MOSCOW - Vladimir Putin was just chosen as the winner of the second Confucian Peace Prize by an obscure cultural organization, the China International Peace Research Centre, from a field of nominees that including Bill Gates, Angela Merkel, Kofi Annan, Jacob Zuma and a Tibetian Panchen Lama imposed by Beijing.
The Chinese organizers established the award last year to create something that would "promote world peace from an eastern perspective." The inaugural ceremony was disappointing when the first winner - former Taiwanese Vice President Lien Chan - didn't bother to show up. A school girl appeared in his place to collect the 100,000 yuan cash prize.
The Russian Prime Minister and former head of the KGB, Vladimir Putin, when asked by a reporter covering the award ceremony who Putin believed to be the best Communist leader in the Western Hemisphere; Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez or Barack Obama:
"President Obama is at best an embryonic Bolshevik. I must congratulate him. In the short span of three years, he has done more to establish socialism in that part of the world than Castro and Chavez combined. I will recommend to the judges that he be considered for next year's peace prize."