Editorial: Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize; the Ukraine collectively scratches its head

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

We repeat: Vladimir Putin was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Vladimir Putin. PEACE. Prize.

Isn’t it a couple weeks early for an April Fools joke?

In case you haven’t heard, Putin is currently accused of trying to invade the Ukraine. Nothing says “peace” like an attempted armed invasion of a neighboring country.

Closer examination of the selection process makes this seem slightly less ridiculous. According to the Huffington Post, to be nominated, a group or individual simply has to submit their name and good deed to the Nobel Committee, and then it selects nominees from those entries. The committee claims to take no responsibility for the nominees it selects.

And good thing, too, because they have nominated some fine, upstanding individuals over the years. Putin joins such good company as Joseph Stalin (ouch), Adolf Hitler (double ouch) and Rush Limbaugh (really?) as a Nobel Prize Nominee.

The entire nomination system is flawed in itself. Isn’t it high time that the process is tweaked a tad?

What exactly gave Putin the nod, anyway? Voice of Russia reports that the nomination was most likely submitted in October, when Putin was considered a key figure in the chemical disarmament of Syria. Of course, Putin most likely neglected to mention in his nomination that he actually supplied Syrian President Bashar Assad with sophisticated weapons last May. Whoops.

Putin claiming he is an agent for peace while invading a neighboring country and supplying another with weapons is rich. That’s right up there with McDonald’s claiming it is a healthier restaurant because it eliminated its “Super Size” but lowered the price of a box of 20 chicken nuggets. Kind of counterproductive, don’t you think?

We know there is little chance of Putin winning the award, and we’re well aware that there have been some stupid nominees over the years. But good grief, who nominates these people?

Apparently, Norwegians make up the committee. They have cable in Norway, right?

Maybe it’s time that the committee treats this award like the Heisman or the NFL MVP award. They should look at the entire body of work, not just an isolated incident. A quarterback shouldn’t be nominated for the Heisman because of one good game, and a world leader shouldn’t be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize because of a singular (seemingly) good deed.

Maybe Putin truly believes that he is a peacemaker. We’re willing to bet that Ukrainians would disagree.