Category Archives: Russia

There is a threat to western media, a well deserved one

The infamous list of 200 treacherous websites has reignited the “information war” narrative (the list is by some suspected to originate from immature Ukrainian hackers). But that war is in reality not about Russia, it’s about us. It’s about our insidious propaganda served with arrogance as if it were truisms. It’s our self-righteous presumption that “the others” are biased, but we (by mere definition) are not, since we always represent the objective reality. And it’s this loathsome conceit propagated in mainstream media all over the western world, almost verbatim identical everywhere.

To be fair, there are honest and skillful journalists and reporters, and there are independent media outlets. But for the core of mainstream media the judgement above is quite valid uniformly. And that observation is certainly no innovation; Herman & Chomsky wrote the standard work on the topic some 20 years ago.

But why take the side of Russia? I don’t think I’m alone in opposing the western narrative without having any specific affiliation with Russia. It’s undoubtedly an interesting and multifaceted country which we know much too little about. But there are traits in the Russian ethos, such as a kind of roughness and emotionality, in which I wouldn’t fit in very well.

The reason to fiercely oppose the western anti-Russian propaganda is not just that it’s unfair, ignorant and often plain stupid, but above all that it threatens to create a development that ultimately may lead to the obliteration of humanity. The very thought that the distorted narrative poured over us by our media with such irresponsible nonchalance might bring us ever closer to the final nuclear shoot-out is just unbearable.

During the first Cold War there was no interest in finding out the Russian points of view at all. Had there been any interest, there was no Internet to do it with anyway. The only picture we had was formed by the unanimous Anti-Communist canon, not subject to objections. Today the scenario is totally different.

Editorial writers in our petrified MSM are themselves evidences to this by getting tantrums about “Putin’s information war”, conducted through media outlets like RT and others. With this our MSM probably reach just the most ignorant or apologetic among their audiences, but they completely miss the informed and conscious ones. And that’s a serious neglect since RT’s posts on Youtube have been visited more than 3 billion times, far more than any other TV-broadcasting news outlet has achieved.

So, they are shooting their own feet point blank. They provide RT and its colleagues with the most effective marketing efforts – for free. People have computers and it takes a few seconds to get to RT.com. And there, probably to their surprise, they will find that “Putin’s information army” is a Foreign Legion, manned mostly by an enlightened crew of US and western European citizens. They’ll have to look hard to find a single Russian reporter.

But, alas, we have the talk show host Sophie Shevardnadze, granddaughter of a former Soviet Foreign Minister. Sounds Russian enough. Well, she’s of Georgian descent (a country nowadays induced by the West to become an enemy to Russia), moved to Paris at age 10, then on to USA where she studied at both Boston and New York University, speaks idiomatic American English. So much for Russia there.

What people curious of RT certainly find are some well substantiated news that never appear in their domestic media (of course there is also a small share of “local” Russian material, easy to skip for anyone who wishes). And they can listen to numerous western scholars, pundits, journalists and other experts talking about issues and taking standpoints ignored or suppressed at home. That’s the basis for RT’s success and for the new “Red Scare” in our domains. It’s in a way a popular revolution against western corporate media which for at least a century have been using their dominance to manufacture consent in a way that serves economic power, the only indisputable power in our societies.

The lukewarm war, threatening to become hot

One can’t stop wondering about the deep irrationality and inconsistency that the human species is capable of. I had a friend once who was very emotional and loved his children beyond everything. If they had died, he probably would have lost all reason for living himself. At the same time, he was a raving right-wing apologist, warmongering fiercely against our standard enemies. Never did he connect the two discrepancies and realize that his sons could be among those killed in the war he acted as to facilitate.

And this man is just one among millions deceived in the same way. We are all prone to swallow even the most stupid propaganda and conjure up hatred against “enemies” who for some reason are considered suitable. Today the number one of these enemies is Russia. And that’s nothing new.

Through the centuries Russia has endured constant pressure from western powers, and numerous attempts by them to conquer the vast Eurasian land. Not that Russia ever has posed a significant threat westwards; it obviously must be conquered just because it exists (like mountaineers say about the next mountain top).

