The US has hit the Norwegian news once again. ‘Wikileaked’ American diplomatic documents paint a decidedly unflattering picture of key Norwegian politicians.
Aftenposten and Svenska Dagbladet have published details of allegations by US diplomats. The officials criticise Norway for its role in the Middle East and meetings with top Iranian politicians, “almost idealistic” belief in dialogue as a way to peace, and improved relations with Leftist countries in Central and South America, as well as Cuba.
Norway is censured for its unwillingness to criticise Russia, opposition to the missile shield, ethical regulation of the Oil Fund, deficient anti-terror laws and capabilities, as well as its pullout from Iraq and the US-British-led operation "Enduring Freedom".
The Americans also accuse Foreign Minister Støre of believing he is “morally superior and smarter than most”, who Washington believes must be told that, “too many unexpected [foreign policy] notions will lead to questions being asked about his credibility”.
Minister Støre claims he is not surprised. At the same time, however, he swears what the diplomats have written is news to him.
A leading Norwegian researcher tells Aftenposten he believes the leaks have already seriously damaged political ties between the US and Norway.
The paper’s articles cover several pages and hardly cement Norwegian-US relations. Nor do they help pull Norwegian opinion out of the woods.
Mr Stoltenberg is described as a man who “likes to portray himself as a youthful and energetic leader, modelled on British (ex) Labour leader [Tony] Blair.”
However, Harald Stanghelle, Aftenposten’s political editor, comments that, “meanwhile, the Americans can be extremely accurate when they describe Norway’s self-righteousness and conviction of their own excellence. Somewhat reluctantly, I must admit they make several good points.”
The US diplomats claim, without a hint of self-reflection, that, “Norwegian political leaders can be so convinced they are right, that they are not capable of understanding someone can think differently than them”.
How do you like them apples?
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