Pravda & Human Wrongs Watch – 2012-10-21 01:16:31
Europe Makes War and Wins Nobel Peace Prize
JosÃ© Reinaldo Carvalho, Resistance blog / Pravda
(October 18, 2012) — On Friday (12th), the European Union (EU) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012. In its justification, the jury cited “victories” for “the advancement of peace and reconciliation” in Europe, as well as establishing “democracy and human rights” on the continent.
The EU and the institutions that preceded its formation “contributed to more than six decades of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights,” said the chairman of the Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland.
“The Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor for the entire E.U., for its 500 million citizens,” said European Commission President, the right-wing Portuguese JosÃ© Manuel DurÃ£o Barroso, during whose tenure as Prime Minister of Portugal, met in 2003 at the “Summit of the Azores,” which finalized the preparations of US imperialism and its allies to unleash the war against Iraq.
In 2009, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to US President Barack Obama, who had just been elected with promises of peace. At the end of his term, Obama delivered a foreign policy that in essence is not any different from that of his predecessor.
The Nobel Peace Prize awards a Europe that is promoting a brutal offensive against workers’ rights, making cuts in basic rights such as education and health. Government policies of member countries, all formulated and imposed from Brussels, the EU’s headquarters, generate the growth of poverty and social inequality, as well as the loss of sovereignty of weaker countries, in the interests of the creditor banks and hegemonic European powers — Germany and France.
The European Union being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is the same as chasing immigrants and increasingly militarizing support for the reactionary regimes in the Middle East while giving a strong hand to the Israeli Zionist policy of massacres of the Palestinian people.
The European Union is complicit in the “war on terror,” as it supported the aggressions against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, silent on the attacks with unmanned drones on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and advocates of military intervention in Syria, besides acting in conjunction with the US policy of sanctions against Iran and the People’s Republic of Korea.
Likewise, the European Union is complicit the blockade against Cuba and is involved in the intermittent provocations against Bolivarian Venezuela.
On the same day the award was announced, the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC), an entity that integrates the World Peace Council, a member of the Executive Committee and European regional coordinator, issued a statement placing its position on the decision, considering it “at least a questionable one.”
The memo notes that Portuguese pacifists find it necessary to recall “that over the last decades the European Union has played part in a militarization process, accelerated since 1999, after having played a crucial role in the violent breakup of Yugoslavia and later the brutal military aggression on this country, culminating in the process of secession of Serbia’s Kosovo province in violation of international law.”
The document of the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation also noted that since the NATO Summit held in Washington in 1999, the European Union received the assignment to establish itself as the European pillar of the military-political bloc led by the USA. According to the CPPC, “since then this role has been affirmed and reaffirmed, namely after 2002 with the approval of the Treaty of Lisbon”
In a clear rebuttal of the “pacifist” character of the EU, the CPPC indicates that this block over the past decades, “has starred and supported all military aggression by NATO or its members against the sovereignty and independence of individual states, such as Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria, as well as violent regimes of sanctions that hit the people hard in various countries.”
The Portuguese entity considers that the positions and actions of the lead role played by the EU contradict “the principles enshrined in the UN Charter — respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in their internal affairs, on the contrary, promoting a growing and unceasing militarization of international relations, being compliant with human rights violations, as occurred, for example, with the so-called ‘CIA flights’ — their criminal kidnappings and torture.”
The note also states that the CPPC affirms still that “the European Union is far from meeting the so-called ‘mission of spreading peace, democracy and human rights in the rest of the world’ that some intend to attribute to it, quite the contrary.”
The coordinator of the World Peace Council in Europe highlights that peace in the continent “was a victory of the people after the Second World War, which was decisive for the aspiration for peace for millions of citizens, many of whom are strong activists in a broad peace movement that developed after 1945.”
It ends showing the paradox of the award to the the European Union of the Nobel Peace Prize: “The reality of the actions and of the purposes set out by the European Union are very distant from the values and principles proclaimed and established at the historic Helsinki Conference, held in 1975, such as:
â€¢ respect for sovereignty,
â€¢ non-recourse to the threat or use of force,
â€¢ respect for the territorial integrity of states,
â€¢ peaceful resolution of conflicts,
â€¢ non-interference in internal affairs of States,
â€¢ respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,
â€¢ the right to self-determination of peoples, and
â€¢ cooperation among states — values and principles enshrined in the UN Charter.”
Translated from the Portuguese version by: Lisa Karpova, Pravda.Ru
European Union in Crisis?
But It Is a Major Arms Exporter!
Human Wrongs Watch
(October 20, 2012 — In the period 2007-2011, the United States was the largest exporter of major conventional weapons, accounting for 30 per cent of the volume of exports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)*.
â€œHowever, in the same period, EU member statesâ€™ combined exports from the EU area made up 32 per cent of the volume of global exports of major conventional weapons.â€
Six of the top 10 exporters in the period were EU member states: Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, according to according to SIPRIâ€™s recent Data on the European Union.
Of the top 100 arms-producing and military services companies in 2010 (ranked by arms sales in 2010 and excluding China), 27 had their headquarters in an EU member state and one, EADS, was trans-European, SIPRI reports.
The combined military spending of the EU member states in 2011 was $293 billion in current US dollars, it adds
â€œSpending by the EU has gradually declined since its post cold-war peak in 2009: $294 billion (constant 2010 dollars) in 2009, $279 billion (constant 2010 dollars) in 2010, and $271 billion (constant 2010 dollars) in 2011.â€
SIPRI arms embargoes database
SIPRI arms transfers database
SIPRI military expenditure database
SIPRI multilateral peace operations database
*Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.
Download the latest SIPRI data on the European Union (PDF).
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