Merkel Peace Laureate Another Bad Joke
Finian CUNNINGHAM | 19.02.2015 | OPINION

Merkel Peace Laureate Another Bad Joke

Germans are known for their exceedingly dry humour. So much so that one joke has it that the Bundestag is voting to make laughing lessons a compulsory part of the curriculum in all German schools. But, seriously, the proposed nomination of Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to some media reports, for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has got to be a joke that will provoke much unintended mirth.

Of course, the Scandinavian Nobel Committee has a long track record of making jokes in bad taste with its previous nominated Peace Laureates. The committee, set up by Swedish weapons manufacturer Alfred Nobel nearly a century ago, could itself be the butt of a good giggle.

Perhaps the most notorious prize winner was former American foreign secretary Henry Kissinger who was hailed a peacemaker despite overseeing criminal, genocidal wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which claimed the lives of some three million people during the 1960s and 70s. That has to be the ultimate bad taste award. 

Candidate for second most notorious peace laureate is current US President Barack Obama. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009, only having been in office for a few weeks and with nothing concrete achieved. Apparently, his credentials were based on a few friendly sounding words to Arabs, Muslims and Iran articulated during his inaugural speech in which he offered an outstretched hand if others would «unclench their fists». Obama also made some vague aspiration about ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Perhaps him being the first black president of the United States in more than two centuries since its foundation on African slavery and native American extermination had something to do with his selection. Anyway, hey presto, the Scandinavian committee was falling over itself to crown a new prince of peace.

Ironically, this prince of peace promptly went on to excel in war-making, foreign invasions, covert operations, assassinations and countless other violations of American constitutional law and international law. The turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Venezuela and Ukraine among other places, is just a part of Obama’s dubious legacy to «world peace». His reckless illegal regime change in Ukraine and the murderous onslaught that that unleashed on ethnic Russians in the country’s east is threatening to incite a wider war with Russia. If Obama delivers on promises to send more weapons to shore up the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev the disastrous dynamic could lead to an all-out war with Russia. How’s that for an ignoble Nobel? The «prince of peace» who is pushing the world to a possible thermonuclear conflagration. 

Given this baleful background of fraudulent peace laureates the possible selection of Angela Merkel is by far not the worst. But it is, all the same, a risible award. 

The Berlin government under the Christian Democrat leader was instrumental in the illegal coup last year in Kiev that precipitated the campaign of ethnic cleansing in eastern Ukraine. That violence has caused nearly 6,000 deaths over the past 10 months. German intelligence last week disclosed that the death toll may actually be near 50,000. The number of displaced people huddling in freezing refugee camps across the Russian border is put at around one million. 

Merkel’s Germany, along with Washington, deliberately stoked the internal strife in Ukraine at the end of 2013 by imposing an ultimatum on the Yanukovych government to sign a European Union association agreement. Ukraine was thus torn asunder by Berlin’s maximalist demands of it choosing between historic Russian ties or orientating the country towards EU integration. Berlin, along with France and Poland, ratted on Yanukovych at the last minute by reneging on a signed reform deal and then turning a blind eye to the violent putsch on February 22, led by the fascist Svoboda and paramilitary Right Sector. 

Washington has since emerged as the main sponsor of the Kiev regime led by CIA asset prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the oligarch-turned-president Petro Poroshenko. But Merkel’s Germany is squarely in the frame for having illegally overthrown an elected government and for complicity in all subsequent crimes committed by the Kiev junta. Those crimes include a war of aggression on the eastern Donbas population, indiscriminate shelling of civilian centres, including with banned cluster bombs and white phosphorus, the deployment of paramilitary death squads alongside regular Ukrainian Armed Forces, and the widespread detention of political prisoners. Mass murder under the Kiev regime is par for the course. The killing of more than 40 people in Odessa on May 2 and the shooting-down of a civilian Malaysian airliner on July 17 with the loss of 298 lives are just two of the many crimes that this Western-backed regime is responsible for. 

Chancellor Merkel, as the head of the German government, is answerable for all of these crimes and atrocities.

Like Nobel predecessor Obama, a nod to Merkel from the Scandinavian committee is patronising, premature and misplaced. Earlier this month, the German leader showed some long overdue common sense and moral responsibility when she firmly rejected American calls for weapons to be supplied openly and massively to the warmongering Kiev junta. Merkel said Germany was against such an incendiary move by Washington. Then she developed some backbone by launching a peace initiative with French President Francois Hollande, which saw the leaders fly to Moscow to engage with President Vladimir Putin on brokering a ceasefire in the Ukraine conflict.

Merkel’s bold peace initiative was seen as a welcome opportunity to end the violence not only in Ukraine but to halt the dynamic of conflict that Washington is instigating with Russia. Merkel’s engagement with Putin appeared to be a snub to the American campaign to demonise the Russian leader as «the new Hitler» stalking Europe. For some observers, Merkel was flexing Germany’s diplomatic muscle independent of Washington. Her rebuttal of further Western militarism and embrace of political dialogue to find a peaceful settlement to the Ukraine crisis and the wider crisis with Russia are surely to be encouraged. But to award Merkel with a Nobel peace prize is way off the mark.

Merkel is a party to the origin of the crisis. Her belated peace initiative with Russia represents damage limitation by Berlin and some form of redress for its reckless conduct toward Ukraine. Furthermore, the EU under German leadership is still insisting on demonising Russia over a conflict it instigated in the first place, by continuing to impose economic sanctions on Moscow.

The only possible logical link between Merkel and a Nobel prize is that she is a doctorate in quantum chemistry. If she is made a peace laureate, that surely will be a quantum leap in misjudgment by the Scandinavian committee. 

If the past is anything to go by, a peace-nominated Merkel bodes very badly for further Western-orchestrated war in Ukraine and beyond. 

The Nobel committee is once again showing itself to be a patronising and politicised vehicle that panders to lawless Western political leaders. A far more reasonable and morally courageous choice of peacemaker is Vladimir Putin or Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. These two figures have averted American military aggression in Syria over the chemical weapons false flag event back in 2013, as well as trying to use all diplomatic means to extricate Ukraine from further violence. Merkel a peace laureate? No, she is just a Western politician that very lately has shown a modicum of common sense to pull back from war. 

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