Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A579-W347



Release Date: October 22, 2010



Topic: The Good Guys Win One, &c. (by Jay Nordlinger of National Review)

标题:好人们得奖 -- 《国家回顾》诺德令格


Original Language Version: English (English at beginning, Chinese version at the end)



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The good guys win one, &c.

-- Impromptus by Jay Nordlinger of National Review


OCTOBER 14, 2010


Here on this blessed website, I've gone on a bit about the Nobel Peace Prize - the award this year to Liu Xiaobo. And I will have a piece in the forthcoming NATIONAL REVIEW (available in digital form tomorrow, and available in the hoary paper form shortly thereafter). But I'd like to devote a chunk of today's column to the subject - and give you some comments from a couple of Liu's fellow dissidents, with whom I've communicated.


Liu, as you know, is in prison. He has been in prisons, and a "reeducation through labor" camp, off and on for more than 20 years, since Tiananmen Square took place. And he is the first Chinese dissident - indeed, the first Chinese person - to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Chinese Communism has been in power since 1949; many brave and heroic people have struggled against it. So this prize was a long time in coming.


Soviet Communism was in power for almost 75 years: 1917 to 1991. There were just two Nobel Peace Prizes for those who struggled against this power (and there were many, many such strugglers, plenty of whom sacrificed their lives). Andrei Sakharov won in 1975. And Lech Walesa - a Pole, to be sure, but a contender with Soviet Communism all the same - won in 1983. I talked to Walesa earlier this year, and reported that conversation in NR. To see that article, go http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=ZjQ0M2ZhYWMwMjU4OTA0Y2QwOTVkOWQzOWRmYTMyNDk


The Nobel Committee honored the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa three times: the first time in 1961, when the Nobel for 1960 went to Albert John Lutuli. (In the past, the committee often waited a year, before conferring the prize for a particular year.) The second time was in 1984, when Bishop Tutu won. The last time was in 1993, at the glorious, longed-for end of apartheid. Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk won jointly.


Over the decades, Chinese dissidents, democracy activists, and political prisoners were frequently nominated. Often, they were "frontrunners," according to speculation in the press. But they never won. It got to be kind of a joke. The rumor would be that a Chinese dissident was in line for the prize. The Chinese government would warn Norway, "You'd better not!" (The Nobel Committee is independent from the Norwegian government, though appointed by the parliament.) And somebody else would win - a non-Chinese.


(Did I mention that the Nobel Committee is composed of five Norwegians? Did I mention that the peace committee is a Norwegian committee, whereas the other Nobel committees are Swedish? I guess not. Sorry about that.)


Wei Jingsheng, the dissident and hero now in exile in the United States, was often a frontrunner. And often an also-ran. Laureates, in their Nobel speeches, would have to hail him, the way Oscar winners, clutching their precious statuettes, hail their colleagues who lost out. In 1996, Bishop Belo of East Timor said, "I think of China, and I pray for the well-being of Mr. Wei Jingsheng and his colleagues, and hope that they will soon be liberated from their jail cells." His co-laureate, José Ramos-Horta, complimented Wei as "one of China's best children." Well, that was nice.


The next year, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and its leader Jody Williams, won. A man named Rae McGrath spoke for the ICBL. (Williams spoke separately.) He said, "We would . . . like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a fellow nominee and champion of civil action, Wei Jingsheng, and wish him well . . ." That was nice, too.


To its credit, the Nobel Committee honored the Dalai Lama in 1989. Earlier that year, the Chinese government had slaughtered peaceful protesters at Tiananmen Square. The Nobel Committee chairman, in remarks to the press, said that the 1989 award should be taken not just as encouragement to the Dalai Lama and Tibet; it should also be taken as encouragement to the Chinese democracy movement. The Dalai Lama paid tribute to the Tiananmen dead in his Nobel lecture.


(And when Liu Xiaobo learned of his own Nobel prize, he said it "goes first" to those Tiananmen dead.)


I asked Wei Jingsheng, via e-mail, what he thought of the 2010 prize. He said that it was of course good that the matter of Chinese human rights was brought into the international spotlight. But Liu was a "moderate reformer": the kind willing to work with the government, hopeful of working with the government. The Nobel Committee could not stomach a different, less "moderate" kind of dissident. And what did it tell us about the Chinese government, said Wei, that even a moderate reformer could get eleven years? That is the duration of Liu's current prison term: The clock started ticking only last December.


Wei recognizes that not everyone can win the Nobel Peace Prize. And it was good that a Chinese, any Chinese, won. But he named several others who might well have won, who deserve the honor, and glory, and help. (He excluded himself.) He named Gao Zhisheng, Chen Guangcheng, Huang Qi, Hu Jia, the group called Tiananmen Mothers, "and so on."


Let me return to the Dalai Lama for a moment: He could not have won the Nobel prize if he hadn't been a "moderate" - a moderate opponent of Beijing. Of that I feel quite sure. The Nobel chairman in 1989 stressed the laureate's "willingness to compromise." For example, the Dalai Lama did not favor Tibetan independence, merely autonomy. And yet, the Chinese government took the prize to him very badly. You know what a Chinese official in Oslo said, when the 1989 prize was announced? "It is interference in China's internal affairs. It has hurt the Chinese people's feelings."


