The International Atomic Energy Agency has to be one of the biggest jokes in the world today. Charged with enforcing the Non-Proliferation Treaty and shepherding research and development of nuclear power into peaceful paths, they have a stellar record of accomplishments.
Unfortunately, that stellar record is of failures.
On their watch:
* India announced it officially possessed nuclear weapons.
* Pakistan announced it had nuclear weapons.
* Libya announced that it had a highly-developed nuclear weapons program, and turned it over — lock, stock, and barrel — to the United States.
* North Korea has continued violations of the treaty and is unabashedly seeking nuclear weapons.
* Iran has repeatedly violated the treaty and is unabashedly seeking nuclear weapons.
* Pakistan has helped spread what it has learned about nuclear weapons throughout the Muslim world.
So, with this colossal amount of failures on their watch, what should be done with the IAEA? Major reforms? Give it some “teeth” to enforce its mandate? Abolish it entirely?
I guess it’s inevitable. The Nobel Peace Prize has always been the bastard stepchild of the family. The ones for the “hard” sciences still have their cachet. “Economics” was grafted on to the prizes by a bank in 1969. (Thanks for the tip, Julie.) But the “literature” prize is usually given to some excessively-PC author. And the “Peace Prize” has devolved into an almost Orwellian joke. In 1973, it was given to Henry Kissinger. In 1985, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War won it. They gave it to United Nations Peace Keepers in 1988. And the ultimate obscenity was in 1994, when Yassir Arafat, the godfather of modern terrorism, clutched the prize in his blood-stained hands. They tried like hell to beat that accomplishment in 2001, but Kofi Annan and the UN just can’t quite match the sheer, horrific, appalling crimes of Arafat.
Sometimes, I wonder if the world would be a better place if every single winner of the Nobel Peace Prize were to be stuck in a rocket and blasted into deep space. And with each new winner, I have to say that I think that the tradeoff just might be worth it.