The Russians are coming – climate policy is global political defense policy

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Greenland are central to the defense of NATO member states.

Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is visiting Helsinki, and it is expected that he will have “big news” at his press conference in Finland, NATO’s newest member state. It is likely that he will somehow twist Turkey’s arm so that Sweden can become the newest NATO member country, writes Desiree Ohrbeck. Archive photo : Lehtikuva

“If the Russians invade, you must come over here as soon as possible.” This is what my grandmother wrote home to her mother in Copenhagen in the early 1950s. My maternal grandmother, Else Marie, married a US Air Force Sergeant, Forest Edgar Rhodes, after World War II and traveled with him to Texas, where he was from.

I have transcribed the letters she sent to her mother from 1948-1956. It is a time capsule that sets the mood for the Cold War rhetoric that characterized the time. And that’s the rhetoric I thought of when I read the article ” Arctic Risks Loom Large as Blinken Tours Nato’s North ” in The New York Times yesterday.

Russia is not only at war with Ukraine; the country is at war with most of Europe and with the United States, who sends military equipment to Ukraine. Further, Russia is not only a huge power in Eastern Europe, the country is a power factor in the Nordic region as well as in the Arctic region. They have indicated that it wants to make the Arctic region its “fifth military district”. In other words, a tiny country like Denmark, largely because Greenland is a Danish territory, is an important strategic and geographical player on a stage that may look dystopian in the coming years.

Global warming is melting the icecaps and opening new routes for trade – and for the territorial expansion ambitions of military superpowers. Russia has intentions of dominating the Nordic region, and China aspires to gain resources and create a new Arctic silk route by trying to buy ports in Finland and mines in Greenland. It was, among other things, in response to this, Trump wanted to buy Greenland.

We will not see the Chinese arriving to Europe in small dingy boats in Southern Europe, but with huge icebreakers via the Arctic.

All this leads to the conclusion, that it is not solely because of the war in Ukraine that Finland and Sweden will be important NATO state members.

Today, Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is in Norway meeting with other NATO members. He is also visiting Helsinki, Finland, NATO´s newest member state member. It is expected that he will have “big news” at his press conference in the country on Friday. I wonder if he has come up with a way to twist Turkey’s arm so that Sweden can become the newest NATO member country?

I remember the fear of the Cold War era as a child in the 1980s. Russia could at any point “press the button”. So could the United States. I remember the knot in my stomach when my mother took me and my younger siblings to protest in a small suburb of Aarhus.

Cold War rhetoric is back. As the ice melts, the icy winds of a new Cold War blow. Military planning and access to resources is the focal point.

Russia has nuclear-armed submarines, an air force, its Nordic fleet, and nuclear missiles close to the Finnish border. In response to Russia’s aggression, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland have decided to share air forces. That means that they now have an air fleet larger than both England’s and France’s.

Perhaps it is the military threat from Russia that will finally make decision makers take global warming seriously and understand that it is a matter of life or death – whether it be from a military threat or from melting poles?

Russerne kommer – klimapolitik er storpolitisk forsvarspolitik

Danmark, Norge, Sverige, Finland – og Grønland er centrale i forsvaret af Nato-medlemslande.

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A multipolar world order does not benefit democracy. But that is the new world order

The world order as we have known it since the Second World War has changed. What does this mean for global alliances?

Today, after twelve years of exclusion, Syria’s dictator and war criminal Bashar al-Assad was welcomed back into the Arab League. In his address he said that we live in a world characterized by “multi polarity” and that Syria will always be part of the Arab countries but must be allowed to govern domestically without interference. The statement rings somewhat hollow when more than twelve million people are internally and externally displaced, Assad repeatedly has used chemical weapons on his own population, and that thousands of political opponents have been thrown in prisons. Furthermore, powers such as Russia and Iran has aided Assad to stay in power. The US has troops in the country to fight ISIS, and UN peacekeeping forces are also in the country.

” Multi polarity.” I heard the term at a panel discussion titled “A World of Trouble” at a local library in Seattle the other day. Here, experts in China, diplomacy, Russia, and the Middle East talked about the world order of today. If I had hoped to come away with peace of mind, I was mistaken.

