Giuliani Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
In the New York Times op-ed section, Olle Wastberg makes the case for the former mayor:
TODAY I will send a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee nominating the former mayor of New York City, Rudolph W. Giuliani, for the Nobel Peace Prize. As a former member of the Swedish Parliament I have the right to submit nominees — in the past I nominated Elie Wiesel, who won in 1986 — and I selected Mr. Giuliani because I believe that he has, through his political efforts, saved more human lives than most people alive today.
Mr. Giuliani took office in 1994, when the city was rife with gang violence, rundown neighborhoods, robbery, graffiti and litter. The police had lost the daily battle against serious crime. The mayor brought with him a policy of rethinking the fight against crime — a policy that proved to be effective even after he left office: a quick comparison of crime rates collected by the Police Department in 1993 with those from last year show that murders went down by 76.2 percent; rapes by 41.1 percent; robberies by 74.2 percent; assaults by 57.5 percent; burglaries by 77.3 percent; grand larcenies by 45.7 percent; and car thefts by 84.5 percent.
Or, in more human terms, it would appear that over the last 12 years the policies Mr. Giuliani put in place have spared New York perhaps 10,000 murders, 15,000 rapes and 800,000 robberies. This is clearly a humanitarian accomplishment of great magnitude.
Wastberg rightly acknowledges the contributions of former police chief William Bratton, though he contends that “it is Rudy Giuliani who personified the policy.” Wastberg also addresses Giuliani’s critics, saying that the “perception” of racial profiling is “largely false.” In light of these points, he makes a pretty decent case.
I question the assertion that Giuliani has “saved more human lives than most people alive today.” To be sure, he has reduced New Yorkers’ exposure to violent crime and improved the city’s quality of life (not to mention the seminal leadership role during 9/11). But has he directly prevented deaths in the way that, say, Paul Farmer has in Haiti? I doubt it. Then again, Wastberg’s pick certainly sounds more plausible than last year’s nomination of the European Union.
Overall, though, the op-ed is great publicity for “Giuliani 2008.”