Letter to Denmark

Denmark, Where Are You?

A Story Of Longing

by Thomas Koppel
February 8, 2006


In the following open letter, an outstanding figure in Danish culture, the composer Thomas Koppel (Savage Rose), challenges the Danish government to step down over its handling of the Mohamad provocation - and its responsibility for Denmark's participating in the illegal war and occupation of Iraq.
He suggests a new independent popular movement to represent the popular demands.

Original article and news about this letter and the initiative DENMARK: MESSAGE FROM THE GRASS ROOTS in English and Danish:

We could have saved ourselves all those many millions for the H.C. Andersen year, because here the real "culture cannon" has arrived.

[the Danish govt. just launched its "Culture Canon" to "canonize" the finest of all times in Danish culture. Savage Rose's first album was selected as no 3 for popular music, but Savage Rose declined because of the involvement of the Danish government in the Iraq war]

The Danish neocon movement from prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to the so-called Dansk Folkeparti and Jyllandsposten‚ (major Danish right-wing newspaper) have all over the planet turned us into a nation without any kind of culture.

The fierce global, popular protests are not only against a couple of drawings and not at all against our freedom of speech. They originate  in anger and despair accumulated over decades over the growing persecution of Muslims in many countries, with Denmark unfortunately notourious as a front runner; and over a genocide on Arab peoples killing close to two million men, women and especially children since 1991; and an "Ausradierung" of several sovereign nations. The Danish government and a considerable section of the parliament are actively responsible.

Jyllandsposten‚ Dansk Folkeparti and Anders Fogh Rasmussen have directed this huge anger towards Denmark.

Some Arab regimes and groups closely linked to the US government (e. g. Lebanon, Saudi Arabia), have out of their own reasons put gasoline on the fire - and thereby distracted the protest from the more dangerous USA and Israel.

Art, Lies and Reality

Why does a children's book really have to be blasphemic, kicking the holiest in a religion?

A drawing is smear campaigning, when it is ascribing to a whole people negative features, that aren't true or typical. The "Muslim" with the scimitar definitely does not look like the one, who in our South Harbor neighborhood of Copenhagen is selling milk and toilet tissue to tired people with bags under their eyes at 1 am.

Behind the man with the scimitar, two covered women in the despised Burkas have eyes filled with fear. But many of the Arab nations actually didn't have neither Burkas or stonings, but progressive, democratic governments - until the intelligence services of the US, UK and Israel had them brought down and killed. Prime minister Fogh's Allies in London and Washington instead organized and trained regimes like the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden.

Even in Saddam Husseins Iraq, with his persecution of communists and other opposition, women had no need to cover themselves up, and 50% of the students in Iraqi univercities, that did not stand back for the western world, were women.

The Frankenstein Iraq, Anders Fogh and his friends can't make stick, is now threatening to bring back opression of women and stonings.

Not the Arab peoples but the Western superpowers are working to keep the Arabic world stuck in Medieval leftovers.

Who are the agressors?

It is our government that has heavily armed troops in Iraq - not the other way around.

It is our government tha authors inhumane immigrant laws, that already before Jyllandsposten's caricatures have made Denmark despised all around the world.

It is our government, that has cooperated with the CIA about torture flights through Denmark.

It is our allies, that builds concentration camps where people of Arab nationality are being tortured and are rottening without a trial.

It is our allies that have turned Iraq, our culture's cradle, into a gigantic nuclear waste junkyard, where more than 50% of the new cancer cases are children under 5 years old.

These incredibly ignorant people of power simply don't understand, that what they do to other people at the end of the day they're doing to themselves. Holocaust

We might not think anyone is noticing this little nation, Denmark, out there in the world. But people around us are following what is happening in Denmark more closely than many Danes themselves. They've heard about Dansk Folkeparti's Louise Frevert's remark that "Muslims are a cancer on the Danish society...." They also know very well that "Reverend" Jesper Langballe in the Danish parliament called Islam a "plague over Europe"..... excactly what Hitler's Der Stürmer called the Jews before the Chrystal Night and its murderous raids on Jews November 9th 1938.

People of Islamic faith are no more dumb than everyone else. They know that all signs of a coming Holocaust against Muslims are present. In Denmark, around Europe, in Washington and London. In the Middle East it started a long time ago.

