Norway Right Now—Compliance

EDITORIAL, 1 Aug 2016

#440 | Johan Galtung

Jondal, Hardangerakademiet, Norway

The Hardanger Academy is focused on the three UN concerns, peace-development-environment.  This year’s symposium was brilliantly opened by Vandana Shiva, a gift to the world from India. She encompassed all three themes with deep insights; holistic and very dialectic in her approach, with forces and counter-forces in all her proposed solutions; with her optimistic activism and engagement. The media missed a golden opportunity to tell the Norwegian public.

She was imported for a week from India, and met with dedicated counterparts and groups in Norway. They are not very visible in public space either; but the Hardanger Academy will try to change that.

What is in public space in Norway?  A mirror image of US public space. If the US media say that Russian hacking was behind the enormous WikiLeaks revelations from the Democratic National Committee computer, so do the Norwegian media.  If US media do not tell the content, so do the Norwegian media.  The general rhetoric of the Clinton-Trump controversy is slavishly imitated, including the idea that Trump is an agent for Putin, and the silence about Clinton’s massive killing as Secretary of State.  The behavior one would expect from a compliant client country.  But there is more to it.

What is the basic concern of the Norwegian media?  Lifestyle, in short, for good–live graciously, in comfort–and for bad, the many breakdowns, suicides-homicides, divorces, alcoholism.  The politics of everyday, personal, life.  That in itself is welcome, however, not as a veil draped over national and global politics.

How about Norwegian artists?  With a few exceptions, they are on that line, intensely focused on personal life, often their own, in the smallest detail. No artists write about Norwegian military snipers killing massively in Afghanistan, and the air force by bombing in Libya for the USA–some even presented as useful training exercises.

At the same time Norwegian peace policy by a self-designated peace state–in Palestine-Israel, in Sri Lanka–coming to nothing or worse: Israeli genocide in Gaza, massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Again presented as useful training by the leader, Erik Solheim.

Sheer incompetence?  No doubt an element.  Norwegian killing in Afghanistan, by sniping, has been criticized by an official committee headed by Björn Tore Godal, former foreign and defense secretary.  Conclusion from Norwegian participation 2001-2014: Taliban is stronger than any time since 2001, and the only goal that has been obtained is “to show solidarity and offer support to USA, and to contribute to secure the relevance of NATO”. More open debate, demands Godal.

Those may have been the ends, and Afghanistan only the means.

The general growth in Norwegian armament, maybe the highest after USA, is on the basis of Norwegian foreign policy: the millennium old fear of Russia since Vikings attacked: “Only USA can protect us if they come”. Not only more arms but also more offensive arms, “to deter” as they all say, only that from the other side it might be interpreted as “to attack”.  At the same time, local-based militia-defense in Norway is cut out in favor of “expedition defense”, meaning joining USA anywhere; referred to as “security”.

There is massive critique inside the military, even if to a large extent silenced.  The general idea is clear: if the elites really believed the “Russians are coming”, much more defense of Norwegian territory would have been the answer.  But it is almost absent.

Why such a foreign-military-security policy? Because it relates to USA, not Russia.  The Voice spoken is His Master’s.  Solid clientelism. But there is an additional, darker, interpretation.

Not that they–the policy elites–do not know that USA intervenes and organizes coups, invades, snipes, bombs all over.  But compliance may secure Norway against the same fate: USA invading Norway.

Look at Dimitry Orlov, “The Power of ‘Nyet’. The US Decides What It Wants Russia To Do. Russia Says ‘Nyet’.” Cluborlov 26 July 2016:

“The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this.  The US power structures, public and private, decide what the rest of the world is supposed to do.  They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation.  If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, economic and financial pressure.  If that still doesn’t produce the intended effect, they attempt a regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation.  If that still doesn’t work they bomb the nation back to the stone age.  This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late, a new dynamic has emerged.”

How can Russia do that?  Because it has a weapon that deters even the USA–the reason that they hate proliferation. North Korea can do the same as Russia; they also have nuclear bombs and delivery system.

Not strange, given this reality, that the USA hates Russia even more, and simplifies life for itself by narrowing Russian reality to one person, Putin, who is then demonized the way Orwell describes in 1984.  That book is about efforts to construct irreversible societies; “all animals are equal” is often quoted from Animal Farm, good, but less important.  The title should have been 1985, the year Thatcher-Reagan tried to construct an irreversible world, an Anglo-American capitalist order.

That “order” is very well described by Orlov above. The key point is an empirically well-founded fear of the USA, based on what the USA is doing. However, never say so openly lest the same fate should visit yourself.  A conspiracy, yes; paranoia, no.  Realism.

Does it matter whether Norway complies out of trust, out of fear, or–most likely–out of both?  It does.  If out of friendship, Norway may assist US imperialism all the way down, and get ever more enemies. Fear may serve as an excuse.  And motivate Norway to drop its paranoid relation to Russia in favor of non-military cooperation; the threat of a Russian invasion should not be used as a US pretext for the same.

As it stands now, either of them invading Norway to preempt the other is a likely scenario. England and Germany did, in 1940. Security?


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. He has published 164 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 1 Aug 2016.

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22 Responses to “Norway Right Now—Compliance”

  1. Uri Levin says:

    I have no illusions about Norwegian media (as I have a life time of close to none exposure to them), but that can hardly be an excuse for echoing Orlov’s paranoid rants?

    Yes, there is ample reason to be critical of the US empire, but closing the eyes for what Putin’s nazi-gangs is doing in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova and so on (all points where JG and this site is strangely silent) is hardly a proper road to peace?

