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Speaking truth to power?
STOCKHOLM (Radsoft) — At least we no longer have Carl Bildt, that canker sore on the international reputation of the country, that idiot who as a diplomat got himself declared persona non grata in two countries, the maniac who, in the face of the evidence of his own military who time and again debunked him, stuck to his story that the Russians are coming (into the archipelago) because, to use his own words, he - and he alone - 'saw a pattern'.
Those days are gone, and in his place at 'Gustav Adolf' we now have Margot Wallström, Sweden's most popular politician. Margot worked for years in Brussels on the European Commission, and certainly was guilty of gaffes and tunnel vision at times, but there's a qualitative difference between her and Bildt. Bildt is a known US informer, a warmonger who was richly rewarded for promoting war; Margot is not.
Staying in Brussels as long as Margot did tends to yield to tunnel vision. Many remember her confrontation with the UK media where she simply stated that if the Irish didn't vote the right way, she'd have to give them the same referendum again and again until they voted the way she wanted. That's what they call a 'gaffe'.
Margot's two burning causes have been Palestine and feminism. It doesn't matter much to her if they're the burning issues in the world at large: those two seem to be the only ones she's really versed in.
Fine enough that. And it's OK if an MFA doesn't know everything when taking office. But as in any profession, it's important to not bluff and to tell the world when you need more time to form an opinion. And it's important to choose one's advisers carefully. And above all, it's important to be brave and to always unflinchingly speak truth to power.
Margot's now trying to cash in on the Saudi kerfuffle, but actually she did nothing. There was nothing in her speech to offend even the Saudis; on the contrary, she pushed for the recognition of Palestine, something that must have pleased them to no end.
On the contrary: the Saudis blew it. (And millions worldwide are glad they did.) Margot had lobbied to cancel the military contract with the Saudis, much to her credit, but she was silenced by an overly timid PM. That the Saudis acted as they did only helped Margot's faction to finally win the day. Margot wasn't able to accomplish that on her own.
The bravery Margot is today brandishing is therefore not entirely accurate - she did her best to get the contract cancelled, but that was a fight with her own prime minister, not the Saudis. The complete transcript of her speech in Cairo is available here.
Margot comes from the party - and the school - of Olof Palme, protege of Tage Erlander, who called him the greatest political prospect he'd ever seen. Palme talked with everyone. Palme spoke truth to power. Palme was brave.
Margot's not brave when it comes to Edward Snowden. Officially she's stated that he broke the law. And basically left it there.
Margot's not brave when it comes to Julian Assange. So far she's coyly avoided commenting at all. Eva Joly was in Stockholm to speak with Marianne Ny and got turned around at the door. 59 human rights organisations have rallied in support of Assange; Margot says nothing. One needn't worry about ministerial interference: her predecessor Thomas Bodström from the same party, the party of Olof Palme, did it all the time.
Margot is tragically clueless when it comes to Ukraine. She's adopted the hard line EU stance without discretion. And even digested most of the good old Bildt phobias. Margot needs to go back to school when it comes to Ukraine before she puts her foot in it again.
Ukraine needed money. Their leader Yanukovych, known to be more closely aligned with Russia, would have preferred asking Russia for help, but the voices of those asking him to turn west were louder. So he turned west. He turned to the EU.
The EU, with their ever-ready IMF in the background, gave the Ukrainian leader an offer he couldn't possibly accept: they refused to give him all the money he needed and they forbade him from seeking further funding anywhere else.
Yanukovych then turned to Russia. And Putin, that relentless dictator, offered him exactly what he needed, and more. He'd get all the money his country wanted, and the Russians actually encouraged him to get additional support elsewhere, so as to secure the arrangement even better.
And that's when the really ugly stuff began. Initially a relatively peaceful movement, the 'Maidan' turned bloody, dark, and ugly overnight. Mercenaries came in all over the place, CIA instruction books on organised rioting appeared - and the US, with their 65 NGOs in the west of the country, funded to the tune of $5 billion, went to work. Smoke clouded the skies of Kiev and the country in general.
It's also important to understand the dichotomy between the east and the west of the country, and that too is something Margot seems woefully ignorant about. The easterners tend to like Russia, feel close to Russia, and feel Russia and Putin are their friends. They also tend to hate, despise, and fear the people in the west.
Western Ukraine is the cradle of Banderite Nazism, and it's never been purged, not after the second world war, not after Nürnberg. Not all Germans underwent a reckoning after the war, but most did. No one in the west of Ukraine underwent anything. The Banderites were so brutal that they even scared the Nazis. And the brethren in the southeast, the Crimeans, had even more bitter memories, of Nazi occupation and wholesale slaughter.
Crimea had been part of the Russian empire - not the Soviet empire - since the 1700s. About as long back in time as Thomas Jefferson. A bureaucratic sleight of hand in the years of Ukrainian Khrushchev had transferred their administration to the soviet of Ukraine, something the Crimeans were never happy about. Time and again they tried to get something done about it, but to no avail.
