Give the Peace Prize a Chance

I’ve always wanted to win a Nobel Peace Prize, but I’ve never been willing to kill enough people to get one. If you too have ever felt this way, then I have great news for you. In addition to the usual category of Peace Prize Winner (bloodthirsty Warmonger taking a breather), recent trends indicate that the Nobel committee may be favoring a second flavor of Peace Prize Winner: Certifiable Nut Job.

No more will you have to compete with Yasser Arafat, Anwar Sadat, or Le Duc Tho for this coveted symbol of pacifist purity (or for that matter Henry Kissinger and Yitzhak Rabin). Now you can just be plain kooky and get your very own Nobel Peace Prize. Jimmy Carter broke important ground in this regard just two years ago when he won a Nobel Peace Prize for his lifetime of work in embarrassing the United States. Er??¢â???¬ ¦ “Peace”, make that “lifetime of work in Peace related things??¢â???¬ ¦or Stuff”; or perhaps it was for Carpentry.

Anyway, the important thing is that the Man from Plains got a prize and he’s kooky. Thus opening the door for this year’s recipient, Wangari Maathai, who rose to the attention of most of the Nobel committee shortly after she won the Nobel Prize. Importantly, however, she is the first African woman to win the prize. Also, she seems to have done work planting female trees, as best I can tell. (OK, you interpret “work in Ecology and Women’s Issues”).

But before you could say, “Betty the Baobob Tree” Ms. Maathai proved that she had actually received the award for being kooky. Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi the day after her Peace Prize was announced, she declared that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was “created by a scientist for biological warfare”, that the purpose of the agent was “mass extermination” of black people, and that the proof of all this is that George W. Bush invaded Iraq. To be fair to Ms. Maathai??¢â???¬ ¦well, actually, that is fair. That’s what she said.

She offered as further proof, both of her theory and the wisdom of the Nobel committee: “Some say that AIDS came from the monkeys, and I doubt that because we have been living with monkeys (since) time immemorial, others say it was a curse from God, but I say it cannot be that.”

Actually, in “time immemorial”, we were monkeys. And the fact that we are now discussing this rather complex issue should be proof to Ms. Maathai that new species do evolve now and then. Also, the virus is believed to have first entered man around 1950, shortly before Watson and Crick discovered the double Helix and well before anyone discovered the “code” of the double helix, so whoever invented the virus without this critical information deserves, well, a Nobel Prize. Perhaps they could give the inventor Ms. Maathai’s Prize.

Almost as equally disturbing as the facts that this theory is A) Kooky and B) scientifically improbable, is the fact that C) it is difficult to reconcile with the declaration of South African President (and fellow kook) Thabo Mbeki that HIV does not cause AIDS. With deductive reasoning at least as sharp as Ms. Maathai’s immemorial monkey logic, President Mbeki observed that the “S” in “AIDS” stands for “syndrome” (as in “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”) and that: “A virus cannot cause a syndrome. A virus can cause a disease, and Aids is not a disease, it is a syndrome.” Uh huh. The plot thickens. Now we know that HIV was created in a laboratory to NOT cause AIDS. Yes, clearly, the problems of Africa are external in their origins.

Undoubtedly, it is a cause for celebration that the Nobel committee has chosen to elevate the status of Ms. Maathai in the eyes of her countrymen. Encouraging Africans to believe that their loved ones are dying by the millions as a result of a plot by white people will surely contribute to Peace in our small world, as well as contribute to the already enlightened state of popular knowledge about HIV in Africa. Everyone must be judged by the totality of their accomplishments, however, so I must assume that the woman planted a lot of trees.

As for the Nobel committee, the early money on next year’s Peace Prize recipient is split between Saddam Hussein and “Shopping Cart Man”, who collects cans in the park near my house. I’m betting on the kook. “And this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, for his lifetime of work in the field of recycling, is??¢â???¬ ¦”