Norway Will Be More Peace Loving Soon

The Land of the Midnight Sun Leaving Operation Odyssey Dawn.

Norwegian Air Force
A Norwegian F-16 fighter jet taking off from Souda Air Base on Crete, bound for an attack on Libyan targets.
Forsvaret/Lars Magne Hovtun
Updating my previous post on Norway's supposed peacefulness, it will end it's participation in bombing Libya in August.

The Norwegian opposition party, which supported the mission at its start - probably believing that its objectives could be reached quickly and easily - is now concerned that there is no end in sight. But all parties' initial support was strong: "Norway was one of the first European states to signal its willingness to implement a UN resolution aimed at protecting Libyan civilians and has six F-16s flying sorties."

Norway (and Denmark) punched well above their military weight by carrying out about 10 percent each of all bombing runs over Libya. Norway just couldn't continue to operate at such a quick pace - flying missions 20 hours a day. This pace was needed because the smaller coalition partners have more limited missions: "Norway is being called upon not least because its fighter jets can be used against all military targets singled out by NATO commanders, as long as civilian life is shielded. Most of the other NATO allies participating in the military intervention have stricter limits on use of their aircraft."

As for the larger mission, on May 10 it was reported: "NATO's official goals are the cessation of all attacks on civilians, the return to their bases of all forces threatening civilians, and a guarantee of unhindered humanitarian access to all Libyans in need. But those goals have yet to be achieved, and impatience among some NATO members regarding the military action in Libya appears to be setting in."

Seven weeks later, it's pretty much the same thing, except NATO's unofficial goal of regime change is now admitted, if only in private. And the coalition keeps getting a little less willing - Italy being the latest country to make noise about pulling out.

PS Those five Norwegians should be even more embarrassed now.

UPDATE: So, the long, hard slog in Libya is over for Norway. Sort of:
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that Norwegian fighters flew 596 of the 6,125 missions by NATO in total so far, dropping 542 bombs and clocking up around 2,000 hours of flight time over a four month period.

Ten Norwegian staff officers will remain involved in the operations, where they may continue working on the selection of bombing targets.

You Sellout!

Chris Hedges responds to the haters.

Liberal SelloutThere was typical blowback to Cornel West's truth about power quotes published from an interview with Chris Hedges. Unfortunately, some of it was about a fairly innocuous passage that wasn't at all the focus of the piece.
“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West says. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.
Is that so wrong? Many people thought so. Joan Walsh and Jonathan Capehart are ones I've seen. (There is little Kansas in Obama's mother, and therefore none in Barack himself.)

But back to the substance. Hedges replies to the criticism, "Why Liberal Sellouts Attack Prophets Like Cornel West". It opens:
The liberal class, which attempted last week to discredit the words my friend Cornel West spoke about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, prefers comfort and privilege to justice, truth and confrontation. Its guiding ideological stance is determined by what is most expedient to the careers of its members. It refuses to challenge, in a meaningful way, the decaying structures of democracy or the ascendancy of the corporate state. It glosses over the relentless assault on working men and women and the imperial wars that are bankrupting the nation. It proclaims its adherence to traditional liberal values while defending and promoting systems of power that mock these values.The pillars of the liberal establishment—the press, the church, culture, the university, labor and the Democratic Party—all honor an unwritten quid pro quo with corporations and the power elite, as well as our masters of war, on whom they depend for money, access and positions of influence. Those who expose this moral cowardice and collaboration with corporate power are always ruthlessly thrust aside.
BAM! That'll leave a mark.
By extolling the power of the state as an agent of change, as well as measuring human progress through the advances of science, technology and consumption, liberals abetted the cult of the self and the ascendancy of the corporate state. The liberal class placed its faith in the inevitability of human progress and abandoned the human values that should have remained at the core of its activism. The state, now the repository of the hopes and dreams of the liberal class, should always have been seen as the enemy. The destruction of the old radical and militant movements—the communists, socialists and anarchists—has left liberals without a source of new ideas. The link between an effective liberal class and a more radical left was always essential to the health of the former. The liberal class, by allowing radical movements to be dismembered through Red baiting and by banishing those within its ranks who had moral autonomy, gradually deformed basic liberal tenets to support unfettered capitalism, the national security state, globalization and permanent war. Liberalism, cut off from the radical roots of creative and bold thought, merged completely with the corporate power elite. The liberal class at once was betrayed and betrayed itself. And it now functions like a commercial brand, giving a different flavor, face or spin to the ruthless mechanisms of corporate power. This, indeed, is the primary function of Barack Obama.
Have you read anything like this in the supposedly liberal lame-stream media? Nope. Read it.