In the beginning of the 18th century Sweden’s king Charles XII was one who tried but was stopped already in Ukraine by Петр Великий. Charles ruined his country through endless wars, which he carried through mainly because that kind of life pleased him. The positive side of his catastrophic adventures was that Sweden became forever cured from all dreams of being a permanent great power in Europe. (Instead we eventually turned into a role model in peaceful achievements.)

We know the other attempts to conquer Russia in wars of aggression: France under Napoleon, Germany in WWI and Western powers in the civil war following the revolution. When Germany again in WWII steamrolled its war machine eastwards it was at least with a declared motive, stated in Generalplan Ost. According to the plan, more than half the population in occupied East were to be exterminated or deported, the remaining to be used as slave labor in the service of the Nazi empire. Executing the plan started without delay, and 14 million civilians were murdered by SS and their accomplices before the killers were stopped.

Lack of aggression, comparatively speaking, on the part of Russia against other countries can hardly be attributed to moral superiority, rather to military weakness. Occasionally they have tried, for instance when they occupied Manchuria in 1900, where they were punched in the nose by the Japanese.

During the first Cold War (which we now experience over again) the Soviet Union was pictured by us as the main aggressive power, threatening the whole world. And yes, they performed some horrible atrocities in eastern Europe such as in East Germany 1953 (55 killed), in Hungary 1956 (3 000 killed) and in Czechoslovakia 1968 (72 killed). We have these crimes in vivid memory, frequently reminded by our propaganda outlets.

The Soviets engaged in one major military operation during the post-war period – the war in Afghanistan. It may have been as close to R2P one can get, since the objective was to help the Afghan government, probably the best government that country has ever had. Nevertheless, the Russians simply proved that war mostly lead to disaster. US was provoked to create the Mujahidin to fight the Russians, the government was overthrown and ultimately the Taliban arrived at the scene. In the end the Soviet system collapsed.

For being the giant threat to the world one must say that Soviet Union was rather modest compared to the western world, led by USA. In almost perpetual wars – one more illegal and immoral than the other – millions and millions of people have been killed, mostly innocent civilians. That is something we more rarely are reminded of.

(To be continued…)

Western disinformation about disinformation

MSB – the Swedish mini-equivalent of Homeland Security – today came up with an additional reason for its existence: the importance to counter the “large increase of disinformation from Russia and ISIS”. Someone in that bureaucracy has discovered social media and found a lot of trolls out there. Surely they have also read about the Russian “troll-factory” in St. Petersburg. (One day they may perhaps find out that there are numerous trolls, fanatics and lunatics from millions of sources on the web, not just from Russia.)

One particularly dear example of disinformation is an allegedly fake letter from the Swedish Defense Minister regarding a weapons deal by which a Swedish company were to sell an artillery system to Ukraine. The letter circulated on Twitter and elsewhere and was said to emanate from Russia (no specific evidence attached).

If this was a deliberate disinformation operation the subject seems a little odd. To sell weapons to Ukraine is not a violation of any international law, it just doesn’t comply with a domestic Swedish policy principle not to sell weapons to countries in war (a principle not followed very meticulously in the past). One could certainly think of much more harmful subjects for anyone taking the trouble of faking a letter with the Ministry’s original letterhead and a copied signature…

Anyway, blaming Russia for offensive web activities seems to be a universal key for many who need to escape embarrassing situations, the DNC emails being the most recent case. Instead of apologizing to Bernie Sanders for its indecent and unethical actions against his campaign, DNC rushed to blame the incriminating leaks on Russia. The same procedure was of course practiced for the awkward Clinton emails.

Our most important newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, has extended their disinformation charges against Russia to also include, among others, RT (formerly Russia Today), the most viewed TV news channel on YouTube. The tactics used for this purpose is for instance to list some of the craziest stuff found on the web, and then mention RT, Sputnik News or other Russian sources in the same context, insinuating that these news outlets have something to do with the worst lunatics. That’s the kind of disinformation that self-righteous western media can indulge in without even scenting the self-contradiction.

As millions of viewers have decided by “voting”, RT is an interesting news channel, notably for presenting news and videos that never appear in the remarkably unidirectional western media outlets, which sometimes looks as if they are printed in the same machine or produced in the same studio.

It appears as if the western business run societies feel some kind of need to bid up the conflict level against Russia. Is war the aim? In that case the well-dressed western decision-makers are worse than the worst lunatic trolls on the web.