Democracies around the world are not only under pressure, they are in decline. A majority of world’s leaders are not interested in the democratic world order that the West, led by the United States, has been working towards since the Second World War. Moreover, internally in the US there is a growing resistance to being dominant on the world leading stage. In other words, we are facing a new world order.

The post WWII order no longer works. We are looking into a multipolar future that creates alliances and connections different from traditionally value-based ones. It is not a realistic assumption that powers with huge population groups, such as China, will submit to the principles that a democratic minority feels called to push and demand in order to cooperation and alliances.

India, which considers itself a democracy, buys oil from Russia. Turkey, a NATO member state houses rich Russian oligarchs and issues Turkish passports to them if they invest in real estate. China has imperialist aspirations and is expanding with artificial islands and influencing new territories, including Africa. South Africa speaks warmly in favor of Putin. Every now and then, we see cracks within the European alliance, especially from Germany and France. In the Middle East, support for the US and the West is generally minimal, and the region is facing an economic crisis. An economy in free fall will cause millions to migrate – towards Europe. The current European Muslim population and future Muslim immigration will have an impact on the adherence to democracies and democratic alliances in the near future.

The world order is changing. Democracies versus autocracies. In that battle, democracies will lose – and they are aware of it. New alliances must therefore be formed. But what do we base them on, and how do we define which undemocratic camels can be swallowed and which are unacceptable when finding new partners? I grew up with a world order that is based on fighting for democratic forms of government – through the power of leading by example and by military means. What we are facing is inevitable, but for someone who grew up during the cold war era this change feels unpleasant and uncertain.

Alliances are still relevant – for our safety. But wishing for a worldwide Western ideal of democracy spreading across the world is unrealistic. A multilateral approach is necessary, the unilateral one is obsolete. It has not worked for the US for decades. One just needs to take a look at the coup in Iran, the Iraq war and the developments in Lebanon to see proof of this.

So, if the future consists of regional powers, authoritarian forms of government will merge. If so, the future for democracy looks even bleaker than it is now.

En multipolar verdensorden gavner ikke demokratiet. Men den er måske vejen frem

Verdensordenen som vi har kendt den siden Anden Verdenskrig har ændret sig. Hvad betyder det for globale alliancer?

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Spreadsheets do not offer sustainable, innovative solutions

Implementing sustainable solutions require trust in authorities, something America can learn from the Nordic countries.

Last Thursday, I spent the day with the Danish ambassador to the United States, Christina Marcus Lassen, the Governor of my state Washington, Jay Inslee, and numerous c-level executives from Nordic companies. They all attented a summit at the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, “Nordic Innovation Summit 2023.” One American speaker after another paid tribute to the Nordic countries, highlighting trust and cooperation as two things the US can learn from Denmark and the Nordic countries when it comes to innovative, sustainable solutions.

Two days before the summit, I went with my 12-year-old son to the Architecture Hall at the University of Washington. Martine Reinhold Kildeby, Head of Strategic Partnerships, for Bloxhubin Copenhagen, gave a guest lecture titled “Copenhagen Blox and Bloxhub : Nordic Hub for Sustainable Urbanisation.”

Kildeby explained what Bloxhub is and how private and public institutions and companies collaborate – for greener and innovative solutions.

After the lecture, I asked Martine Kildeby: What is the biggest challenge when collaborating with Americans? Without hesitation, she answered: “Trust.”

Trust. A small word with a big meaning. The degree of trust in Denmark and the Nordic countries is generally high. The Nordic populations trusts their authorities and trusts that they want the best for the population. The same is certainly not the case for the American population, where mistrust and vigilance are baked into the DNA.

I brought my son to the lecture to show him what a great country he comes from and that Denmark is in the forefront when it comes to sustainable solutions.

“What did you learn from the lecture?,” I asked him as we left the building.

“Everything is connected,” he replied as the conversation turned into thoughts about how a simple thing like planting a tree next to a bench in the city involves many agencies and reached the conclusion how important it is for different groups to be able to work together.

