Denmark’s Prime Minister admires a killing soldier’s simplistic view of good and evil

April 11, 2019

It’s Friday, April 5, 2019, at 9 PM. An entertaining talk show, “Skavlan”. A dialogue between a prime minister and a special forces soldier who has no regret having kicked in doors and “killed a lot” in Afghanistan.

He justifies himself by the most primitive and long-ago debunked theory about Good and Evil in this world. And then the prime minister expresses his admiration and his total agreement.

Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen listens to Ant Middleton, the special forces soldier who doesn’t regret at all that he has “killed a lot of people”.

Something roamed around in my mind hours after the event and I had to check: Did he really say what I think I heard?

It made me think about theories and worldviews on which political decisions can be founded. About the general, normalized fascination of war and killing, and about the soldier as hero and the victim as invisible, non-existent.

It made me think about the sophisticated, almost imperceptible, media methods by which perpetrators of law violations and war crimes are turned (and turn themselves) into victims and perform smoothly as part of a Friday night’s entertainment program.

And, finally, how a similar conversation about alternatives – about nonviolent peace-making – would appear irrelevant, unthinkable. There is no peace discourse today. War is peace given our “Zeitgeist”.

As far as I know, nobody has publicly expressed the view that this conversation was disturbing. I find that highly disturbing. Too.

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