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The Mind of a Swedish Left-Wing Neocon
Can they think for themselves?
DUCKPOND (Rixstep) — Sweden's turned into a vegetable state. The land once famous for its free thinking (Olof Palme) and curiosity (Lena Nyman) is no more. The country once politically aware has turned into a sycophantic mass of Hollywood worshippers. There is no critical thought anymore.
Trying to find the perfect example may be impossible, but focusing on a fresh op-ed by Staffan Heimerson can possibly serve this purpose. But first: who is this Staffan Heimerson?
Staffan Heimerson is a columnist for Aftonbladet, 78 years old. He's been around for the country's 'golden years'. So he must have a faint memory of how things used to be. Or so one would think. But comparing him to the excellent but far lesser known Lars Schaff is useless: Schaff thinks; Heimerson doesn't, and if he ever did, he long ago forgot how.
Heimerson's piece for Aftonbladet 17 May is titled 'Putin will in the end destroy himself - but until then?' And right away one takes a step back. We've witnessed shameless warmongering on the part of the US, expansionism on the part of the EU, fascist and neo-Nazi forces corrupting Ukraine - and what has Putin done? Nothing mostly. He took the Crimean referendum under advisement; he hasn't acted on the referendums of Donetsk or Lugansk yet; that's about all he's done. His current popularity rating back home has long since pinned the needle. Small wonder.
There have been several attempts to implicate Putin in the altercations in Ukraine, but all have turned out to be deliberate falsifications, which leads one to believe Putin's not involved at all. The pics from the NY Times, sent them by Kerry's people and published without critical review, proved to be anything but what they said they were. The pics of empty store shelves in Crimea showed dollar signs on the shelf edges. Photostat copies of the passports of supposed Russian spies were so clumsy that they forged the word 'spy' in Russian under the label for 'occupation'. It doesn't get much dumber than that.
All the while NATO expansion continues, now encompassing everything from the Atlantic right up to Russia's doorstep, this despite the 1991 agreement that NATO would not at all expand. And somehow it's Putin who is expanding?
As Putin's aides have said many times over and over: Russia, already the biggest country in the world, can't handle any more territory. And in case someone missed it: Putin's had his hands full after the way the country was gutted by western economists (and one Swede) under Yeltsin, when 10 million people basically 'disappeared' and life longevity dropped to a level commensurate with a Polynesian island. Putin has his hands full already, just as Russia had her hands full at the end of World War 2 when nearly 30,000,000 people lost their lives and the US concocted NATO to protect the west from an imminent invasion from the east. As Julian Assange said in another context: 'it's bullshit, it's all bullshit'. And where exactly has Putin expanded?
All the above is common knowledge. So what happened to Sweden? There are but two possibilities.
- News in Sweden is brutally filtered. (True.)
- Carl Bildt's been able to thoroughly brainwash the nation. (Likely.)
A combination of the above two is of course also possible. But let's look a bit at what that presumably left-leaning Heimerson wrote 17 May. Heimerson is currently in Roquebrune-sur-Argens in Provence in France. He's at a vineyard chateau to listen to a bit of classical music - a bit of Ravel, Mozart, and Händel. And he meets two 'gentlemen' who engage in conversation.
- Yuri, a Ukrainian oligarch. ('Filthy rich', says Heimerson.)
- Tom, a retired US Air Force colonel.
Both ended up at the same recital as Heimerson. No explanation is given. The one of the two gentlemen - the Ukrainian oligarch - is precisely the type of individual that the original protesters in Kiev wanted to get rid of before they were preempted by the US. The other would only on rare occasions harbour opinions contrary to official policy line.
So right away you know something's wrong, for Heimerson describes them as 'two gentlemen with radically different backgrounds', who amazingly - according to Heimerson - have 'the same opinion in the world's hottest controversy'. To anyone other than Heimerson, it would have been obvious the two would have the same opinion. But Heimerson doesn't see this. He's not thinking.
The Ukrainian oligarch tells Heimerson: 'We want to keep NATO out. We don't want to become a colony of the US.' That's sort of hard to do when the interim unelected government already inked a deal with the notorious IMF and thereby sold the country into permanent slavery. Does Heimerson realise this? No. He's probably looking for periscopes in the archipelago back home.
Does he even remember how this all started? How the country was desperate for money, how the EU offered to help, but only under the strictest conditions, only with the IMF poised to cripple the economy; how Putin said he'd help too, and encouraged the three of them to work something out; how the EU refused; how the neocons in Washington, who'd already invested five billion in the country, were not about to let them ink a deal with Russia, and so brought in neo-Nazis and jihadists from all over, terrorists trained in violence by the CIA handbooks they passed out; how they co-opted the whole thing, right down to determining what puppets would control the country, including half a dozen neo-Nazis who today sit in the cabinet and control the military.
'But how will your country defend itself against Vladimir Putin if we in the west don't have our sanctions and a military defence always at the ready?'
That's the Swede Heimerson talking there. And you realise he must be clueless, or tortuously twisted, for those so-called 'sanctions' didn't and won't ever be able to do diddley-squat. They're an attempt by Obama and Kerry to not lose any more face (but they're losing it all over the place anyway).
Doesn't Heimerson realise this?
The Ukrainian oligarch tells Heimerson: 'Kerry's a cowboy'. One might find consensus on that point, although if Kerry were a cowboy back in the Wild Wild West, he wouldn't have lasted a day: he keeps shooting himself in the foot.
Now the air force colonel chimes in. 'I agree with him', he tells Heimerson, referring to the Ukrainian oligarch. 'We have no business being there. Ukraine is a European concern.'
That sounds almost reasonable, almost like the words of a thinker, so it can't go unanswered by Heimerson.
