The Nobel Prize committee has trashed its own prize — the celebrated Nobel Peace prize — by giving it to Jimmy Carter as a way to chastise George W. Bush.

One of the Prize committee members said as much this weekend... that giving it to Carter — the noted internationalist — was a kick in the shins to the president. L

This is because Carter counsels the multilateralist approach — let's not have a picnic without bringing friends along — while Bush and his administration have not been shy about saying he would be willing to go it alone when it comes to Iraq.

The Nobel folks like to have a say in this stuff, and they are so very miffed at being ignored.

The prize, funded by the man who invented dynamite to salve a guilty conscience, is now being used to advance a contemporaneous political agenda rather than just being an emblem for high ideals, of which peace is one.

I say the Nobel Prize has debased itself, and it has done so before. I bet they'd like to take that Yasser Arafat prize back, if they could. Or maybe they wouldn't. It would be interesting and revealing to know that.

But the prize committee felt they owed it to Carter a quarter of a century ago, and they were looking for an excuse to give it to him. They found the excuse in the happy coincidence of his wandering the globe for peace, and his recent stand against President Bush launching a war against Iraq.

It's all very high-minded, but let's just think about this a moment: would we all feel safer if Carter were president right now?

That's My Word.

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