Daily Archives: October 12, 2012

It seems a bit strange for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to an institution, rather than a person, but there is no doubt in my mind that the European Union deserves to be praised for its contribution to peace and freedom.

It’s not a question of having kept the Soviet Union at bay during the Cold War, or even of having promoted peace in Africa and the Middle East – although the EU has done its fair share of the latter. Its real contribution has been to healing the internal wounds of the European continent, where the 20th century saw the bloodiest wars the world has ever seen. 

Gideon Rachman

Thorbjørn Jagland announces the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace prize (Getty)

Some may find the decision to award the European Union the Nobel Peace Prize a trifle odd. But, in Brussels, it is conventional wisdom that the EU’s biggest achievement is peace in Europe. The argument goes that, before the EU got going we had centuries of war. Since then, we have had decades of peace.

However, there is clearly a potential logical fallacy here — which is known as “post hoc, ergo propter hoc”…”After this, therefore because of this.” In other words, just because the establishment of the EU coincided with the establishment of peace in western Europe, it doesn’t mean one thing caused the other. 

Welcome to the FT’s summary of instant reaction to Thursday night’s vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky, between the incumbent Joe Biden and his Republican challenger, Paul Ryan. The general verdict was that it was a feisty affair that the Democrat may have edged at the expense of showing a condescending side which could come back to haunt him.

Anna Fifield, the Financial Times correspondent in the audience at Centre College, reports:

Mr Biden, the sitting vice-president, achieved his goal of putting forward a passionate case for a second term for the Democratic team, a week after President Barack Obama confounded supporters with a lacklustre performance during his first debate with Mitt Romney, his Republican rival for the White House.

But Mr Ryan also offered plenty of lines to cheer his party’s base, outlining Republican plans to boost the economy and attacking the Obama administration over the deficit. He also sharply criticised the Obama administration’s approach to Syria and Libya.

 

Follow the FT’s coverage of the only vice-presidential debate, between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, as it happened. The 90-minute debate – held at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky – covers both domestic and foreign policy.

Anna Fifield, the FT’s US political correspondent, is on the ground in Danville and Arash Massoudi is in the FT’s bureau in New York. They will be blogging on the debate with help from FT colleagues.

23.34 We’re signing off. Be sure to share your thoughts on who won tonight’s debate below. You can follow all the FT’s election coverage on FT.com. We’ll be back with you on October 16 for the second presidential debate.

23.29 The latest post-debate polls comes from CNN and gives Mr Ryan a slight edge, without a majority, on the evening:

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/256594877511516160"]

23.15 Here’s what President Obama told reporters on Air Force One shortly after the debate:

“I’m going to make a special point of saying that I thought Joe Biden was terrific tonight. I could not be prouder of him. I thought he made a very strong case. I really think that his passion for making sure that the economy grows for the middle class came through. So I’m very proud of him.”

Asked if he called him after the debate ended, Mr. Obama replied with a smile, “Yes, I just talked to him.”