Cultural mathematics – and other inadequate thinking

A couple of days ago the head of the editorial office for culture and arts in our prestigious paper Dagens Nyheter, Bjorn Wiman, drew attention to Russian journalists who suffer violence and murder. The column focused on the atrocities directed towards women, but the author made one small miscalculation. He claimed as a fact that “female journalists are particularly vulnerable to repression against independent media in Russia”.

As proof of this statement he pointed to a survey showing that female journalists have to endure threats and hatred on the Internet three times more often than their male colleagues. But in the next sentence he wrote that women constitute 80 percent of the journalists in Russia. In other words: if the attacks were distributed regardless of gender, one would expect women to be four times more affected than men, not just three times. Bottom line: male journalists are particularly vulnerable to repression in Russia.

Apart from this mishap in the text, it’s an important topic. There are way too many journalists murdered in Russia, and way too few attempts by western media to investigate and understand these deplorable events. One can’t avoid the suspicion that this obscurantism is intentional, opening for readers to intuitively believe that Putin lies behind it, after all.

When the almost daily mass shootings occur in the US, media is not just interested in the misdeed itself but also in the perpetrator’s background and motives. But when Russian criminals are brought to trial for murdering journalists, the western interest for them is low. The court proceedings are usually open to journalists, but anything substantial is seldom reported. It’s as if we want people to think that every such event is a show trial serving to send some scapegoats to prison to protect the real culprits higher up (accusations never accompanied by any evidence).

Anna Politkovskaya was murdered ten years ago. She had been very critical towards Putin over the war in Chechnya, and – ergo – Putin gave the orders for her assassination! That seems to be a widespread opinion in western circles. And yes, if Putin wanted to hurt himself to the maximum, that would be plausible. It suffices to see the damage done to Russia by this murder as it is. The Russian justice system, on the other hand, seems to have evidence that a Russian oligarch – Boris Berezovsky – hostile to Putin and living abroad, instigated the murder of Politkovskaya, which at least appeals to elementary common sense.

The most recent high-profile murder was that of Boris Nemtsov. Here the distinguished Dagens Nyheter openly speculated that Putin was responsible, and if that by any chance couldn’t be proved, still “his name will forever be tied to this murder”. This is our elevated defamation activities in action! The premise for that view – that Putin is stupid beyond the comprehensible – is something our propagandist perhaps are too stupid themselves to grasp (or more sinister: they expect their readers to be).

Looking for motives to murder Russian journalists one can’t avoid thinking about false flag operations. But there are evidently terrorists and loose cannons, with or without Chechnyan connection, enough to cause all kinds of problems. We don’t know very much about these subjects here, and it would call for some investigative journalism, had our media not been so definitely restricted to dumb propaganda whenever it comes to Russia.

Humanitarian aid not fit to mention

“Russia’s Emergencies Ministry has dispatched the 52nd truck convoy with humanitarian aid to Donbass” reports RT.com. “Since August 2014, Russia has sent 51 convoys with 61,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Donbass.” According to the ministry’s press service the 52nd delivery consist largely of “foodstuffs, daily essentials, medicines, firefighting equipment, and art and educational books”.

These kinds of news will never appear in Swedish media, of course. (I suppose our MSM would rather describe them as examples of the Russian “information war” which perpetually obsess them). The only convoy of interest was the first one, as we remember. It was made an object of suspicion: “Russian tricks to smuggle weapons and contraband”, or ridicule: “some of the trucks are empty”.

After a long time waiting for permits from Kiev to cross the border – permits that never came – the first convoy just took off to its destinations and unloaded. That was the last we heard from these humanitarian expeditions in our media. The New York Times though – a few convoys later – had an informative article about the living conditions in eastern Donbass in which the reporter interviewed a restaurant owner who testified that these deliveries of basic means of existence were essential for life in the haunted region.

There is no need to regard the Russian government as more altruistic then other governments to be able to explain these relief operations. They simply help people of Russian heritage or affinity in need. The urge to help may (or may not) be enhanced by the Kremlin refusal to fulfill the deepest wishes of these people, namely to join their spiritual motherland. In fact, Russia helps citizens in a foreign country, moreover a country before whom Russia (even in a resolution to the United Nations Security Council) has pledged to respect and protect its independence and sovereignty (with Crimea as an exclusive exception).

