“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.
In context, in Iraq in 1991, the Balkans in the early and late 90’s. There and in Afghanistan and Libya, the U.S. has used depleted uranium (DU) weapons (v.) EU countries have been allies and partners in these blitzkriegs, thus have collective culpability. The UK also used DU weapons in 1991. The half-life of radioactive and chemically toxic DU – linked to cancers and birth deformities in bombarded countries and EU/NATO troops – is 4.5 Billion years. Libya will inevitably share the same fate. That this is ongoing and spanning the last year, contravenes Alfred Nobel’s aspirations – and then some.
It has to be doubted if the sort of “promotion of peace congress” Nobel had in mind was the hosting of sixty nations – including most of those of the EU – by France’s President Francois Hollande in July, for a “Friends of Syria” Conference (read :friends of a bunch of paid mercenaries, insurgents and illegals) to call for tougher sanctions on Syria’s legitimate, sovereign government, and to decide how much more funding they were prepared to give to the terrorists.
Hollande’s gathering was near mirror image of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy who, with UK Prime Minister David Cameron had: “spearheaded the West’s intervention in Libya.” It had “paid off “ – with the country in ruins, and legitimate government fallen, many murdered.
Thus a conference was held: “very much about countries jostling for very lucrative contracts for the rebuilding of Libya and also for its enormous energy sector … The National Transitional Council (NTC) has promised that those countries that gave it support will take significant rewards. That should put France and the United Kingdom … at the top of the queue.” (Al Jazeera., 1st September 2011. Emphasis mine.)
Prior to that, a meeting to discuss speeding up the illegal Libya coup was held in July 201, had been held in Turkey’s cultural treasure, Istanbul, the participants – virtually the same countries attending as Hollande’s Paris conference – christening the insurgent NTC as: “legitimate governing authority of Libya.” Naturally they backed the “formation of a free and democratic Libya.” View the results and weep.
NATO Member,Turkey, is also an aspiring EU Member – despite the largest portion of the country being in Asia. Turkey has been carrying out murderous cross border raids in to Northern Iraq for years and currently hosts training camps for terrorists illegally entering Syria, committing wholesale murder and destroying the cradle of some of history’s most luminous jewels. The Ankara government’s response to the EU Nobel farce was grovelling:
In a telephone interview with CNNTurk, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis stated: “I say: congratulations. I hope that with this prize EU officials will also take into account that Turkey would make this peace project grow even bigger and stronger, and that it could thus be a global, and not just a continental project.” Turkey must surely be the only rat in history which pleads to swim out to and clamber up the side of a sinking ship.
The aspirant Nobel EU joiner of course, has also been host to the vast US Incirlik Air Base, from where plenty of casual global annihilation has taken place, for nearly sixty years.
The European Union is also quietly strangulating thirty two countries, by arbitrarily subjecting them to embargoes, whilst trumpeting free trade.(vi)
Iran of course has had ability to trade and import frozen by the US since 1979. The EU has become an enthusiastic partner. Three days after the Nobel announcement they also made one:
“Restrictive measures” had been adopted, announced a statement, after anyone who knows anything about sanctions knows that when negotiating sleights of hands are overcome, the hungry have starved and the sick have died.meeting of foreign ministers, in Luxembourg.
“The measures include a ban on financial transactions, with some exceptions for those involving humanitarian aid, food and medicine purchases and provisions for legitimate trade, an EU diplomat said.” Forget the caveat about aid, food, medicines, a Dr Ismail Salami spells it out (vii): “Fatemeh Hashemi, Head of Iran’s Charity Institute for Special Diseases, voices grave concern for the six million patients suffering from (life threatening) diseases … sanctions are exacting their deadly toll on the terminally ailing patients.
“Mrs. Hashemi wrote to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon two months ago: ‘Although medicine is not included in the sanctions list … the impossibility of transferring money through the banks … has (severely affected) the import of medicines in the country. As the head of an Institute dealing with the lives of six million patients, I hereby implore you to exert all your endeavors … in lifting the sanctions (which are) to the inexcusable detriment of the patients in Iran.’ ”
A Holocaust forewarned – and the relevant UN Commissions and its Secretary General do not bother to respond.
So much for the UN’s founding vows, reaffirming: “faith in fundamental human rights, the dignity and worth of the human person … social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.”
“The new sanctions mark one of the toughest pushes against Iran by Europe to date. A significant change of policy for the twenty seven member block.”(viii) Trade in the oil and gas industry, Iran’s major financial lifeline is viciously targeted. Transactions between EU and Iranian banks are in effect frozen, with additional measures isolating the Central Bank of Iran.
Think Iraq, think Libya, think the illegality of collective punishment (which Additional Protocol 11, Geneva Convention 1977 explicitly forbids) and abandonment of a swathe of human rights and international law.
