Monday, December 10, 2012

Peace Prize scandal

They are really going to do it.  Today.  The Norwegians really are going to give the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.  This is the same country that twice rejected, by large margins, a chance to actually join the E.U.  Of course, all the "respectable" Norwegians were in favor of joining the E.U. so this crazy award is probably a way for that social stratum to reassure the rest of Europe that Norway would be a member were it not for its great unwashed.

As someone who was raised around pacifists, I am both stunned and appalled by this seemingly absurd decision.  Yes I understand that folks can quite easily be stampeded into supporting a war.  But absent some serious lying by some persons or individuals, most folks are fairly peaceable at heart.  Unfortunately, the E.U. is one of those institutions that makes the world a more dangerous place.  It might claim that its war-organizing in simply another way to juice the economies of it member nations.  But even though War Keynesianism is a known economic stimulus, it isn't very effective and is a serious drain on projects that really do need doing.

Protest of Peace Prize for E.U. Turns Local

By ANDREW HIGGINS  December 9, 2012

OSLO — After braving a blizzard of denunciation from China from afar over its decision two years ago to honor a jailed Chinese dissident, the Norwegian Nobel Committee faced anger in its own backyard Sunday on the eve of a ceremony awarding this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.

In a protest organized by left-wing political groups and peace activists, hundreds of people marched through the snow-covered streets of central Oslo, carrying flaming torches and shouting “the E.U. is not a worthy winner.” The parade ended with a burst of anti-Brussels chants outside the Grand Hotel, where winners of the Nobel Peace Prize stay.

“Giving the E.U. the peace prize is absurd,” said Heming Olaussen, the leader of No to the E.U. The organization has campaigned for years to make sure that Norway, which has twice voted to not join the union, stays outside the crisis-racked 27-nation bloc. Support for joining the European Union in Norway, which hovered around 50 percent in the last decade, has plunged in recent months in tandem with Europe’s falling economic fortunes, according to opinion polls. Support for the union in member countries is also flagging.

“There has never been such low support for joining the E.U. as there is now,” said Erna Solberg, the leader of Norway’s opposition Conservative Party, the country’s most pro-Europe political force. The European Union’s multiple trauma, Ms. Solberg said in an interview, have made the idea of Norway ever becoming a member so toxic that “we are certainly not going to campaign on this” ahead of elections next fall.

Peace activists who joined Sunday’s protest said they do not necessarily reject the cause of European integration, but view the union, with its vast bureaucracy headquartered in Brussels, as undeserving of a peace prize that was originally meant to honor contributions to disarmament. Hedda Langemyr, the director of the Norwegian Peace Council, which is composed of peace groups, said that European Union member states account for a third of global arms exports, and that the union’s institutions “have done nothing to prevent this and have even encouraged it.”

Speaking earlier at the Nobel Institute in Oslo, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso acknowledged criticism of the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s choice and said he welcomed “rational arguments” against the union. But, warning against “Europhobia,” Mr. Barroso rejected what he described as the “extreme nationalist views” held by some of the union’s critics.

“We know what are the results of extreme nationalism, xenophobia and racism,” he said. “I am against them.”

The Nobel Peace Prize has often stirred controversy amid complaints that the award has drifted from the intentions of Alfred Nobel, the 19th-century Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite who bequeathed the award — and four other prizes — in his will. The 2009 award to President Obama was met with dismay and protest from Norwegian peace groups.

A year later, the Chinese Communist Party reacted with fury when the peace prize went to Liu Xiaobo, a dissident literary critic serving a prison sentence for subversion. Beijing placed restrictions on Norwegian salmon imports and recently signaled it was still angry, when it kept Norway off a long list of countries whose citizens will be granted visa-free access to China for brief visits.

The most fervent denunciations of this year’s award at Sunday’s Oslo demonstration came from Dimitris Kodelas, a member of the Greek Parliament for the left-wing opposition group Syriza. Describing a peace prize for the European Union as a “joke against the people of Europe,” he said the union, through its demands for deep budget cuts, “has declared war against the people of my country.”