At the summit at the New Nordic Museum, I learned about electric boats, green steel, green fertilizer, electric trucks, sewage plants, wind turbines, urban planning, circular economy, and much more. But what kept coming up regardless of what company presented were two things. Everything is connected. And trust. Private and public organizations must be able to cooperate, and to be able to do that you must trust each other.

Cooperation and trust. It is in our DNA in the Nordic countries. It is an integral part of why and how our societies work. Historically, the Nordic countries have had to cooperate to adapt quickly. That attitude benefits us when it comes to sustainable, innovative ideas.

But working together and trust are far from the basic identity in the United States. What working together means to the Nordic countries, competition means to the USA in terms of being a key characteristic. Contrary to what one might think, something as soft as a feeling – trust – is alpha and omega. Not spreadsheets, laws, and rules, which are also important, but not the most important. Cooperating and trust make projects successful, the feeling of being able to trust each other is the cornerstone in order to find solutions.

There is hope, however, then it comes to bringing America up to speed in sustainable solutions. If there is something Americans believe in, it is financial gain. Just as Copenhageners don’t get on their bikes every morning because they want to improve the environment but because it is the most convenient and practical way to get around in the city, Americans choose green solutions – because it makes economic sense. Partnering with The Nordic countries which have innovative ideas and can cooperate make a lot of sense.

On the other hand, by virtue of being the world’s largest economy, having resources and space, the USA is an attractive market. That is why one Nordic sustainable company after another is starting branches in the USA. When Nordic companies give Americans the opportunity to choose a green, sustainable solution, while at the same time providing economic benefits in contrast to traditional “black” solutions, they will make changes and enter into an industrial symbiosis.

Legislation, research and industries must work together – for the well-being of all populations. The Nordic countries cannot be too arrogant in wanting other countries to implement sustainable solutions the Nordic way: Governments and other cultures implement and learn differently. The important thing is not that the world does as the Nordic countries do. The important thing is to create sustainable changes – for the benefit of the entire planet and its population.

Regneark er ikke det, der skal forbedre miljøet

Tillid er nøgleordet – ikke mindst tilliden til myndighederne. Der kan USA godt nok lære noget af de nordiske lande.

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NATO country is betting on two horses: Turkey balances between Putin and sending missiles to Ukraine

Russian oligarchs go to Turkey, where they can enjoy their super yachts and obtain Turkish passports.

Many Western countries have imposed sanctions to make life more difficult for Russian oligarchs. Not Turkey. The Russian elite continue their comfortable jet set lives without a thought for the war of aggression their country is waging against Ukraine.

At the beginning of the war, the West believed that targeting the Russian elite would lead to anger and an internal revolt and demands for changes in Putin’s regime and in the view of the war against Ukraine. That’s not the way things went.

The number of oligarchs who have experienced sanctions is small. Unfortunately, there are several places in the world that have opened their doors to these oligarchs. Turkey is one of those nations that has publicly invited Russian billionaires to come to the country. So now a fleet of Russian superyachts is sitting off the beautiful beaches along the Turkish coast with owners spending their billions in Turkey while enjoying the sun and life far from bombings and Russian state television. New numbers show that the Russians are the largest group doing business in Turkey and the number of newly started Russian companies has increased eightfold since 2021. In other words, there is a huge flow of money from Russia to Turkey.

In addition, you only need to invest a little under three million Danish kroner ($400,000) in a property, a drop in the ocean for a multi-billionaire, to get a Turkish passport – a passport that – voila – allows you to travel freely despite sanctions. It is probably not entirely coincidental that there has been a huge growth in Russians investing in Turkish properties and in Russians being issued Turkish passports since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan balances between being a NATO member country supplying Ukraine with weapons and having a close connection with Russia.

Can we expect changes if the Western and democratically inclined presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu wins the presidential election after the May 14? Does it matter for the Russian oligarchs? Western countries have been careful not to speak out about Turkey, maybe because they do not want to risk influencing the political discourse before the election. Regardless of who wins the presidency, I hope Western nations will put pressure on Turkey and demand change.

Past beliefs that sanctions bring change and forces Russia to change course needs to be reevaluated. Stricter initiatives must be imposed – but as long as powerful nations like Turkey, Germany and France are reluctant when it comes to taking a stand against Russia’s war against Ukraine, we will not see any changes – not even after the Turkish election.