Mr. Cartoonist, can you imagine the pain? To stand on top of  the ruins of your home, in the ruins of your town? A dirty teddy bear, that reminds you of your little girl, your whole family,that's no longer there? No water, no sewer, no work, and only a couple of hours of electricity every day? A „rebuilding of Iraq", that now has ended up in Mr. Bush saying that " the Iraqis will have to take care of this themselves..."-  after Dick Cheney's Halliburton and others took care of the budgets........

There you are standing, and all of a sudden you see a drawing, done by someone in a distant country. It is obviously supposed to look like you, but with a crooked nose, scimitar, and a couple of oppressed women that fear you. That is, amidst your sorrow and misery, the picture of you some distant artist far away is giving the world...

Of all these reasons, Mr Cartoonist, your drawing is not revealing, but obscuring.

Actually, it's a lie. It is our government, that comes to them with swords, not the other way around.

Is the victim supposed to honor to the executioner's "free speech"? Should my father's beautiful aunt Anna and the 28 other persons from my father's family, who died in Nazi concentration camps, politely have said "To Hitler's right to lie..." when they stepped into the chamber of death?

Reconciliation, Fundamentalists and Reality Show

Now the prime minister is advocating reconciliation. But only because our export companies are angry; and there's even talk about boycot of the ship owners. Even Danish Mærsk, with their bloody war profits, are worried.....

But - with the other side of his tongue - Fogh speaks of "violent fundamentalists who are taking advantage of the situation". He's actually got some in his own little neocon chicken farm. "Dansk Folkeparti"'s Søren Krarup has explained to the parliament, that the war in Iraq "is the ultimate Christian war on Islam". And Ayatollah Krarup is strutting like a rooster, and his crusaders keep ravaging around Basra, armed to their teeth.

The Prime minister had no objections to Krarup's "militant fundamentalism" and also hasn't had much luck with his double-tongued "reconciliation".

It is interesting to think about, that Osama (in harmony with Bushs conspiracy theory regarding 9/11) in a few minutes was "judged" as the main enemy in the so-called "War On Terror". Nevertheless, both Bush, Blair and Fogh have for some peculiar reason been completely uninterested in catching him or anything else ever since. Osama only pops up as a little signal bell on the tv screen each time Bush is up for "election" or making a speech to the nation and needs us to be a little scared.

Hundred thousands of innocent have become "collateral damage" in this "War On Terror; but in almost five years this "War" hasn't produced one single indicted and convicted terrorist. Not one.

The "War On Terror" is unmistakebly one big theatrical show, written and directed by the biggest author of fiction since world war 2: the CIA.

Fogh was being had

Fogh was obviously bewildered left alone in front of the wolves by the same CIA, when the storm broke loose last week. He and "Dansk Folkeparti"'s Pia Kjærsgård were so certain Bush was going to come save them; but besides a little pocket change for the Danish export companies there was no solidarity from Big Brother. No, that is not how the piano plays in the professional mafia.

Bush took without blinking all his trump cards home. He critizised Jyllandsposten‚ (but has since then put in some counterweight), took the role as Islam's rescuer, and left Fogh with his shoulders down and cold sweat in front of the wild crowds.

Bush, on the other hand, could relax while following the anti-Muslim witch-hunt spread like birdflu across Europe - a perfect, destructive preparation for the next suicidal nocon war adventure: the Israeli-American attack on Iran and Syria.

As Iraq became a little more complicated than expected, and Iran a little stronger than expected, they're actually now years behind their plan, but are believed to be aiming at the end of March as the right time for the attack on Iran and the beginning of World War 3.

The Real Intentions

And then here we are at the root of the matter.

As Jyllandspostens‚ chief cultural editor, the PR man of the US neocons in Denmark, Flemming Rose, tells the New herald Tribune, this charicature isue is about far more than a couple of drawings. Rose says - just like  Donald Rumsfeld and the neocon kingpin Daniel Pipes this is the "Clash of Civilizations". That's neocon code for the annexation of the Middle East. A vast US nuclear waste junkyard with oilpipes and military bases with ten layers of barbed wire around it. The "Endlösung" for the Palestinian people. An endless West Bank.