How can you award a prize,” he asked, “to someone that has pushed my country and the whole of southern Europe back to the Middle Ages?” more

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize is unlawful and cannot be paid to the EU

By davidswanson - Posted on 05 November 2012

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the EU is unlawful and cannot be paid, says the International Peace Bureau, IPB, in a letter today to the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm.

The demand from IPB is based on the fact that the Nobel Foundation is by law responsible for overseeing that all the five Nobel Prizes are awarded in accordance with the will and testament of Alfred Nobel.

The latest prize to EU may even be seen as directly contradicting the purpose to reach demilitarized international relations, the purpose Alfred Nobel had with his prize.

IPB refers to the Swedish Foundations Authority (Länsstyrelsen in Stockholm) decision of Mars 21, 2012, which underlined that all prizes must comply with the purpose Nobel described in his will, and clarified that under the Swedish Foundation Act the Swedish Nobel Foundation has the supreme authority and responsibility also for the decisions made by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

The European Union, announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee as the winner of the peace prize for 2012, clearly is not one of “the champions of peace” Alfred Nobel had in mind and described in his will as “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

The IPB, today a global network of 320 peace organizations, in its letter to the foundation explainshow it originates from the same time and ideas as the peace prize. IPB was established among others by the 1905 Nobel Laureate Bertha von Suttner, who convinced Alfred Nobel to support her Austrian Peace Society, where he became a member, and healso gave financial support to the IPB. Suttner persuaded Nobel to include a prize for the realization of her vision of a demilitarized world system in his will.

There are numerous qualified candidates working for the true purpose of Alfred Nobel, IPB says in its letter, and, in addition to demanding that the 2012 prize cannot be paid, demands the Nobel foundation to urge the Norwegian Nobel Committee in its future selection of prize winners to follow the will and testament of Alfred Nobel. more

Bankers Bag Nobel Peace Prize

14 October, 2012

For the millions of Europeans now protesting against brutal austerity measures, awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union must seem no less unthinkable had the Committee of Five handed their tarnished trophy to Anders Breivik, the nationalist who indiscriminately killed 77 people last year in a madman’s attempt to save Norway “from the menace of multiculturalism.”

The comparison is not as far-fetched as it may first seem. Awarding the EU the Peace Prize at this sensitive juncture in history is a smokescreen; a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the crimes of the central bankers and their political henchmen. After the IMF is finished cleaning Old World clocks with its bloody mop, millions of Europeans will be feeling the pain from Spain all the way to the Greek isles. Suicides are already an everyday occurrence on the continent.

Europe’s economy got decimated in 2008 thanks to the deregulated US financial sector, which since the days of Ronald Reagan had been enjoying an all-expense paid trip to Vegas where all of their bets were covered. After all, according to the dictates of these corporate times, the only reason a government should go anywhere near a bank or corporation is when those latter institutions need a taxpayer-paid cash infusion – Christmas bonuses included, thank-you-very-much.

The Oslo-based Fraternity of Octogenarians could not have chosen a worse time to heap praise on the European Union for its “commitment to peace over the last sixty years.” The Nobel Committee even had the audacity to mention the three countries whose people are suffering the most from IMF-prescribed austerity measures.

“In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the EU,” declared the Nobel Committee. “The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership." These once-proud nations have been transformed into hyper-dependent appendages of Brussels, who will probably not hesitate to send NATO forces to collect its monthly rent check. And then they have the audacity to utter that hijacked word “democracy.” At a time when IMF demands are being smuggled into the sleepy EU village in a German Trojan Horse, how can this organization dare mention the political philosphy made famous by Athens? Today, the European peoples’ only recourse to democracy is to take to the streets and hope they are not smacked down by riot sticks while expressing themselves. Today, this is what we mean by 'democracy in action.'

