One of these allies is Norway, a small country
in northern Europe with approximately 4.5 million inhabitants.
Norway and America have been friends since before America won
its independence, and more Norwegian than any other people,
except the Irish, have immigrated to the United States, when
actual population size is taken into account. Norway received
Marshall Aid after World War II, and was among the first countries
to sign up for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Norway has for a long time relied its national security on
support from America. Because of these close ties, and the
Norway’s own national security is at risk in this election,
it is followed closely by Norwegian media.
The choice is presented to be between the man with the European
temper, John Kerry, and the man with the American temper George
In this case temper refers to the kind of action each candidate
prefers. Kerry is a solemn-looking man who gives the impression
of being a good listener. He wants to revive diplomacy and give
the U.N. the role of world leader. This is something Europeans
Europe is far from homogenous, but what the countries have
in common is a certain political temper. While the United
has existed for some 150 years, these countries have been around
for millennia. They remember their history and take great pride
in it, but it has also made them cautious about making enemies.
For example, the Balkan war in the 1990’s outraged everybody
in Europe. Genocide and concentration camps one hadn’t
been seen since Hitler, and Serbian actions caused a storm of
protests. Something needed to be done, someone needed to do something.
Political pressure mounted, and committees were formed, but time
passed and very little was actually done until America got involved.
The Europeans talk, America acts. That is the saying, and history
proves it right.
More than 90 percent of Norwegian journalists vote for parties
on the far left. This basically means that there are few, if
any, journalists in Norway who are pro-Bush. He is being portrayed,
not just in Norway but in most of Europe, as a less-intelligent,
too-swift decision maker, and something of a loose cannon.
World peace is at stake, the papers are saying, and the Americans
are going to let this dumb guy have his way again. But how dumb
can he really be? How is it possible that both father and son
could be presidents of the last remaining superpower, with a
population of 300 million, if IQ is missing from the gene pool?
Norwegians do not understand why Bush is leading in the election
polls. They have been listening to Michael Moore who gets more
press than the candidates do stands on political issues. To Europeans
Moore’s facts are neither as scandalous nor as new as they
are to Americans. Key numbers have been proven wrong, but the
media keep repeating Moore’s homemade propaganda, and Norwegians
are getting scared. As Americans are frightened by the Bush political
machine raising images of terrorist actions happening before
the election, Norwegians are frightened by the possibility of
a superpower gone wild under George W. Bush.
On this point Kerry has been right, Bush is alienating the
allies from the United States. It is political suicide
for a European
prime minister or president to embrace the Bush administration.
Standing on the same side as the United States is OK, but as
one can see in England before the upcoming election, a certain
distance is considered necessary for reelection.
Unfortunately, an American president does not need embraces
from other world leaders to win an election in America.