Welcome President Putin

russian tu-95
The Russian TU-95 is a frequent guest off the coast of Norway. Here it refuels behind an Iluyshin ii-78, with a Norwegian F-16 reminding them that they are very close to Norwegian space.
Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces

Jens Stoltenberg was the Norwegian Prime Minister for 8 years before he became Secretary General of NATO. As a leader of the Norwegian government he was known for being invisible. He tried to solve everything behind closed doors, and as a result the other two parties in this three party coalition made very public statements that appeared to go against the offial government policy. Everyone waited for Stoltenberg to deal with this, but nothing happened. He gave the usual response politicians do when they use an excessive amount of words to say absolutely nothing.

I have a feeling it’s something similar with regards to Russia. When I was growing up I kept hearing news about the talks between Norway and Russia, which dealt with the maritime border and fish quotas in the Barents Sea. Nothing seemed to happen before Jens Stoltenberg and President Medveded signed an agreement after 40 years of talks. Trying to deal with a powerful and ambitious country like Russia is difficult, and it is pretty clear that you can never count on anything. That makes it hard to understand why our politicians are being so naive.

coast artillery
Illustration photo. Grøtsund Fort (coast artillery) and Olavsvern covered the town Tromsø. I served at Grøtsund Fort, but both bases have been sold.
Photo: Norwegian Armed Forces

As Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg has adviced the member-countries of this alliance not to lower their guard when it comes to Russia. Really? Let’s look at what Stoltenberg did himself. In 2013 the Norwegian government, led by Jens Stoltenberg, sold the navy base Olavsvern in Tromsø. Norway was the only country that had a base relatively close to this part of Russia and the Barents Sea. His government also used its majority in Parliament to close down the airforce base in Bodø. So now we don’t have much military presence where we need it the most.

But let me return to the navy base Olavsvern. This has been privately owned since early 2013 and we don’t know much about whoever owns it. There have been Russian research vessels at this base all winter. The new government isn’t much better. They claim that there’s nothing they can do now that the base is privately owned, so they don’t even monitor the ships that dock there. We know from the Cold War that you can’t necessarily accept the official story. There were many private research vessels and fishing boat that were very much under military command then. So maybe we should be just a little bit concerned when these ships show an interest in access to a former NATO base?

Incindentally, in recent years many European countries have been forced to “guide” Russian military planes and ships out of their own terrirories. I think NATO is being tested, and I’m not sure Norway has passed. Many Norwegians, including myself, have assumed that this is the safest place to be. We might be doing the same mistake as in 1940. We tried to be neutral like Sweden. Our neighbour decided to make a deal with Hitler, while Norway payed a high price for being naive. We still believe that if something happens, it certainly won’t start here. I hope our politicians realize that the world is not a different planet. We are actually a part of it, and we do have a border to Russia.

I am reading a book about some of the Norwegian heroes from World war 2 at the moment. I am going to write about it in my next update from my book challenge. Heroes have a tendency to step forward when they are needed. Maybe we need them again now?

Norway and Russia sign maritime border agreement.

Russian ships in NATO base

What are the Russians up to?

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19 thoughts on “Welcome President Putin

  1. Our political leaders here in the U.S. engage in similar “contradictions” as the Norwegian Prime Minister you write of. I wonder sometimes if they are really that naive, or if they are very aware of they are doing and doing it intentionally and if these actions serve some other publicly unofficial purpose. Of course, that would not be for us serfs to know, would it?

    1. Surely you are not implying that we, the peasants, the simple an common people from the province are not enlightened enough to have an opinion? If that’s the case you astonish me! 🙂

      I do think you have a point. I don’t think all these decisions are accidental or a result of politicians that can’t see the consequences of what they are doing. At the very least I believe there are people in the shadows trying hard, sometimes successfully, to change the outcome.

