Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union certainly puts the prize given to Barack Obama in 2009 in perspective. Apparently, the once-significant award has become the self-esteem builder for undeserving underachievers, a sort of gold star for grown-ups. These days every kid gets a t-ball trophy so now every anti-American pseudo-intellectual can get a Nobel Peace Prize.

But in fairness, President Obama has killed Osama bin Laden and numerous drone-targeted jihadists so he’s done more (albeit after his award) to keep the peace and secure the West than Europe has done in all the years since 1945.

Now, the nations of Eastern Europe formerly dominated by the Soviet Union have accomplished something, throwing off the yoke of communism in peaceful revolutions, forming democratic governments and, in large part, embracing free markets. Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize should have gone to just a few of the E.U. members ( e.g., the Czech Republic, Poland).

As for the rest of the E.U., these countries don’t even warrant a Miss Congeniality trophy. Albert Schweitzer, Lech Walesa and the E.U. — which is not like the others?

Western E.U. countries have severely cut their defense spending, off-loading their defense and the defense of others to the United States, which has continued to do the heavy lifting everywhere from Bosnia to Afghanistan. Instead of peace, the E.U. has given us economic implosion and social unrest. Greece, Spain and France have had more riots than has anywhere else on the planet, and the riots have been for entirely selfish ends. People grown dependent on the state and bereft of the work ethic are having serial temper tantrums in country after country as they face the reality that one must repay what you borrow.

In sum, the E.U. is getting a pat on the back for just showing up, or hanging on long enough to grab the prize. (It can use the prize money, to be sure.) To be rewarded for survival (or for not attacking your neighbor), of course, misses the point. The Nobel Prize is for those who extend peace, promote human rights and do something for others. Where has the E.U. promoted peace? It’s flopped as an interlocutor in the Middle East. It’s come up empty in defanging the Iranian nuclear menace.

And what about human rights? In Europe anti-Semitism is on the rise. An Anti-Defamation League survey this year found “particularly high levels of anti-Semitism in three nations. ‘In Hungary, Spain and Poland, the numbers for anti-Semitic attitudes are literally off the charts and demand a serious response from political, civic and religious leaders,’ said [ADL head Abe] Foxman.”

Immigrants? In May, the Wall Street Journal reported: “Ipsos MORI’s global poll of 24 countries on attitudes to immigration included nine EU member states. In seven of them, the majority of those surveyed regard immigration as having had a negative impact on their country; Sweden and Poland were the only exceptions. Most citizens think there are too many immigrants in their country, and this tends to correlate most strongly with the perception that immigrants place a burden on public services. . . . Compared to countries elsewhere in the world, our survey shows that European citizens are the least willing to accept that immigrants make their country a more interesting place to live.”

You see the problem? The Nobel Peace Prize is supposed to go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” In a sane world George W. Bush, whose President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief saved millions of lives in Africa, or the U.S. Marines, who have liberated tens of millions from barbarous rule, would get the prize. But in the nest of moral insanity occupied by intellectual elites it goes to the E.U. How fitting. How tragic.