I served for a few years in the Swedish military as a reserve officer during the darkest period of the first Cold War. In those days the Soviet Union was regarded as absolute evil and a threat to everything human and benign on earth. The Swedish defense was focused entirely on a WWII-style Soviet invasion, albeit under a thin veil of neutrality. I learned then that a few odd and intelligent professional officers were skeptical towards the whole scenario, believing that the Soviets had neither the interest nor the capability of invading our country.
The Soviet threat was used by western powers as a political means to push through excessive military spending and to create NATO as a â€œprotectionâ€. Being the leading western force the United States waged numerous illegal and immoral wars with the Soviet threat as a pretext. Then the Wall fell, the Evil Empire collapsed â€“ and the scam was disclosed. NATO was not to be dismantled; it expanded, meaning that Soviet communism had not been the menace. New fanciful pretexts for keeping NATO alive had to be concocted (such as protection against â€œthe technological sophistication of third world countriesâ€).
For ten years during the 1990s, Russia was demolished while NATO crept ever closer to its borders. With a toothless Russian bear it became increasingly difficult to market the need for NATO and to motivate extravagant military budgets in many countries. Then, as a gift from heaven, came Vladimir Putin who threw a spanner into the works of robber capitalism in Russia. There was a man to target! He made the government reclaim some of the countryâ€™s riches that unscrupulous oligarchs had stolen (how dared he!). Eventually Russia reacted forcefully to a western induced (and long prepared) coup dâ€™Ã©tat in Kiev and the Cold War II was a fact, by good luck for lovers of western militancy.
It has now come to a point where right-wing pundits here advocate for Sweden to join NATO. An editorial in our foremost MSM â€“ Dagens Nyheter â€“ the other day is archetypal for the arguments. Itâ€™s first of all held as self-evident that Russia is the only power we have to defend ourselves against, despite historical experiences that point in other directions. The most serious diplomatic conflict Sweden has had with any of the great powers had to do with our governmentâ€™s strong opposition to the Vietnam War, culminating in the US government recalling its Ambassador to Sweden. Our disputes with Russia have been more numerous, but have not reached that high level.
DN describes NATO as â€œthe only organization that exists for firm protection of democracy and freedomâ€, which is true â€“ with our definitions. â€œDemocraticâ€ in the western sense is an attribute attached to regimes we approve of. Russia is thus not a democracy, regardless of how well monitored their elections are. But since NATO through the years has been characterized by its â€œfirm protectionâ€ of a large number of murderous and dictatorial monsters, there is not much real substance in DNâ€™s apology at all.
â€œFreedomâ€ as we see it does apparently not include freedom for peaceful civilians from being murdered by bombs and grenades. NATO countries (in different clusters) have been waging almost continuous wars of aggression since the organization was established. Their latest achievements have set the entire Middle East on fire, with consequences that really poses severe danger to our countries. NATO, with its expansionism and its members’ military aggression, is far from a defense alliance. Itâ€™s an offensive organization that poses an imminent threat, not just to its own members but to world peace.
Alternatives for Sweden? Well, why not seek a non-violent partnership with China, who is demonstrating to the world that peaceful cooperation is the road to prosperity, and that war is counterproductive in all its aspects.