The despicable Putin is determined that people in all of Donbass shall stay Ukrainian citizens forever. What Kremlin supports is simply that some degree of self-determination be granted people there. Kiev on the other hand obviously sees the inhabitants in rebel held parts of Ukraine as enemies suitable to kill with artillery shells. Consequently, those Ukrainians don’t qualify for humanitarian aid from Kiev, instead they suffer elimination of their economic rights, such as pensions and other allowances.

This doesn’t fit well with western propaganda. Russia is presumed to occupy eastern Donbass and wage a war against Ukraine, supposedly with the intention to conquer the entire country. That’s anyway what the leaders in Kiev repeatedly have claimed, supported by western media. In order to uphold that distorted view it is necessary to disregard and keep behind a smokescreen everything substantial of what Moscow says and does.

It’s self-evident that states and governments are no moral agents; they can say and do whatever they have the power to do and say. The Russian government is no exception. But government’s statements and actions can and should be constantly scrutinized by their citizens, and their possible lies and wrong-doings revealed.

As mere citizens we should also comply with the principle of moral universalism, which states that we must follow the same standards as we apply to others. We should hence as Swedes meticulously dissect our own propaganda before we accuse others of the same misconduct. This principle is violated to a level of absurdity by media in my country; themselves distorting facts and serving half-lies and pure lies without discrimination, aggressively accuse Russia of waging an “information war”.

One of the “state controlled” outlets for this Russian propaganda is said to be RT, the most visited TV news channel on YouTube. Vilifying RT may sooner or later prove to be an own goal as more and more people take part of the media market unconstrained by our usual, self-censored media. If anything, the accusations may lure people to watch the defamed “propaganda channels” themselves, if not for other reason than pure curiosity.

Those who look up RT.com to check for the propaganda will find a bunch of citizens from western countries – US, Britain, Irland etcetera – presenting news and writing editorials in impeccable English. One needs to look hard to find any genuine Russians. The selection of news is naturally focused on Russia, but RT also digs up other events that we seldom hear anything of. Thus we can in RT read about inconvenient demonstrations and embarrassing statements (like for instance this one: “WWII happened because Russia attacked Germany, and that must be prevented from happening again” /paraphrase/, uttered by Yatsenyuk during his visit to Merkel) which are more or less suppressed by western media.

We are back to one of the simplest truisms among definitions: “Propaganda is the other guy’s lies, not mine”.

 

 

Voilà! Now the Russians use EU research projects when they spy!

When we were asked in school what we first of all wished for the future we usually answered: “a peaceful world”. When we were slightly older we added: “good health”. And I suppose that these are the priorities we stick to through life. And yet we are so naively susceptible to warmongers when they inflame our feelings against one or other “enemy”, that we suddenly forget all the horrors that lack of peace implies.

The incitement against Russia in our media these days is pathetic and utterly scary. Every possible “news” is bent to portray Russia as a dangerous enemy with evil intentions, as if to prepare us for the necessity of a coming war.

Some days ago a special Russian airplane, engaged to perform tasks in an international research program on the climate, financed by EU, was expelled from Sweden. As part of the research project it was intended to fly in areas which authorities considered “sensitive”, with the consequence that the permit was withdrawn. For disputed reasons the plane could not take off to Russia in the stipulated time and was grounded on a distant airport. This urged my sophisticated newspaper to cry out: “A Russian aircraft violated Swedish territory for several days”.

Any suspicions of the plane being used by the Russians for spying purposes was rejected by the German leader of the research team, Fred Stroh. “On arrival to the base the plane is stripped almost naked and you can look into it everywhere” says Stroh, doubting that it would be possible to sneak in any spy equipment; “the space is occupied by our instruments”. The reason for hiring this particular plane was that it is built to operate on high altitudes. In the project it was intended to measure things like water vapor and ozone.

The research team had rent a special hangar in Kiruna and transported their equipment in containers from Germany some 2,000 kilometers, everything in vain. Had an equivalent event happened in Russia our newspapers had certainly focused on the disappointment among the members of the research team and denounced Russia deeply for its ludicrous suspicions.

