When I was young, one of the cartoons I enjoyed was Rocky and Bullwinkle. An occasional character was Wrong Way Peachfuzz, who made enough of an impression on other children to merit an entry in Wikipedia:
Peachfuzz was, from his youngest days, an incompetent sailor. As a child, even his toy boats sank. At the age of 18 he joined the navy. He was awarded numerous medals, all of which were donated by the enemy. Sailing the wrong way through the Panama Canal and becoming the only captain of an icebreaker in the South Seas earned him the nickname “Wrong Way” (an allusion to the American pilot Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan). After receiving a large inheritance from an aunt he purchased and took command of the S.S. Andalusia (“Athabaska” in some shorts). His crew considered mutiny but decided rather to install a dummy control room, so that Peachfuzz would think he was in command, while the crew actually controlled the ship from another location. Unfortunately, Peachfuzz takes a wrong turn. and winds up in the real control room. In another episode Peachfuzz tries to dive overboard to help Rocky save Bullwinkle, but being Peachfuzz he only succeeds in diving up and back onto the ship.
Peach Peace Prize Committee looks to have adopted Peachfuzz as its role model. Awarding Obama the prize before he’d done much of anything as President lead to a raft of jokes, such as a Saturday Night Live skit on how Obama had won the prize for not being Bush.
That award turned out to be not merely a joke but a deep embarrassment as Obama failed to close Gitmo swiftly as promised, expanded the war in Afghanistan, instituted drone attacks in Pakistan, greatly increased the use of covert warfare, and has declared himself to be above the law, with the right to kill any US citizen designated a “suspected terrorist” without due process.
And now we have the same discredited committee giving the Eurozone its 2012 prize. Admittedly, the EU is not the Eurozone, but with the biggest nations in Europe members of the currency union, Eurozone politics are likely to continue to dominate that stage. And as we and others have chronicled at length, the Eurocrats seem determined to strip periphery countries of sovereignity and put not just their economies but their societies on the rack in a failing plan to save the banks of the surplus countries. In 2009, the Peace Prize Committee wanted to acknowledge and encourage Obama’s better impulses but instead bestowed the prize as his authoritarian side was coming to the fore. Now, the dark side of Europe is on full display as more and more ordinary people take to the streets to protest the fecklessness of their leaders as social structures are fracturing and old national hostilities are rising under the weight of destructive, misguided policies.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize in a nod to the 27-member bloc’s “advancement of peace and reconciliation,” and to applaud its solidarity as it continues to work to contain the debt crisis hanging over the euro zone.
The head of the Norwegian committee Thorbørn Jagland said that the committee gave the award in an effort to encourage Europe to back away from the “extremism and nationalism” that led to major conflict in years past. “This is, in a way, a message to Europe to secure everything we have achieved and move forward,” he said while addressing a packed crowd at the Nobel Norwegian Institute in Oslo Friday.
Update: Richard Smith reminds us this is may not be the committee’s worst moment. Stalin was nominated as a serious candidate in 1945 and 1948 and Adolph Hitler was a nominee, purportedly as a joke, in 1939.