Snubbed.2:33 PM, Oct 9, 2015 • By SHOSHANA WEISSMANN
There has been speculation that John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif would be selected for the Nobel Peace Prize.
However, today it was announced that the prize will instead go to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011."
The Nobel committee explains:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is to be awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011. The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest. It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war. It was thus instrumental in enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few years, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction or religious belief.
The National Dialogue Quartet has comprised four key organizations in Tunisian civil society: the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT, Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA, Union Tunisienne de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de l'Artisanat), the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH, La Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme), and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers (Ordre National des Avocats de Tunisie). These organizations represent different sectors and values in Tunisian society: working life and welfare, principles of the rule of law and human rights. On this basis, the Quartet exercised its role as a mediator and driving force to advance peaceful democratic development in Tunisia with great moral authority. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015 is awarded to this Quartet, not to the four individual organizations as such.
The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in 2010-2011, but quickly spread to a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East. In many of these countries, the struggle for democracy and fundamental rights has come to a standstill or suffered setbacks. Tunisia, however, has seen a democratic transition based on a vibrant civil society with demands for respect for basic human rights.
An essential factor for the culmination of the revolution in Tunisia in peaceful, democratic elections last autumn was the effort made by the Quartet to support the work of the constituent assembly and to secure approval of the constitutional process among the Tunisian population at large. The Quartet paved the way for a peaceful dialogue between the citizens, the political parties and the authorities and helped to find consensus-based solutions to a wide range of challenges across political and religious divides. The broad-based national dialogue that the Quartet succeeded in establishing countered the spread of violence in Tunisia and its function is therefore comparable to that of the peace congresses to which Alfred Nobel refers in his will.
The course that events have taken in Tunisia since the fall of the authoritarian Ben Ali regime in January 2011 is unique and remarkable for several reasons. Firstly, it shows that Islamist and secular political movements can work together to achieve significant results in the country's best interests. The example of Tunisia thus underscores the value of dialogue and a sense of national belonging in a region marked by conflict. Secondly, the transition in Tunisia shows that civil society institutions and organizations can play a crucial role in a country’s democratization, and that such a process, even under difficult circumstances, can lead to free elections and the peaceful transfer of power. The National Dialogue Quartet must be given much of the credit for this achievement and for ensuring that the benefits of the Jasmine Revolution have not been lost.
Hosted by Michael Graham3:05 PM, Oct 6, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on the Obama foreign policy, and how our allies are reacting to it.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:45 PM, Oct 5, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on what Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama have in common: they both want Iranian dominance in the Middle East.
Russia’s move for dominance in the Middle East.Oct 12, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 05 • By JOHN BOLTON
By any objective measure, Russia has made a strategic decision to challenge America for dominance in the Middle East. Despite depressed global oil prices and economic sanctions intended to curb his Ukraine adventurism, Vladimir Putin is pursuing an undisguised effort to expand Moscow’s military power, political heft, and economic influence in a region long under Washington’s sway. Barack Obama has made no effective response, and none seems in prospect. The recent Obama-Putin meeting at the United Nations did not change that underlying reality.
Oct 12, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 05 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
It was the middle of the night in Washington, D.C.—the early morning of September 30, 2015, in Iraq—when a three-star Russian general walked into the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, announced that Russian jets would soon begin airstrikes in Syria, and demanded that the United States stop flying combat missions in the country.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:30 PM, Oct 1, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the Obama administration's Syria policy, and what Russia is doing there.
Oct 5, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 04 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
On a recent Saturday afternoon in Washington, several hundred children with cancer and their families filled Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. They came from all over the country, and from Canada, to participate in a two-day program called CureFest for Childhood Cancer.
Oct 5, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 04 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In his weekly address on September 12, President Obama touted the Department of Education’s new “College Scorecard,” the latest, greatest tool to help high school students and their families make informed (dare we say educated?) decisions when picking a college. The website offers students a means of comparing schools—by graduation rates, cost of attendance after financial aid, and the average salaries earned by graduates.
Oct 5, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 04 • By MICHAEL MAKOVSKY
It's been two weeks since a majority of Congress sought to register its disapproval of the Iran deal but fell short of the votes necessary to break a filibuster or override a presidential veto, and most politicians and commentators have moved on.
It’s understandable to want a mental break after a long and hard-fought struggle. But the world hasn’t taken a break. The consequences of the deal are already reverberating.
Gleanings and observations.9:36 AM, Sep 21, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The opposition British Labour Party, now led by a leftist who favors Hamas, wants Britain to withdraw from NATO because its expansion has antagonized Vladimir Putin, give up its nuclear deterrent, and declare an arms embargo against Israel, has appointed as his shadow chancellor, one John McDonnell.
3:21 PM, Sep 18, 2015 • By SHOSHANA WEISSMANN
Hillary Clinton has attacked Donald Trump because he didn't rebuke an audience member who asserted President Obama is a Muslim, and not American.
The Huffington Post reports:
"We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims," the questioner said. "You know our current president is one. You know he's not even an American."
Trump interrupted the question, chuckling, and said, "We need this question. This is the first question."
Sep 28, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 03 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Earlier this summer, we learned the Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that the intelligence on ISIS was manipulated. Analysts at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, formally complained to the IG that analysis contradicting the Obama administration’s narrative on ISIS was routinely challenged, rewritten, or disregarded. The administration was eager to sell the story that the campaign against ISIS was going well; much of the intelligence made clear it wasn’t. That intelligence was buried, and the happy talk continued.