About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Home » Learning Curve » Red Hat Diaries

Dog in a Duckpond

Wheels up.


Buy It

Try It

So Barack is coming to Sweden. After many years of hard work, and despite more pressing issues with other countries such as Russia, and despite there being no groundwork for such a visit - normally the department of state and the White House need a year to prepare - Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt finally roped in the big dog.

It's a crowning achievement to a long and illustrious career for Bildt.

School Days

Bildt's career started back in school when his teachers went on strike. Bildt, demonstrating sympathy and solidarity with his teachers, became a strike breaker.

Years later - but before deciding on a career of wooing the daughter of a political leader - Bildt was invited to tour the US Strategic Air Command in Nebraska.

Bildt has since admitted that Top Gun is one of his favourite movies, that he's seen it hundreds of times, and that he's actually flown Maverick's plane of choice, the F-14 Tomcat.

Whistleblower

Bildt became political secretary without portfolio to the leader of the Moderates (Sweden's conservative political party) a few years later. The year was 1976 when the opposition parties, led by Centre/Farmer's Party leader Torbjörn Fälldin, won a surprise victory over the long ruling social democrats who'd been in power since the 1920s and the days when the legendary landsfader Per Albin Hansson coined the term 'folkhemmet' ('our people's home') to describe his country and his politics.

Pippi creator Astrid Lindgren had been incensed over wacky legislation which left her paying over 100% in taxes, and she took to the front pages of the tabloids, despite being a lifelong social democrat. Lindgren was considered the most powerful person in Sweden, and her diatribe was enough to deal Palme the first social democratic loss in fifty years.

But Fälldin, who headed the biggest of the opposition parties, had gone to the polls on a strict 'no nuclear energy' ticket, whilst the liberals just tried to pick anything that seemed liberal, and the conservative Moderates, led by Bildt's future father in law Gösta Bohman, stayed snugly in the pocket of big business and the upper class, campaigning only for the usual: lower taxes for the rich, higher taxes for the poor, 'no' to all suggestions of further social reform, and of course more police on the streets.

Fälldin was formally asked by the king (as part of the Swedish political process) to assemble a government, but it wasn't going to be easy. Neither the liberals nor the conservatives wanted to say 'no' to nuclear energy, but without a strong stand against it, Fälldin would lose his support.

So Fälldin and the other leaders entered into long drawn out and very secret discussions, trying to reach a compromise in order to build a government.

Those were very secret discussions. We know this partly because Swedish news archives tell us so - no journalist anywhere got a scoop on anything - and those involved (including Carl Bildt) were sworn to secrecy. And we know this as well because of a cable from the US embassy in Stockholm. For one of those involved did break his oath and did talk, and he talked directly to the US.

Carl Bildt.

http://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1976STOCKH05429_b.html

1. BEGIN SUMMARY. THE LADERS [SIC] OF THE LIBERAL, CENTER AND MODERATE PARTIES, TOGETHER WITH THEIR CLOSEST AIDES, CONTINUE TO WORK LATE INTO THE NIGHT IN THEIR EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH A COHESIVE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. INFORMATION ON THE PROGRESS OF THE TALKS CONTINUES TO BE VERY CLOSELY HELD, BUT SOURCES CLOSE TO THE NEGOTIATIONS INFORM US THAT THE PARTY LEADERS HAVE PASSED THE MAJOR OBSTACLE POSED BY THE NUCLEAR ENERGY ISSUE, THAT THERE WILL BE A THREE- PARTY GOVERNMENT, AND THAT DISCUSSIONS ARE PROGRESSING SATISFACTORILY. END SUMMARY.

The US embassy got the news straight from Carl Bildt.

3. CARL BILDT, AIDE TO MODERATE PARTY LEADER GOSTA BOYMAN [SIC], CONFIDED TO POLITICAL COUNSELOR AND EUR/NE DEPUTY DIRECTOR WOODS THAT TENTATIVE AGREEMENT HAD BEEN REACHED ON THE NUCLEAR ENERGY ISSUE, AND THAT DISCUSSION HAS TURNED TO SPECIFICS OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT. BILDT SAID HE UNDERSTOOD THAT UNDER COMPROMISE SOLUTION REACHED BY THE THREE LEADERS, TWO NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS (BARSEBACK II AND RINGHALS III) WOULD NOT BE CHARGED AT LEAST UNTIL 1978, DESPITE THE FACT THAT BARSEBACK II IS SCHEDULED TO BE LEADED THIS MONTH. NO NEW PLANTS WOULD BE CONSTRUCTED. IN ADDITION, A ROYAL COMMISSION WOULD BE APPOINTED TO STUDY ALL ASPECTS OF NUCLEAR SAFEGUARDS AND WOULD BE CHARGED TO REPORT IN TIME FOR THE 1978 MAJOR DEBATE IN THE RIKSDAG ON ENERGY POLICY. BILDT ADDED THAT THE COALITION WOULD NOT BE ADVERSE TO HOLDING APUBLIC [SIC] REFERENDUM ON THE ENTIRE QUESTION OF THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER IN SWEDEN AFTER THE INVESTIGATIVE COMMISION [SIC] SUBMITS ITS REPORT.

