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Norway's Blessing of a War Lover

He is responsible for millions of dead. Now Henry Kissinger will bask in the brilliance of the Nobel Prize.


The day after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, the war hawk Henry Kissinger will give a talk at a closed meeting in Norway for 500 selected guests. Kissinger is one of the main responsible for millions of Asians being killed during the Vietnam War – yet he has been invited to Norway by the Nobel Institute and the University of Oslo (UiO).

The 10. December, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos receives this year's Peace Prize in Oslo City Hall. The brutal conflict in Colombia that has lasted for over 50 years has cost at least 220 000 human life. Over five million people became internally displaced because of the fighting between guerrillas, paramilitary death squads and the government army.

Santos receives this year's Peace Prize for his efforts to end the bloody civil war. Although, in my opinion, the FARC guerrilla should have shared the award with Colombia's president, there is every reason to light the peace torches for President Santos.

More startling is that the newly formed Nobel Peace Prize Forum Oslo has invited Henry Kissinger to Oslo at the same time as Santos. He will give a talk on "world peace after the US presidential election". The Nobel Institute's director Olav Njølstad says they are "very proud" to have met with Henry Kissinger. Rector Ole Petter Ottersen at the University of Oslo says he is very pleased with the cooperation that has now begun with the Nobel Institute. In fact, this is an incomprehensible view from the university's principal.

Nobel War Prize. What also makes this visit and this invitation extra tasteless, is that the event is placed in connection with the award ceremony. There is little remembrance of peace when Kissinger's political merits and bloody history are to be summed up. Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize with North Vietnam's Foreign Minister Le Duc Tho in 1973. Then the US and Kissinger had bombed and bombed in Asia. This is one of the most shameful awards in the history of the Nobel Committee. Two of the committee members, Helge Rognlien and Einar Hovdhaugen, resigned in protest. Le Duc Tho refused to come to Norway to accept the prize. Kissinger didn't come either. His award was received by the then US Ambassador to Oslo Thomas R. Byrne.

The award was sensational even far beyond the committee's ranks. The New York Times renamed the Peace Prize to the "Nobel War Prize". The American singer Tom Lehrer exclaimed: "Political satire became superfluous on the day Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Peace Prize." Four million Asians were killed while Kissinger was a security adviser and secretary of state to President Richard Nixon. Around 100 Cambodians lost their lives when Kissinger's bombers attacked. The terrorist bombing laid the groundwork for the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot's crimes.

Birth defects. I have a personal and emotional relationship with Kissinger's bestial actions. During the Vietnam War, the United States sprayed the country's rice fields and other cultivation areas agent Orange – a chemical that killed all life on Vietnam's arable land. As a result, as many as 500 children were born with major birth defects. They were blind and without arms and legs. Many were so badly injured that they could never have a dignified life. In 000, in the northern part of Vietnam, I visited one of the hospitals that treated and kept the injured "orange children". A nurse showed me around. She stopped at a bed. There lay a child without eyes and without the ability to speak. She said one sentence: “They were some animals. The killers! ”

For four years, I covered Chile as NRK's ​​Latin America correspondent. Up close, I saw and portrayed the brutality of dictator Augusto Pinochet. Thousands died, tens of thousands were tortured and hundreds of thousands fled the country in exile. The US backed the coup with weapons, money and plans. Kissinger was one of the chief architects. He said: "I cannot understand that we should stand watching a country become communist because of an irresponsible people. This is far too serious for Chilean voters to decide for themselves. ”

This is the man whom the Nobel Institute and UiO are looking forward to getting to Oslo. This is the warrior who should bask in the brilliance of the Nobel Prize. It's a shame.

Erling Borgen
Erling Borgen
Journalist and documentary filmmaker.

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