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Not a worthy (and odd) prize-winner

One has to wonder what the members of the Nobel Prize committee were on when they made their decision to award European Union this year's Peace Prize.

"Three years after awarding the world's most recognized international peace prize to Barack Obama, the sitting president of the United States—who at the time was commanding the operations of two foreign wars and overseeing the largest military and intelligence apparatus in the history of the world—the Nobel Committee's announcement in Oslo on Friday that it was awarding the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union was met with befuddlement by many.

Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Nobel committee, cited the EU's role in stabilizing Europe following the Second World War and its role as a "unifying" force over decades.  Though he acknowledged the economic turmoil sweeping the continent in recent years, Jagland said the committee wished 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 stabilising part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace."



*****

"Tariq Ali, political commentator and editor at the New Left Review in Europe, told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman that his initial response was to burst to "burst out laughing."

"The Nobel Committee never fails to amuse and dissapoint," he said.

Petros Constantinou, a municipal councilor in Greece who runs a prominent anti-racism group in Athens, in an interview with The Guardian's Helena Smith called the decision “ridiculous and provocative.”

“To give the prize to an institution of war and racism is ridiculous," he said. “It provokes democratic and anti-racist sentiment. With its partner NATO, the EU has invaded countries in the Middle East, not to mention Afghanistan. Its actions have created huge streams of refugees which then flood into countries like Greece and when they get here they not only encounter racism but hostile EU [border] agencies like Frontex.”

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