Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize?

There are some ideas that are so ridiculous they make you fall out of your chair laughing, or crying.

One such idea is that Donald Trump might not only be nominated for but actually win the Nobel Peace Prize.


JM Rieger, “After a month of bad news, White House officials hype Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination,” Washington Post, September 14, 2020 (5:06 p.m. EDT).

What his nomination means is that the same right-wing Norwegian politician who nominated Trump for the prize in 2018 has done so again.

There are a huge number of people who can nominate anyone for the Nobel Peace Prize, including national level legislators. See,

Qualified nominators

Revised September 2016

According to the statutes of the Nobel Foundation, a nomination is considered valid if it is submitted by a person who falls within one of the following categories:

Members of national assemblies and national governments (cabinet members/ministers) of sovereign states as well as current heads of states
Members of The International Court of Justice in The Hague and The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague
Members of l’Institut de Droit International
Members of the international board of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
University professors, professors emeriti and associate professors of history, social sciences, law, philosophy, theology, and religion; university rectors and university directors (or their equivalents); directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes
Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Members of the main board of directors or its equivalent of organizations that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (proposals by current members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after 1 February)
Former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee
Unless otherwise stated the term members shall be understood as current (sitting) members.

Pursuant to these rules for who can make a nomination, Donald Trump has joined such famous nominees as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

If we can pick ourselves up off the floor from laughing, or crying, we can consider for a moment the actual selection criteria for the winner of the Peace Prize. Alfred Nobel set out in  his will that a Nobel Peace Prize was to be awarded

…to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” (Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)
The Nobel Peace Prize Organization

The leading peace conferences at this time were the 1899 and 1907 Hague Peace Conferences, which established the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague (a precursor of the Permanent Court of International Justice set up as part of the League of Nations in 1919, and the successor International Court of Justice established as part of the United Nations in 1945).

Viewed against these criteria, the absurd idea that Donald Trump should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize falls of its own weight.

But of course that was not the point. The point was for Trump and his cult and Collaborators to throw one more piece of garbage propaganda out there to confuse voters, and particularly his uneducated base.

Even the “achievements” which are being touted, the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE and Bahrein, are the fruit of a process in which Trump and Jared Kushner green-lighted a coup within Saudi Arabia which brought Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) to (de facto) power, supported a boycott of Qatar in flagrant violation of fundamental norms of international law, shielded MBS from accountability for allegedly ordering the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and to some extent supported the threat by Israel Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to annex large portions of the West Bank in open and egregious violation of international law.

Alfred Nobel presumably would not be pleased with Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate accord, his withdrawal from the 2016 six-nation nuclear agreement with Iran, or his flagrant violation of World Trading Organization trading rules, coupled with his attempt to cripple the organization by refusing to nominate members of its highest dispute resolution body. His withdrawal from final negotiations to adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement similarly undercuts the idea of multilateral collaboration which is a the heart of the selection criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In a word, any linking between the name of Donald Trump and the Nobel Peace Prize is no more than cynical propaganda and utter rubbish.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.