It’s hardly plausible that the Swedish authorities really expected any Russian spying during this environmental project. The plane could be inspected any time by any conceivable Swedish expert, and foul play by the Russians had been a dreadful blow to all possible good-will they had achieved. But the propaganda has reached such a “high” level that our media can assume the Russians to be stupid beyond all limits, and get away with it.

More probable than the spy suspicions are that the withdrawing of the permit in itself served its purpose in the propaganda war. And our prime paper – Dagens Nyheter – fulfilled its duty in serving the whole story as a hostile and insidious action by our arch enemy.

Why in the world should Sweden join NATO?

Our establishment media are working hard nowadays to pilot Sweden into NATO. That’s certainly one of the reasons for their absurd and intense vilification of Russia, a country portrayed (by our main paper, among others) as historically aggressive and violent. “NATO has of course never planned an attack eastward” writes one of the elevated editors without a hint of irony, while NATO countries still poke around among the ruins in Afghanistan and Iraq, trying to end only the two latest of brutal, illegal and immoral wars waged on the East.

“Because the threat is a Russian threat” asserts the same editorial (thus overruling international – US made – polls showing that a substantial majority of the world’s population deems the United States to be the greatest threat to peace and security). We are back to the former cold war, when we were made to believe that the evil Soviet communists were ready to attack and conquer the whole world any minute.

The Soviets in those days obviously showed their aggressiveness by some battalion size attacks in Czechoslovakia and DDR (the agreed Soviet sphere of influence), atrocities that we still frequently are remembered of. A few hundred people were killed in these operations, which we aren’t allowed to forget. At the same time US with some allies killed millions of people in Indochina, about which my noble newspaper initially suppressed any critique, and today mainly keeps in merciful oblivion.

(The Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan proved disastrous in many ways, as wars often do. It became a starting point for extreme jihadism in that area, as well as a prelude to the breakdown of the Soviet Empire.)

Reasonably sensible people back then realized that the Soviets had neither the capacity for military attacks on western countries, nor any interest in doing so. Western powers proved those people right when the wall ultimately fell. The entire pretext for establishing NATO had been “the Russians are coming”. Now, instead of dismantling NATO, the organization added more member states and was moved closer to the Russian borders. There is no more distinct way to say: “sorry, we’ve lied to you about the communist threat for forty years”.

Today’s Russia is weaker than the Soviet Union in relative terms. First of all, it has just half the population, and its military budget is a small fraction of NATO’s. Moreover, the Russian economy is mainly market driven and thus dependent on other countries to a much larger extent than before. Against that background it should be completely ridiculous to portray Russia as a military threat to Sweden. But stupidity is not an obstacle for propaganda. When nationalistic reflexes are played upon, (we) the public swallows almost everything.

We don’t ask ourselves who is served by this war mongering. Sweden may not have the same kind of military-industrial complex as the US, but still we have relatively large weapons producers and substantial weapons exports. And our military forces, suffering losses during the cold-war-free 1990s, can feel the smell of fresh air and growing budgets. To catalyze this process, they for a while reclaimed the old submarine hoax that already had compromised our marine forces in front of the whole world long ago. But as already noted: stupidities work, the larger the better.

But what drive our editors to their skewed descriptions of Russia, filled with half-truths and complete lies, under a thin cover of barely correct facts? To satisfy the weapons industry or the military seems not quite sufficient. Is it just some right wing reflexes that deprives them of honesty and truthfulness? Or is it concern for an increase of their paper’s circulation by means of fear mongering? Any way: lots of things for progressives to follow in the future.

Sweden to join NATO? Time going backwards?

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 “protection”. 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 – 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 “the technological sophistication of third world countries”).

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 country’s riches that unscrupulous oligarchs had stolen (how dared he!). Eventually Russia reacted forcefully to a western induced (and long prepared) coup d’état 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 – Dagens Nyheter – the other day is archetypal for the arguments. It’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 government’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 “the only organization that exists for firm protection of democracy and freedom”, which is true – with our definitions. “Democratic” 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 “firm protection” of a large number of murderous and dictatorial monsters, there is not much real substance in DN’s apology at all.

“Freedom” 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. It’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.

Putin – “the new Stalin” – to build a museum denouncing the former Stalin

When a licensed hawk like Dr. Henry Kissinger persistently argues that the present demonizing of Vladimir Putin in the West is not just bad policy, but even lack of policy, one could expect that at least those less right-wing than him had taken some notice. And when he with the same determination claims that Russia’s security interests near its borders must be recognized by USA and EU, he cannot be suspected to be Putin’s tool. A plausible conclusion is instead that western conservatives and liberals along the line have run amok in Russophobe frenzy.