As I say in my NR piece, maybe the government handed out Kleenex.


In 2003, the Nobel Committee gave the peace prize to a moderate reformer in Iran, Shirin Ebadi. She was indeed in Iran, not outside it. She was not an exile. And she was a long way from "radical" dissidence. She insisted that democracy was compatible, not just with Islam, but also with an "Islamic republic." She wanted reform from within. She did not advocate the overthrow of the regime. And she said all the right things about the United States and Israel, the Great Satan and the Little Satan. At times, her rhetoric is barely distinguishable from that of the regime. Iranian dissidents in exile protested her Nobel prize on the streets of Oslo, as the ceremony was going on.


But: Ebadi had done, and has done, brave and important things. She has stuck her neck out. And, much to her sorrow, she is in exile now. Sometimes a totalitarian dictatorship doesn't give you much choice, you know?


Let me tell you a little something about governmental reaction: In 1975, when Sakharov won, the Soviets were pretty ticked. They called him an "anti-patriot," an "enemy of détente," and a "laboratory rat of the West." They called him a "Judas for whom the Nobel prize was thirty pieces of silver from the West." Isn't it interesting that the Soviet authorities should have gone in for a Gospel reference?


This year, the Chinese government has said similar things: The award to Liu is an "obscenity." The Nobel Peace Prize in general "has been reduced to a political tool of Western interests." Etc., etc. All of these regimes spout in the same fashion.

In addition to Wei, I communicated, via e-mail, with Baiqiao Tang, another dissident in exile, a man who has recently completed a memoir, to be published soon. It's called My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary. His words to me were much like Wei's: "Regardless of which dissident gets the prize, we should be happy." Now the world's attention is focused on the Chinese democracy movement. And that movement should take advantage of this "rare opportunity."


Tang said, "We're facing a very powerful and crafty opponent," in the Chinese government, "and we have a long and difficult walk ahead of us. Think of this: We can't even rescue a Nobel Peace Prize winner from prison." Given this fact, "how can we talk about solving the June 4 problem, the Falun Gong problem, the Tibet problem, the Uighur problem, and many other human-rights problems?" (June 4 refers to Tiananmen Square.)


"So we are still very far from success. Only when all political prisoners, including Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, Hu Jia, Chen Guangcheng, Tan Zuoren, Xie Changfa, Liu Xianbin, Guo Quan, Wang Bingzhang, Xu Wanping, and Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetan freedom fighters, Uighur freedom fighters, underground Christians, the 'disappeared,' and many others are released - only then can we say that human rights are being recognized in China."


By the way, Sakharov, in his Nobel lecture - read by his wife, Elena Bonner - named the names of about 100 political prisoners in the Soviet Union. Nothing gives such men and women greater hope; nothing so discourages them as the thought, or the fact, that they are forgotten.


Tang added one more thing: "Now is the time to ask the international community to condemn the Chinese government's human-rights abuses. Now is the time to request the release of all prisoners - not only Liu Xiaobo - and a stop to persecution. We should also use this chance to develop our democracy movement and get more people involved, until we win for our democratic ideal."


I'm afraid I'm going to repeat what I've said on this site before, and what I say in my new magazine piece: In the long history of the Nobel Peace Prize - since 1901 - only four laureates have been unable to travel to Oslo to pick up the prize. That is, only four have been prevented for political reasons. The first was Carl von Ossietzky in 1936. (He was the laureate for 1935, named the following year.) He was a political prisoner of the Nazis. This is beautiful: Goering asked him to reject and renounce the prize. The prisoner told him to stuff it.


The second man prevented was Sakharov. The third was Walesa. And the fourth laureate was Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy heroine, who won the prize in 1991. (She is under house arrest as we speak.)


So, will the prisoner Liu be the fifth laureate prevented from picking up the prize? It appears so. Will they let his wife go? She is under house arrest. Ossietzky had no one to speak for him. Sakharov had the great Bonner (who was out of the Soviet Union already, for medical treatment). Walesa had his wife, Danuta. Aung San Suu Kyi had her husband and two sons.


And I cherish what the 1975 Nobel chairman, Aase Lionaes, said at Sakharov's ceremony. She said, "The Nobel Committee deeply deplores the fact that Andrei Sakharov has been prevented from being present here today in person to receive the peace prize. This is a fate he shares with the man who, forty years ago in 1935, was awarded the peace prize. His name was Carl von Ossietzky."


She was a little off on a detail: Ossietzky's prize had come in 1936. But she hit them dead between the eyes: She linked the Soviets' behavior with the Nazis'. How about the current chairman, Thorbjorn Jagland? In December, at the ceremony for Liu, will he link Beijing's behavior with that of the Soviet Union and the Third Reich? That would be thrilling.


As you well know, Cuban Communism has been in power one decade less than Chinese Communism - that brutal, murderous gang took over in 1959. The Cubans are still waiting for their first Nobel Peace Prize. Earlier this year, Armando Valladares, the writer who spent 22 years in the Cuban gulag, told me, "We would have won two or three Nobel prizes already," if the Cuban dictatorship were right-wing instead of left-wing. I'm afraid that is so.


