Kerry’s Consolation Prize

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

Did President Trump cost Secretary of State John Kerry the Nobel Peace Prize? Or is it just a coincidence that the Nobel committee passed over Mr. Kerry after news broke that Mr. Trump is set to announce he will refuse to certify Iran compliant with the nuclear deal into which Mr. Kerry hornswoggled the Obama administration? Even for the Nobel committee, it would have been hard to fashion a silk purse out of the ear of that sow.

For a while, it looked like the custodians of the Nobel prize might try. Handicappers at the Peace Research Institute Oslo were putting the Iranian plenipotentiary, Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the top of the list. It was a long list, with 318 candidates from all over the globe. Speculation, though, was centering on Messrs. Zarif and Kerry, as well as Federica Mogherini, who is Europe’s foreign affairs chief and was up to her eyeballs in the Iran deal.

“It’s important to support initiatives that prevent the development and proliferation of nuclear arms,” the director or the Peace Institute, Henrik Urdal, blathered. He seemed to be suggesting that the collaborators on the Iran deal were the frontrunners. Plus, too, giving the prize to any architects of the Iran deal would have been a stick in the eye to Mr. Trump, who, after all, won the presidency partly on his promises to rip up the Iran pact.

In the event, it was neither Mr. Kerry, nor Mr. Zarif, nor Signora Mogherini who won the laurel but the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons — or, as we like to call it, the International Campaign to Abolish America’s Strategic Advantage. Or the International Campaign to Abolish Israel’s Chances of Survival. It’s seeking to advance a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. The United States is boycotting it altogether.

Iran hasn’t signed it, by the way. And why should it have done so? The significance of the agreement is that in half a generation, Iran’s way to an atomic bomb would be completely open. Which is why Messrs. Obama and Kerry schemed so hard to keep their Iran deal clear of the United States Senate — not to mention the House. The fact is that both houses of Congress were against the deal.

And Messrs. Obama and Kerry knew it full well. Yet they okayed the agreement and then took it to the United Nations where they had the United States envoy vote against the wishes of America’s own democratically elected Congress. That would have been reason enough for Mr. Trump to withhold certification of Iran’s compliance, even without the International Atomic Energy Agency admission that it lacks the ability to verify Iran’s compliance.

Which brings us back to the Nobel Prize. The director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo speculated last week that the hapless Mr. Kerry might be left out of a peace prize for the pact. He mooted that omitting Mr. Kerry might underscore for Mr. Trump the international support for the the Iran deal. Now that Mr. Kerry has been passed over, the Norwegian parliament could always create a consolation prize and give it to the former secretary of state. It could be called the Nobel Prize for Appeasement.

This editorial is adapted from a column by the editor of the Sun that appeared in the New York Post online.

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