Denmark’s Prime Minister Frederiksen Knows Nothing about Ukraine, Conflict Understanding and Peace–She Wants War
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 2 Oct 2023
22 Sep 2023 – On 6 September, Denmark’ TV2 Channel ran a 35-second clip with the Prime Minister under the headline “Mette Frederiksen: You don’t win a war with words, you win it with weapons.” Watch and listen to it here.
The brief presentation of her views on Ukraine’s situation testifies to an ignorance – conscious, unconscious or opportunistic – that is not easily reconciled with State leadership in general and war participation in particular.
I believe that a doctor of the same intellectual level of medical knowledge would be put out of commission.
The Prime Minister is obviously irresponsibly ill-informed, because despite arms gifts to Ukraine totalling nearly US$ 200 billion, Ukraine and its counter-offensive are doing very badly. President Zelensky told the US Congress a few days ago that if Ukraine doesn’t receive even more military aid, Ukraine will lose.
And what does she mean by winning?
That Ukraine kicks the Russians out of Ukraine? Or NATO defeating Russia and having it destroyed or broken up into small states so that it can no longer be seen as a threat to NATO and its member states (which Russia has never threatened or invaded despite constant claims over 50-60 years that it is imminent)?
And at what cost? Is there any effort on the part of the West that the Prime Minister will refrain from in order to win – several of the weapons Ukraine has received were of the type that they first said they would never get and then they got them anyway. And US Secretary of State Blinken has just told the world that the US can’t do anything about it if Ukraine increasingly takes the war into Russian territory.
If NATO-Ukraine is in trouble – which it increasingly is because the West’s military production capacity can’t keep up and the social costs of NATO/EU countries’ sanctions against Russia are growing by the day – will the prime minister accept that NATO or Ukraine use nuclear weapons to “win” against Russia?
It is fortunate that journalists no longer ask questions about the war, let alone critical questions.
The Prime Minister’s second theme is that Russia can simply withdraw its troops and stop killing innocent people. “The responsibility for the war is Russia’s alone. No one else’s.”
The above quote from Stoltenberg shows very well the extent to which the prime minister is ignorant of the conflict underlying the war. Here we have a conflict that not only has national and European dimensions and future perspectives, but obviously also global ones.
The minister herself probably believes in this reductionist trivialisation of something very complex – and she probably subconsciously hopes that thinking people in Denmark will believe her simplification of reality beyond recognition.
But it is not good for the formulation of an adequate Danish policy that the country’s leader is so ignorant and at the same time believes she can manipulate reality via submissive media.
It has all happened far too quickly and is racing off in the wrong direction towards war. The Prime Minister does not see it, she is blind to the consequences of her own militaristic, war-fascinated way of thinking: We can never, ever recognise that we have also made mistakes over the last 30 years.
She doesn’t understand that this conflict is 30 years old, that NATO is a role player in it, that NATO is superior to Russia (at least 12 times higher military spending than Russia) and has never listened seriously to Russian concerns for its security.
She does not understand that NATO’s policy of deterrence – as described in many places on the NATO website – can frighten others. She will not or cannot understand that NATO’s de facto policy is a persistent breach of the alliance’s own treaty, which, with the exception of Article 5 – the so-called musketeer’s oath – is a copy of the UN, i.e. an obligation to create peace by peaceful means.
In this short clip, the Prime Minister documents – probably without realising it – an almost boundless contempt for the letter and spirit of the UN Declaration.
And Russia can just do what?
Well, the USA and other NATO countries could have just left Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq/Kuwait, Yugoslavia/Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Libya, Syria, Yemen and thus ensured that millions of people had not been killed in these war-torn countries and even more millions made homeless – war-torn especially by the USA, which the Prime Minister has said several times that there must not be so much as an A4 sheet of paper’s distance to.
The US could have done without 70-80 regime changes; could just remove its 650 bases in 130 countries and withdraw all its special forces and CIA operators. (Also from Ukraine).
The US/Obama could also – but the prime minister keeps it quiet – have abstained from financing and organising the regime change in Kiev in 2014 that removed a Russian-oriented president and was the beginning of the US-friendly Poroshenko’s army build-up, which then, together with extreme nationalist ethnic cleansing of Ukrainians with Russian roots, language and feelings, could start a civil war that cost 14,000 of them their lives. (And which led Russia to annex Crimea because they didn’t want to risk having their third largest base, leased for 30+ years, in a NATO country).
The US/NATO could have refrained from making NATO membership preparations in Ukraine throughout this phase since Ukraine became independent; it could have refrained from deciding over the heads of the Ukrainian people that Ukraine should become a member of NATO even though all opinion polls before the invasion showed that no more than 15% of Ukrainians wanted their country to be a NATO member.
Where was Mette Frederiksen’s “They can just leave it alone” to all these things?
That’s right, they were never there.
On the contrary. When the US assassinated No. 3 man in Iran on a peace mission to Iraq, a journalist asked her at a press conference what she thought about it – to which she said the famous or infamous words: “I have no need to comment on American activities.”