      I remember an interesting comment many years ago. A Norwegian philosopher wrote a comment about 20 years ago that got some attention because it irritated politicians. She implied that we were letting idiots run the country because if enough people voted for a candidate, this person didn’t need any qualifications. We expect more from politicians than from anyone else, but we don’t care about their resume or what kind of people they are. They are after all supposed to be one of us, but they quickly forget and many of them have no idea how life feels like to most people, or how their decisions will destroy lives.

      That happened just as quickly to a Labour Party candidate like Jens Stoltenberg too, who by the way has never had a job outside politics.

    2. John,

      Yes, I am implying that we peasants are not apparently “enlightened” enough to appreciate the goals of our “exalted leaders.”. It’s not that we aren’t enlightened enough to have an opinion….but rather that expressing that opinion can be hazardous for the peasants at times.

  2. The arcs of consequences sweep through history, current events, and prophecy, where they impact like missiles delivered to their targets.

    One such arc is the inevitability of the 666 system, the 10 horn world leaders, and Great Babylon.

    Much debate has gone into the identity of Great Babylon — though scripture clearly states that it is “the habitation of devils.” (I’m guessing it’s higher dimensional and will try to mimic New Jerusalem, though popularly considered an ET mothership.) In any case — it’s were the enemy and their demon offspring dwell. In another age it would likely be called Olympus. And of course they’re intent is to direct all nations from behind the scenes — and possibly in such a way that they can enter again into the higher dimensions (heavens) from which they are being ousted in an ongoing angel war.

    So arc of their inevitable destruction is depicted in the Revelation and related Bible Prophecies. (such as Christ’s own prophecies, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, etc.)

    No earthly nation escapes the 666 system.

    Revelation 13:15-18

    And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast
    – that the image of the beast should both speak and cause
    – that as many as would not worship the image of the beast
    – should be killed.

    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond
    to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads And
    that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark
    – or the name of the beast or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding
    – count the number of the beast
    – for it is the number of a man and
    – his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

    Power politics, technology, ideologies, etc are falling in line to establish the 666 system. Like an ICBM launched with Multiple warheads.

  3. John,

    The possibility of having your home country become openly occupied by hostile forces is not a comforting thought. Being unsure of the ultimate loyalties of government leaders is an unfortunate reality for all of us.

    The theme of your post touches on such US matters as the potential terrorist/”unsecured border” issues we face. Unknowns always tempt me to become anxious, but I like your idea that heroes have a tendency to step forward when they are needed.

    We always need heroes who will do what is right no matter how wrong the rest of the world seems to be.

    1. I just started on a book about World War 2 in Norway, and there’s another one waiting for me. They both deal with major heroes. I’m so excited about this I want to start writing tonight, but I have to read these books first, and there should be a post on it at the end of the month. Incidentally, Germany invaded Norway today 75 years ago, and on May 8th we celebrate Liberation Day (1945). I have been writing extensively about this because it provokes me how the authorities have ignored/concealed important parts, and the official story has often been about creating myths.

    2. I admire your passion for discovering truth in history, and believe I have indeed encountered a few of your previous posts on this sort of thing 🙂

      People do tend to forget details easily from one generation to the next and the mythologizing habit is a problem. I suppose it’s considered the “truth” as far as the dominant opinion is concerned?

      I’m assuming you are familiar with George Santayana’s statement that Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. .

      It seemed to be an appropriate quote to reference, considering the subject matter at hand…

    3. Heather,

      The hard part is “being the heroes.” I suppose a hero could simply be described as an ordinary person doing extraordinary things because they live in extraordinary times.

    4. @Jay,
      I like that description 🙂

      Sometimes, too, I think a hero is someone who is able to do ordinary (good) things under extraordinarily rotten circumstances.

      Even in times of peace, I expect we encounter such individuals on a daily basis and never realize how truly amazing they really are.

  4. It seems like “myth creation” has been the official story of most governments/nations throughout history. Of course, one could put it more bluntly, and call it propaganda. Sometimes, I think most of what we think of as history is probably 80-90% myth creation.

