Please forgive my failure to comment on Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s continued rise to power, as it’s all been according to plan, and I honestly wouldn’t dream of expecting a different outcome.
Any attempt to concentrate power to one out of three branches of government must be opposed vehemently.
So sorry. I just couldn’t help myself:
Since the current U.S. president took office, we have witnessed a very special White House conduct towards the press, not least when he declared the press an enemy of all Americans the other day – and, of course, yesterday, prompting me to pose the following question, which I hope you find the time to answer:
Granted CNN wasn’t the only news outlet to be excluded from yesterday’s White House press briefing*. Seeing, however, that I used to work for said network (and a red heart’s colour so matches its logo), I thought it only natural to feature it.
*The list includes The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, BBC and the Guradian, among others.
Like most Europeans we Norwegians care deeply for America, in fact so much so that our reluctance to join the European Union is in part justified — and explained — by our close US relations, more or less obviating other alliances. And that, dear reader, is no exaggeration.
While it is no secret that this blogger finds closer ties to the EU, materialised in a full membership, preferable, I, too, care for America, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, brought up with American products, heroes, artists and culture as we are, as well as a loyal US and NATO ally, since the alliance’s formation.
Also, since long before Russia’s President Putin started rattling his sabers, one has been an avid advocate for the reinforcement of the North Atlantic alliance and, therefore, our ties to the United States.
Nowadays, however, we’re simply afraid, and this blogger is no exception, with a deep care for America converted to the deepest fear for America — or, rather, for its president. Of course our ridicule is motivated by his ridiculous statements and, some times, appearance, but underneath lies layer upon layer of deep fear, knowing full well that we have indeed seen political madmen in our near past, of whom some even advocating politics very similar to the ones presented by the current US President.
In other words our fear, in spite of our obvious care, should come as no surprise.
I am aware that many would argue that there’s a huge difference between the two above depicted dictators and this here man:
But you really shouldn’t be surprised if some of us beg to differ. Especially considering the emerging and, in part already existing, political climate he inspires:
Consider then, dear American readers (of whom I actually have quite a few), that we fancied ourselves your ally in the battle against authoritarian leaders, such as this gentleman:
And I’m sure you will agree that following Russia’s example may not be the best way to go about just that challenge.
Be that as it may, we still care deeply for America, but I hope you understand why it is that some of that care may easily be replaced by fear, if you would be so kind as to excuse the rhyme (in the headline, too).
My approach is very simple, really: We should aspire to a civilised world, not one led by hooligans. Is that too much to ask?
On a lighter note, though, seeing as we do so love American culture:
Top photo: Dark times. Blogger’s illustration.
Having spent around a decade fervently warning against Russian president Vladimir Putin’s master plan, it is something of a relief to see that even the mainstream media have gradually come to realise what’s been going on, even if they perceive it as an outcome of recent events, establishing some sort of consensus that the objective is to destabilise and, ultimately, disintegrate Europe, leaving the northern hemisphere with only two really influential powers; Russia and America – among whom the latter currently under the influence of the former.
Concluding that a strong Europe is the best preventive action isn’t rocket science, and yet we’re left with no option but to witness the UK’s departure, possibly followed by other countries, depending on whether or not nationalist parties emerge victorious in this year’s European elections.
Of course you may object that it’s easy for a citizen of a non-member country, such as my own, to call for a European consolidation, even if I’ve championed a Norwegian EU membership since the age of ten (which amounts to approximately 45 years), but remain cautiously optimistic that the non-nationalist parties will prevail in this year’s general election, luckily to be held in September, at which point I would hope Norwegian voters will have had ample time to witness Putin, Trump, Le Pen, Petry and Wilder’s frenzied attempts at destroying European unity.
There is, of course, a distinct possibility that they like what they see, considering that nationalist tendencies are palpable, also in Norway – especially among the Progress Party, the Centre Party and the Socialist Left Party supporters, eagerly resisting a Norwegian EU membership, among whom the rural, energetically anti EU Centre Party just made a formidable leap forward in recent polls.
Voters able to see beyond narrow-minded self-interests, on the other hand, may conclude that the ongoing Russo-American race to tear Europe apart, with the aid of European nationalists, needs to be met with a firm support of the European Union.
The obvious approach would be for Norwegian voters to not only support EU friendly parties, but to demand resumed membership negotiations – if Europe will have us, that is (it wouldn’t surprise me if they decline, seeing as two former applications already failed, due to discouraging referendum outcomes).
At any rate it is time to reinforce European unity as a countermeasure against the emerging nationalism – and a world lead by a through and through non-democratic Sino-Russian-American trio, accompanied by the Erdoğan regime in the Middle East.
If not I’m afraid we may as well abandon all hope.
Top illustration: EU flag. Blogger’s own painting.
For about a week or so the Nedtegnelser blog has been all about utter non-sense – or quick visual posts with perhaps a deeper meaning, but with an air of apparent indifference, which is all-too true, I’m afraid, as the political posts have been modest attempts at contributing to the prevention of certain developments, rather than moaning over them in retrospect.
Which would explain the blog’s incessant attention to this merry band of nationalists in particular:
While a warm defender og western values, I can see no reason why I should defend the attitudes and actions of the western world’s most powerful leader. Of course, that is so because he’s everything but a champion of western values. In short, when ever a leader, or any politician, for that matter, show strongman or national and isolationist tendencies there’s much cause for alarm.