When the US and NATO are not on the prime minister’s political map – well, then there is no one else but Russia to blame for all evil. We have previously heard a Danish prime minister say that there is no need to criticise (“ingenting at komme efter”) on the biggest Danish foreign policy misjudgement with thousands of human lives on his conscience (if such a thing exists with him). I’m referring to Mr Fogh Rasmussen who in hos role as prime minister led Denmark to be an occupation power in Iraq 2003-2007 and was then rewarded be becoming NATO’s secretary-general.
Danish foreign and security policy today is driven by irrationality and emotionalism – you can see it in her face when she says that only Russia is guilty – by anti-intellectualism and ignorance of conflict resolution and peacemaking.
These things are, of course, prerequisites for blind US/NATO faith – faith indeed – and permanent escalation of war efforts and militarism. Regardless of the political, economic and moral cost.
Whether Prime Minister Frederiksen is aware of this, thinks about such things, has a little doubt when she comes home every night, only she knows. There is no outward sign of even the slightest doubt about her co-responsibility for the indescribable suffering her and thus her government’s policies are inflicting on innocent Ukrainians and the whole of Europe.
Where there can’t be as much as an A4 sheet of paper, there’s also no room for a single independent thought. Or even the smallest doubt.
The final theme in the Prime Minister’s presentation here is that diplomacy can only be used when the partners want peace and Russia, unfortunately, does not want peace.
The first is simply wrong or untrue, take your pick. As mentioned above, diplomacy can of course be used in parallel with war in order to achieve a ceasefire – after which the word takes over. Diplomacy is also about co-operating to ensure that neither side will lose face when this ceasefire is declared. The Cuban Missile Crisis is still a very good model.
The terrible and intellectually and ethically deeply problematic thing is that Prime Minister Frederiksen does not want to see it. She only wants the war. No other interpretation is possible from what she says at the end of these 35 seconds.
Neither she nor the Foreign Minister probably has any advisors who might think otherwise – can/dare to suggest anything other than more war.
That Russia does not want – or has not attempted – a peaceful solution with the NATO countries is also incorrect or untrue. Choose your word again. NATO’s Secretary General has documented this in the quote above. Putin’s speeches are full of considerations in this direction – years ago he (and myself, by the way) proposed the stationing of a very large UN peacekeeping mission in the area.
Why has NATO had some kind of dialogue and common institutions for dialogue with Putin for 20 years if he is either insane, suicidal or only wants war, including nuclear war, with NATO countries? Did he threaten war in his speech in Munich in 2007?
The Prime Minister cannot be unaware that there were previous negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, and that Boris Johnson, among others, demanded that President Zelensky withdraw from them. She cannot be unaware that the Minsk agreements officially aimed to put in place an autonomy solution and other modus vivendi, but that NATO countries did not require Ukraine to fulfil its obligations because the real purpose was to gain time and strengthen Ukraine’s army as much as possible. The respected and decent Angela Merkel, who was there, has publicly stated that this is what it was all about.
Mette Frederiksen cannot be unaware that the US itself is continuing with arms packages, one after the other, and pressurising its NATO allies to deliver even more. For the war.
Furthermore, she cannot be unaware that Denmark, as the largest military donor (in terms of national military expenditure) after the US and the Baltic states, is sending the signal that peace is not to be discussed here, war is to be won. With weapons and not with words. And that she never uses the word peace herself.
Here, as on almost all other points, the Prime Minister seems to be building on something that can reasonably be called psycho-political projection: Condemn others for doing something that you yourself do to a far greater extent – project your own dark shadow sides onto the other person so that you feel that you yourself are always right, innocent and behaves as the exclusively good person fighting the other person – who is the exclusively evil one.
This is not a sign of health.
Based on the ethical, intellectual and psychological level I have described here in concrete terms, any future Danish decision will increase the risk of a major war in Europe.
If, like me, you have followed Danish security policy for almost 50 years – and I personally knew most of the Social Democrats and, for example, Radicals and SF who shaped it in the 1970s and 1990s – today’s Danish course is as incomprehensible as it is tragic, unethical and dangerous.
I can compare a bit since, during all the 1980s, I was a member of the Danish government’s Commission for Security and Disarmament Policy.
Since bombing in Yugoslavia in 1999, Denmark has become a leading militaristic rogue state. Mette Frederiksen acts as the real ambassador of the US warfare state. She repeatedly positions herself as more loyal to Washington than to the Danish people’s best security and peace interests.
The blind rearmament of militarism presupposes the disarmament of humanism, thought and morality – as has happened before in European history.
What has gone so horribly wrong in Denmark that it is now at the front of this humanity-threatening lemming train?
Some readers will probably think I’m a “Putinist” and want to legitimise Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For the benefit of those black-and-white viewers who don’t bother to understand arguments but simply use framing and categorisation of others, I can refer you to my article from the day after the invasion, “There were alternatives: Why Russia should not have bombed Ukraine,” which incidentally also predicted a lot of what happened next.
Believe it or not, it is actually quite possible to be critical of both Russia and the US/NATO in this whole affair, even if the lying black-and-white narrative of self-righteousness still dominates – albeit not for much longer.
Prof. Jan Oberg, Ph.D. is director of the independent Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research-TFF in Sweden and a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. CV: https://transnational.live/jan-oberg
Tags: Conflict studies, Denmark, Ignorance, Ukraine
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