Nato-land spiller på to heste: Tyrkiet balancerer mellem Putin og missiler til Ukraine

Russiske oligarker valfarter til Tyrkiet, hvor de kan have deres luksusyachts og få tyrkisk pas.

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Keep the Russians out. Also on the tennis court.

Wound the Russians where it hurts – on their identity and sense of nationhood.

Time is ticking, the clock strikes, and as time goes by, principles are flushed down the toilet. Last year, Russian and Belarusian tennis players were banned from entering Wimbledon. This year, things are different. Why, is not entirely clear: We know more, about Russia’s bombing of civilian targets, rapes used as a strategic wopen, abductions of Ukrainian children, internment camps, prison sentences for journalists, civilians and lawyers who dare to question Putin and his horrific war, than we do did last year.

Nevertheless, tennis players from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to run around on the world’s most prestigious tennis courts, while the world cheers on the sport.

Technically, Russian and Belarusian tennis players and their entourage must sign a statement saying that they do not represent Russia or Belarus, that they do not receive financial support from the countries, and that during Wimbledon they will not express support for their regimes’ war against Ukraine.

But Russia cheats as always. Of course the players receive financial support from their country or companies connected to the state. As recently as yesterday, a Russian tennis player removed a Russian oil and gas sponsor logo from her clothing.

Wound them where it hurts – the Russians. On their pride, on their identity. Don’t let them enter prestigious competitions – of any kind. It shouldn’t be up for debate, but when sports, money, viewership and sponsorships are at stake, principles and integrity are sacrificed alongside thousands of innocent Ukrainians in a war they did not want or start.

The question is whether the big business that takes place around the negotiation tables are pointing to cracks in the general sentiment towards Russia? I hope not, especially for those who keep insisting that politics and sports have nothing to do with each other. Imagine a scenario where wars are fought by powerful nations – like Russia or China. Imagine watching invasions and takeovers of territories of sovereign states on the news – while the elite of the powerful nations watch from the bleachers where they cheer and shout, while the sports teams of their aggressor countries run around a sports field or court.

Russia must suffer – economically and from identity degradation. That is achieved by aiming at the elite, because they are the ones keeping Putin in power. No fur-clad Russian woman should be able to shop in the expensive parts off Paris, no Russian children should go abroad to study at prestigious Western universities, and all Russian values in the West should be frozen. In addition, all Russian athletes should be denied access to all international sport competitions, allowing them to attend only contributes to strengthening their identity and nationhood and their belief in belonging in the company of other well respected states. The same treatment should apply to Russian culture and entertainment.

Hold nu russerne udenfor. Også på tennisbanen

Ram russerne, hvor det gør ondt – på deres selvforståelse, deres identitet, deres nationalitetsfølelse.

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Europe has to be able to defend itself – but is a strong European army realistic?

Will Europe fight for democracy and freedom?

The United States has military personnel stationed in Europe. Historically, there are good reasons for this. Still, there will be no American “boots on the ground” if Putin’s aggression continues. So if Russia continues to escalate its aggressions without crossing into NATO territory, what will Europe do?

Some European countries are members of the EU, others are not. Some European countries are members of NATO and not of the EU. Some European countries are members of both the EU and NATO and some European countries are neither members of the EU, nor NATO.

What happens if Putin invades another European country that is not a member of NATO, as was the case with Ukraine? What happens if Russia invades a country like Moldova? The US probably will not fly in, so maybe it’s time for a European army considering that small countries will not be able to defend themselves against a Russian invasion. Who should join such an army?

Europe cannot count on the US being willing to send soldiers to fight on the battlefield. Americans are fed up fighting wars for other nations – paying with the lives of their young men and women and receiving contempt for their fight for freedom, a core value for the nation. So what should Europe do in the future – surrender to Putin and his army and the Wagner soldiers and let them smash and take over countries and territories – or take up the fight?

