We used to be a peace-loving nation, or so I’m told, until our current right-wing government aided by the Secretary General of NATO turned our country into the Emperor’s poodle (no offence intended to poodles, believe me).
However, I don’t think we’ve ever been any more peace-loving than the other lot, whoever they are (probably no less, either). After all we’ve been a major arms supplier for years. In 2008, Norway was the world’s fourth largest arms exporter according to Statistics Norway.
Though our importance as a global arms exporter declined somewhat after 2008, our exports to Saudi Arabia and that country’s buddies Kuwait and UAE have risen sharply of late. In fact, our arms exports rose by 33% in 2017 as compared to 2016 (s0urce: NRK August 2018). Interestingly, in terms of “Military weapons, incl. sub-machine guns”, we ranked as the world’s second largest exporter in 2017, according to ITC.
However long our would-be status as a peace-loving nation has been dragged by the Emperor’s chariot through Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, indirectly, also Jemen, we found out a long time ago, maybe as far back as in the Palaeolithic period, that to have friends, you must have enemies; your friends’ enemies. If your friends wish to stop all immigration, you virulently oppose all who take the opposite view, also those who say that well, we cannot let everybody in, but …And vice versa! If you fiercely uphold a position of neutrality in the matter of one war or another, everybody else, on either side, is your enemy.
Now the things that you and your friends strongly dislike make up a disparate bundle, and that is all fine and dandy, and we can all proudly agree that you and I and all our friends are individualist, until we get down to fashions and food (well, perhaps not all that individualist). And as for friends and enemies, if what people wear when we first meet them, and what they eat, doesn’t immediately give away their positions on the issues that matter (music, immigrants, football, climate, computer habits, etc.), we discreetly ask them a few test questions and WAM, they are either in or out, and that’s that.
We don’t shoot enemies anymore, at least not within this realm; we just don’t waste our breath on those who are out. We don’t even shout at them, but treat them quite simply as non-existent, just like our predecessors treated slaves or servants. More’s the pity; we might otherwise learn a thing or two. After all, if two parties differ, one of them is evidently wrong, maybe both, and there may be something to be said for both of the opposing views. Take the Palestine issue, for instance, nobody, not even the Palestinians, have ever maintained that they haven’t made some pretty fatal mistakes, though they don’t agree on just what those mistakes were. And as for the Israeli side, there is absolutely no doubt that as late as in the 1940s, there still seemed absolutely nowhere in the world for Jews to go except to the USA, and even there, anti-Semitism was common.
But no, we don’t listen, we don’t speak, we don’t even shout, we just turn our backs.
So now the horses dragging the chariot are stomping at the borders of Venezuela, while the Emperor and his buddies, Saudi Arabia and Israel are all itching to to get rid of Iran, and his slightly reticent partners of war in NATO are whipping up a hysterical fear of Russia, and boy does the Emperor ever have them in his pocket! Yes, no matter how they smile condescendingly over the Emperor’s antics, they have more or less invited him into their beds: They have been deluded into imagining that Russia is a goblin that will stop at nothing, as opposed to them and their equally morally superior friends, and where will they be without him if Russia decides to gobble up all of Europe?