  5. There’s no call to save the Titanic.
    Christ said that His Kingdom is near.
    This world is soon passing.
    Why shed a tear?

    Some think that the call to be in the world physically
    – means also being in the world spiritually
    – yet there’s a better way.

    2nd Cor. 6:16-18
    …for ye are the temple of the living God

    as God hath said…
    – I will dwell in them and walk in them and
    – I will be their God and they shall be my people

    Wherefore come out from among them…
    – and be ye separate saith the Lord
    – and touch not the unclean thing
    – and I will receive you

    And will be a Father unto you…
    – and ye shall be my sons and daughters
    – saith the Lord Almighty

    Gotta be spiritual (in Christ)…..
    ……to be salt and light in the world !!

  6. There’s no call to save the Titanic.
    Christ said that His Kingdom is near.
    This world is soon passing.
    Why shed a tear?

    Jesus died and rose again in order to recover the Titanic after Adam forfeited his God-given place of authority.

    Psalm 24:1 declares that the earth and everything within it belongs to the Lord.

    While we are not to love worldliness, I do believe that God cares very much about the way we interact with His creation. Scripture admonishes believers to be “good stewards” of temporal resources and personal relationships while living here.

  7. Heather, indeed, our rescue mission in this world includes nurturing relationships and practicing good stewardship — even in war zones and emergency triage situations, time permitting. Christ returns to destroy those who destroy the world (Rev. 11:16b).

    That’s going to happen even though we’re good stewards (Mt. 13:22). The things of this fallen world still perish from moth and rust (Mt. 6:19-21). Nor is there any call to build houses on sand (Mt. 7:24-27). There’s no political salvation apart from the Kingdom of God — “which is not of this world.”

    2nd Peter 3:10-13

    But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which
    — the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and
    — the elements shall melt with fervent heat
    — the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up.

    Seeing then that…
    — all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein
    — the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
    — and the elements shall melt with fervent heat
    ?

    Nevertheless we, according to his promise,
    — look for new heavens and a new earth
    ,
    — wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    i.e. the earth and the heavens will be “replaced” not “renewed”

    So, there’s no need to “fix the system.” This earth and the heavens are broken beyond repair due to sin. But the new earth and new heavens are coming soon — with New Jerusalem — captained by Christ, as our ark, for the saved.

    The results of sin are hazardous waste to be properly disposed of as part of Christ’s perfect stewardship. What more can be said of so great a salvation — which the damned reject and end up instead in the Lake of Fire?

    1. nomemoleste,

      I am familiar with those verses, thank you.

      Perhaps it was not your intent, but I understood your poetic comment introduction to mean that since God has a plan for restoration, believers don’t actually need to care what happens in the world (ie with politics) before Christ returns.

      I grew up in an environment which did not stress a need to involve ourselves with much beyond “missionary work”. But, the overall message of the Bible is clear that Christ’s body should be very involved in preparing the world for His arrival–and we are to do this while occupying whatever social position He has assigned..

      True, New Jerusalem will be fully established in the place of Old Babylon.
      We are given a picture of this through Daniel’s prophecy of a stone (Christ) which shatters the “feet” of the old system and then grows into a mountain which fills the earth. But, the Kingdom of God is already among us…carried in the hearts of those who have been converted by His Spirit.

      Drawing from biblical example: even though ancient Israel was ultimately headed for destruction, there were a few bright moments of religiously-inspired political improvement. And these brief intermissions were pleasing to God.

  8. @ “the Kingdom of Heaven as treasured”

    I think you took the sense of the prose well, Heather. If we were to pursue that discussion, I’d point more to Vernard Eller’s “Christian Anarchy” (which is about Christ’s Rule overall, as The Most High). It’s here on-line at House Church Central. http://www.hccentral.com/eller12/

    And it’s very “consistent” other writings that show “little interest” in the things of the world. Such as those of Jacques Ellul, Karl Barth, etc. In this sense: Those that sow indifference to the Kingdom of Heaven reap indifference from the King of Heaven. Those that do not recognize Christ also miss the dynamics of the Kingdom of Heaven — and dismiss obedience to the Word as anarchy.