And it doesn't even stop there. All nations including Denmark are going to get a sweep with the tar brush, and this isn't "in a few years". The Bush globalisation's black future has already begun. In the last couple of weeks

Denmark had a little taste of how it feels to be a manipulated colony.

Hundreds of millions of other people know all about that already.

The Arabic peoples, which Fogh is struggling to "calm down", already knows the ideas of "Project For A New American Century", as the US guys  behind Flemming Rose are calling it. They know the paranoid

"Empire" won't even feel safe when it has its iron hand on each and every person on the planet.

Colossus on the feet of clay

The Iraqis have showed us something really important: the Empire is a colossus on feet of clay. While many Danes were busy with low-interest loans, the Iraqi's dented rifles halted the US Project World Supremacy - at least for a couple of years.

Include them in your prayers. They are protecting us too. They are all your daily gift .

But the Monster, The Empire, can only destroy. Fear has become the only thing, this ailing, late capitalism has to offer. There's nothing left to believe in. A growing number of US troops no longer believe in what they are doing. No wonder: More than 500,000 US soldiers are deadly ill from the nuclear radiation of Bush Sr's Gulf war 1991 - and Clinton's Cosovo war. The same has already started repeating with the troops of the present Iraq war. Depleated uranium is not quite that depleated anyway. It has a halflife of 4.5 billion years.

The Empire is corrupt, insane, indebted, hated. Fear has become its trademark. And we around the world we have seen, how most Danish media without any questions passed on the CIA - psychologist's synthetic psychoses on to the (partly) unsuspecting Danish population.

The american population are overwhelmingly against their own government, and there's now a majority for impeachment of Bush and other government officials. „The Alternative", the Democratic Party, has - with its conspicuous nightmarish slackness eventually become the only barrier against Bush's sudden departure, but might certainly get pushed aside by the popular demand.

Another superpower is about to implode, and is acting like a cornered beast.

Fogh and Co, as it has been felt for a couple of weeks now, make it a sure thing that Denmark effectively will be pulled down with them.

More about freedom of speech

Let me add a few words on Jyllandsposten's holy cause - freedom of speech.

Neither the newspaper nor Anders Fogh have ever worried about freedom of speech before, and have done all they could to take it away. We don't have freedom of speech in Denmark anymore, unless we're prepared to take the risk to get treated like a "terrorist". The Danish "terror Law" is a constitution-breaking hoax, that hasn't brought any terrorists out into the light, but has instead been used against freedom of speech (remember Greenpeace and "Foreningen oprør").

Freedom of speech, oh noble Jyllandposten..... Jyllandsposten has a great history of humanism, like e.g.  the editorial after Hitlers excesses against the German jews in the Chrystal Night 1938:

"You have to admit Germany its clear right to rid itself of its Jews. But one must insist that it happens in a decent manner."


If we don't do anything, there will be new pwesecutions in Denmark and throughout Europe. It won't be pretty. And as in Hitler's Germany, it's not going to be just the Muslims. The European Union January 27th passed a resolution equalling communism and nazism. An attempt to obligate the member countries to act against socialists and other progressives didn't pass, but the intentions are not to be mistaken and it is now up to each member country if and how they will go after socialists and others.

First they came for the communists,
and I did not speak out
-- because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists,
and I did not speak out
-- because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I did not speak out
-- because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews,
and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me --
but there was no one left to speak out for me.

(Pastor Martin Niemöller, active in the German resistance against nazism, prisoner in the concentration camp Sachenhausen 1945 .

What has to be done

Dear friends, we can no longer pretend nothing is happening. We must show the world and ourselves respect. Life is too beautiful to mess up because of a little bunch of gangsters that don't know how to appreciate it.

We can't wait for the Social Democratic Party to do it for us. Like most Democrats in the US, most of the Social Democratic caucus voted for the war and its crimes, including for the latest expansions and extensions.

We can't shape our demands, wishes and dreams around the practical political possibilities in the parliament without censoring ourselves, because the parliament doesn't represent the people: The majority of the Danish people is against the war, but not the parliament. We must raise our demands and wishes as they are - and create the organism that can turn them into reality. A strong new grassroots movement, not only about the war but including all the horrible problems plaguing the population regardless of color of the skin, religion, or gender. This might open uop to a whole new popular inspiration, joy and creativity - break the evil circle of fear and turn Denmark into an alive, active, independent organism which could inspire other peoples, awaken new ideas and optimism and not like now: disgust.