The uniform narrative on the Russian issue, spread all over western mainstream media, is embarrassingly ignorant and naïve or – more exactly – mostly outright stupid. It’s as if the old format from the blatant anti-communist propaganda in the first cold war has been recovered from the archives and recycled. It’s not just one-sided, like all propaganda, it’s also deliberately misleading (or, as Paul Craig Roberts would say: it’s all lies).

(One hour ago I heard a segment in the Swedish public service radio, to take just a minuscule example. It has been reported today that Poroshenko will put forward new legislation that will permit some kind of autonomy for the break-away regions in eastern Ukraine. The “public service” reporter supposes that Poroshenko is under pressure from Germany and France (to get financial support), and then he devotes most of the time to an interview with some unknown Ukrainian nationalist who is allowed to thoroughly describe his opposition to the legislation. Not a word is said about the central fact: that the autonomy in question is a fundamental clause in the Minsk accords.)

According to our propaganda the civil war in Ukraine is “Putin’s war” although Russia had pushed harder than anyone else for a negotiated solution. “Putin wants to conquer Ukraine” (a lie by Yatsenjuk and others) although Russia has put forward a resolution to the UN Security Council, guaranteeing Ukraine’s integrity and secure borders. “Putin wants to restore the Soviet Union” (McCain et.al.), “Putin is a new Hitler” (Clinton) etcetera.

A completely different event concerning Putin has been announced by Professor Stephen Cohen in The Nation recently. No president in Russia before Putin has managed to push through the establishment of a museum commemorating all the victims of Stalin’s reign of terror. Now he has done that, probably in defiance of a large part of Russians that consider Stalin to be a great nation builder and a war-winning marshal. We now just have to wait and see how our media will distort the building of this museum to match the demonizing of Putin (if they can’t manage that, they can be expected to be dead silent). The museum will be inaugurated in October this year.

More about this issue can be listened to via The Nation’s web edition where Stephen Cohen discusses with John Batchelor.

McCain’s perpetual wars, and Swedish naivety

Last week John McCain visited Sweden in his official capacity as a US congressman. (Whenever he visits Ukraine the slaughtering of civilians by the Nazi battalions intensifies afterwards; interesting to see what his visit here will imply, hmmm…) He was greeted very respectfully as Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, and taken care of by the Swedish Minister of Defense, a Social Democrat by the way. No impertinent questions have been asked, no demonstrations rallied, everything just peaceful and quite.

The important US guest gave an improvised press conference on his way to a helicopter, during which he stressed that Vladimir Putin is aggressive, and therefore a danger to surrounding countries. This said by certainly one of the most aggressive politicians from undoubtedly the most aggressive nation on earth the last 70 years. Our brain washing works so well that no one even hears the screaming hypocrisy.

Swedish politicians use deceitful tactics when they lure their countrymen into NATO. They know that Swedes at heart don’t want to see a full membership, so the process proceeds incrementally. During a former Social Democratic government we suddenly found Swedish combat troops engaged in the Afghan war. Without any debate a 200 years long era of peace had been broken furtively.

Recently we welcomed NATO troops to a large joint exercise in the northern parts of the country and similar cooperation in the whole area has become more or less a routine procedure. And all of it takes place without much public debate or (as far as I know) decisions in parliament.

It’s significant to contrast the reverent reception of McCain by Swedish media with the scornful treatment of him by American comedians. He advocates violent solutions to nearly every conflict on earth, and want his country engaged actively in spite of the embarrassing failures of the two last wars (as well as most previous ones).

Another interesting comparison can be made between McCain’s ideal USA and the competing Chinese power. When USA spends (printed) money on perpetual wars, the Chinese conquers the world with giant infrastructural projects in developing countries, financed through aid and trade. These massive civilian campaigns serve as antidotes to war in that they tie countries together in fruitful dependencies (just like the idea behind EU).

When will we realize that wars are obsolete means to achieve world dominance? Do we have to wait until China has taken the definite economic lead, and the dollar is rejected as reserve currency? In that case: let’s just hope that the world exists by then.