When a sculptor thinks of making a statue to political hypocrisy in international affairs, Norway is undoubtedly the model to be used. The Scandinavian country on the one hand hosts negotiations and dialogues in which it supposedly acts as mediator and annually awards the Nobel Peace Prize, while at the same time, as a member of NATO, it participates in all the outrages that the United States feels like doing anywhere on the planet, sowing war, destruction and death.
Por Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
In relation to the Nobel Peace Prize, beyond the real worth of some of its winners, everyone knows that its award is due to political calculations that result in the insertion of Norway and its foreign policy on the planet. In other words, the prize can be used as a battering ram for aggressive European and NATO policy. How else can it be understood that it has been awarded to notorious murderers who have caused the pain of millions of people? In this sense, one can point to the ignominy of peace being associated with, for example, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger, Menachem Begin, Frederick de Clerck, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Barack Obama, and Juan Manuel Santos, among others. In the latter case, the political calculation reached such a level that even contrary to the Prize’s own practice, it was not awarded to the two negotiating parties, but only to one of them. Only Norway’s ignominy could make such a nonsense possible.
It should be remembered that in this area Alfred Nobel’s will stated that “…a fund should be constituted, the interest of which shall be distributed each year in the form of prizes to those who during the preceding year have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of existing armies and for the conclusion or promotion of peace processes”. The prize should be awarded only to those who have always devoted themselves to the promotion of peace, not to those who wage war and when they are defeated or fail to defeat the enemy, are forced to negotiate as a consequence of the repudiation their actions impose on the majority of the world’s inhabitants.
The reason why Norway and the Nobel Foundation have transformed the prize into a political instrument is perhaps due to the sale of its assets to the oil sector, as announced by the Stockholm-based organisation’s new director Vidar Helgesen in an interview with Swedish radio SR. With this decision, the Nobel Foundation continues to “sell its soul to the devil” as it has indirectly held stakes in the arms, tobacco and non-renewable energy industries for several years, in contravention of Nobel’s own will and the spirit of the Prize.
As a pristine expression of its warmongering will, Norway has sent Jens Stoltenberg to take over as Secretary General of NATO, the world’s largest terrorist organisation. In the build-up to the current political, military, economic and diplomatic conflict that NATO has unleashed in Europe, Stoltenberg has led the way from its very inception.
As early as June last year, in an interview for the German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Stoltenberg announced that he saw cooperation between China and Russia as a threat to the West and a serious challenge to NATO. In response, the Norwegian’s response was aimed at strengthening cooperation with countries in the Pacific region, adding that China’s rise represents “a fundamental shift in the global balance of power”. In this regard, he said that in relation to Russia, NATO intended to continue with its strategy of “containment and dialogue”. What a dialogue!
This decision makes clear NATO’s willingness to expand globally, in the first instance by moving threateningly close to Russia’s borders, but also by extending its presence in other regions of the world such as the Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean.
In this context, in December 2021, during a visit by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to Brussels, Stoltenberg affirmed that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would continue its eastward expansion, despite Russia’s protests, recalling that the Alliance had invited North Macedonia and Montenegro to join the organisation.
In the same vein, on 5 April, during a press conference, the Norwegian claimed that NATO needed to expand cooperation with its partners in the Asia-Pacific region, arguing that China had not condemned Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
In the same way, NATO made its presence felt in Latin America and the Caribbean, not only through the illegal occupation of the Falkland Islands where it has introduced nuclear weapons, but also through the designation of Colombia, first as an extra-continental partner of the Alliance in 2017 and more recently since December 2021 as a global partner, which gives the government of the Latin American country an endorsement to continue violating human rights, maintain impunity for the daily murders and massacres against social leaders, human rights promoters and ex-combatants under the peace agreement; As well as carrying out sap work to destroy Latin American and Caribbean integration by violating the agreement reached in January 2014 at the Second Summit of CELAC in Havana, in which Latin America and the Caribbean was declared a zone of peace. Likewise, in such a condition, the Colombian government, sending messages to its masters in the North, has squandered all kinds of anti-Russian rhetoric in order to “seek a little corner on their altars” as Silvio says.
This decision is a clear expression of Norwegian duplicity and falsehood, which on the one hand acted as a “facilitator” of the talks between the government of that country and the FARC guerrillas, while at the same time granting a bailout to that same administration in order to transform Colombia into the main instrument for unleashing military aggression and generating regional conflicts in accordance with the interests of the United States and NATO. This follows the tradition started by Juan Manuel Santos, who as defence minister ordered a military invasion of Ecuador in 2008, afterwards receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 as president.
In a recent interview Stoltenberg claimed that NATO had never made a promise of eastward expansion. But the German magazine Der Spiegel in its 18 February edition released a confidential document confirming that NATO broke promises not to expand. The magazine described Stoltenberg’s version as “questionable”.