The same day, European satellite provider Eutelsat SA said it has stopped the broadcast of many Iranian satellite channels following an order by the European Commission, Press TV reports.
“We terminated the contracts because it was the order of the European Commission. We have to follow it,” Karen Badalov, area management of Eutelsat told Press TV. Goodness, is it not those “repressive regimes” who “deny citizens press freedom” and “freedom of expression”?
Regarding Syria, in April, France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppé trumpeted that sanctions were having the “desired effect.” The oil embargo, sanctions on the Central Bank had caused staples, including flour to rise by fifty percent. Heating oil costs, a winter essential was set to soar.
Fresh from their Nobel triumph, the EU strangulated further, banning all flights by Syrian Arab Airlines to or from EU airports and freezing the Airline’s assets. The financial oxygen of two way trade was thus
virtually switched off. The value of both the Syrian Pound and the Iranian Rial have, broadly, halved.
The last paragraph of the 2012 Nobel statement (ix) reads: “The work of the EU represents ‘fraternity between nations’, and amounts to a form of the ‘peace congresses’ to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.” A piece of fantastical nonsense to join history’s most memorable.
Taking the EU, if “fraternity between nations” means enraged riots across the “union” caused by measures of austerity – imposed by a body whose accounts have not been signed off by the Court of Auditors for seventeenyears (x) we live in even stranger times.
In Greece, which had the lowest recorded suicide rate in Europe, desperation through job losses, subsequent deprivation and homelessness is setting it towards being suicide central, with occurrences “skyrocketing.” In Athens, in June alone, there were three hundred and fifty attempts and fifty deaths, with such deaths rising across the country and the beautiful Greek islands.
More than 2,500 people have taken their own lives since 2010. “This is the number for confirmed suicides. We think the real number is much higher”, said psychiatrist Dr. Dimitris Boukouras, who mans a psychiatric hotline that rings off the hook every day. (xi) Desperation is such that experts believe some are ending their lives: “in an act of ultimate political protest.”
In April a seventy seven year-old pharmacist shot himself on Syntagma Square in downtown Athens as did Dimitris Christoulas, “People have hanged themselves in public, set alight to themselves in public and died in numerous other ways in the privacy of their own homes.”
A note in red letters on a piece of cardboard pinned on a memorial to Dimitris Christoulas reads: “The government has annihilated all traces for my survival, based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid into for thirty five years with no help from the State. I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life so that I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance.”
When Germany’s iron Chancellor Merkel – seen as representing the prime drivers of this tragedy – visited Athens earlier this month she was protected by seven thousand police and images of her wrapped in a swastika were burned in the streets.
The EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on the anniversary of Athens liberation from the Germans -12th October 1944.
Greece’s plight is replicated across Europe with massive demonstrations throughout Spain, in ten cities in Portugal, in Italy – where two family men in two months set fire to themselves outside the Presidential Palace, unable to provide for families. Ireland, where emigration to find work had been endemic for generations, for the three decades saw them staying, thriving and many others returning. Now the scourge of emigration has returned.
Belgians and their Unions joined demonstrations in France, Germans too have rebelled and in London this weekend at least 150,000 traveled from across the country, with calls for a general strike, their actions mirrored in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Hundreds from Wales joined the London demo – with three Union representatives walking from the Principality’s Capitol, Cardiff 156 miles away, taking seven days, to draw attention to the depth of anger at cuts.
In the coming week Cyprus is expected to join the broken and destitute of the Euro-ruined with the island’s Finance Minister saying he expects final bailout negotiations to start “very soon”, possibly next week
The UK demonstration’s took place on the first anniversary of the death of Libya’s Colonel Quaddafi, arguably enthusiastically awaited, plotted, aided and certainly welcomed by the EU.
Speaking of the Nobel award, EU Commission President Jose Barroso commented that the titanic project’s values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights were ones that: “people around the world aspire to.”
Martin Schultz German President of the European Parliament said that the Prize: “can serve as an inspiration … the EU is a unique project that replaces war with peace, hate with solidarity.”
This, ironically as Germany, driver of current misery from Tipperary to Tehran, inflation in the case of Iran and Syria near totally crippling – and suicides and self-immolation.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced the cuts banning Iranian natural gas in to EU nations.
It perhaps makes these stringencies doubly evil, in that inflation is something that haunts the German historic psyche. After WW1, the German Mark, by November 1921 fell from 4.2 to 330 to the dollar. One Mark was thus worth one third of a cent.
There is a collectors’ medallion which commemorates hyperinflation by 1923. It reads: “On 1st November 1923, 1 pound of bread cost 3 billion Marks, I pound of meat: 36 billion, I glass of beer: 4 billion.”
Britain’s former Defence Minister Sir Malcolm Rifkind, by the way, thought the honour to the EU was wrong. The Nobel Peace Prize should, he said, have been shared with NATO.
Way to go, Mr Lehrer, Sir.