Norway and the Winter Olympics

Norway said no to arrange the Winter Olympics in 2022.

Why?

There are several and somewhat complicated reasons for this decision. I will try to clarify.

  • Values
  • Culture
  • Politics

VALUES

Let us start with the basics: The Oath for the athletes and the Olympic Charter which gives the IOC their mandate.

First, the Olympic Oath:

In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams[

Then parts of the Olympic Charter:

To promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries; To encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education

To see the whole International Olympic Committee Charter, click here.

The IOC has a document, 7000 pages, with requirements to the arranging city. Admittedly, most of these are of a technical character, but then they present these demands:

  • A cocktail party with the King, paid by the King.
  • A special lane on all roads to the Olympic sites, solely for the members of the IOC, and the traffic lights should have a “green passage” for the IOC limousines.
  • A special reception (no passport control, customs etc.) at their arrival in Oslo; directly into a waiting limousine.
  • Food of high quality available at all times and places, and of course alcohol.
  • Physicians to be available, that is, with them, at all times.
  • The bars at their five + stars hotels to stay open longer than the Norwegian law allows.

There are several more, but let us take these now.

These demands collide heavily with the basic values of the Norwegian people.

Our basic value is equality; no person is better than others. People with a lot of money or power or both cannot throw their weight around without reactions from their community. An ostentatious display of money or power will be met by disgust, and if anybody oversteps the civic or legal boundaries, the punishment is harsh.

And here comes these members of the IOC and demand a cocktail party with our King, paid by the King……….. Nobody invites themselves to our King. The King invites, so who do these people think they are???

When you read the list of demands, it seems that they look upon themselves as kings or presidents, and demand to be treated as such. And, just as a reminder, they are in charge of arranging a sport event, the Winter Olympics.

We Norwegians were stunned. We could hardly believe what we read.

OUR CULTURE

Our values and culture are of course closely connected, but I will write something about how these values are implemented in the Norwegian people.

Norway is a fairly large country, area wise, at least in Europe. But our topography is very special. Deep long fjords, high mountains and thousands of islands and very harsh weather conditions have developed a country of very small communities spread over long distances.

If you check all the champion athletes of Norway through the ages, it is quite consistent that most of them come from small places. The reason is very simple. Growing up in these small villages, what is there to do in your free time as a child or teenager? The main answer: Sports, especially winter sports. One reason for that is that all it takes is snow and a pair of skies. Most small places don’t have facilities like a stadium or an ice hockey hall.

So, here comes the culture part. How are these small sports clubs organized? Simple: Volunteers. Not specifically Norwegian, but what is special for Norway is that there are so many of them and the villages, we call them just places, are so very small.

We are only just five million people spread over a large and tough country and there are thousands of volunteers taking care of our youngsters and creating great athletes.

Norway is a very rich country, but despite that, we have not been able to build enough infrastructure to meet the requirements of all the small places. There is a need for swimming halls, ice hockey halls, indoor football halls, track and field facilities and so forth.

So, why should Norway arrange a Winter Olympics, using billions of kroner on a trumped up event, lasting for some weeks, organized by a body of old men living in a dream bubble, their history of budget breaches and corruption………and in the end; the infrastructure stays in Oslo, leaving all the small places with nothing.

The unison answer was NO.

When that “NO” hit the IOC, they sent out a press release the same day. They accused Norwegian politicians and our people to be ignorant and had not understood the process. It was very defensive and condescending.

POLITICS

There were originally nine applicants for the arrangement of the winter Olympics in 2022.

Ukraine (Lviv), Germany (München), Switzerland (St. Moritz and Davos), Poland (Krakow), Sweden (Stockholm), Norway (Oslo), Kasakhstan (Almaty) and China (Beijing).

München, St. Moritz and Davos all said no after referendums.

So, then the IOC were left with seven. Lviv had to say no of obvious reasons, then Stockholm and Krakow declined and they were left with three: Oslo, Almaty and Beijing.

So, all the democratic countries have now said no. The IOC is left with two authoritarian states with a history of serious violation of human rights. If that does not worry them, they really have to rethink the focus and process of finding proper cities to arrange the Winter Olympics.

CONCLUSION

Norway said no because:

  • The Norwegian people said no.
  • A majority of people involved in sports, both professionals and volunteers, said no.
  • The Olympics has developed into a blown up, commercialized event, removed from the Olympic spirit, and managed by a bunch of old men living in a feudal world so removed from what the Olympics are about: “the true spirit of sportsmanship” that all the democratic nations said no.
  • The Norwegian politicians, in respect of the will of the Norwegian people, said no.
  • Some of the demands, quoted here, that the IOC presented to Norway, are so rude and ridiculous that they alone could induce a loud and clear NO from the Norwegian people.
  • The angry and condescending response from the IOC is a clear confirmation that our NO was right.
  • We can use all the billions earmarked for the Olympics to start a major project to improve the infrastructure for sports across all the small places of Norway… (Free quote of the Norwegian Prime Minister).

