Twelve years ago, she left the Socialist Left Party after they supported NATO’s bombing campaigns in Libya. This spring, she chose to leave the leftist party Rødt because the party wants to continue arms shipments to Ukraine.
Marielle Leraand argues that in Norway, just like in Sweden, there is only one dominant narrative – and that is that Ukraine must be supplied with as much weaponry as possible to defeat Russia militarily, regardless of how many lives it costs. Anyone who doesn’t support the warfare is labeled a “Putinist,” observes Leraand.
– You won’t find a single article in mainstream media that even questions sending weapons to the war. It has become a mantra; it’s like an Orwellian nightmare where we have accepted that weapons are the path to peace, she says in an interview with the communist newspaper Proletären.
In Sweden and Norway, public support for supplying weapons to Ukraine is the highest in all of Europe – 93 and 91 percent of citizens respectively want to continue with this, according to a public opinion survey.
According to Leraand, it is the “one-sided media image” that is the biggest explanation for the massive popular support for continued war, and she points to the enormous power and influence of the mass media.
– The collective mindset can’t be anything else, when people are subjected to this constant repetition of the single perspective that Russia is evil, and we must supply Ukraine with as much weaponry as possible.
The leftist politician further points out that the war narrative is never questioned or problematized, and that a consequence analysis is notably absent.
– It’s a very strange logic. Where could this end? Is it likely to drive the Russians out of all areas? But anyone who even dares to raise such questions is labeled as a Putinist today, she says.
Kampen mot kapitalistene – krigsprofitørene
Kampen for global rettferdighet og fred…
To kamper som går hånd i hånd!
Vi gir oss ikke.
Legg ned NATO!
Ha en god kampdag, kamerater!
— marielle leraand (@marielleLeraand) May 1, 2023
She further points out that the warlike stance is unique to the West and that in the “Global South” the talk is instead about resolving the conflict and achieving peace.
– Every war ends with a peace treaty. Why not start with that now instead of sacrificing hundreds of thousands of human lives? she asks herself and argues that it is the role of the United States to initiate such negotiations. She also points out that the US and NATO could have prevented the war by guaranteeing as early as 2021 that Ukraine would remain neutral.
No Peace with NATO
Norway has been a member of NATO since its founding in 1949, and according to Leraand, it is “not possible for Norway to be a peace nation as long as we are part of the world’s most aggressive military alliance”.
– We also become more and not less exposed to getting into war with Russia as long as we are part of NATO. If you want peace, you should instead have a peaceful tone with your neighboring countries and a neutral position like Sweden has had, which has been worth its weight in gold. Now that gold has been thrown into the lake.
After leaving Rødt, the leftist activist has started a new “anti-war party” called Fred og Rettferdighet (Peace and Justice), with the explicit purpose of strengthening the weakened peace movement.
– We don’t have the wind at our backs, it’s total headwind, gale, and storm. But we must go against the storm, it is absolutely necessary. It will take time and energy but we must bite the bullet and do it, we have no choice.