Prof likens Afghanistan snipers to July killer

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Jarle Vines (CC Attribution Sharealike 3.0)
14:51 CEST+02:00
Norway’s role in Afghanistan is comparable to the slaughter of innocents on July 22nd at the hands of Anders Behring Breivik, a peace researcher being honoured in Norway has said.

“Norway is in the very difficult role of, on the one hand being a victim, and on the other the gunman,” the acclaimed professor Johan Galthung, 80, was recorded by Norwegian broadcaster NRK as saying on the occasion of accepting the Erik Bye prize in Kristiansand for uncompromising research in the field of social justice.

“Norwegian snipers with cold blood kill those they call Taliban — just like another person in cold blood killed (Young Labour aspirants) and was at hand to kill my own grandchild who hid behind a rock while from the other side he shot her friends,” Galthung said.

In the recorded interview, the world-renowned academic said Norway had to put itself under the spotlight and stop acting like a monster that had to have his way. In Afghanistan, Oslo should switch over to negotiation rather than striving to show its combat prowess, he said.

Galthung, who as a boy in German-occupied Norway saw his father arrested by the Nazis, founded the first Peace Research Institute in Oslo in 1959. He has published 95 books and 1,000 articles, according to Canadian Web site

The professor is recognized as having made a decisive contribution to bringing an end to the war between Ecuador and Peru. His suggestion that a disputed zone become a jointly governed nature preserve was written into a treaty between the two countries in 1999.

The former journalist turned sociologist holds a mathematics degree and a dozen honorary degrees and has largely been honoured for research that yielded faculties of peace studies in several worldwide universities. He held expert roles for the United Nations in Bosnia, The Caucusus, Northern Ireland, the Palestinian territories, Sri Lanka, and Tibet, among other hot spots.

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Much of his work has compared humans' inner conflicts with the conflicts between races, the sexes and regions.

He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters who still teaches at California’s Saybrook University in San Francisco.

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