Our no is a clear danger sign for IOC. If they have any sense, they must realize that the overwhelming cost, the enormous budget breaches, the pompous behaviour of the IOC and the negative response from solid economies like Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway is a clear message: Distrust.

They are now left with two authoritarian countries with serious human right issues. What does that tell them? Publicly they refuse to admit that this is a problem. If that is real, then they are really in trouble…….

If they don’t do something about the organization, cost level and the demands to the arraigning cities, AND refocus on what the Olympics is about, SPORTS, we can see the end of Winter Olympics.

The frightening facts about our planet Earth

We destroy our planet. Some people actually deny that, but we do. The industrial world has such a strong position and the lobbyists are doing a grand job of keeping the major polluters in business. So, in too many countries, the greed for money is stronger than the fact that we deliver to our children and grandchildren a planet in a deep ecological crisis.

As a wise man once said, “We have not inherited the earth, we are borrowing it from our children.”

There is so much to say about this issue and I could point fingers at specific countries. I will not do that. I will just present a very important link that a friend of mine sent me the other day. Please read and reflect on this article from the Global Footprint Network website.

Palestine, USA and settlements

It is quite understandable that any US administration and President support Israel. The strong and powerful Jewish society in the US is demanding it.

But now, even the President, his Secretary of State and Jews both in the US and Israel are protesting against the heavy hands of Mr. Netanyahu and his hawks.  But, what do they DO about it?

The planned meeting between Israel and the Palestinians is meaningless as long as Israel keep building an additional 934 apartments on Palestinian land. That decision was made one week before the talks were scheduled. Israel is clearly showing their arrogance to everybody, even the US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Israel is keeping Palestine in a choking grip. They control everything: Infrastructure, money, trade, water, electricity, food…… And when the Palestinians in desperation try to fight the Israelis, the retaliation is so heavy that most of the world is stunned and shocked over the brutality.

Examples are the 22 day military operation starting on December 27, 2008, where at least 700 Palestinians lost their lives. Some claim it was closer to 1,500. Then, in November 2012, just before the election in Israel, they launch a devastating attack on Gaza. At least 172 Palestinians were killed, and three Israelis. The official reason was that some Palestinian fanatics, out of control, had shot some missiles into Israel, but the Israeli response was so harsh that it shocked the world. Obviously, Netanyahu wanted to make a statement to the Israeli people, the American President and the world: We will continue to keep Palestine in our hard grip.

President Obama repeatedly said Israel has the right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.  After his re-election, it was expected that he would sharpen his condemnation of civilian casualties. I have heard nothing like that. He just mumbled something about civilian casualties in a meeting with Netanyahu and Egypt’s president Mursi.

The main problem is that the Israeli government totally disregards any kind of critique or condemnation from anybody. Based on two issues; the Holocaust and the right to defend themselves, they do what they want. End of story.
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a number of resolutions saying that the strategic relationship with the United States encourages Israel to pursue aggressive and expansionist policies and practices. Israel has broken more UN resolutions that any other in UN history, at least 102. And, this country also has the benefit that their biggest ally, the USA, will veto any serious resolution against them preventing any action from being carried out. The Security Council’s resolution no. 446 clearly states that: “… the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

So, again, Israel does what they want. My question to the US government is: Why don’t you DO something about it? You have, since 1948, poured billions of dollars into Israel, especially to IDF, the Israel Defense Force, which is basically used to kill, maim and torment innocent Palestinian civilians.

President Obama cannot be re-elected, so why does not the US administration use this opportunity to stop the settlements, which is so devastating to the Palestinian people?

AFRICA’S CURSE

I have lived three years in Africa (South Africa, Namibia and Ghana) and ten years in the US.

So, I have some comments to the situation in Africa

First of all the obvious: Africa is a continent, like the US in many ways, but so much bigger, in area, population and of course the hundreds of different cultures. I will therefore refrain from making any kind of generalization. It is just not possible, like it is impossible in America.

But I have made some observations that I will share with you.

First, like many “churches” around the globe, the “pure “life of man and woman in marriage”, and no gays, no “fooling” around”, no exploitation of young people and children is so hypocritical that I don’t have the words to describe it.

YES, of course there are many missionaries doing good work, but they also “educate” new and local pastors. Some of them do good work too, of course, but I have seen them arrive (one “church” was our neighbour) in their expensive cars with Italian suits and gold jewelry and of course, have their pick of young beautiful women. (Gay or not is very tribal with many variations).

This “church” is constructing an enormous building near by…. Where does the money come from??? Missionaries, well some, but basically those people are sucking the little money they have from the poorest people on this planet, so that hey will be blessed in heaven… Which heaven and where does it come from?? US! That is us, the Western World

So, what right have we to invade Africa with our money, our products and our beliefs? Exploitation,. power struggle, and, of course, money…. I could of course write a book about this, but that is of course impossible.

Africa is probably the continent with the largest volume of Natural Resources. So why are most African “States” or “Nations” (there is a big difference) so poor??

Because we have and still do, exploit Africa. At the same time we think that we are saving their souls by smashing the so called Christian fate down their throat.

