International man of ‘peace’?

INTERNATIONAL MAN OF ‘PEACE’?…. Mike Allen reported this morning, “Pastor Rick Warren will present President George W. Bush with the first International Medal of PEACE from the Global PEACE Coalition in recognition of his contribution to the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.”

I thought, “That can’t be right.” And in a way, the name of the award is a little misleading. Here’s a press release from Rick Warren’s office.

“No U.S. president or political leader has done more for global health than this Administration, which has raised the bar on America’s role and responsibility for providing critical humanitarian assistance around the world,” Warren said. “Over the past eight years, the President and Mrs. Bush have traveled the globe as they and their staffs have worked tirelessly to bring awareness and solutions to pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, and we are privileged to honor their efforts on World AIDS Day.”

The “International Medal of PEACE” is given on behalf of the Global PEACE Coalition for outstanding contribution toward alleviating the five global giants recognized by the Coalition, including pandemic diseases, extreme poverty, illiteracy, self-centered leadership and spiritual emptiness. The Coalition is a network of churches, businesses and individuals cooperating together to solve humanitarian issues through the PEACE Plan, an effort to mobilize 1 billion Christians to Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation.

“PEACE” is an acronym. The “P” stands for “promoting reconciliation.” Of course, Bush isn’t good at this either, but it’s at least slightly more plausible than giving him an award for promoting actual peace.

As Ezra noted, “There’s no argument that Bush has done some genuine good in pushing America’s HIV/AIDS policy forward, but giving Bush the International Medal of PEACE is like giving the Dalai Lama the International Medal of WAR. You can find a rationale, but it demonstrates a genuinely insufficient sensitivity to irony.”

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