recalcitrant attitude to global warming into reverse. All change begins with a change of mind by one individual and Obama has been that person . . .

. . . In his will, the founder Alfred Nobel said that the prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most, or the best, work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses”. It is hard to think of anyone of whom that is truer last year than Barack Obama.

The prize may make life difficult for him domestically, giving his right-wing critics another stick with which to beat him over healthcare. But to the rest of the world the US President is an inspiration. The Audacity of Hope, he called one of his books. Rarely has a single individual in recent times given so much of the world cause to dare to anticipate that a better world can yet be made’.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/leading-article-it-is-enough-that-obama-has-given-us-hope-for-the-future-1800590.html

No criticism of him being the main weapons supplier to brutal regimes in Israel and Saudi Arabia; no criticism of his ruthless and violent campaign against rebels in Afghanistan; and no criticism of the wars he was waging on the people of Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. Instead, just paragraphs and paragraphs of bizarro world sycophancy.

But really, the disparity in tone and language between the coverage of an Official Bad Guy merely being nominated for the award, and an Official Good Guy actually winning it, is so obviously biased that comment is almost superfluous.

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