All of this is reminiscent of the uproar that followed last year’s Nobel announcement that Barack Obama was the Peace Prize winner despite the fact that the US military was fighting on two fronts and the Guantanamo Bay detention facility was still in business (and still is). Considering the international wave of enthusiasm that greeted Obama’s presidency, however, most people were ready to forgive the Nobel Committee for its choice. It was as if the Nobel Committee was saying, “Please, President Obama, we believe you will choose a different foreign policy course than your war-mongering predecessor. Accept this award as a token of our willingness to accept your words at face value.” It was something like a down payment on a hefty bribe in the name of peace.

Instead of the Nobel Committee awarding their Peace Prize based on proven achievements, they are hedging their bets – like bankers – on shadowy future events. Thus, it seems this institution has become a cynical tool of the global elite to keep the money flowing in one direction: to the bankers and corporations. Although many European countries have suffered under dictatorships, none of them are prepared for the dictatorship of massive debt and indentured servitude that awaits them. We are talking about a mountain of debt that will never be removed. The EU indebted states are just one bounced check away from becoming another American banker colony slavishly devoted to US-style laissez-fair-let-them-flip-burgers-at-McDonald’s form of public welfare.

But the most laughable thing about this year’s Peace Prize recipient is that Norway, which apparently has so much respect for European democracy and institutions, soundly rejected membership in the European Union in referendums in 1972 and 1994. The overwhelming majority of Norwegians are opposed to joining the EU. more

“October Surprise”: The Nobel Peace Committee’s “Collective Insanity”

By Felicity Arbuthnot Global Research, October 21, 2012

“When Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize satire died”, satirist Tom Lehrer, memorably commented.

The Former US Secretary of State was awarded his Nobel for “negotiating the Vietnam Peace Accords.” In fact he had been involved in oversight of the secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia (both neutral countries.) In nine years more than two hundred and sixty million bombs were dropped. He had also supported the murderous regimes in Chile and Argentina, where the “disappeared” are seared in to the national psyche.

UK Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, in an application for a warrant for Henry Kissinger’s arrest, also referred in his submission at London’s Bow Street Magistrates Court to: “indiscriminate bombing raids … the use of toxic defoliants and pesticides (causing) mass death and suffering to the civilian population and severe long term damage to the natural environment.” (i)

Further: “According to the US Senate Sub-committee on Refugees, from March 1968 to March 1972, in excess of three million civilians were killed, wounded or made homeless.”

In 1973 Kissinger was awarded the world’s most prestigious Peace Prize. To date Mr Tatchell has failed in his attempts at arrest. The people of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are still paying the price in lives and deformities from Agent Orange – twenty one million gallons was sprayed on South Vietnam alone – with other horrendous toxins. (ii)

Adrian Salbuchi has presented an admirable rogues gallery of Nobel Peace Laureates (iii) but this year Mr Lehrer must be pondering on the extent to which he underestimated the death of satire.

Alfred Nobel’s 1895 will dedicated his gift to: “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for holding the promotion of peace congresses …”

The EU, apart from not being a person, hardly qualifies on the other two counts. It is striving for its own “standing army”; the collective’s actions increasingly show that peace in any form is a far away land of which they give not a damn.

Three weeks before the Nobel was awarded a major conference discussed the formation of the EU army. Five of the six biggest countries enthusiastically signed (Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland) The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Luxembourg also joined. (iv) Alfred Nobel’s final wishes could hardly have been more flagrantly trashed than on 12th October 2012.

Figures covering the last year’s qualifications for working towards “fraternity among nations” (October 2011-October 2012) are not available, but in 2010: “Firms in the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Europe’s own European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company made around €75 billion from selling weapons …” according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI.)

Further, in February this year, the EU Observer noted: “EU firms have joined the gold rush on military and civilian unmanned aerial vehicles”,(Drones) which, of course, target any designated person or persons for instant extrajudicial executions from thousand of miles away, in a lawless military computer game, played with real people to dispatch..

Alfred Nobel’s will also specified constituting a fund: “the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.”

Most of the incursions, invasions and death-delivering meddling EU Member countries have been involved in, or profited from, since its inception, have a legacy of loss, lethality and heartbreak which has certainly lived on to span the year ending October 12th 2012 – and will span decades – and indeed millennia. more

1 comment:

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