Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Peace is in the eye of the beholder

Yesterday, in Oslo, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

And just what did our friends in the EU do to deserve such an award? For one, its members, collectively, account for about one-third of the world's arms trade. Those arms have been used by repressive regimes to quell dissent around the globe. Through NATO, the nations of the EU have provided troops for the murderous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, to top it off, the EU has imposed crippling austerity measures on Greece and Spain.

As a result of the EU's mission to protect international lenders, the people of Greece and Spain have seen spending on education and health care plummet. Greece and Spain are being pressured to privatize industry - handing over control from the populace to unaccountable foreign corporations. The people have responded by taking to the streets.

Of course the bar in Oslo isn't very high. How else can you explain Henry Kissinger in 1973 and Barack Obama in 2009?

Mr. Kissinger was the architect of Nixon's policy of bombing Vietnam back to the Stone Age. He gave the Indonesian dictator Suharto the go-ahead to slaughter the people of East Timor.

President Obama won the award despite his status as one of the world's great warmongers. And, as if to show the prize wasn't a fluke, President Obama has declared himself to be judge, jury and executioner in his use of unmanned drones to murder civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

Over the course of his administration, President Obama continued the torture program created under George W. Bush. He sent more troops to Afghanistan. He went after whistle blowers who exposed the human rights abuses committed by the United States.

Once upon a time Alfred Nobel decided to reward the person who did the most to promote peace and understanding in the world. Today the prize that bears his name has become a parody of itself. 

Bashar al-Assad might just find himself on the short list for next year's award if he can bring an end to the unrest by murdering the entire populace.

H/T Democracy Now!

No comments: