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Carl Bildt: 'Keep Building Those Factories!'
The idea is to think like the big dogs.
KABUL/STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Sweden's minister for foreign affairs Carl Bildt met with a reporter from Expressen in Afghanistan this week as the Swedish-Saudi weapons scandal continues to shake the incumbent conservative government.
Bildt acted almost surprised people back home could care about an innocent coverup to violate Swedish trade regulations and give the über-repressive Saudis more firepower.
Things got even hotter when minister for defence Sten Tolgfors was caught in a lie and trying to pass the buck and when the current head of Sweden's defence research agency Jan-Olof Lind flatly and repeatedly denied there being any such contract with the Saudis in the first place.
SWEDISH RADIO: Have you ever had a project called 'Simoom' with Saudi Arabia?
JAN-OLOF LIND: Negative.
SWEDISH RADIO: No? You sure?
JAN-OLOF LIND: The answer is 'negative'.
SWEDISH RADIO: OK just to make sure we understand each other: S-I-M-O-O-M.
JAN-OLOF LIND: I've already answered your question.
SWEDISH RADIO: So the answer's 'no'? Really?
JAN-OLOF LIND: Aw come on. Don't you hear what I'm saying?
But of course Jan-Olof Lind was lying. He told a fib. A prevarication. A canard. That's known today. Former defence agency chief Jan Erik Rendahl says Jan-Olof Lind should resign as a result.
'Yes absolutely. He lied and tossed his colleagues under the bus. He doesn't take responsibility for his organisation.'
And where was Carl Bildt meanwhile? Afghanistan. Bildt told reporters Sweden must keep building those Saudi factories.
'We have to honour our agreements. For me as minister of foreign affairs, it is important that people can trust Sweden. But it's not really a weapons factory anyway. I come from an ancient Danish aristocratic family.'
'No! They manufacture stuff for munition safety! Completely different thing! Heck - somebody hears you say 'weapons factory' and they start thinking you've got a weapons factory! I had my picture taken with Condi Rice.'
So this agreement with the Saudis that everyone's denying?
'The one that officially doesn't exist? Well it was ratified in 2005 - I was no longer prime minister then and in fact hadn't been prime minister for ten years - and it's part of general framework for the joint venture with the Saudis we had already back in 2002.'
'And later on we saw we needed a factory so we could build stuff for munition safety. And we really have a good reason to do that, you know, cos we're ace at munition safety in Sweden. Ace.'
But it's forbidden for Sweden to trade weapons technologies with repressive countries like Saudi Arabia!
'True. But if we're already party to an agreement and then we break that agreement, we'll look bad. No one will trust us. Did you vote for Timotej?'
But the voters who believed you! The voters you and the current government lied to!
'Then we're working on a contract with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen to build some of his stuff here. We're also thinking about Mouse dolls. Who do you think will win the ESC this year?'
'Yeah. For export. Like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse dolls. But they'll probably be gender neutral. We're Sweden after all. I've had my picture taken with Hillary Clinton. You gotta think like the big dogs. Believe me.'
Meanwhile Sweden's minister for defence Sten Tolgfors seems to be chosen as the syndabock - the scapegoat. Prime minister Reinfeldt seems to have let Tolgfors out to dry and do himself in. That's what friends are for.
And so Tolgfors has been trying to pass the buck onto the defence agency, pretending he didn't know anything. But Jan Erik Rendahl doesn't buy that either.
'Tolgfors is trying to pass the buck', says Rendahl. 'And that's cowardly.'
Our Man Bildt
Carl Bildt has since moved on to Islamabad. He's working for peace, that one. He says it's nice spring weather there. Today he ate lunch with Pakistan FM Hina Rabbani Khar.
Carl Bildt has been doing his best all his life to destroy Sweden's legendary (and exemplary) neutrality and to shift things into the lap of the US. (As long as petroleum deals for his Lundin friends in Africa didn't get in the way.)
- Bildt was invited to the Omaha centre of the Strategic Air Command already at the age of 24 - before he had any official political role in government.
- Ten years later, Bildt snatched the Swedish government's confidential submarine deal with the Soviets and gave it to his friends in Langley. Yes the CIA in Langley.
- Throughout the Soviet submarine scare of the 1980s (which was actually a plot by Bildt's friends in the CIA to scare the Swedes out of neutrality) Bildt carried on a vitriolic campaign on the floor of the parliament against the country's official policy of neutrality.
Bildt's been described as a medium size dog who thinks he's a big dog. But Bildt knows he's medium size (or even small size) and he's happy with that. Sweden as countries go is chihuahua and you can't hope for better than medium size when that's the case.
But all that sucking up to the US for the past thirty years isn't accidental: Bildt wants to make Sweden into a postmodern vassal state under the protection of the united States of America and with unchallenged control over all the Far North.
Be careful what you wish for.
Industry Watch: Our Man Bildt