The Nobel Peace Prize Should Have Gone to Julian Assange


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

11 Oct 2021 – To some extent one must applaud the choice of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to two journalists who have dared to defy government pressure.  It is correct that the free flow of information is essential for peace, as we have maintained in this blog.  In fact, it has become the highest priority because, as we have stressed here, the culture of war now uses the manipulation of information as its primary means of defense.

And the journalists who were chosen, Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, certainly merit the distinction.

But there is another journalist who is even more deserving. And his recognition would have contributed far more to the cause of world peace. That is Julian Assange.

As Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire said in 2019 when she nominated Assange for the Prize,

“Julian Assange meets all criteria for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Through his release of hidden information to the public we are no longer naïve to the atrocities of war, neither oblivious to the connections between big business and the acquisition of resources and spoils of war. As his human rights and freedom are in jeopardy, the Nobel Peace Prize would afford Julian much greater protection from governments’ forces.”

His recognition would have contributed far more to the cause of world peace because Assange revealed the secrets of the American Empire, which is the primary force in the culture of war. Those who received the prize this year attacked countries that are secondary: the Philippines and Russia. To be sure these countries are also part of the culture of war, but they are not responsible for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, for military bases throughout the world, for the systematic overthrow of anyone who is elected to head a country that does not support the American Empire, and for the support of the worst dictatorships and warmongers responsible for wars like that in Yemen.

Assange revealed the American atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan and the involvement of the CIA in covert warfare around the world.

And because of his courageous journalism he continues to be under attack by the American Empire, to the point that it was recently revealed that the CIA asked permission from President Trump to assassinate him.

Ironically, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President Obama at a time when he was initiating the prosecution of Assange and when his administration was beginning the secret warfare of drones, perhaps the most dangerous advance of the culture of war. And Assange was revealing the secrets of the Obama administration.

In fact, as long as we are suggesting who should have won the prize, why not add Edward Snowden who is also being sought by the United States for revealing its culture of war secrets? And Daniel Ellsberg who was the first whistle-blower, revealing the secrets of the Vietnam War, and who continues to speak out in favor of Snowden and Assange? And why not add Mordecai Vanunu, imprisoned for 18 years after revealing the secret of Israel’s nuclear arms, and who continues to be harassed by the Israeli government? And Daniel Hale, recently imprisoned for revealing the secrets of America’s drone warfare?

By revealing the secrets of America’s culture of war, all of these whistle-blowers are making a great contribution to the world’s anti-war consciousness which is a key component of the developments that can eventually produce a transition to the culture of peace.


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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