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Crippling Austerity Measures and NATO's War Machine: Tariq Ali On Why the European Union Doesn't Deserve a Nobel

Democracy Now! interviews the political commentator Tariq Ali on why the awarding of the peace prize to the EU is a "complete and utter joke."

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AMY GOODMAN: That was the European Commission president, Tariq Ali.

TARIQ ALI: Amy, Barroso was a leader of Portugal during the Iraq war and decided to back the war, against the wishes of a majority of the Portuguese people. For him to stand up and talk about defending human rights, when he participated in a war which led to the death of over a million people, is just outrageous. Not only outside the European Union, inside the European Union, Barroso, as well as the other leaders of the EU, have sanctioned new laws which have suspended habeas corpus, which have limited civil rights and human rights of European citizens, which have participated in renditions and handing over European citizens to be tortured in other parts of the world or to be sent to Guantánamo. So this, all this, rings very hollow.

And as for the absurd remark that the European Union has united Europe after the war, this is total nonsense. The European Union didn’t exist after the war. What actually helped Western Europe, not Eastern Europe, what helped Western Europe after the Second World War had nothing to do with Europe. It was the United States. It was the Marshall Plan, which poured in money to build Western Europe, as part of their contribution to this side of Europe, compared to the east, which was under Soviet control. So, why bring the EU in after the war, when it didn’t exist? It has largely been moved forward after the Cold War to effectively try and keep Europe under some form of control. And it’s not working. The whole of Europe now knows that, and European citizens in different parts of Europe will be laughing at this decision.

AMY GOODMAN: Tariq Ali, I want to thank you for being with us, British-Pakistani political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist, editor of the New Left Review, author of over 20 books, including The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power.

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