Monday, February 22, 2010

To Valhalla!

The current issue of norwegian intelectual weekly newspaper Morgenbladet has a two page article about the language of war and "norwegian warrior culture". It is a problem in the 'enlightened media' that our warriors use the language of warriors; it dehumanizes the enemy which leaves us prone to treating him/her in less than honourable ways. (And I guess it gives us that unpleasant feeling of beeing at war.)

The concrete words in question are 'usle kryp' [lit. disgracefull creep; a term making allutions to that snake, I guess] and 'lekkert' [lit. deligthfull; sweet is the best translation though]. The first term needs context to soften it, the second needs context to shed light on what the problem was.

It seems quite clearly to be a man and not a creep.

Usle kryp: An officer called his afghan opposition by these words into a tv-camera after a roadside carbomb had killed one of his warriors. That he in the pain and defeat of loosing one under his charge used such words would not be disgracefull, had it not been for his justification. He thought his enemy to be disgracefull creeps for using carbombs. That, I think, is incorrect. To use carbombs is no less disgracefull than fighting with superior weapons.

Were he to call his enemy such words for using civilians as human shields he would be in his full right. If you are not fighting for your people: you have no right to bear arms. Your prophet and his mother cries when you disgrace his most holy name and the one true light that shines upon his beatifull face and the honour of Islam. Which makes the whole discussion void from my standpoint. It is not a question of can or can not; but a question of when such terms apply. The standard of knightly conduct has always been held high by the strong. So fuck that kind of honour. It is, truly, ussel ære. ('A creeps honour')

Lekkert: When a grenadier had made perfect hit he smiled to the camera and said 'sweet'. My childhoods liberal newspaper, Dagbladet, whoose fall from grace has been ever so long and seemingly ever continuing towards new depts of tabloidism for once had it right: "Det er ikke lekkert, det er ekkelt." ("It is not deligthfull, it is disgusting.") That is simply not something you say after killing men (women and children?). Especially from a position several clicks away from the assumed (?) badguys.

To conclude this part of the argument: You should respect your enemy. And dehumanizing him/her is a sure way not only to warcrimes and atrocities (look at US!) - but psycologicly there is a general agreement that it is quite impossible to heal wartraumas before the civillian-once-warrior rehumanizes the humans he did kill in battle.

Our guys. Don't fuck with them. We might not be that many, but we are stinking rich and provide the best training and equipment. Our special forces have been know to fuck "the best of the best" (Navy SEALs) 10 times out of 10 in training.

A term that sadly has'nt been discussed in the norwegian media is the naming of of the norwegian basecamp "Nidaros" . Nidaros is not only the old norwegian capitol (Trondhjem); it is the name of the cathedral where st. Olav is resting beneath the altar, and the only official catholic pilgrimage site in Norway.

First of all that is just stupid. The main propaganda item of our esteemed opposition is calling 'us' crusaders... Seriously, several people needs to get their asses fired over this. Second; we are many who still feel humbled by the now ancient defeat and loss of freedom - and thats on good days. On bad days we feel wrath and the urge to take to arms. Escpecially up north. We have been fuck'd by the southerners for a good millenia now - and there seems to be no fucking end to it.

You do not inspire patriotism by alluding to that snake of a southerner. So not only do you give points freely to your opposition - you nurture resentment at home. Nuff said.

The heraldic weapon of the norwegian army. The symbolic meaning I was thaugth during my year in the navy was that it refers to the oath of serving "God, King and Fatherland". Norwegian' hunters' (elite forces) are known to cut off the cross when they wear the crest on their berets: "... because noone stands above the king."

Interestingly enough Morgenbladet tries to make some sort of mute point of our warriors warcry "To Valhalla!!!". 'Maybe that was politicly incorrect aswell?' they seem to be asking. And while I like the spirit of the article; waging war poses some hard questions for a nation that is trying very hard to be peacefull.

But they know not enough of the warriors path. A man afraid of dying will not only do dishonourable acts; he will face greater risk of dying than the man who clearly faces danger. It is no dishonour onto your enemy - for he too will go to Valhalla; or the gardens of Allah if he so wishes.

I write sometimes of spells in this here blog; and this battlecry is a migthy spell indeed. To feast (drink, eat, fuck and figth - wake up the next day alive and without an hangover) for eternety with warriors who 'died with the sword in their hands' might be as much of a hell as a heaven (to me atleast).

Yet still, when I once uttered the words I felt a host of warriors eyes upon me; I felt power surging through my body - and my opponent who foolishly thought he could take me with his puny knife just because I was armed with naugth but my body; ran as fast as he could. I did'nt even cry that battlecry; I just stated, resigned to fighting and most likly dying, but atleast as a man: To Valhalla, then...

Postscriptum: It is very hard to find the truth of what the norwegian army actualy is. If you have served, have fougth in joint operations as our allies, and escpesialy if you have fougth against us: I would love to hear your stories - In the comments field below - or in an email if you want your stories and opinions kept out of the public view.

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