Monthly Archives: September 2015

Swedes pinpoint targets for drone attacks

The other day our media revealed a disturbing story from Afghanistan. Swedish military officers were said to be present in an operations center where targets for drone bombings were chosen. The officers allegedly took part in a “voting procedure” in which drone victims were selected. The story was (naturally) denied by the Defense department, and media cooperated by quickly dropping further inquiries.

Swedes in general are probably not aware that they live in a belligerent nation. We are at war for the first time in 200 years, and few people really care at all, if they even know. When Sweden offered its services to the United States after the violent retaliation following 9/11, which happened to hit the innocent Afghan people, it was assigned a relatively quiet area to the north of Afghanistan (the “peace-loving Swedes” were probably shown special consideration).

A lot of people here most likely think that we are engaged in some kind of peace-keeping operation under UN auspices, like the many in Africa and elsewhere we have been engaged in through the years. But this is real war. We are in Afghanistan as combatants, and our troops have suffered casualties. It’s not a game.

Different terrorist groups have mentioned Sweden as a possible object for attacks, motivated by our participation in the war. Apart from that we are subject to the laws of war, which means that Afghan troops are allowed to hit military targets on our soil. The government, for instance, as the highest responsible body for the war efforts, must be considered a legitimate military target.

Thus if an Afghan combatant trigger a bomb in the government’s meeting room during its regular Thursday session, blowing up the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet, it must be seen as a military operation. If captured the Afghan cannot be hurt or even interrogated. According to the laws of war he may reveal his name and rank, nothing else, and must be protected as a prisoner of war. Well none of these events are very probable (least of all the POW treatment).

We are so utterly pathetic in our naïve sense of superiority and our despicable self-adulation. We can’t even imagine that these poor people we are waging a war at should have even the slightest right to direct weapons at us as we do at them. And if it would enter our minds that they have some right, we feel entirely safe in the conviction that they have no means of really harming us.

We in the western world use all kinds of prestige words when we describe our ethics on the global scene: democracy, human rights, freedom of expression, etc. Yet our rotten moral can be unmasked by a ten year old.

Refugees rightfully gets attention – causes though neglected

To its credit our main daily – Dagens Nyheter – has engaged in the refugee crisis on a large scale (just like many media in Europe). The now famous picture of the dead child increased the engagement manyfold for a disaster with hundreds of dead refugees going on for months. (There are other, even more horrible pictures of drowned children to be found on the Internet, but this particular one made it through the mainstream filter.)

DN focuses on the humanitarian aspect, urging their readers to be more open to immigration and to support charity organizations. They have opened a hashtag (#jagdelar) on social media and engaged celebrities for a campaign in favor of the refugees. It’s almost a total commitment on a large part of the staff.

Implicitly this campaign also points at the Sweden Democrats, a rapidly growing, semi-fascist party which recently became the largest one among Swedish men in polls. Historically the party has a Nazi background, but some smarter leaders realized the benefits of putting on a blazer and a tie and let their shaved sculls regain some hair. But they are still haunted by their history and one or other racist roughneck stepping out of line has to be excluded now and then.

The Sweden Democrats is based on the one single issue of eliminating immigration, sold to the public with untimely nationalistic rhetoric. Its success originates undoubtedly from a decade of right-wing government politics which worsened living conditions for unemployed, sick and other people in need, without reducing unemployment, especially not for the young. A wave of privatizations of schools, hospitals, pharmacies and many other institutions delivered few benefits but the more of scandals, such as mismanagement from greed, outright fraud and enormous private profits. This created the fertile soil of discontent on which the Sweden Democrats grew like mushrooms.

To the refugee disaster charity is the one thing individuals can contribute to at present, and must be endorsed. But the prospect of changing the wide-spread popular sentiments towards immigration through media propaganda is probably meager. An important newspaper, however, should also analyze the events that caused the need for people to flee their countries, to find out what should be done now to put out the fire, and what should be avoided in the future.

It’s an obvious truism that the violent turbulence in the Middle East area derives directly from brutal western activities in the region, starting (this time) with the wars of aggression on Afghanistan and Iraq, reinforced with violent interference in a number of other countries.

The first step that we in the West should take is self evident: Stop all our own military activities, use western overwhelming might to force all militant parties into peace negotiations and funnel a part of our wealth to humanitarian aid. We must simply realize that our military power no longer is a working means of dominating the world, if it ever really were. Apart from everything else, the violent counter-forces are becoming too strong.

Ruling elites are of course aware of these conditions, they are not stupid, but they simply don’t care. Destruction of the world, especially other people’s world, has no priority over short term profit or other gains. But WE, the people, must use our democratic power to MAKE THEM realize our priorities.

How? Well, that’s just the good question!