Published December 3, 2004
They were joining writers Andri Snær Magnason and Hallgrímur Helgason, singer Bubbi Morthens who sang his anti-war song “Fastur liður” and a host of others in opposing the governments support for the war in Iraq. This time, however, their opposition was taking a more concrete form. At an afternoon meeting at Hotel Borg on December 1st plans to take out a full page ad in The New York Times were announced. The ad will state that the citizens of Iceland protest against Icelandic authorities support for the war in Iraq and that with partaking in Coalition of the Willing violated Icelandic as well as international law.
This follows a similar advertisement taken out by Norwegians in The Washington Post.
“Two men insist that a telephone conversation between them is enough to set Icelandic foreign policy, and buy whatever they´re being told out of the propaganda and lie factory in Washington,” says Steingrímur J. in a not too veiled refrence to then Foreign Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson and Prime Minister Davíð Oddsson, who have recently switched places without, however, any elections been conducted in the meantime. Steingrímur J. had at the time a seat on the Parliamentary foreign affairs committee which was not consulted. Steingrímur is not a part of The Movement for Active Democracy in Iceland responsible for the ad campaign, but says he supports it wholeheartedly. “I know of an Icelandic aid worker in Iraq who is afraid to say she is Icelandic as she has reason to believe this will incur hostility. Instead, she says she is Scandinavian. Iceland should take part in reconstruction in Iraq, but this must be done under UN supervision once the Americans are out. I don´t think anyone can call what is going on in Fallujah at the moment reconstruction.”
Foreign Minister Oddsson had the previous weekend coined the phrase “conservative communist midgets” to describe those opposed to the war.
The New York Times ad will cost between 3 and 4 million krónur. Any money left over from the collection will go to the Icelandic Red Cross for aid to Iraq. The collection will go on until Christmas at least. Anyone interested in participating can call 90 20000, a phone call will donate 1000 krónur. You can also submit freely to 1150-26-833 Spron (Þjóðarhreyfingin: Kt: 640604-2390). For more information, go to www.tjodarhreyfingin.is