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Norway and Vietnam

Kjell Cordtsen
Cordsen was previously editor of Orientering, and included in the name change to New Time in 1975.
NATO / Only after many years can the parties come together on something resembling a protest against US warfare. To be honest, we are not very impressed.

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

Today, only Morgenbladet and the extreme right dare to defend the United States in Vietnam. But it has not always been this way.

It is not more than six years since the Labor Party's central board defended the US presence in a cunning procedure. The US government "was bound by its obligations to South Vietnam". At the time, the president had also generously agreed to a temporary ceasefire "without the other side showing signs of wanting to negotiate". The central board therefore went into the field against the cross-party solidarity committee for Vietnam. "The central board does not believe that it serves the cause of peace to take sides for one of the parties".

We allow ourselves to be reminded of this now that, after many long years, after eight million tons of bombs over Indochina, between 80 and 100 million liters of poison over forest areas and crops – and with 4,5 million killed and seriously wounded – and ten million forcibly displaced, can finally gather into something resembling a protest against US warfare.

We are happy about this national manifestation – but, to be honest, we are not very impressed.

As early as 1966, "autogenflame-hating atheists like Sara Lidman" (Morgenbladet's characteristic) wrote what nice Christians of the type Lars Korvald does not yet dare to say, and as Olof Palme is praised for, unlike Korvald, has said.

But Palme is not a writer. He is prime minister, and prime ministers and other "responsible" people are clearly not expected to hear the truth.

In any case, a great many monsters are impressed when a politician says what decent people have known and said for years. This is how far we have come. Or rather: so far de come, the politicians, and especially our NATO politicians who have actually swallowed the unbelievable.


Today Arbeiderbladet [Today: Dagsavisen] can write:

"During World War II, Vietnam was occupied by the Japanese. In 1945, other occupied peoples could rejoice in peace and freedom – the two words that contain a world of happiness. But the Vietnamese got neither peace nor freedom. The French colonial troops returned. The fight against the oppressors continued".

It really says: The fight against the oppressors. But in the 50s Arbeiderbladet and its government could express "their wholehearted admiration" for the same oppressors and in the NATO Council state "that the resistance of the free nations in South-East Asia as in Korea is in the deepest harmony with the aims and ideals of the Atlantic community" .

Yes, it has been a long time. But it was not long ago that Finn Gustavsen was attacked in the Storting by representatives of all parties for "anti-Americanism" and for "spreading venom and enmity against the United States", as Rakel Seweriin (A) put it, when he presented the facts about the United States which today is widely recognized far into the bourgeois parties.

Nor has it been more than five years Orientering as the only Norwegian newspaper to bring reports from the Russell Tribunal in Stockholm – a commission that came to form a pattern for a comprehensive and systematic investigation of war criminals in Indochina.

As NATO politicians, they are, on the contrary, interested in obscuring America's character as an imperialist superpower

We think many people could benefit from being reminded of this. The protests are still low-key and hesitant – neither Bratteli nor Korvald will place the responsibility unilaterally on the US. As NATO politicians, on the contrary, they are interested in obscuring the United States' character as an imperialist great power that not only threatens Vietnam, but also helps to oppress the masses of people in Latin America, and support fascist regimes in the NATO countries of Greece, Turkey and Portugal.

The important thing, however, is that public opinion has allowed itself to be moved, and that it has slowly driven the politicians along.

A not inconsiderable encouragement at the start of a new political year.

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