Forlag: Falken Forlag (Norge)
This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian
In his book Norway's war against Syria from 2020, author Lars Birkelund questioned why the Western narrative about the war in Syria differs so greatly from Russia's and Syria's own. He concludes that it is because Norway and the West are dependent on marketing the war in order to create acceptance for it, as well as to camouflage their own complicity: "Those who commit criminal acts in most cases try to deny and hide their crimes", writes Birkelund.
The same applies during war: The countries that wage a war contrary to international law against another country have more to hide and a greater need to distort reality than the country that is attacked. He refers to many examples in that book.
The deeper reasons
In his new book War as ordered? – NATO, Ukraine, Russia, Russophobia and other reasons for the war in (about) Ukraine, which is in many ways a sequel, Birkelund writes about the development of the last decades in both the West, Ukraine og Russia. The book is published by Falken Forlag and has 393 pages. It includes a foreword and afterword by the author himself, and a full bibliography.
The West's deliberate manipulation of people's thoughts and feelings in order to promote its belligerence.
The book is divided into four parts, of which the first, "Has Ukraine not yet perished?", covers developments in Ukraine since the Orange Revolution in 2004, the second, "NATO, a defense alliance?", covers the establishment and development of NATO, the third, "Russia", covers the developments in Russia from 1991, and the fourth, "Propaganda", covers the West's deliberate manipulation of people's thoughts and feelings to promote its wariness.
This is an enlightening, analytical and interesting book that should be read by anyone seeking to understand the deeper causes and effects of the war in Ukraine. Especially in view of the unification and the climate of debate that has prevailed in Norway. This at the same time as Russian news channels have been victims of censorship. The mass media have become effective and powerful ideological institutions that perform a system-supporting propaganda function. There are almost hate campaigns against those who deviate from the prevailing narrative.
A war between 'good and evil'
In the past year, most of us have read a lot about Ukraine (some of us hardly knew where Ukraine was located) and the course of the war. The big media have given us our daily dose. But this dose has been characterized by a propaganda the likes of which we have not seen in this country. It is clear that those in power in the West are tightening their grip. Ukraine, a divided country previously noted for corruption and Nazism, is presented to us as a standard bearer of Western ideals.
As Birkelund writes, a debate arose regarding embedded journalism during the US war against Iraq in 2003. There was then almost a consensus in Norway that it was a most unfortunate form of journalism. Nevertheless, this practice has become the Norwegian media's modus operandi in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The result is that the war is almost entirely covered on Ukraine's and thus the US/NATO/EU's terms.
The mass media have painted a narrative that includes a war between 'good and evil', an 'adventure about evil witches and trolls' that absolves everyone but Putin and Russia of responsibility. While those who deviate from this narrative, and who advocate a ceasefire and peace negotiations, are called Putinists and worse.
America's so-called empire building
Birkelund here presents a far more complicated and complex picture. His conclusion deviates greatly from the West's narrative that the war came as a bolt from the blue, without any antecedents. Rather, it seems that certain forces did what they could to provoke it, something including the Rand report Extending Russia. Competing from Advantageous Ground from 2019 testifies to, as this outlines how best to weaken Russia. This can be considered part of the USA's so-called empire building through regime change and their desire to preserve a unilateral world order with themselves as hegemon.
Not least Birkelund writes about all the Western provocations and schemes that led to the war, which includes, among other things, the increased Western activity in the country: color revolution in 2004; and secondly in 2014; NATO's eastward expansion; the issue surrounding Crimea; the eight-year war against Donbass as well as the support for Banderas and Russophobia. These also include an indifference to and neglect of Russian views. Many of the examples are enlightening and interesting reading in themselves, as well as being relevant to the book's theme.
As Birkelund writes, there are many indications that the war has been provoked and desired by the USA and NATO. Neither the US nor NATO showed any willingness to meet Russia's security demands. This despite the fact that none of the requirements were prohibitive, and despite the fact that it is elementary in international security thinking to recognize mutual security needs. For example, the West rejected a treaty proposal from Moscow to create a new security architecture in Europe that takes Russia's security concerns into account.
Despite Western promises not to expand eastward after 1991, Russia accepted Poland's joining NATO. It was only when NATO, during the NATO meeting in Bucharest in 2008, promised Georgia and Ukraine the possibility of membership, that Russia put its foot down and warned that there was 'a red line'. But, according to the book, it was only when the US unilaterally terminated its nuclear arms limitation agreements (and other agreements) after 2000, and at the same time invited NATO countries close to Russia to deploy missiles capable of carrying tactical nuclear weapons, that Russia reacted.
Arms support and Norway
In addition, Ukraine broke Minsk-the agreements, which were negotiated between Russia, Ukraine and the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk in 2014 to end this conflict – several times. Now in retrospect, Germany's Angela Merkel has declared that the Minsk agreement negotiations from the western side were only a play to gain time.
Moreover, Crimea's history and status are central to the Ukraine war. Ukraine has not recognized Russian rule over Crimea. This despite the fact that the majority of the population (according to a poll) on the peninsula prefers Crimea to be part of Russia.
Since 1990, Norway has participated in ten wars, all of which have contributed to supporting Western interests.
Consistent throughout the book is the topic that is being debated in Norway, namely the large quantities of weapons we send to Ukraine. This is not least because more weapons will prolong the war, and thus also the number of dead and suffering. But also because the war is perceived by many as a proxy war.
Birkelund highlights examples that show how Norway has contributed to several of the USA's wars in recent decades. Since 1990, Norway has participated in ten wars, all of which have contributed to supporting Western interests. He claims that Norwegian politicians have often done what is convenient for themselves rather than what is right, and that this has often led to disastrous decisions. The end result is that we have got a type of politician who increasingly serves the princes of global capitalism rather than the people who elected them.
But as Birkelund writes in the foreword, there is nothing abnormal "about the position of not sending weapons to countries at war, such as Ukraine, as it has been Norwegian policy since 1959". According to Birkelund, the book can be considered, among other things, as a collection of arguments for keeping this 'old' practice, against sending weapons to countries at war, including Ukraine.
Birkelund ends the book with the question of whether it is "rational to put the entire welfare of Europe and world peace at risk".