Norways: out of touch
Discussion about war in Iraq is buzzing all over the Western world these days. Last night the state broadcasting co. NRK aired a debate program about the impending war. Since Norway is dominated by PC, politically correct thinking, they had the upper hand – (one can say all these debated are loaded from the outset) also in part because of an extremely weak foreign minister, Jan Petersen, who seems to be constantly confused. (this insecurity/uncertainty comes forth as tics, nervous spasms in his face). He never seems to know where he is going. But nevermind these personal deficiencies: all Western leaders seem to have trouble advocating the case for war these days. Except Blair. How come? The only intellectual in the debate was a researcher from Norwegian institute for foreign affairs, NUPI, by the name of Henrik Thune. He is knowledgable, but clearly against war. Why is it that noone is capable even of playing the devil’s advocate if only to enlighten the public? It seems they have never read articles like Jeffrey Goldbergs famous essay in New Yorker about Northern Iraq, or books like Republic of Fear. We have a suspiction that The Divide between Europe and the US may in some ways be attributed to diffrent levels of knowledge. Europeans pay only lip service to Saddam Husseins cruelties to his own people. They are not really interested when it comes down to it. A most grotesque example of this in last nights TV-debate was a Norwegian by the name of Papazian who is married to a dissident Iraqi women, who had to flee Iraq. He is planning to take part in an antiwar-caravan by bus to Bagdad to stop the war, and will take his wife with him, even if she risks either bombs or being stopped by Husseins security men, as he himself put it. Better than sitting in front of the TV, he said.
Add to this that Norway at the same time is host to the leader of Ansar al-Islam, the fundamentalist group in Northern Iraq that is linked to Al-Qaeda. Mullah Krekar returned to Norway from the Netherlands Monday night after weeks in custody. Human Rights advocates in Norway are eager that he be given a fair trial in Norway, if he has committed any crimes, they add. Norwegian athorities had reputedly promised the Dutch that Krekar be taken into custody upon arrival here. Nobody was at the airport, and a state magistrate has now interfered and argued that there is no case against Krekar after all!. Reality is becoming fantasy. Norway acts as if eternal peace already reigns.