Russia has more than 830,000 active in the military. A dictatorship like Putin’s can maneuver quickly, conscript its population into military service, and generally force the population to march to the beat of crazed, power-hungry leaders. It is not quite that simple in a democracy – and it becomes even more difficult if several democracies have to reach an agreement. The rules of the game for totalitarian states and democracies are different, the starting point is such that the EU army project risks dying at the negotiating table, while one Eastern European state after another is incorporated into Putin’s dreams of a great empire.

A colonial past, divergent feelings towards America, internal disagreements – the challenges between the European nations are great. Past negotiations between EU countries have given us an idea of how difficult it is and how long it takes to agree – just look at how long it took to agree on the appropriate size and shape of cucumbers and apples. I dare not think how long it would take to agree on what the European army uniforms should look like, who would make them, and other quite basic military decisions.

I am well aware that most Danes get nervous tics at the mere thought of war in Europe. The Europeans have – at least on the western side of the continent – been spared war for decades.

I grew up with a parent generation believing in chanting “make love, not war,” and that disagreements can be resolved if we just listen to each other. But maybe it’s time to face reality, however unpleasant it may be. Perhaps it is time to be able to defend the European continent, including the European countries that are not NATO members?

Putin has a dream of uniting the former Soviet countries, it is naïve to think that he will stop with Ukraine. Europe cannot count on the United States coming to their rescue if a non-NATO member state is invaded. Perhaps it is time for Europe to face the realities and come to terms with the fact that freedom comes at a cost – also on the battlefield.

Europa har brug for at kunne forsvare sig selv – men er en stærk europæisk hær realistisk?

Vil Europa kæmpe for demokrati og frihed?

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Politicians in the US: “More weapons in the hands of civilians make us safer.”

Americans mourn, protest, and pray but mass shootings continue.

“Armed Response,” the sign by the driveway read. I snapped a picture. And one more. And one more. I was 21 years old and visiting the US for the first time. Many years later, I moved here with my husband and children.

I have no sense of direction and often get lost. Street names and house numbers will never make sense to me. I drive up and down streets until I find the right house or call for help when picking up or dropping off kids.

This week two young people were shot because they accidentally drove up to the wrong address of a private homes. A 16-year-old African American boy from Kansas City was picking up his younger twin brothers from a playdate and was shot when he rang the doorbell. A white 20-year-old woman from upstate New York was visiting a friend and entered the wrong driveway. As she was turning her car around, she was shot. Both were lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood. The boy survived, while the woman paid with her life.

In effect, “Stand Your Ground” means that you can shoot at a person on your property and claim that you were “scared” – and not face any punishment. Since the law was introduced in 2005, it has spread to nearly 30 (primarily Republican) states. Not surprisingly, there has been an increase in the same states in fatal shootings by private citizens.

For a young Danish woman like me, it was crazy to see the signs in California. I remember thinking: Will you be shot at if you walk up the driveway? I swept it away – my Danish head could not fathom that it could be like that.

But that’s how it is. Here, it can cost you your life to sell girl scout cookies, deliver pizza, be a mailman, deliver Amazon packages, proselytize – and to be a young person accidentally knocking on the wrong house or drive up the wrong driveway.

Politikere i USA: »Flere våben i civile hænder er lig med større sikkerhed«

Amerikanerne sørger, protesterer og beder til deres Gud. Men intet hjælper på skyderierne.

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Bud Light finds themselves in the center of the WOKE debate

The controversy is about so much more than an American mediocre canned beer – it’s about identity politics

The American musician Kid Rock has posted a video that has been viewed by more than ten million people. In the video, he wears a MAGA cap with a semi-automatic weapon and shoots down Bud Light beer cans. Afterwards, he looks into the camera and hurls f-bombs at the viewers.

What is he so angry about? And what has made others on social platforms post videos where they destroy America’s best-selling beer?

It is, yet again, identity politics that is at the center. Bud Light is primarily enjoyed by people who crack open a beer after a long day at work and college students – people for whom the price of a beer means something.

The controversy is about the trans activist Dylan Mulvaney, who received a specially designed Bud Light can with her portrait on it at her one-year transition day.

