In an Orwellian move that has already been widely criticized and ridiculed by analysts across the political spectrum, the United Nations announced February 21 that Socialist French President François Hollande (pictured) would be awarded a UN “Peace Prize” for his government’s invasion of Mali to support a military coup-installed regime battling separatist rebels. Human rights groups say the controversial international military intervention, led by Hollande in France but heavily supported by the UN and Obama, has already resulted in civilian massacres and possibly war crimes.
The largely discredited international prize, awarded by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was offered to Hollande for his alleged “valuable contribution to peace and stability in Africa.” That “contribution,” of course, was the French government’s bloody military campaign that began earlier this year in defense of the illegitimate regime ruling parts of Mali out of the capital city of Bamako. Unlike Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, however — awarded before he escalated and began multiple unconstitutional wars — Hollande earned his award only after starting a war for “peace.”
The armed intervention in Mali — justified under the guise of fighting “Islamic extremism,” defending “democracy,” and enforcing UN decrees — included aerial bombings of rebel targets and thousands of French troops deployed on the ground. As The New American has documented, however, even as Hollande claims to be waging a war on terror in Mali, his government has been among the most vocal supporters of brutal Islamic jihad in Syria targeting the secular dictatorship of Bashir al-Assad.
Considering the UNESCO jury that awarded the prize, though, analysts were not surprised that it went to a socialist now described by critics even on the hard left as a warmonger and even a war criminal. In typical UN fashion, the chairman of the global organization’s “Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize” jury was former Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano — a founding member of the Marxist terror group-turned ruling Communist political party known as the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO).
“After analyzing the global situation, it is Africa that held the attention of the jury with the various threats affecting the continent,” Chissano said in a statement released by the UN after the jury’s meeting in Paris. “Having assessed the dangers and the repercussions of the situation on Africa, and on Mali in particular, as well as on the rest of the world, the jury appreciated the solidarity shown by France to the peoples of Africa.”
The jury also cited Hollande’s efforts to unify the poverty-stricken African nation, condemning the alleged “violation of Mali’s territorial integrity” by secessionist rebels in the north. Amid a military coup led by a U.S.-trained officer that overthrew the elected Malian government, Tuareg separatists in the northern regions of the country — apparently loosely allied with various Islamist factions — declared independence from the regime in Bamako early last year.
For the UN, France, and the Obama administration, however, that was unacceptable — the long-oppressed nomadic tribesmen, who have been seeking an independent state for generations, would have to submit to the internationally backed central regime, or face invasion. By the end of last year, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for armed international intervention in Mali to oust the ragtag rebels, who, ironically, perhaps, obtained heavy weapons during a previous UN-approved military invasion in northern Africa involving the French government — that war was to support self-described al-Qaeda leaders in Libya against the late strongman Muammar Gadhafi.
Selecting Hollande to receive the prize was also appropriate considering the nature of the award itself. According to UNESCO, the “Felix-Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize” — created in 1989 and named after the totalitarian-minded “president” who ruled the Ivory Coast for over 30 years — is “intended to honor living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, other notable recipients of the dubious UN “Peace Prize” — which consists of $150,000, a “peace diploma,” and a gold medal — include a range of communists and former terrorists who have played key roles advancing socialism, globalism, or both. Among the most well-known laureates: Former South African President Nelson Mandela, now a proven Communist Party leader who led an armed, Soviet-backed terror campaign against the Apartheid government before taking over the nation with his communist allies. Today, South Africa is facing the threat of genocide and full-blown communist tyranny.
Another notable recipient of the UN prize was former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva. Among other accomplishments, the former Workers’ Party (PT) of Brazil chieftain founded the shadowy Foro de São Paulo (FSP) — an alliance of socialist and communist forces that now dominates Latin American politics — with communist tyrant Fidel Castro, the Sandinistas, Marxist narco-terror groups like the FARC, and others. Today, with a few exceptions, the region is almost completely controlled by socialist and communist forces thanks in large part to Lula’s work.
Of course, it may not have been surprising that UNESCO — infamous for promoting global governance, immorality, bogus climate alarmism, subversive propaganda aimed at children, and more — would give a “peace prize” to a socialist warmonger whose primary international achievement is starting a brutal war in Mali while backing bloody jihad in Syria. Still, critics from the all across the political spectrum lambasted the UN decision to honor Hollande, recalling George Orwell’s infamous “War is Peace” slogan from the dystopian book 1984.
In a piece entitled "Another 'War is Peace' Award (This Time Hollande Wins!)" on the popular libertarian site LewRockwell.com, analyst Daniel McAdams noted sarcastically that honoring the Socialist French leader was entirely “appropriate” considering the circumstances and the nature of UNESCO. Citing other experts, he also suggested that the bizarre but deadly military campaign — based almost entirely on fantasy and fiction — could have something to do with promoting the new French Rafale fighter jets or other nefarious machinations.
“After having invaded the African country of Mali under false pretenses, with no legal justification …, where a bloody trail of that nation's destruction lies in the wake, what better way for the ‘international community’ to honor French President Francois Hollande than to give him an international peace prize,” McAdams wrote. “War is peace! And it brings bigger dividends!”
Other critics pointed out that France’s top terror court judge, Marc Trevedic, is sounding the alarm about the potential blowback from the controversial invasion. The judge, who has been warning about the increased risk of terrorism sparked by the war since before it officially began, says Hollande’s latest assault may well lead to terrorist attacks in France. Even French citizens with ties to North Africa, which has been ravished in recent years by at least three brutal international invasions aided by France, may decide to perpetrate domestic terror attacks, Trevedic warned.
On the left, opponents of Hollande’s war and his “peace prize” were also fuming. “To say this was absurd and outright insanity would be putting it mildly,” noted U.K.-based author and radio host Jason Liosatos in a widely cited analysis of the UN announcement, where he argued that the French invasion of its former colony was really about securing resources rather than terror. “If this all seems like cynicism let us take a close look first and see the facts and realize there is a great difference between cynicism and reality.”
Domestically, of course, Hollande is also working fiendishly to advance socialism, cultural relativism, internationalism, and other key UN goals. From foisting a 75-percent tax on the “rich” and using the force of government to re-define marriage to demanding that France “march toward a unified Europe,” the Socialist French president has become a primary darling of the international socialist establishment. Despite mass protests and even an exodus of productive citizens, however, Hollande appears determined to advance the controversial agenda.
Analysts from across the world and from every point on the political spectrum have pointed out the irony of giving Hollande, the European Union, Al Gore, and Obama so-called “peace” prizes. However, with cover from the establishment press, it appears that the UN and its allies will continue rewarding those who faithfully advance statism and globalism with dubious “prizes” — regardless of how many people are killed or how absurd it may sound to clear-thinking individuals.
Photo of French President François Hollande: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached at
France Bombs Mali While Backing Jihad Elsewhere