I suggest, that we immediately, raise these demands:

1. The Fogh government must step down.

It has done enough harm. We and the world outside can't wait for the next ordinary election. It is a question of rebuilding our identity and be true to our democratic, open, friendly and wise tradition.

2. The Danish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan must be brought home now.

The war is a crime in defiance of UN's decisions and thereby in defiance of the Danish constitution. This comprehensive war crime is the framework around innumerable other war crimes - meaningless murders, torture, destruction and assaults on the population and its necessary installations and institutions. They are also in defiance of the Nuremberg treaty and all international human rights and war crime tribunals. After our experiences under the German occupation, this is beneath our dignity.

3. There has to be initiated a thorough independant investigation of the Fogh government's premises to pull Denmark into the war, and another investigation of the government's relationship with Bush's secret concentration camps and torture flights through Denmark.

4.The xenophobic laws have to be cancelled and replaced by others  in tune with Danish democratic and humanist tradition. Racism, xenophobia and persecution does not belong anywhere.

These laws are more unknown to many Danes than they are to many in other contries. Well before Jyllandsposten's suicide bomb Hans Christian Andersen's mother country had already become an object for despise as a racist and xenophobic country. Besides, racism and hate destroy also any nation or group practicing them - and make the soul decompose.

5. The terror laws (Danish "Patriot Act") must be cancelled including the attcks on freedom of speech.

These laws are unconstitutional; they are totally against Danish democratic tradition and culture - they destroy fundamental human rights and civil rights without contributing the least to reducing terrorism - on the contrary.

6. Budgets for illegal wars and illegal weapons must be moved to education and creating workplaces . After the wars comes exploitation of underpaid work and slavery. This kind of abuse must be stopped whereever it is.

A man from the Danish governemnt party, Venstre, told me that we could close down all of Denmark's farming, because a single big farm in Ukraine could handle it all for a fraction of the price. But a Denmark without production is a sick, weak, dependant nation. No low-interest loans can replace production more than just a couple of years at the most, then the bill has to be payed. With what?

7.  There has to be a thorough, informative, popular debate regarding Denmarks membership of EU.

It is crucial that this debate comes up as a real, lively, popular debate. We are becoming an incapable pawn in a big game of military, superpower illusions, oil wars, fascisation of the community and working conditions, andpoisoning of our food and destruction of our climate and our environment.

How should it be done?

All these  are questions we can discuss by organizing meetings at work, in the unions, with your neighbors, the village, school - in media and everywhere (Jyllandsposten‚ e. g., has freedom of speech... )

What about a new independent popular movement, who can represent the popular demands without tactical parliamentary restrictions - thereby bringing  the true, popular demands into the Danish reality in a strong and organized way, including in the parliament?

This is a suggestion from a regular composer of Danish popular tradition - from beautiful medieval folk songs to Buxtehude, from Blicher and H.C. Andersen to Jeppe Aakjær, Martin Andersen Nexø and Carl Nielsen; from Tove Ditlevsen to Erik Stinus. And at the same time - of global tradition, from Sappho to Neruda, Mikis Theodorakis, Nazim Hikmet, Mahmoud Darwish, Marvin Gaye, Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba..... Life is full of beauty. The horrifying and ugly doesn't have to be there. Now is the best time ever to wake up and take the initiative for the sake of our children's future.

Think how things could actually be....

This great change is not something we fight for for years - to see nothing will come out of it anyway. The change begins, in the same instance we make our decision. Freedom is in the process itself - when we realize we can do things on our own. Forget about watching tv tonight and talk to someone about what you can do.

What we need from ourselves is: that we preserve our respect for ourselves,

respect for others - regardless of skin color and beliefs; that we hold on to love,  solidarity, the dream, the poetry, the humor, the beauty, the big heart, the open mind, the common sense. It is all old virtues - becoming new and fine when used. All of it uniting real popular Danish culture with all other peoples' cultures on this earth. When we dig deep down underneath greed and lies, the dreams, the tears and laughter the same all over the world. All the thousands of wonderful flowers, that make the culture of this planet, come out of one single root that all people understand.

That's the longing for freedom.

- End -