    • Rant Deldano says:

      The Hardanger Academy is focused on the three UN concerns, peace-development-environment. This year’s symposium was brilliantly opened by Vandana Shiva, a gift to the world from India. She encompassed all three themes with deep insights; holistic and very dialectic in her approach, with forces and counter-forces in all her proposed solutions; with her optimistic activism and engagement. The media missed a golden opportunity to tell the Norwegian public.

      This is what Galtung was talking about in relation to norwegian media! Nothing to do with Paranoia.

  2. Deldano says:

    Johan Galtung has also never written about animal rights. Also not a word about time travel or oceanic flora and fauna in his work. Just saying.

    And wait a second: PUTIN’S NAZI GANGS? “PUTIN”‘S?

  3. Uri Levin says:

    @Mr Deldano

    Well I borrowed the term “Nazi” from Mr Orlov. If he is free to use it on Transcend for groups that oppose the illegal Russian military presence in Ukraine, surely I can use it the same way – just with the roles reversed. This is not “Russia Today” or one of the other official Moscow mouth pieces, is it?

    But for the first part you are of course correct. If JG is only interested in the “Russia Today” version of events, he is naturally not concerned about other things.

  4. Werner T. Meyer says:

    Dear Deldano, please look at this:

    (FROM “FBI agent Lara Edmond and Mossad field agent, Uri Levin, lead characters in Winnick’s debut novel, East Wind, are assigned the dangerous task of solving this new attempt to stop the U.S. from providing aid to Israel.”

    Are you sure you are talking to a real person ?

    Werner T. Meyer

  5. Deldano says:

    Well well dear TRANSCEND Editors, I think we have come to understand what is going on now.

  6. Deldano says:

    There is quite a lot going on in Ukraine. But to deny that the shadow of Bandera hovers over Kiev and beyond that to equate the ideology of Moscowian thugs in the Donetsk with Nazism is disingenuous. But well, it takes a molochian kind of intellect to pursue what is going on in this comment section.

    • Uri Levin says:

      @Mr Deldano

      “… to equate the ideology of Moscowian thugs in the Donetsk with Nazism is disingenuous …”

      Both ways I assume??

      • Deldano says:

        Can you not comprehend the full sentence? Or is it that you think I am talking about Antonio Banderas?

  7. Deldano says:

    And you my friend “Uri whatever your name is” are both barely credible and barely informed. Just have a look here: – try to broaden your scope of sources. Read MORE sources. Also such sources you do not agree with. That is what is called open mindedness.

    • Uri Levin says:

      @Mr Deldano

      You are unable to argue a point without getting personal? Should I respect that? I’m sorry, no. If you insist on that kind og rethorics, permit me to retort and view you as an crazed idiot.

      Now, with that out of the way, lets get into business.

      Yoy think it’s ok for the Russia Today crew and apparatchiks to consider the forces that fought the Russian invasion of Crimea “nazi”, but you squirm when the rethorics are the other way around?


  8. Uri Levin says:

    And beside the openly far-right support for Russia’s crimes in Crimea, there seem to be an just below the surface acceptance of nazism from official Russia:

    I guess this will be covered by Transcend some day? Or is bashing Israel too important for such details?

  9. Deldano says:

    Well, take this:
    Mind you, I am as shocked as you are by the wording. But I guess you can now direct your bile secretions towards haaretz.

    • Uri Levin says:

      @Mr Deldano

      So to get to the bottom of your points. You think it is ok to scream “nazi” at Ukraine and Israel, but not at Russia?

      Or are there other reasons for you ducking the question? Can I get a straight answer this time?

  10. Uri Levin says:

    @Mr Deldano

    Deflecting questions you don’t dare answer with points ourside the context?

    My goodness you are an idiot and a coward.

    • Rant Deldano says:

      Like many in the world I am tired with the inability of your country to find a solution to the plight of both jews and non jews in Israel & Palestine. No amount of bile you secrete here or anywhere else will fix anything for those who suffer from the racism and brutality in Israel & Palestine. Your government needs to mature and humanize its actions. Yes. Your government. OBVIOUSLY the otherside too. Your opinion is irrelevant. So is mine. I hope you at least get paid to waste your time this way.

      • Uri Levin says:

        @Mr Deldano

        You think that your bile and unwillingness to answer questions is working for peace?

        Deranged idiot.

    • Rant Deldano says:

      I’ve checked out the articles you linked. Well, I did not know about those ultra right wing Nazi salute people in particular. So, now I know – and you want me to do what? take a stance in favor of them or what? You’re bizarre man… just bizarre. They are wrong in Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Norway and anywhere else. And your approach to making sense of the world is stupid.

  11. Per-Stian says:

    Not been here for a few weeks, but I see the usual suspects are still busy diverting attention to somewhat odd topics.

    As for the article itself, thanks for posting it, Galtung. Living in Norway, I’m very much familiar with Norwegian media and their deep-rooted resistance to writing negatively about Norwegian foreign policy (which usually reflects US foreign policy, so whether it’s “Norwegian” is up for debate). Coverage of international news is almost non-existant. One theme I’ve seen for a long time now, however, is daily negative coverage of Russia, usually personified to Putin.

    But as frustrating it is to see this propaganda (it really can’t be called anything else at this point) and non-coverage of Norwegian aggressive acts abroad, the main concern are these aggressive acts. I’d love to see some sources/articles about what Galtung mention about Norwegian snipers killing people in Afghanistan. I’ve suspected as much for a long time, but seeing material on it would be grand, from either Galtung or others. Thanks.