Dylan Mulvaney has an extensive platform with ten million subscribers and more than a billion clicks on her videos. She is an actor and comedian and has documented her transition on social platforms. Additionally, she went to the White House to visit Joe Biden and talk about the legislation that has been introduced in some Republican states to limit the rights of transgender people.

Hence, the controversy is about much more than a mediocre cheap canned beer. It is about the American soul – and there is a vast difference in how that should be defined, depending on which side of the political spectrum one belongs to.

In this column, I am not addressing whether kids should be able to transition or which bathroom they can use – I am addressing the fact that adults should be allowed to be who they are. And in some states, transgender people are the target of legislation designed to limit their rights. Laws have been introduced to limit the access to medical care for trans people, changes have been made to change the ability to perform drag shows, and a whole host of other blitheringly hateful measures have made their way into legislation.

In recent years, there has been a great deal of focus on minorities and particularly vulnerable people. There was and is a need to put one’s own privilege and ‘blindness’ under the microscope. That is healthy and good for everyone. But, as with so much else in this country, certain elements have taken what could be a healthy debate to extremes – on both sides of the political aisle. In some schools caucasian children are taught that because of their skin color they are racist, in other schools they are not allowed to learn about other sexualities than heterosexualism. It should not come as a surprise that our kids are confused when even the adults cannot deal constructively with important subjects like these. Recess fights does not only take place in the schoolyard.

So now beer has become part of the WOKE war. Right-wingers boycott Bud Light under the slogan “go woke, go broke”. In the LGBTQIA+-community, Bud Light has been popular for decades, primarily as a response to another beer brand’s discriminatory hiring practices.

But there is hope. Nothing could be better for Bud Light than the massive attention they get these days. It’s win-win: while Anheuser-Bush is laughing all the way to the bank, the LGBTQIA+-community has received worldwide attention all over the world.

Ølreklame får amerikanere op i det regnbuefarvede felt

Det handler om mere end middelmådig dåseøl – det handler om identitetspolitik

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When Mass shootings is a part of everyday life we need more than “thoughts and prayers”

We are traumatizing ourselves. As long as guns are easily accessible, there will be no change – not after the latest school shooting or the next or the next after that.

I have never touched a weapon, not even skeet shooting – despite living in the United States, notoriously obsessed with the principle of the right to bear arms.

Yet they are always present in the back of my mind, guns. When I’m at the movies, I check the room to see where the nearest exit is and remind the children to play dead and throw themselves on the floor if something happens. When I toured my son´s new school last week, one of my questions was how they made sure outsiders did not have access to the building.

When we moved to the USA, my children were six months and two years old respectively. We regularly passed fenced in schools, reminiscent of barbed wire at borders and prisons buildings. We were very clear on the fact that our children would never go to a school that looked like that.

But something happens when you become part of a society where guns in the public sphere is the norm. Earthquake exercises, exercises on what the students should do if there is a bear in the area, and exercises on an “active shooter” at school becomes part of the children’s everyday life. My kids and American kids starting in Kindergarten know exactly where to position themselves in a classroom to avoid getting hit if there is an active shooter at their school.

“I am nine!” reads a sign, a child is holding. A group is protesting after the latest school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, where three children aged nine and three adults lost their lives. Since I moved to the US, there have been more than 400 school shootings. “We’re traumatizing ourselves as a nation,” someone said on NPR the other day. Over and over we hear the phrase “thoughts and prayers.” They will not help. Common sense politics have been cast to the side, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the population is in favor of restrictions on access to fully automatic firearms.

Still, nothing happens. Money and politics have never been a good cocktail. The fact that the craziest barrels rumble the most has not proven to be good for the country either.

Yesterday in our local park I met an elderly lady. She looked after her sister’s grandchildren. Her own children had no intention of bringing children into the world. The conversation touched on the school shooting at the Catholic private school this week. As a kid, she had attended a Catholic private school, as had her children. She was angry – and she felt hopeless. The attitude of giving up has set in, people don’t understand that this is where we are – and they don’t know what to do to change it.

One in four weapons produced is a semi-automatic weapon – i.e. the ones we see in school shootings, which can fire 30 shots and range 400m. With such a weapon, you don’t have to “waste” time reloading your weapon, but can mow down one elementary school class after another.

