The U.N. nuclear watchdog and its head, Mohamed ElBaradei, won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their efforts to limit the spread of atomic weapons.
ElBaradei told CNN he was "overwhelmed." He said it was "a shot in the arm" for his agency and would strengthen its resolve in dealing with major issues like North Korea and Iran.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee picked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and ElBaradei, an Egyptian, from a record field of 199 candidates.
It praised ElBaradei as an "unafraid advocate" of measures to strengthen non-proliferation efforts.
Meteor Blades, a rockstar in Blogsylvania, has written a great piece on the implications of this selection with respect to the tension between the U.N. and the Bush War Council.
Naturally, the Bush administration wants the IAEA and its director to perform as its agent in all things, just as it did in the case of weapons inspector Hans Blix. Acting contrariwise risks having one's competence and impartiality called into question. In the case of El Baradei, these methods were combined with attempts to smear and humiliate the man. Par for the course in this administration, as anybody who's watching knows too well. White House slimeballs even bugged El Baradei's phones in hopes they would find something to incriminate him of over-friendliness toward the Iranians so they could use this evidence to replace him. They couldn't find anything incriminating and they couldn't find a replacement, although they were once keen on Alexander Downer, the Australian Foreign Minister. El Baradei was selected for a third term last June, after months of what used to be called diplomatic intrigue.
What jerks the Administration's chain more than anything else is that El Baradei was dead right about Saddam's lack of a nuclear weapons development program. And, furthermore, despite all their slanders, El Baradei has done much to budge the difficult-to-budge Iranians to get them to make their nuclear program utterly transparent, which they have not been willing to do.
Go read the whole thing. This selection is another shot at the Bush War Council's deceptive reasoning for the Iraq War. They claimed there were WMD in Iraq, yet there were none. They claimed Saddam Hussein was running a covert nuke program, he wasn't; yet they have not been held fully accountable. I congratulate the IAEA and Mr. El Baradei for this honor, it is greatly deserved.