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InsiderOnline Blog: October 2012

As Usual, the People Who Pay Are Forgotten

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded its 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union for six decades of building peace in Europe. This committee is the same one that gave Barack Obama the award in 2009 for promoting a new climate in international relations. That new climate, by the way, killed an American ambassador last month. Aspirations, it seems, matter more than accomplishments to the Nobel Committee. Telegraph columnist Iain Martin:  

Giving the EU a peace prize is at best premature, like knighting Sir Fred Goodwin in the middle of the mad boom. We have no idea how the experiment to create an anti-democratic federation will end. Hopefully the answer is very peacefully, but when Greek protesters are wearing Nazi uniforms, and Spanish youth unemployment is running at 50 per cent, a look at history suggests there is always the possibility of a bumpy landing.

Daftest of all is the notion that the EU itself has kept the peace. It was the Allies led by the Americans, the Russians and the British who defeated and disarmed the Germans in 1945. The German people then underwent the most extraordinary reckoning, transforming their country into an essentially pacifist society. The EU had very little to do with it. Throughout that period it was Nato, led by the Americans and British, which kept the peace in Western Europe. The American taxpayer picked up most of the resulting tab, and the British paid a significant part of the bill too. [The Telegraph, October 12]

In pursuit of European unity, Germany has now given Greece hundreds of billions of Euros for a bailout, but that isn’t enough for the Greeks, who rioted this week when the German chancellor visited Greece. Doesn’t seem like Angela Merkel is enjoying the peace.

Meanwhile, most of the rest of the world this week is celebrating the work of 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, nominated for the 2011 International Children’s Peace Prize for her efforts to promote the education of women in her country, Pakistan. Her work was so important that the Taliban tried to kill her by shooting her in the head and neck. She remains unconscious.

Posted on 10/12/12 12:14 PM by Alex Adrianson

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