Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Peaceful EU"

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU) "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe". In other words, for not killing each other for six decades. What an achievement of civilization! European countries successfully managed to export war to other countries and keep their home clean of massacres. This has got to be celebrated! Almost a third (31%) of the world's weapon exports between 2004 and 2008 belonged to the EU: Germany (10%), France (8%), United Kingdom (4%), Netherlands (3%), Spain (2%), Italy (2%) and Schweden (2%), according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). In its comment on the award, the institute consequently noted:

‘To be relevant for its citizens and to become a significant global player, the European Union must achieve peace and prosperity abroad as well as at home.’

In other words, the award is disregarding the EU's involvement in recent NATO wars and its often slavish following of the USA's hegemonic, aggressive, failed foreign politics. Let's not forget that among Bush's "coalition of the willing" (nations to invade Iraq) there were several EU countries (see Bush's White House Press Release, March 27, 2003). SIPRI's hint at "prosperity abroad" is also worth noting. Wasn't the EU and its citizens an essential part of the oppressive systems ruling in Tunisia, Egypt and Lybia until the "Arab Spring"? (See e.g. Smart Villages and the City of the Dead).

Moreover, with similar arguments as given below, one could justify that the US warlords deserve the Nobel Peace Prize much more than the EU: there was no war on American soil since the American Civil War, 1861. (I don't count the conflicts concerning Hawai or Alaska because these US-controlled territories became official US-states only after these conflicts).

Wouldn't it be time to think of awarding people or organizations doing a real essential job in preventing or avoiding war? Isn't the international arms trade one of the most serious threats to peace? Isn't the uncontrolled and unpunished warmongering (of mass-media) one of the most serious threats to peace as well? Why aren't people and organisations awarded which successfully fight against international arms trade and warmongering? Because there are none?

"The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality. The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.
In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the EU. The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership. The fall of the Berlin Wall made EU membership possible for several Central and Eastern European countries, thereby opening a new era in European history. The division between East and West has to a large extent been brought to an end; democracy has been strengthened; many ethnically-based national conflicts have been settled.
The admission of Croatia as a member next year, the opening of membership negotiations with Montenegro, and the granting of candidate status to Serbia all strengthen the process of reconciliation in the Balkans. In the past decade, the possibility of EU membership for Turkey has also advanced democracy and human rights in that country.
The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The work of the EU represents "fraternity between nations", and amounts to a form of the "peace congresses" to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.
Oslo, 12 October 2012"


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