    Worldly powers and politics are in a continuous state of rebellion (revolution). I’m reminded of the saying about a wall clock with hands: “that a broken clock is still right twice a day.” The pendulum swings of politics still allow for brief respite between the extremes.

    But real and abiding peace comes with avoiding worldly entanglements. Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven and soldiers in God’s Army (who wear the Armor of God) — do well to stay out of compromising situations — such as divided allegiance.

    Take for instance John’s writings here concerning distrust of technology, academics, and medical practice. That of course extends to worldly politics, for instance as regards Putin, Russia, bases, etc. They are merely what they are … a snake is just a snake. Why be angry? Or thankful? They’re old wine skins. They’re sows’ ears. …cobwebs that can never become clothing… That’s proved repeatedly in history and current events.

    We have better. The Kingdom of Heaven is where real JOY is found! Not some visible dominion with flags waving; but the inner connection. Christ own are stationed here in the wastelands temporarily. The exodus is not our home. His camp is our home away from home. We’re not an occupying army. Christ’s mission is rescue, not dynasty building…. (now I’m getting wordy) That’s why we keep occupied; diligent in our Master’s business — doing the Will of God on earth.

    He Himself eloquently and graciously pointed to the overarching reality, while being betrayed during the event just before crucifixion…
    – “Do you think that The Father would not send legions of angels to me if I asked?” (Matt. 26:53) and
    – “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

    ps. Even His millennial reign on earth spans only a 1000 years. Satan’s release ferrets out the remaining rebels. Then this old “prototype world” can be put away having served its purpose. Much as an incubator or crib…. No surprise that a carpenter would tear down an old home (especially one infested) and rebuild.

    Should we grieve the loss of our mortal bodies? If not, why shed a tear about the passing of this world? It helps, for those who need to keep their stress down, to avoid investing emotions in things that don’t matter.

    What matters? Faith in Christ, which shares in His loving others, is what makes a difference. (Gal. 5:6, “faith which works by love avails”)

  9. What matters? Faith in Christ, which shares in His loving others, is what makes a difference.

    Agreed.

    I want to be clear that I am neither “political” nor particularly “patriotic”. So my reason for addressing your comment was not because I feel especially motivated to defend a belief that Christians are to overtake the entire world and convert everyone so that we can “save” the earth as we know it.

    We probably don’t need to pursue the discussion at this time, as

    1. I really don’t want to overrun John’s comment section with details that would likely take us far off of the main point of his post. and

    2. It is apparent you hold to a more developed eschatology than I. There are some things I can say with certainty, but there are also particular points you’ve made which I am currently unable to respond to as I’ve been waiting on the Lord to help me re-evaluate some areas and piece together the truth.

    Before signing off, though, I wanted to briefly visit this statement;

    Should we grieve the loss of our mortal bodies? If not, why shed a tear about the passing of this world?

    Scripture is clear enough that it is better to be “at home with the Lord” than trapped here in sin-contaminated mortal bodies. And I am completely in agreement with you that we should look forward to the time when we are no longer confined in these vessels of clay.

    However, there is no indication in scripture that we are to deliberately neglect, abuse (or mistreat others while occupying) our earthly bodies…even though they are technically a part of this dying system.

    If an individual’s emotional state is particularly fragile, I would never pressure him to attempt to expand his earthly influence farther than God has clearly called him to. But, it is not sinful to be grieved by social/political injustices and abuses that we encounter in this life.

    In 1 Timothy 2:1-8, Paul instructed Timothy to urge believers everywhere to pray for kings and those in authority. He wrote that it is God’s desire for all people to be brought to repentance and saving knowledge of Christ….Part of his reasoning was that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
    I understand this to mean that Paul indicated it is God’s expressed will that Christians are to care about temporary worldly affairs, whether private, public or political.

    Thank you for the discussion.

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