As long as there is virtually free access to guns, we will see school shootings – and experience children and adults with lasting trauma. The trauma has spread to the whole country, regardless of whether you are directly affected or “just” hear about the shootings on the news. The heartbreaking thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way. In the United States, the leading cause of death among children and youth is now gun violence. Every single day a mass shooting takes place. Gun violence is part of very young children’s everyday life. A five-year-old shoots his one-year-old brother, a three-year-old shoots himself when he finds a gun on his parents’ bedside table, a person goes berserk in one school shooting after another, teenagers with hurt feelings and crushes shoot each other, the list goes on and on in a country, that have more guns than inhabitants. It does not require a lot of brain power to see the similarity between access to guns and the catastrophic consequences on our souls and bodies.

Is it really that identity we want to pass down and normalize?

All Americans can do is to vote and hope for political change. But as long as access to guns easily accessible, change will not happen. Not after this school shooting or the next or the next after that. Meanwhile, the population sinks further into hopelessness, fear and hatred.

Bosat i USA: Masseskyderier er en del af hverdagen – her hjælper hverken ”thoughts” eller ”prayers”

USA traumatiserer sig selv. Så længe adgangen til våben er, som den er, sker forandringerne hverken efter dette skoleskyderi eller det næste eller det næste igen.

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Europe must not fall into Putin and Xi’s trap and withdraw criticism of the war against Ukraine

Russia uses what-about-ism as an excuse for violations of UN rules of war.

The media in the USA, Denmark, and on BBC report that today is the 20 year anniversary for America invading Iraq on false grounds and without a UN mandate.

No, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and yes, the war was terrible and had devastating consequences – for the people of Iraq and to a large extent for Europe.

The US went into Iraq without the approval of the Security Council – so did Putin when he invaded the Crimean peninsula and later Ukraine. Russia´s justification goes like this: the West does not obey by the rules that they claim everyone else must follow for world order.

Still, Europe must not fall into Putin and Xi’s trap and withdraw dritizism.

In the United States, we are seeing cracks within the Republican wing. Certain politicians, including the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, who also has presidential ambitions, are agitating for the United States not to be involved in conflicts outside the country’s borders. The well-known policy of isolationism is alive and well.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Putin is happy to letting the discussion in America unfolds, the agenda fits perfectly with his discourse. We seem to be perfectly capable in the West to get lost in domestic political arguments about the war and completely miss the bigger picture of why or why not to get involved. If the political fractions in America keep quarreling, plays perfectly into his hand – without much effort, America helps him get his work done.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said in early March on his trip to India that if the United States has the right to invade a country, why doesn’t Russia? In one sentence he argued that the West has no right to have a position on the war in Ukraine and is even partly to blame for it given past actions. According to the UN charter, neither the war in Iraq nor in Ukraine was legal – but that does not mean that Russia can justify the war in Ukraine with the US invasion of Iraq 20 years ago.

Totalitarian countries that are ideologically far from the West’s standards when it comes to democracy and human rights have found a rhetorical argument that we must be careful not to accept. Arguments and excuses that actions can be justified based on similar actions done in the past.

It’s like talking to a child who has gotten into a fight at school. “He started it,” says the kid, and thus says that his actions are justified. But it’s not what most of us teach our children – so why do we accept the rhetorical manipulation when it comes from grown-up politicians?

I am terrified of what will come out of the meeting between Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi. China could have cancelled the meeting after the ICC announced that Putin is a wanted war criminal as a response to the thousands of children who have been abducted and taken across the border from Ukraine to Russia. Putin is now wanted for human rights violations in 123 countries.

If Xi doesn’t touch the wrong doorknob, fall out of a window, or eat something poisonous, we’ll see him and Putin on a press conference announcing to the world they have agreed on new trade deals. Trade deals which – as now – means that the “goods” they trade can be taken apart and used in Russia’s warfare against Ukraine. Time will tell, how we in the West reacts to this – and the future will later judge those reactions.

Europa må ikke falde i Putin og Xis fælde og trække følehornene til sig

Rusland bruger whataboutism som undskyldning for brud på FN’s regler om krigsførelse.

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