You may wonder why I'm yakking about the prize. Well, I'm completing a book on the subject - on the subject of the Nobel Peace Prize. It will be published by Encounter (quite a while from now). I hope you like it. (If you read it, I should say!) I find the subject terribly interesting. It gives us a survey of the 20th century. It gives us a parade of personalities. And it invites us to think about war and peace, freedom and oppression - some of the vital topics.



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A579-W347



Release Date: October 22, 2010



Topic: The Good Guys Win One, &c. (by Jay Nordlinger of National Review)

标题:好人们得奖 -- 《国家回顾》诺德令格


Original Language Version: English (English at beginning, Chinese version at the end)









-- 《国家回顾》(National Review)资深编辑诺德令格(Jay Nordlinger)即兴文章

















目前在美国的异议人士和英雄魏京生经常就是排在前头的诺贝尔和平奖被提名人。而且,他被人们多次提到。那些诺贝尔奖的获奖人会在他们的致词中向魏京生致敬,就像奥斯卡获奖人抓着他们珍贵的小金人,向那些失去获奖机会的同仁致谢一样。在1996年获奖的东帝汶的贝罗主教(Biship Belo)就这么说:“我想到了中国,我为魏京生先生和他的同仁们祈祷,希望他们不久可以从监狱里被释放出来。”而和贝洛主教同时获奖的霍尔塔(José Ramos-Horta),则称赞魏京生是“中国最优秀的子弟”。他们这么说很暖人心。


第二年,国际禁止地雷组织及其领导人娇迪·威廉姆斯(Jody Williams)获奖。国际禁止地雷组织的发言人麦克格拉丝(Rae McGrath)说(威廉姆斯是另外发言的):“我们想借此机会向此次和平奖的候选人及公民行动的冠军魏京生先生表示敬意,希望他康健。”这么说,也十分良善。










让我重新提及达赖喇嘛。他如果不是温和派,就不可能获得和平奖 -- 他是北京的温和反对者。我确认如此。诺贝尔奖委员会主席在1989年获奖仪式上强调了“愿意妥协”。比如,达赖喇嘛并不主张西藏独立,而仅仅主张自治。不过,中国政府仍然对达赖喇嘛获奖反映恶劣。大家还记得中国官员1989年在奥斯陆怎么说的?他说:“这是对中国内政的干涉。它伤害了中国人民的感情。”




2003年,诺贝尔奖委员会将和平奖授予伊朗的温和改良派代表希尔琳·艾芭迪(Shirin Ebadi)。她当时的确就在伊朗,不在国外。她没有被流放。而且她离激进的异议很远。她坚持认为民主必须相容,不仅与伊斯兰教相容,而且与“伊斯兰共和国”相容。她希望从内部改革。她并不呼吁推翻政局。就美国和以色列,她说了该说的:大撒旦和小撒旦。那个时期,她所说的话很难和政府的腔调有什么特别的区别。流亡的伊朗异议人士曾在给她颁奖的同时,在奥斯陆大街上抗议她的诺贝尔和平奖。














对了,萨哈罗夫在他由妻子艾蓮娜·波奈(Elena Bonner)代读的致奖词里,提及了大约100名被关押的苏联政治犯。这给了政治犯们极大的希望。如果他们遭到遗忘,那将是很沮丧的。




我不得不重复以前讲过,并在我要在杂志上发表的新文章中所表达的观点:在诺贝尔和平奖的多年历史里,从1901年以来,只有四个获奖人不能到奥斯陆来领奖。也就是说,只有四个人因政治原因受阻。第一个是1936年的卡尔·冯·奥西茨基(Carl von Ossietzky),他是1935年获奖者。他当时是纳粹监狱里的政治犯。值得一提的是,戈林让他放弃并拒绝诺贝尔奖,这个囚犯却以含有性行为的脏话回击了他。






我很欣赏1975年诺贝尔奖主席Aase Lionaes在萨哈罗夫获奖仪式上的发言。她说:“诺贝尔奖委员会对萨哈罗夫今天不能亲自来领奖表示深切痛惜。他正和一个人分享同样的命运,这个人是40年前,即1935年授予的和平奖获得者,他的名字叫卡尔·冯·奥西茨基。”


其实她这个细节不太准确。卡尔·冯·奥西茨基的奖是1936年得的。不过她却击中了要害:她把苏联的表现和纳粹相提并论。那么今年的主席托尔比约恩·亚格兰(Thorbjorn Jagland)会怎么说呢?今年12月,在刘晓波的颁奖仪式上,亚格兰是否会把北京的行为和苏联以及第三帝国的行为相提并论呢?那会相当令人兴奋。


众所周知,古巴共产党只比中国共产党执政少了十年,这个很残忍、大量屠杀民众的帮伙在1959年夺取了政权。古巴人仍然期待着他们的第一个诺贝尔和平奖。今年早些时候,在古巴监狱度过22年的作家Armando Valladares告诉我,如果古巴集权政府是右倾的而非左倾,“我们会已经赢得两三个诺贝尔奖”。我担心这的确是现实。















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