Sunday, October 13, 2002

Dale: "Am I Serious?"

Speak of the devil, Bjorn Staerk's responded to my Norway spleen-venting.

First, his historical challenges. The point about the Norwegian Navy is well-taken, but this is a distinctly different issue than the volunteer question. If there's a problem with the volunteer figures, that's the Nuav website's calculations, not mine. It seems like a reasonably well-done website without an axe to grind. However, if anyone shows me that the figures are inaccurate, I'll be happy to remove the reference and the link.

With respect to Norway's struggle in the north, it should be noted that the British began landing troops in central and northern Norway within a week of the German invasion. With all due respect, that, plus the commitment of major Allied naval and air assets, was the reason for the prolonging of the fight there.

Second, to answer his question in a lawyerly fashion, "no" and "yes." "No" in that I don't intend for it to be a blanket condemnation of every single Norwegian, nor indeed to deny Norway's contribution in Afghanistan.

And yet, yes, it is serious because it is part of a broad and growing trend of Western European thought since 9/11, one perfectly in keeping with a decidedly chequered history of responses to totalitarianism. Hence the references to the appeaser/collaborationist background of the target nation of my blog post. Sadly, the same applies (more so) to most nations on the continent. This makes the moral standing of the incessant tedious lectures against the U.S. dubious--to put it mildly.

The Nobel committee is appointed by the Norwegian government, frequently former ministers and parliamentarians. Like Mr. Berge. Consequently, it is not an unreasonable supposition that the Nobel Committee represents mainstream government views. You don't get prestige posts by rocking the boat with your colleagues.

So, when faced with the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize, what do Norway's best and brightest do? Why, they trash the ideals behind the Prize and make a puerile political statement. They attempt to kick America in the shins by giving the award to the most inept, flatfooted moralizer ever to occupy the White House--a man often star-struck by totalitarian regimes. No wonder they like Carter. They share the same interests.

This decision is a perfect example of elite Western European views on the war: at once feckless, relativistic, moralizing and inane. America is again in a death-struggle against totalitarianism and rogue regimes, and the appeasers--epitomized by the Norwegian Nobel Committee--are in full opposition, sniggering at their own cleverness.

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