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Nobel awards for Obama and EU demean the peace prize
Date 14/10/2012 13:59  Author webmaster  Hits 2538  Language Global
The EU has actually damaged peace in a number of areas by way of supporting corrupt regimes and plundering outside territories, argues Godfrey Bloom MEP

History's greatest propagandist, what a singular honour, Josef Goebbels warned all politicians if you wanted to lie to be believed it had to be a whopper. The Nobel Prize committee have certainly hauled this one on board. I have watched in wonder as they award some of the most extraordinary recipients, often economists. They are wrong on a truly awesome scale often not even in hindsight - intellectually and academically discredited as they mount the podium.

How the early scientific winners must spin in their graves. I thought I had seen it all when they awarded United States President Barack Obama a peace prize. One can only assume the committee now consist of some reincarnation of the Marx Brothers. Dull though it may be, it is worth looking at this on a bit more detail.

The European community claimed at the outbreak of the Bosnian civil war in 1991 that 'the hour of Europe has come". Jacques Poos, who held the rotating European presidency at the time, boasted the bloc would stop the war in Bosnia. Four years later, the union had still done nothing - 250,000 Bosnians were dead or displaced, and it took the Americans to put it right. Europe sold Colonel Gaddafi's Libya around €300m worth of arms and arms licences over a five-year period before his overthrow. Not very peaceful now is it? Interesting that this was the same Gaddafi's Libya that they said in a joint statement from Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso was one of "repression and despotism". If it was so bad, and the EU was so peaceful, why were they so gleefully selling Libya arms for years?

What about the accusation that European Union 'peace keepers' in the Congo, during Operation Artemis, used torture. Heavily armed Europeans torturing Africans is not exactly peaceful. Hardly the behaviour that should attract a peace prize. The EU and its member states is a major arms dealer on the world market, making more than $400bn. The New York Times has called the EU hypocritical. Again, being a multi-billion dollar arms dealer is not really the stuff of a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

And to Somali piracy. In the 1990s, EU fishing fleets destroyed the fish stocks off the Horn of Africa. As a result, desperate former fishermen in Somali resorted to piracy. The African Prospects Magazine estimates that EU fleets stole five times the commercial value of fish from Somali waters that Somalia receives in foreign aid each year. The destruction of the Somali coastal economy has bred piracy and violence. Economically devastating poor countries and pushing its people into armed criminal gangs is hardly what I would call the actions of a Nobel Prize winner.

Now piracy off the Horn of Africa is one of the most serious challenges to global security. It has been estimated that it costs the global economy $8bn a year. Around 80 per cent of these costs are born by commercial shipping firms that have to pay much higher insurance premiums and to pay for armed guards on board and put extra fuel in their boats so they can pass through danger spots quicker. Creating one of the world's most serious security threats is hardly what I'd call the actions of a Nobel Prize winner.

The Nobel Peace Prize has an interesting list of former nominees. Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was nominated twice in 1945 and 1948. The nomination was on the grounds he was going to help end the Second World War and therefore create peace. This was the same Stalin who oversaw mass murder, gulags and secret police summary executions. One former winner is Yasser Arafat, who won it in 1993. Arafat is on record as saying: "Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations".

Obama was given the prize just two months into office. He beat Morgan Tsvanagarai to the prize, who had bravely faced down Mugabe for years in Zimbabwe. Obama went on to expand the war in Afghanistan and backed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation attacks on Libya. What will the EU do with the prize money? Will it donate some to the EU mechanism for stability? Maybe the union will give some of the prize money to Spain, which is now so poor thanks to the euro that the Red Cross are handing out food parcels, much as they do in Africa, Asia and conflict zones.

Nobel Committee President Thorbjørn Jagland was good enough to acknowledge the EU's problems, but clearly there is no fool like an old fool. European Commission President Manuel Barroso will no doubt Twitter his delight as he slides the cheque into his pocket, presumably to fund the next boondoggle. By the by, what about NATO? All those nights I spent freezing as a young officer on the inner German border do not seem to count. Give us a medal, please.

Godfrey Bloom is UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, in the United Kingdom