Do we have a soft spot for mercenaries

Norwegian Tjostolv Moland sentenced to death in Kisangani, DRCIt’s damning photograph. I sought it out after hearing the story of the two Norwegian mercenaries condemned to death in the Congo for the murder of their Congolese driver. Was their black companion killed in an attempt to rob the white adventurers, as they tell it? US news outlets asked Tjostolv Moland’s mothers about the picture of her son, which showed him smiling as he wiped blood from the driver’s seat of their pickup. The mother dismissed it as bad timing, she though her son was probably caught off guard, laughing at a joke unrelated to his morbid task. Boy can Americans relate.

Other US newspapers speculated about a fabled Norwegian propensity to laugh at adversity. They also described Norwegian diplomats scrambling to save the two boys from the gallows. It’s true that Norway doesn’t have a death sentence, and therefore does not condone it elsewhere. Otherwise US and BBC portrayal of Norwegian concern for the two mercenaries seemed at odds with Norway’s usual determined pacifism, so I was eager to hear from my relatives there.

The scoop? Contrary to US and UK sentiments and their projection of Norwegian concerns, there is no domestic sympathy for the two wayward boys. None.

The Norwegian public has become well aware that Moland and partner Joshua French have been traveling the Congo as mercenaries, and have been involved in other killings as well. The fact that Congolese courts are trying to extort a large fine from the Norwegian government, based on the accusation of the two travelers being agents of Norway, is due to documents which the two forged to pretend they had active duty contact with the Norwegian military.

In Norway, military service is compulsory. Every Norwegian male has a record of military service. It helps that Norway rarely involves itself with acts of aggression, sanctioned by a fraternity of nations or not. And when soldiers of fortune like Moland and French set about rampaging in Africa, it behooves Norwegian authorities to ensure that their military is not implicated by association.

How fitting that US and UK listeners should presume a reflexive maternal instinct to protect the two white boys, set upon by angry African opportunists. The boys might be mercenaries, but America and Britain have lots of those overseas. Hired guns, paid assassins, professional killers, why quibble with words?

The laws of war grant little grace for mercenaries, but that’s not what English-speaking supporters of imperial expansion want to believe. Mercenaries in the Neocon vernacular are called private contractors. They’re just ordinary soldiers who’ve escaped the poor pay of military service, to the entrepreneurial ranks of war-making free enterprise.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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8 Responses to Do we have a soft spot for mercenaries

  1. Avatar Violent Whispers says:

    “and have been involved in other killings as well.” Where did you get this from? Eric Verlo, pathetic.

  2. Eric Eric says:

    Reading. Try it.

  3. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    A 3rd Cav scout (yeah, they still have that position in the Army) who I bought weed from back in the 80s told me that the Career Training he was getting would give him a real career advantage if he wanted to work as a Hit Man.

    There’s really not much difference in the job descriptions. Mercenaries like Blackwater (now “Xe”) and Wackenhut differ from the Mafia mainly because they don’t have to worry about the Local Fuzz busting them, they can kill them too., as easily as they do Iraqi or Afghan babies. With guaranteed immunity courtesy of the State Department negotiating “Treaties” and the Pentagon sending their own Hit Men to back them up.

  4. Avatar Maraak says:

    Although this is a necro-post, I feel obligated to tell you this: They have not been involved in other killings other than this. They actually have a background in norwegian military, but not when they were in Kongo (an old military ID card was found by the africans, who then claims that the two doofuses are spies -.-), and there is actually support in norway saying that at the very least, Moland and French should be given a fair trial and serving their sentence in Norway.

    And if you have followed the trial, you may have noticed that there is several huge fuckups by the kongolese government, as well as outright lies and blackmail.

  5. Avatar Brother Jonah says:

    Yeah, their employers. Or one set of their employers. Only, an “official” record isn’t often the true record.

    What a bigger controversy would be, beyond their own personal tribulations and whatever they committed, is the whole structure of Mercenary Companies. Since what it works to be is legalized killing of Human Beings.

    Perhaps the corporations who contracted them could pay the requisite bribes errr “fines and fees” to have them extradited to Norway to serve their sentences. But the companies aren’t noted much for their Humanitarian endeavours.

    And, yes, it is convoluted. That convolution is one of the avenues that enable the worst abuses and corruptions of their “industry”. Which happens to be Killing people.

    As a personal preference, I’d just as soon chuck all the “dominate them and kill those who resist” attitude, but I don’t run their companies, and now, we don’t really have a direct say in the Government of our nation, which we supposedly own in equal measure.

    And live and let live apparently doesn’t make as much of an immediate profit for the Corporate Government.

  6. Avatar Brian says:

    these guys were illegal in Congo with illegal weapons, forged IDs and one of their weapons was used to kill the driver, not known who pulled the trigger though, i don’t know if these guys really killed the driver, but they got a lot of cases on them!

  7. Avatar Luck says:

    The picture speaks a thousand words by itself regarless of all your poorly contrusted excuses!And as for the mother stating”she thought her son was probably caught off guard, laughing at a joke unrelated to his morbid task.” It a nice way of saying its my son i dont care what he did give him back.Well that not the way it works they wanted to go in the congo and be mercenaries well then let them dance to the tune of the congolese rhumba music!After all its the family`s driver that incurred a loss,lets be real here you take life you need to pay and since their dirty jobs was done in the congo its the congolese gvt that has to judge them wether or not the trial will be fair is no longer of importance they were mercenaries and took a life in a foreign country!What else do you want excuses just coz they got caught with their tails between their legs? After 10years in those jails their colours would have changed to black…and thats a lesson to other mercenaries thinking of doing the same there!

  8. Avatar Lucas says:

    The guy smiling passed yesterday in prison. What is true is that they killed this driver. Most comments here are just as idiots/stupid as those 2 folks. Pls ask how they found them after the killing , what they found in their apartment and you will just realized that they’re fucked up!

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