So far we’ve seen them succeed, which may very well be all it takes to bring about dark times the likes of which we haven’t seen for over 70 years, but their European henchmen aren’t about to stop, in what we know to be a crucial election year for Europe:
No rest for the wicked
Leaving yours truly – and, hopefully, you – with no option but to carry on. Chances are we’ll lose this battle, too, but shouldn’t use that as an excuse to relax. The battle may be lost, but the war?
Which is where I’m compelled to recite Norwegian poet Arnulf Øverland’s (1889–1968) 1936 anti-fascist poem Dare not to sleep (translated to
English American by Lars-Toralf Storstrand):
I was awakened one morning, by the quaintest of dreams
‘twas like a voice, spoken to me
It sounded afar – like an underground stream,
I rose and said: Why do you call me?
Dare not to slumber! Dare not to sleep!
Dare not believe, it was merely a dream!
Yore I was judged.
The gallows were built in the court this evening,
They’ll come for me — 5’ in the morning
This dungeon is teeming,
And barracks stand dungeon by dungeon
we lie here, awaiting, in cold cells of stone,
We lie here, we rot, in these murky holes.
We know not ourselves, what does lie ahead
Who will be the next one they’ll reach for.
We moan and we shriek: But do you take heed?
Is there none among you who’ll hearken?
No one can see us,
None know what befalls us.
None will believe – what the day will bring us!
And then You defy: This dare not be true!
That men can be utterly evil.
There has to be some one with merits pure
Oh, brother, you still have a great deal to learn
They said: You will give your life, if commanded
We’ve given it now, for naught it was handed
The world has forgotten, we’ve all been deceived
Dare not to sleep in this hour – this eve.
You oughtn’t go to your business hence,
Or think: What’s your loss – or what is your gain?
You oughtn’t attribute your fields and your kine,
Nor say you’ve enough – with all that is thine.
You oughn’t abide, sitting calm in your home
Saying: Dismal it is, poor they are, and alone
You cannot permit it! You dare not, at all.
Accepting that outrage on all else may fall!
I cry with the final gasps of my breath:
You dare not repose, nor stand and forget
Pardon them not – they know what they do!
They breathe on hate-glows, and evil pursue,
They fancy to slay, they revel with cries,
Their desire is to gloat, when our world is at fire!
In blood they are yearning to drown one and all!
Don’t you believe it? You’ve heard the call!
You know how infants will soldiers remain,
While dashing through streets, fields, chanting ‘bout pain
Aroused by their mothers‘ assurance of glory
They’ll shelter their land – and they’ll never worry
You know the fatality of the lies,
that glory and faith and honor abides
You discern the dauntless dreams of a child,
A saber, a banner, he’ll flaunt them so wild,
And then they’ll leave home for a rainfall of steel,
‘Till last they hang ragged on barbed wire will,
Decaying for Hitler’s Aryan call,
That is what a man’s for – after all…
I couldn’t imagine – too late now it is
My sentence is just: The verdict’s no miss
I believed in prosperity, dreamt about peace
In labor and fellowship; love’s fragrant kiss
Yet those who don’t die on the battlefield,
Their heads for the axeman, will certainly yield
I cry in the gloom – if only you’d knew
There is but one thing – befitting to do
Defend yourself, while your hands are still yearning,
Protect your offspring – Europe is burning.
I shook from the chill. To dress, up I rose
Without stars were shining, so far, yet so close
‘twere simply a brilliant ray in the east,
Admonishing warning from the dream that just ceased
The day that soared up from earths furthermost strand
Augmenting with blood — and with firebrand
It grew with terror – like a breath that was lost
It seemed like the starlight – was slain by the frost.
I weighed: Something is imminent – and it’s dire
Our era is over — Europe’s on fire!
Ringing truer today than at any given time after WW2. While Russia, Turkey and America are lost, for the time being at any rate, I’ll have to carry on, then, incessantly as ever, and to those among you who have simply had enough of my restless ramblings:
Top illustration: Norwegian, now mostly dismantled, Soldiers of Odin marching. Blogger’s drawing.
You may ask yourself how the German Nazi party managed to rise to autocratic power, in spite of democratic branches of government in place, following Adolf Hitler’s 5 March 1933 federal election victory.
Considering current events, my immediate answer would simply be:
I think I will leave U.S. madman/strongman Donald J. Trump be for now, seeing as there’s precious little any of us can do to counter or alleviate the outcome of his political rampage, for the time being, except, maybe, to reconsider our relations with his nationalist regime.
Granted this blogger never really thought it would come to this, putting all my trust in the U.S. checks and balances arrangement, put in place to secure that no single branch of government oversteps its mandate.
Except with a Congress in perfect alignment with The White House – and a president firing members of his administration for “insubordination”, after just a week and a half – that really doesn’t matter much, does it? Which is probably why we have yet to see The Capitol meddle with the would-be dictator’s ongoing frenzy.
So much for checks and balances, then. So now what, Europe? Maybe we’d better resign in acceptance of Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders and Frauke Petry’s rise to power, for all I know – and come to terms with the clearly undeniable fact that human kind is essentially evil* to the core.
After all, with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and America’s Donald Trump already in place, what difference would it really make?
I really don’t know any more, but I can tell you this much: Some people’s faith in a grass root uprising is charming, however futile. Entire countries, governments included, will have to oppose this in order to bring it to a halt.
Photo: Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. U.S.A. Photographer: M. Fitzsimmons/Wikimedia Commons.
*Based on the assertion that stupidity is the very foundation of evil.