Why? Two examples: In Ghana, they produce a tremendous amount of tomatoes. Buy a can of tomato paste and it is imported from Holland!

Buy a bottle of water in most of Africa. Many brands, but it you look closely, you will see that is is marked, “Coca Cola”……………..

So the combination of Governments power and intervention, Multinational Companies and Church together have kept and keep an iron hand on AFRICA. The church cannot run away from their part of that.

Why Israel creates terrorists

This is probably nothing new, but I have been thinking a little…..Yes, that happens..

I could probably write a book about this, but here is the short version………

So, why are the Israeli so brutal against the Palestinians? — Surrounded by ca. 450 mill Arabs, mostly Muslims, who wants to erase the state of Israel………That is what Israel THINKS! BUT, is it true?????? Well, I don’t buy it.

Several polls show that the Israeli people (around 70 %) want peace and a Two State solution. And the Arab countries basically want the same.

So again, why does Bibi and other members of the top notch political regime of Israel suppress the Palestinians in such a horrible way? No negotiations, no peace talk, the Oslo process is dead, they show arrogance and disrespect towards their most staunch supporter, USA……..

My thinking goes towards this: The Zionist “create” terrorists to legitimize their very aggressive and horrible treatment of the Palestinians, the choking hold they have on the Palestinians : to terrorize and suppress the Palestinian people.HOW? To legitimize their use of force, they deliberately treat Palestinians, and especially the children, so harshly that they internalize the Palestinians hatred.

It seems like they want to erase the Palestinian people, and as I have asked before: what will then happen?

Two Laws for children in Israel

It is beyond any doubt that the IDF is abusing Palestinian children, especially physical.

What is even worse, is that the IDF can do this with the law in their hand.

In Israel there are two sets of Laws. One for Israeli children and one for Palestinian children.

The following is a paragraph from a report.

Children in Military Custody
June 2012
A report written by a delegation of British lawyers on the treatment of Palestinian children under Israeli military law

An example of their findings.

14. Thirdly, under international law, no state is entitled to discriminate between those over whom it exercises penal jurisdiction on the basis of their race or nationality. Unequal or differential justice is not justice. We have encountered official Israeli attitudes which, while not overtly contesting this proposition, implicitly challenge it. Beyond this, however, it is uncontested that there are major differentials between the law governing the treatment of Palestinian children and the law governing treatment of Israeli children. There are also grounds for believing there to be serious differentials in procedure and practice.

The full report is here.

That is the legal basis for IDF’s harsh treatment of Palestinian children. But it goes beyond that. They break their own “Law” by abusing the Palestinian children much worse than stated by their “Law”.

In this report, the lawyers unrevealed a serious gap between the Law and reality of the treatment of the Palestinian children.  The report has an extensive conclusion and also a long range of recommendations.

The Conclusion starts with this:

Conclusions

110.     As we have explained, we have been given two radically different accounts of Israeli  practice. It is not our role to adjudicate between them. But within them are certain  undisputed facts which compel us to conclude that Israel is in breach of articles 2  (discrimination), 3 (child’s best interests), 37(b) (premature resort to detention), (c)  (non-separation from adults) and (d) (prompt access to lawyers) and 40 (use of shackles)111  of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. If the manner of arrest and detention is to a significant extent that which is described in paragraphs 36 and 37, Israel will also be in breach of the prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in article  37(a) of the Convention. Transportation of child prisoners into Israel is in breach of article 76  of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Failure to translate Military Order 1676 from Hebrew is a violation of article 65 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The abuse of Palestinian children is now thoroughly documented, and has been an important issue in the UN. The latest I could find were these articles from the UN, a formal report and a comment from a high UN official.

Now, if we let the suffering and cruelty rest for a while, what are we dealing with here?

The fact is that nobody can or will (?) control Israel. Even China and Russia are careful not to break Human Rights and International Laws too blatantly. But Israel? They do whatever they feel they “have” to, based on two things: The Holocaust and “the right to defend themselves”. That is supposed to give them the right to violently suppress a helpless people.

As I have said before: This must be a dilemma for the US who is the main supporter of Israel.

Cluster bombs

In 2008 a Convention was signed to abandon the use of cluster ammunition. 107 countries signed. Three important countries did not. China, Russia and USA and of course Israel. China and Russia was to be expected, and especially Israel who actively use this horrible ammunition. But the US? With their high moral standards, the protector of Human Rights worldwide,”the Greatest Democracy in the World” according to themselves. Why have they not signed this treaty? Even a number of US Military “have long argued they are outmoded and immoral because of the dangers posed to civilians from bombs that do not explode and litter the ground like land mines.”………The last meeting was in Oslo in September 2012…..

What is the use of this weapon?

How many children are killed and maimed every year because of this horrible weapon?

Nearly all victims — 94% — are civilians, and 40% are children,” said Elizabeth MacNairn, executive director of Handicap International U.S. “The report counts between 20,000 and 54,000 cluster munition victims, who will need life-long assistance, and access to a range of health care and support to be fully included in society. Their families and communities also need help.”

So WHY???