This news predated the announcement to the Swedish people that there would be a national referendum on the use of nuclear power. And it predated anything given to the media. The only people outside those secret meetings who knew anything about the progress of those discussions were at Strandvägen 101 - at the US embassy.

4. BILDT ALSO STATED THERE WILL IN FACT BE A THREE-PARTY GOVERNMENT, ALTHOUGH ALLOCATION OF POSITIONS AND PERCENTAGE OF REPRESENTATION WAS STILL UNDER DISCUSSION. HE STATED THAT NEW GOVERNMENT HAS EVERY CHANCE OF REMAING [SIC] IN POWER AT LEAST UNTIL 1982 IF THE SOLUTION TO THE NUCLEAR PROBLEM CAN BE RECONCILED WITH THE DIFFERING PERSPECTIVES OF THE COALITION PARTNERS, WHICH HE BELIEVES IS LIKELY IF THE COMPROMISE PLAN IS IMPLEMENTED.

CONFIDENTIAL


Again: this is more than anyone in Sweden knew. It was only the US embassy who knew. Thanks to Carl Bildt.

5. COMMENT: FALLDIN'S AGREEMENT TO THIS COMPROMISE WILL SEEM TO SOME OF HIS MORE RABID ANTI-NUCLEAR SUPPORTERS TO BE A RETREAT, THOUGH IN HIS MORE MODERATE MOMENTS IN THE CAMPAIGN HE DID INDICATE HE WOULD GO ALONG WITH THE IDEA OF AN INVESTIGATIVE COMMISSION. HE WILL THUS PROBABLY FACE SOME CRITICISM, BUT MOST SWEDES ARE LIKELY TO ACCEPT THIS SOLUTION AS MAKING THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION. SOCIAL DEMOCRATS CAN BE EXPECTED TO ASK WHERE SWEDEN IS GOING TO GET ADEQUATE ENERGY FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS, GIVEN THE DELAY AND POSSIBLE CANCELLATION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPANSION PROGRAM. SMITH

Political secretary without portfolio Carl Bildt proved his usefulness to his friends in the US. He faced a solid wall of outrage when the cable was released, but strangely there were no initiatives to prosecute him on charges of leaking confidential information, treason, or aiding the enemy.

Carl Bildt was 27 at the time.

Submarine Scares

Soon Bildt would get a foothold in Swedish politics. (He never completed his education.) And then came the submarine scares.

Swedes began to suspect the Soviets were poking around in the Swedish archipelago with tiny one-man subs, for what purpose wasn't known. A commission was appointed by Olof Palme and Carl Bildt got to sit on that commission. Before the ink was dry on their final report, Bildt took a copy straight to Langley. And Palme was heard to curse: 'that goddamned Bildt'. No charges were brought against Bildt this time either, and once again he proved his usefulness to his friends in the US.

Carl Bildt was in his early 30s at the time. Thanks to the embassy cables, the sub scares were later found to be an elaborate CIA/NATO hoax to make the Swedes scared of the Soviets and push political views more towards Carl Bildt. And Carl Bildt did his part, repeatedly denouncing the government for being 'soft' on the Soviets.

Bildt & Rove

Bildt's been a lifelong friend of US political outcast Karl Rove, known for his dirty tactics in securing a governorship for George W Bush, in compromising the then governor of Texas and later other leading politicians in the southern states, and in having a hand in the criminal outing of Valerie Plame. Rove was summoned to testify before congressional hearings but refused, and on one occasion skipped the country to visit Sweden.

Rove's Republican Party also had a hand in the cultivation of a young Fredrik Reinfeldt, now Sweden's prime minister, and helped him secure chairmanship of the conservative youth movement from a more liberal opponent. To this day Rove is an official adviser of Reinfeldt and Sweden's Moderates (the conservative party).

Sweden came full circle with Rove, Reinfeldt, and Bildt.

Putting the Record Straight

So Barack is coming to Sweden. After many years of hard work, and despite more pressing issues with other countries such as Russia, and despite there being no groundwork for such a visit - normally the department of state and the White House need a year to prepare - Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt finally roped in the big dog.

To put the record straight: this visit has of course nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that Obama lost all of his remaining face in the recent standoff with Vladimir Putin over Edward Snowden. Nor could it have anything to do with Obama's archenemy Julian Assange's WikiLeaks. Obama's visit to Sweden, which coincides with Obama's decision to scupper his midnight in Moscow, for a meeting in the works for a year, has absolutely nothing to do with any of that.

And for those assurances the Swedish people in the duckpond are grateful. And should they ever forget, Sweden's small dog duckpond media are sure to remind them.

The waters in Sweden's duckpond are shallow and getting shallower by the day.

And after all the talk of Carl Bildt being called a dog in the embassy cables, it's time everyone understood one very important thing there too.

The important thing to understand about Carl Bildt isn't that he's a medium size dog, or a dog with a big dog attitude, or more accurately: a rather small dog.

The important thing to understand about Carl Bildt is that he's a dog.

Wheels up.

Carl Bildt: Medium Size Dog with Big Dog Attitude
--------------------------------------------- ----:
2. (S) Bildt represents a medium-size country (9.5 million, $350 billion annual GDP) that has some major power ambitions and capabilities

See Also
Rixstep Special Report: Our Man Bildt

About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Copyright © Rixstep. All rights reserved.