Galtung gets flogged in Norwegian press

Here is a small selection of reactions to Galtungs rants. All, bar a literature and culture festival located at a small hamlet outside Haugesund, condemn Galtung. The festival SILK plans to host Galtung as a main attraction, see bottom of page for translation article in Haugesunds Avis.

Dagbladet , editorial 2012 04 29

FROM A PRINCE OF PEACE TO A PRINCE OF FOGGINESS

Perhaps Johan Galtung is best left unmentioned. Many of his initiatives in recent years have had so strange antecedents it makes silence tempting. Choosing to break the silence; we do it because Galtung for years was a beacon in academia in Norway. His explanations of the world were brilliant and entertaining; often so eccentric Galtung was in the wrong. But if he erred, he erred grandiosely.

This week, however, Galtung took a step away from his former critical stance on the left; to what many regards an inexplicable extreme right wing position. In an article in the periodical of the Human Ethical Association, “Humanist”, [1] Galtung proposes reading the Protocols of the Elder of Zion, an anti-Semite pamphlet in its time concocted by the Czar’s secret police; referring to a Jewish conspiracy to conquer the earth. This pamphlet, a fraud, was employed to instigate pogroms in Russia, and to legitimate the Nazi’s policy towards the Jews in the 1930s and WW2. It is hard to understand Galtung as having stated otherwise than the Protocols description of a conspiracy by the Jews being relevant in our time.

One of Galtung’s characteristics has been to possess an alternate – often provoking – perspective on the world. This January, for instance, he visited Trondheim; where he to the surprise of many students compared Anders Behring Breivik to Jonas Gahr Støre. Galtung stated Støre is suffering from delusions as Breivik does. Støre’s delusion is, according to Galtung, Norway taking part in the war in Afghanistan in order to prevent Islamic terrorism. Galtung stated that Støre has apologized over Norwegian participation in Afghanistan concerning women’s liberation and the fight against narcotics; drawing the conclusion Støre is a proponent of communism and Taliban, as women were freer under communism, and Taliban fight the drug trafficking.

Galtung’s logics exercises is worthy of Holberg.[2]

In his play “Erasmus Montanus”[3], the learned (in his own view) protagonist arrives at his mother, Mor Nille. To her, Erasmus makes this logic exercise:”A stone cannot fly. Mor Nille cannot fly. Therefore, Mor Nille is a stone”. Has Galtung turned into a stone?


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_Humanist_Association

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludvig_Holberg

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_Montanus

LOST AMONG THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Aftenposten 2012 04 28

Halvor Tjønn

Summary.

Long and scathing Op-ed on Johan Galtung’s infamous article in Humanist.

Quotes:

“The protocols of the Elders of Zion being used by Stalin in the Soviet Union in order to justify the Moscow trials and the murders of millions of Russians; in our times being employed by Hamas in the Gaza strip, hardly elevates the respectability of this waste.

Formerly, Galtung has made himself self-glorifying famous over claiming the Al Qaeda is an American invention, “Norwegian sharpshooters in Afghanistan killing Muslims like wild game”; the Nobel committee having perverted the Nobel award through giving it to Liu Xiaobo; finally, in these times of terrorism claiming the PST is “a tool to abolish democracy in Norway”. All these are perfectly legal views to hold in a tolerant climate of debate in Norway. Dispersing anti-Semitism is something quite different”.

THE PROTOCOLS OF GALTUNG

Vårt Land 2012 04 28 p 7, Erling Rimehaug

Summary.

Galtung lampooned.

So to the culture and literature festival at Skudneshavn:

Peace and conflict at SILK

The world-renowned journalist Robert Fisk and peace researcher Johan Galtung are coming to SILK in November.

By:

TRULS HORVEI

PUBLISHED 26.04.2012 19:17

LAST UPDATED 26.04.2012 19:18

KARMØY: – The fact that Robert Fisk is coming to such a small place like  Skudeneshavn is special. We have been in contact with him for long time. He was supposed to be  last year’s guest. Then came the Arab spring, and Fisk’s plans were postponed, festival director  of the Skudeneshavn International Literature and Culture (SILK) Heine Birkeland says.

Robert Fisk (65) is a famous reporter who has traveled around the Middle East for 30 years. As a correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, he has been stationed in Beirut, and covered all the major conflicts in the Middle East. From the civil war in Lebanon to the Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Interviewed bin Laden
Fisk has written several books and has interviewed Osama bin Laden three times.

– NRK reporter Odd Karsten Tveit will interview Fish. They are good friends. The focus will be on the challenges of being a reporter in the war zone in the Middle East, says Birkeland.

The autumn festival runs this year from 1 to 4. november.  the director of the festival hopes that Fisk will participate in the opening ceremony. If all goes according to plan, he will arrive to Skudeneshavn with a brand new book.

Straight talking
Another big name attraction is Johan Galtung. He is considered the founder of peace and conflict research and has extensive international experience. He has received numerous awards for his work.

– Galtung is a straight talker who does not mince his words. With his 80 years, he is still sharp and brilliant, says Birkeland.

This year’s theme for the festival is peace and conflict. Galtung represents the researcher who examines the basis for conflict. Fisk is the observer who regards a conflict from the outside.

– We still don’t know whether we will have a public debate, we are working on several scenarios. In today’s world we see more intervention in conflicts than war between nations. Even in our peaceful country terror struck.

More exciting names
Birkeland said that the festival is working to attract more exciting names. While the focus is on facts and reality, there is room for local authors and events for young readers.There will be close collaboration with the Library and the Cultural Rucksack.

– We have said that we will attract local, national and international names. The festival is a meeting place where writers can meet and draw inspiration from each other. Håvard Rem and Einar Økland lyrics for the Syntax TerrOrkester’s  new project is a result of this, the festival director says.

Last year, 2550 participated in the 40 different SILK events, including those especially targeting local schools.

What is it with these culture people? Have they no decency or notion of ethics? I am sure they closed the deal with Galtung well before this scandal broke, but what is keeping them from canceling it in the aftermath of the strong rebuke and rejection Galtung has received for his schweinerei? What can he possibly have to teach anybody? Extreme right wing nazi propaganda? Extreme left wing hatred of Jews/Israel? Culture, my tuches!

It also does not bode well that Robert Fisk will be interviewed by his good friend Odd Karsten Tveit, neither of whom have been particularly balanced or fair in their coverage of the various ME conflicts (which in their small universe narrows down to one. Israel)

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