(THIS ARTICLE IS MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)
It was not surprising, but still appalling, to experience how superficial the two fallen ministers Erna Solberg and Lars Sponheim stated 9.11. about Norwegian F16 flights to Afghanistan in NRK's Editorial Board.
For the two of them, only Norway should support the US war against the Taliban. Ideally, we should still participate in the war operation Enduring Freedom. At the very least, we should agree that NATO's peacekeeping ISAF force relieves the warriors if they so request.
For the two of them, this was the whole framework of a case that raises far-reaching political, legal and moral issues. Admittedly, Erna Solberg saw the risk of Norwegian lives being lost. But for her, this meant that it was relentless to doubt that the war was right. If our boys die, we must let them do so in the belief that they sacrifice life for a good cause.
Such tones sound from everyone waging war.
In recent years, we have seen how American-led warfare has increased international terror. We have noticed that it creates new tension between religions and people groups. We feel that it makes the world more secure. We have seen how the terror war also leads to weakened legal security in democratic countries. But the two saw no reason to ask whether such a war was working against its purpose.
They also did not think that as much sympathy as the United States met after September 11, it would have been easy to organize a wide international cooperation between police forces, judiciary and other civil authorities to arrest the terrorists and bring them to justice. . The Taliban was even willing to hand Osama bin Laden to a third country where the trial against him could be opened. A criminal case is not solved with bombs and grenades.
Neither were the two party leaders affected by the doubt in international law circles as to whether the war is compatible with international law. The right to self-defense occurs in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter "if an armed attack occurs" against one of the UN Member States. The hijackers' actions 11.09.01 could possibly be interpreted as such an attack. But it is no longer going on. US operations in Afghanistan more than four years later have the character of preventive warfare, which international law does not allow at least.
Although a compromise resolution in the Security Council allows us to support the US business, it does not relieve us of the responsibility to assess whether this is a proper task for Norway. We do not have to do everything that is allowed.
The two opposition leaders lacked any sense of such contradictions as they might have encountered at Løvebakken. (Incidentally, the media was also unilaterally concerned about the disagreement in one of the government parties and overlooked the issues in dispute.)
But the two leaders found it unheard that some of the SV's parliamentary representatives "participated in the demonstration" against the government. Sponheim couldn't remember that anything like that had happened in Norway before. But what the representatives dared to do was no worse than listening to the peacemakers' calls to hold back the bombers. In Norwegian history, examples of conflict of opinion within the political parties, government parties as well as opposition parties abound. It may sound a little disgusting to use one of Bjørnson's expressions, but it is also a sign of health. Without the opposition in the SV, there would probably have been a hundred percent agreement in the Storting on a matter of which there are strongly divided opinions in the people.
There must be such foreign policy uniformity that the two party leaders recommend, even one of them leads a party that was once proud of the freedom of opinion of its representatives. We should be glad that at least there are other parliamentarians who today dare to say what they mean, even if it should fight against the party line, and even if it causes a little rebellion.
Gunnar Garbo is a former parliamentary representative and chairman of the Left, journalist, politician and official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has published a number of books on political and international issues.