David Sanger on Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, October 12, 2012

European Union leaders during a summit at the EU headquarters on December 9, 2011 in Brussels. Feuding European Union leaders failed to agree a new treaty to tackle the debt crisis . (JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

The Nobel committee has given this year's peace prize to the European Union. David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, WNYC contributor and author of Confront and Conceal: Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, discusses the decision.


David Sanger

Comments [21]

While all the smug, auto-congratulatory backslapping is getting your show's attention, the Swiss take a cautious view of the situation.

" . . . With anti-austerity protests across Europe resulting in civil unrest on the streets of Athens and Madrid, Switzerland -- the European country famed for its neutrality -- is taking unusual precautions.

"It launched the military exercise “Stabilo Due” in September to respond to the current instability in Europe and to test the speed at which its army can be dispatched. The country is not a member of the union or among the 17 countries that share the euro. . . . "

Oct. 15 2012 12:07 PM
Cecilia from Astoria

I am confused by your conflation of peace and agreement. The fact that the diversity of European states with so many different needs and values, who disagree about so many things, would now find it inconceivable to threaten with violence is the thing to celebrate. These countries are now having their disagreements in committee meetings and between diplomats, not on battlefields across a barbed-wire strewn no-mans-land. I celebrate that.

Oct. 12 2012 11:32 AM
gprech from manhatan

To be frank the rationale is silly. There has been peace inEurope since 1945 because a) there weren't alo of men left to fight,and ) the US military effecively occcupied and militarily co-opted most of Europe. this allowed the Germans and others to spend zip on the military and concentrate on rebuilding their econom,ies - a far better way to dominate. then again the advent of nuclear arms prety much made war impractical.

Oct. 12 2012 11:25 AM

I can't help feeling wryly amused by you're guest quoting Kissinger about who's in charge of Europe, when the US Government has been at such an impasse thanks to Congress, and the President apparently made so impotent by the power of certain states in this "Union."

Oct. 12 2012 11:24 AM

The award had to be given now because EU may not exist next year.

Grab it while you can...

The award money will be given to Greece as a parting gift.

Oct. 12 2012 11:24 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The EU exists because the US defended it against the Soviet Union for decades after WWII. Without the US taking on the job as world's policeman after WWII and creating the Pax Americana, there would have been nothing but chaos, as there was after WWI.

Oct. 12 2012 11:24 AM
William from Manhattan

Europe was at nearly constant war from the Reformation in the 1500s through the Second World War. By many measures, it was the most warlike region on the planet. It is no small accomplishment to keep Germany, France, and England from each other's throats after 500 years of conflict. But I wonder if the EU really deserves the credit. The USA through the Marshall Plan and the following Pax Americana probably did more than the Europeans themselves to keep the peace.

Oct. 12 2012 11:20 AM
Larry from Brooklyn

Sweden gives the award and it is in the EU. Ceremony takes place in Oslo (the two countries were once one).

Oct. 12 2012 11:20 AM

Americans forget how traumatic the wars of the 20th century have been for Europe, and how fresh those memories remain for many Europeans alive. "Mere" peace amounts to a significant achievement.

Oct. 12 2012 11:19 AM
David from Washington, DC

I'm Swedish. We identify with our country. I don't have any opinion of the peace prize being given to the EU. However, its a cop out, it seems like the cmte didn't have anyone else to give it to...

Oct. 12 2012 11:18 AM
Tara from NYC

I don't understand why anyone even pays attention to these wards anymore. It's absurd!

Oct. 12 2012 11:18 AM

I don't blame Europeans for not wanting call in. Obama was given the prize and you see how well that went. Receiving has become a bad omen....

Oct. 12 2012 11:18 AM
Dan from manhattan

It really should have gone to Malala Yousufzai, the 14 year old girl who was shot because she was defending her right to education. She DESERVES it!

Oct. 12 2012 11:18 AM

Europeans are very nice, civilized, educated, generous people.

It is always a pleasure to deal with them.

Then they put you in an oven...

Oct. 12 2012 11:18 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

The awarding of this prize to the EU is beyond insulting to the millions of Europeans who are suffering from living under the incompetent thumb of both Germany and the EU. This was obviously a sad attempt for the North to inflict its agenda onto the the unruly South. The people from Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal will be understandably furious. The Nobel committee not only made fools of themselves, they also probably helped to precipitate the end of the union. For the committee not to understand that Europe never again wants to live under the thumb of Germany is denial at its dysfunctional peak.

Oct. 12 2012 11:16 AM

For the next year Nobel Peace Prize I nominate EVERYBODY (of course, if we are going to be alive).

Oct. 12 2012 11:15 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

People came to America to escape endemic murderous racism and fascism, classism, royalty, theocracies.

America is far from perfect, but it's better than anything Europe inflicted on the world. Anyone Euro who doesn't like America can pack up and return to their fatherland.

Oct. 12 2012 11:13 AM
Julian from Manhattan

This is somewhat of a farce. Even though not really part of the EU, the war in Yugoslavia was terribly handled (we had to come in and play a major role), with century-old factionalism getting in the way.

Oct. 12 2012 11:13 AM
michael mcbean from new jersey

Is this a Nobel Bailout? Who gets this and can it pay down intracountry debt? Has the Nobel Committee attempted to be more relevant by doing more than rewarding but rather encouraging great efforts?

Oct. 12 2012 11:12 AM

and what is the EU without the German engine. How far we have come!

Oct. 12 2012 11:08 AM
mem from NYC

The announcement reminded me of how the chairman announced the secret ingredient in iron chef---over the top.

Grats Europe, on 60 years of not killing each other in grand scales.

Oct. 12 2012 08:53 AM

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