Carlo’s Corner: Which warmonger will win the Nobel Peace Prize next?

October 19, 2012
'Haha, suckers.' European commission president, José Manuel Barroso accepts the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is that time of year again, when a bunch of Norwegian politicians decide who deserves a Nobel Peace Prize with an apparent disregard for any involvement in actual wars.

This year, the European Union was declared the winner. Coming just three years after the Norwegians gave the gong to US President Barack Obama, the decision is actually beginning to make me wonder if they have ever even heard of a place called Afghanistan. Perhaps we should all chip in for an atlas.

Most EU members are also members of NATO, the European-North American military alliance that is right now violently occupying Afghanistan in a war estimated by one source to have caused the deaths of millions of people.

The prize was awarded to Obama in 2009. At the time, the US commander in chief was sending thousands more US ground troops to Afghanistan and spreading the war to Pakistan.

This escalation, a response to NATO losing the conflict, reminds me of the logic that drives me when, already drunk on beer, I start drinking whiskey ― with pretty similar outcomes.

Giving a peace award to such people would be like making me the public face of the government’s Drinkwise ads, or getting Alan Jones to chair a Reclaim the Night rally.

Defenders of the EU winning the prize say things like: “Oh, but the existence of the European Union has prevented new wars like World War I and II.”

Well, first of all, there are still wars involving European nations, just not between European nations. And while I am all for Germany not invading Poland, the finer points of the distinction between mass slaughter in Europe and mass slaughter in Central Asia are probably lost on the victims of NATO drone strikes.

And really, there are few serious analyses of the causes of the two world wars that conclude: “If only there had been a near-totally bankrupt European ‘union’ of some sorts where a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians could meet in, say, Brussels to get pissed at the expense of dozens of collective taxpayers while discussing which southern European nation to kick next in return for a bailout with funds no one can afford to pay in a desperate bid to get out of a global economic crisis, then I think we can safely conclude the world would have been spared the horrors of those two conflicts.”

The irony is that the brutal austerity policies the EU is enforcing on the weaker European nations, in a bid to shift wealth to the big banks, is threatening to lead to a new rise of fascism in countries like Greece.

In Greece, in the context of despair brought on by EU polices, the explicitly neo-Nazi Golden Dawn is polling 14% and its members are brazenly organising violent assaults on migrants and leftists. The police, about half of whom are estimated to have voted Golden Dawn in the last election, have responded to protests against the fascist threat by torturing anti-fascists.

But don’t worry. I am sure this new breed of vicious fascism being stoked by the latest example of collective punishment of an entire nation in the midst of a severe global depression will prove to be much less violent than the last time Europe faced such a threat.


Who gets the prize money?

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