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Norway is trapped by US propaganda

PUBLICITY / What we could previously describe as realpolitik possible is today not even possible to write about. Propaganda dominates the Norwegian public perhaps more than in any other country. The Norwegian authorities have been fooled around. The speech space has frozen.


da Julian Assange presented documents and evidence of American massacres and war crimes, the Norwegian authorities did not dare to criticize the Americans, much less protest.

WikiLeaks documented that the US presented false information – propaganda – to start wars. Moreover, evidence that CIA had programs to hack into our government networks – to leave traces of the Russians and Chinese so that they could shift the blame onto them. It was later revealed in WikiLeaks documents titled "Marble framework, Vault 7". The evidence is clear, and the Norwegian authorities have been tricked.

The CIA had programs to hack into our government networks.

Norway has often criticized indolence towards great powers. But when the great power that has the most military attacks on conscience, and that has had prison camps with torture in countless countries, when this great power demands a journalist and publicist, Julian Assange, extradited to be sentenced to 175 years in prison for exposing these crimes , then Norway is silent under the guise that the USA is Norway's "closest ally".

Norway's skepticism

But when did that happen? Yes, USA is definitely Norways "most powerful ally", and the US has certainly been perceived as "our most important Allies». But the US is definitely not our "closest ally". We don't have much in common with the US.

We knew we could not trust our allies.

Already in 1949, Norway limited allied exercises to areas west of Finnmark. Allies were not allowed to have bases on Norwegian soil in peacetime, because we did not want Moscow to believe that the West was preparing an attack on them from Norway. This desire to reassure Moscow was aware of Norwegian politics. Allied countries were also not allowed to store nuclear weapons in Norway in peacetime. All these restrictions pointed to a Norwegian skepticism. We knew that we could not trust our allies, since they had different interests than we had in Norway. We would not risk being involved in triggering a war with Moscow. It is only in recent years, when we have had political leaders with no experience from the Cold War, that Norway has begun to identify with "our closest ally". Such irresponsibility did not prevail in the past.

Norwegian sovereignty

Much of my research life has been devoted to allies submarineare and submarine operations. And if, for example, a submarine from an allied country, such as the USA, Great Britain or France, was discovered in Norwegian waters, this was perceived as a violation of Norwegian sovereignty. The submarine could be knocked out by Norwegian naval forces. Allied forces did not have the opportunity to move freely in our country, because Norway was an independent state and neither submitted to the Americans nor the British. Just as often, the Norwegian authorities had to protest against such illegal activities.

But in recent years it seems that the Norwegian authorities are falling flat for the US. Norway has accepted a new base agreement that gives American forces sovereignty with their own police power on Norwegian soil. The agreement gives US forces the opportunity to move freely in Norway and the opportunity to take in the weapons they deem necessary. How could such a change take place without many noticing?

Our politicians seem to identify with the US, as if they believe that they have to do this to get military support, and as if the US has no vested interest in deploying forces in Northern Norway. The question is not whether we can get American forces to Northern Norway in a crisis, but whether we can prevent an excessively provocative deployment.

The brutality of American state power

Today we are exposed to a massive propaganda. The USA is described as a role model, and the one-sidedness of the media means that few people know the brutality of the American state power. The brutality has a historical origin in the killing of millions of its own indigenous people. In modern times, the United States has been guilty of more coups d'état and military invasions than any other country. They operate worldwide from hundreds of military bases, and with special forces responsible for each continent. The United States does not actually recognize the territorial integrity of other countries. They intervene, torture and kill where they find it necessary. With the USA's extraterritorial laws, the US authorities assume the right to demand that any journalist, not just Julian Assange, be extradited for punishment. The USA is a state power that should not have much in common with Norway.

In modern times, the United States has been guilty of more coups d'état and military invasions than any other country.

The United States is an ally we must negotiate with and deal with. But the US is hardly a power we like. Perhaps the biggest crisis Norway have had with USA, was the Kongsberg-Toshiba case in 1987-88. Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk had contributed to the development of programs and tools that the Soviet Union could use for quieter submarine propellers. At the decisive meeting in Washington between the US and Norway, US Assistant Defense Minister Richard Perle wanted to punish Norway, which was then represented by Defense Minister Johan Jørgen Holst, Alf Roar Berg from intelligence and Erik Klippenberg from the Norwegian Defense Research Institute. But the US was also represented by the head of US Naval Intelligence, Bill Studeman. He intervened and said that Norway is responsible for much of the raw intelligence that the US has, including 90 percent of the Soviet submarine signatures that the US Navy has in its archives. It would be a mistake to punish Norway. Perle had to turn around. Berg told me this later (he has also confirmed this report). Studeman subsequently became head of the National Security Agency and deputy head and acting head of the CIA.

Julian Assange

Norway is one of the most important countries for American intelligence, and Norwegians must also know that. It gives us the opportunity to speak directly to Washington. We don't have to lie flat. We can demand that the journalist Julian Assange, who has exposed US war crimes, is set free. In the same way that Carl von Ossietzky exposed Germany's war preparations, Assange exposed America's. The only difference is that Assange's material is so much more extensive and grave than Ossietzky's.

The awarding of the Nobel Prize to Ossietzky "made Hitler and Aftenposten furious", wrote Dagbladet. And a Norwegian support for Assange today, which would have been appropriate, would certainly also have made President Biden and many newspapers "furious". Ossietzky, like Assange, fell ill in prison. But while the Germans allowed Ossietzky to receive treatment in hospital, the British refuse Assange this, as his wife Stella told Norsk PEN's meeting about Assange at the Litteraturhuset in Oslo last year.

The CIA, while Mike Pompeo was in charge, had far-advanced plans to kidnap and kill Assange. This has later been indirectly confirmed by Pompeo. He demanded that everyone from CIA who leaked this information, had to be brought to justice. 175 years in prison is also a penalty that does not exist for journalism in Norway.

Mass murder

Some might say that Nazi Germany cannot be equated with the United States. That is of course correct. Nazi Germany's industrial mass murder of Jews was of a completely different nature than America's industrial mass murder of Asians (Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians). The later mass murders were primarily carried out from the air with bombers, but the number of people killed in both cases was in the millions. Many believed in the 70s that Henry Kissinger, who was largely responsible for this US policy, should have been tried for war crimes. But compared to many leaders in Washington today, Kissinger is to be considered 'a pigeon'. The current elite in Washington is far more willing to go to war, even with nuclear weapons, than Kissinger ever was.

The situation for journalists and researchers has become much worse in recent years. The propaganda sets clear boundaries for what journalists and researchers can and cannot say. What we could previously describe as realpolitik possible is today not even possible to write about. Propaganda dominates the Norwegian public perhaps more than in any other country. The speech space has frozen. We are denied to know what is going on. The Norwegian authorities who could have spoken up are too cowardly, also when it comes to Assange.

Ola Tunander
Ola Tunander
Tunander is Professor Emeritus of PRIO. See also wikipedia, at PRIO: , as well as a bibliography on Waterstone

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