In case you thought the crumbling, ineffective, and overly-bureaucratic European Union was on life-support, the Eurozone in danger of splintering, and the single currency on the verge of collapse, a group of unexceptional Norwegians would like you to remember that the 27 member states of the EU are, in fact, the global bulwark against war and misery. …

There is no better illustration of this instinct than the awarding of the 2009 prize to President Barack Obama, who, while not even a year into his first term, nonetheless impressed the Norwegians by not being President George W. Bush, despite extending large chunks of his foreign policy. Of course, wars continue, drones fall, Guantanamo is still in business, embassies are attacked, and American troops continue to fight a futile war in Afghanistan. So even by the measure of hopefulness, the Norwegians have been colossally wrong. …

This is sophistry of the first order. There are a number of overlapping and interwoven reasons for the relative calm of modern Europe, and none of them are related to the moral authority or peace-making capabilities of the European Union or the endless diktats emanating from Brussels. If one wants to honor those who brought peace to Europe, let’s be heterodox and suggest the American and British militaries and NATO deserve a rather large share of the credit for establishing and keeping the peace. In fairness, the United States wasn’t entirely forgotten by Mr. Jagland, who, when asked about the economic crisis ravaging many EU countries, responded, “It started in the United States, and we had to deal with it.” So there you have it. The peace of Europe, partially secured and underwritten by America, was the doing of the EU, but Washington and Wall Street did bequeath to Europe the gift of financial collapse.