Then came the coup. It wasn't an orderly democratic transition. Almost no one will try that story any longer. Snipers (from behind the protester lines, in buildings supposedly controlled by the protesters) suddenly started shooting people in the back. RT's 'Yaro' came back to Moscow with footage of not only how he narrowly escaped assassination, but also of how the protesters who were gunned down didn't get shot from the direction of the Yanukovych 'peace keeping forces' but from behind, where their own people were supposed to be in control.
This same behaviour was seen in countless videos from other locations. The odd protester lagged behind the others, pulled out a pistol, and began shooting people at random - in the back. (This was long after Yanukovych was gone.)
Yanukovych finally signed a deal with the protesters, essentially giving them everything. And yet the following day, he was gone. He most likely fled for his life. A few parliamentary machinations ensued, none of which fully adhered to Ukrainian law, and the coup was a fait accompli.
The Russian language would be outlawed. The Crimeans were subhuman and would be hunted to the ends of the earth, and scorched earth would be left beneath their feet. And so forth. New midnight Banderite torch parades were held in Kiev. Anyone who missed this or doesn't understand the significance has no business commenting on the situation there. The resurgence of Nazism - the pest that was to have been forever eradicated - with the countenance of the US has to be the biggest scandal in modern times.
The propaganda from the west, always directed by the US, the department of State, and the foreign relations committee, has been incessant and shameless. Time and again their attempts have been exposed as really stupid lies. The empty food store shelves in Crimea that turned out to have US dollar price tags. The Russians in the Ukraine that turned out to be Russians in Russia, in photos taken years earlier. The passports supposedly confiscated from Russian spies in the country, so poorly faked that under 'occupation' they stated 'spy' in Russian. And so forth. The US propaganda machine became a laughing stock - at least to those paying attention.
The brutality of the attacks on eastern Ukraine - on 'Donbass' - have been horrific. The self-defence forces in the area hunkered down for the inevitable attack on the weekend of Kiev's presidential election - they knew what was going to happen. And happen it did. Photos of the atrocities shocked the entire world. The atrocities even dwarfed those in Gaza, which occurred in the same time frame and ended then as well. The militias of the Ukrainian oligarchs admitted deliberately targeting schools, hospitals, daycares, even ambulances, all in an effort to terrorise the local populace, to force them into submission.
It didn't work. Somewhere between 750,000 and over 1 million fled over the border into Russia, where they have been well received. This too is a matter that's coyly kept out of the western media, especially the Swedish media, who try the outrageous implication that those people fled into western Ukraine instead - right into the arms of the people who hate them and want to eradicate them, being as they are, in their eyes, 'subhuman'.
Perhaps one of the most brazen (and it's really hard to pick a winner) act was when the unelected PM 'Yats' went to Germany with cap in hand and tried to convince the German television audience that Russia had invaded Germany in the second world war, and not the other way around. Those who control the past, as George Orwell began. The office of the PM received requests for clarification. Was it a mistake? No mistake, they replied. Something big and sinister, bigger and more sinister than anyone had theretofore feared, was going on. And it's still going on.
Never before in human history have we been able to witness propaganda in action, and in realtime, and with such clarity. The same thing happened on the road to Iraq in 2003, but the social media weren't there so people could themselves communicate, and WikiLeaks wasn't there either.
One simply cannot underestimate the effect of Julian Assange's organisation. The big takeaway from the Collateral Murder video wasn't the horror, although that in itself was more than most people were prepared for; the big takeaway was seeing, in black on white, how our governments lie to us. Time and again. And do so with a routine and professionalism that's staggering.
And now, thanks to the social media, thanks to Facebook, and above all thanks to Twitter, we're able to see ourselves what's really going on. We're finally able to share information laterally, and not be spoon-fed lies from above, through the old 'pyramidal' system as Rick Falkvinge described it. Countless reporters and photographers, not in use by the MSMs who want to control everything, are sending back information to us, almost like IRC did for the war in Kuwait (which we also know today, thanks to WikiLeaks, was another US fit-up, and not at all what the MSMs wanted us to believe).
There's nothing that beats raw data. Raw data is the ultimate arbiter. That's all we need. All else is propaganda. Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks taught us that. It's no coincidence that the world's most intense investigative journalists, such as John Pilger, have long been staunch supporters. Raw data seals the deal. Every time. And it's no wonder that the world's greatest voices, such as Noam Chomsky, also stand behind Assange - they've studied history long enough to know what's really going on.
Margot Wallström needs to go back to school. She has to recognise the peace-keeping efforts of a Russia that directly stopped the US invasion of Syria, a Russia that doesn't work the same way everyone assumed it used to work (but that too was a lie, as it turns out). She needs to come out in support of Edward Snowden. And she needs to stand at the side of Julian Assange.