The document, found in the British National Archives by US political scientist Joshua Shifrinson, gives details of a meeting between the foreign ministers of Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and France in the German city of Bonn on 6 March 1991 to discuss the security of Poland and other Eastern European countries. The letter notes that there was unanimous agreement that NATO membership for Eastern European countries was “unacceptable”.
At an earlier meeting in 1990 involving the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), the German Democratic Republic (GDR), France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States to discuss the final agreement on Germany’s future, which was signed in Moscow later that year, the parties expressed the view that coalition expansion should be limited.
For its part, the German government was explicit in explaining to the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand either formally or informally to the east,” according to Raymond Seitz, the US representative at the meeting, as quoted in a document published by Der Spiegel.
The information adds to that obtained from other classified files which state that then US Secretary of State James Baker gave his Soviet counterpart, Eduard Shevardnadze, “firm assurances” that “NATO jurisdiction or forces would not move eastwards”. On a visit to Moscow in February 1990, Baker was even more explicit in stating that the alliance would not move “one inch to the east”. A day afterwards, on 10 February, Germany’s own Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl repeated the same pledge to Gorbachev, stating: “We believe that NATO should not expand the sphere of its activity. We have to find a reasonable solution. I understand correctly the security interests of the Soviet Union”.
It is clear from the above that the Norwegian official has lied with impunity in order to pursue the aggressive and expansive policy that characterises NATO and has been the direct cause of the current conflict in Ukraine.
NATO’s support for Ukraine in order to provoke Russia and unleash a war that Moscow pre-empted has been going on for some time. Stoltenberg himself, during a press conference a day before the meeting of the heads of state of the warmongering alliance, acknowledged that: “NATO allies have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops since 2014”. Likewise, so that there would be no doubt about his expansionist and interventionist project during his speech at the Munich Security Conference in February this year, in a crude attempt to intimidate Russia and the world, he assured that the budget of the Atlantic Alliance had increased by 270 billion dollars since 2014, coincidentally when the Western coup d’état in Ukraine took place.
While deceiving with a supposedly pacifist vocation, Norway, hand in hand with NATO, is preparing daily to play a leading role in the wars that the Alliance is preparing around the world, especially assuming its mission as NATO’s southern flank and the European country with the largest number of kilometres of border with Russia.
In this context, the Alliance is stockpiling armour, artillery and logistical equipment inside the Norwegian caves, according to US Navy Colonel William Bentley, who said: “Any equipment deployed in advance reduces costs and in turn accelerates our ability to support operations in times of crisis, so we can begin to prepare to use the equipment, which is already in place, to respond to any crisis that may exist. The cave complex, which NATO has been using since 1981, is staffed by 100 Norwegian and US personnel and contains enough equipment to support 15,000 Marine Corps personnel, according to Magnus Nordenman, director of the Transatlantic Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
In a continuation of its war-mongering activity, Norway sent 4,000 anti-tank missiles and various types of protective and other military equipment to Ukraine. Similarly, on Wednesday, April 20, Norway’s own Minister of Defence, Bjorn Arild Gram, announced his government’s decision to provide Ukraine with the Mistral air defence system. In a communiqué from that office, it was reported that about 100 missiles have already been sent to Kiev.
Here is the pearl that establishes the character of these guys and this government: in the communiqué, the defence office makes it known that: the Norwegian Armed Forces plan to replace this type of air defence, and therefore, its supply to Ukraine “will not have a major impact on the national operational capability”. Norway’s “gift” to Ukraine is verified because – according to the same statement: “The missile will be phased out by the Norwegian Armed Forces, but it remains a modern and effective weapon that will be of great benefit to Ukraine”. In other words, they are sending to Ukraine a weapon that they no longer use and are scrapping.
Elsewhere, in the expansion of the conflict area, on 23 April the Norwegian frigate Fridtjof Nansen arrived in the port of Trieste in Italy as part of the US Navy strike group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, afterwards conducting naval manoeuvres in the northern Adriatic Sea.
This unbridled deployment of resources by the Norwegian armed forces is curious, when only four months ago, in January this year, the Norwegian military began forcing its personnel, both men and women, to return used underwear when they finish their military service, according to the Norwegian State Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). Thus, the Norwegian High Command asked servicemen and women to return – in addition to their equipment – the pants, panties, bras and socks provided to be washed and reused by new recruits after their service is over. This is the miserable attitude of a government and an armed forces that imposes absurd restrictions on its soldiers while it wastes billions of dollars on weapons, waging wars all over the world on the tail of the United States. Not even the armed forces of the world’s poorest country would do that, out of basic respect for human dignity.
But unsurprisingly, every lackey has his reward. Norway’s government has decided to appoint Stoltenberg to the post of Governor of the Executive Board of the country’s central bank, a post he will take up at the end of his term in the Atlantic Alliance on 30 September. Every man for himself!