'But not to defend Ukraine is to further strengthen Putin!' the Swedish columnist tells his esteemed friends. 'And at that point he'll devour all his neighbours! Moldova and the Baltic states! And then he'll put missiles on the Swedish island of Gotland!'
[Yes he wrote that.]
Now Heimerson has the colonel where he wants him. The colonel replies. 'That's the price you pay for not having a defence! I think our president Obama is doing the right thing by not letting the country get involved in conflicts in other countries!'
[Yes he said that, and no reaction from Heimerson. Perhaps he forgot Afghanistan and Iraq and the hundreds of other theatres of conflict in potentially hundreds of countries?]
The oligarch's back. 'But Putin will, in the end, destroy himself.' Time for Heimerson to take a moment.
'Maybe', Heimerson muses to himself, 'but whilst we wait for Putin to self-destruct, Ukraine's slow-burning civil war will consume all our interest in foreign policy, and we'll have no capacity for thinking about genocide in Africa - and remember what happened to Rwanda in 1994 when 800,000 people were killed in a single month!'
So that's Putin's fault too? Presumably.
'And Afghanistan - what happens when all those UN troops finally leave the country?'
Note he doesn't even mention the US there. There's so much talk about the US now having to remove trillions of dollars of grunts and equipment - McDonald's restaurants even - and Heimerson doesn't see this. There's no US in Afghanistan, only the UN. David Copperfield couldn't do it better.
'What happens when the Taliban take over? Girls will no longer be able to go to school?'
One can understandably be speechless. One senses that Heimerson took a position first and now will do all he can to defend it. That's not the way journalists are supposed to work.
'I'm an optimist', writes Heimerson. But get ready, for it gets better still.
'I believe that 13 years of worldwide concern for the country leaves its mark and creates a certain stability.'
Yes it's amazing. Heimerson still manages to not mention the US. Truly amazing. And he calls the US invasion and subsequent occupation 'concern'. Has this Swede seen the Afghan War Diaries? Yet he's only revving up.
But before we follow Heimerson on his journey, let's ask one question. How did working class hero Heimerson end up in the company of the rich and powerful? This piece isn't a report on a rather private recital of classical music at a vineyard in Provence. So what's Heimerson doing there? Keep that in mind.
Slim Rides the Rocket
Heimerson next speculates about Syria.
'But Syria? Nothing to read, no one dares go there, the ugliness goes on, including the use of chemical weapons.'
That's a 'trigger': it's long since been shown that it's been the US-backed al Qaeda forces in Syria who mess with chemical weapons. Putin himself averted another war by butting in on the debate the minute John Kerry opened his mouth, a few fractions of a second before he stuck his foot in it. What's Heimerson talking about? Keep repeating 'chemical weapons' until one elicits the desired reaction in the plebes?
'It looks like Assad is winning. But the al-Qaeda forces are prepared to carry on another thirty years. That's the way it is.'
So he admits al-Qaeda are there. Small steps.
'Iraq, which was liberated from the violent Saddam Hussein...'
Wait, Heimerson. Hussein can be as violent as can be. But there were no weapons of mass destruction. That was the lie that enabled the invasion. Have you no comment on that? Everyone knew there were no WMDs. Your own countryman Hans Blix came back time and again to the UN to debunk the idea. Joe Wilson reported the same and had his wife outed as a result. No mention of that? What's wrong, Heimerson? The air's too thin at the top?
Do you even consider how many casualties the US invasion has cost?
'... descended into a religious war between the majority shiites and the sunnis. Fundamentalism is winning. Hopeless case.'
Yes, that may be true, but whose fault is that, Heimerson? Ever hear the expression 'you bought it, you fix it'? You don't see the record-breaking US occupation of Iraq as having anything to do with it? You can't even mention the lies which led to the country being invaded?
'And around northeast Asia, including North Korea, we let a fog of ignorance fall, despite the area being a hotspot for future conflicts between the giants of the US and China. All we can think about is Ukraine.'
'This crystallises into remarkable positions.'
Does it now? Back to Putin and his blasted expansionism.
'President Putin gets support in his expansionism from both left wing and right wing populists.'
Putin even asked Donetsk and Lugansk to 'cool it', but they ignored him. Things Heimerson won't notice at Ravel recitals.
'It looks like a paradox', writes a confused Heimerson. 'But that's not strange. The similarity between left wing extremists and right wing extremists is, both in ideals and methods, dramatic.'
Your age is showing, Staffan.
'They both share utopian thoughts. They both want to create an Übermensch and a Third Reich.'
'Both have - as our state television reporters showed - low thresholds for using violence.'
Yes. This was a report by Sweden's Uppdrag granskning on silly people inside Sweden. Get ready again.
'Putin's macho nationalism has its roots in his Marxistic upbringing which makes him come off as a Mussolini.'
Putin's been nominated twice this year alone for the Nobel Peace Prize.
'This attracts both pseudo-fascists and nostalgic leftists.'
What do Victoria Nuland, Geoffrey Pyatt, John McCain, and Carl Bildt attract? Of course Right Sector and Svoboda aren't wussy pseudo-fascists. They're the real thing.
'They are united in their scorn for the EU.'
Aha. This is about the EU. And to do so, Heimerson's turned the entire political map topsy-turvy. Now there's no left and right anymore - only wrong and right. And now Heimerson's explained what constitutes the wrong, so what constitutes the right?
Can you guess?
'In a televised debate last Sunday Carl Bildt hit the nail on the head: the right and the left are siamese twins when it comes to the EU. In country after country we see how extremists from both sides work together.'
This is the same Carl Bildt who profited personally off the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, who propagated for (and defended) a preemptive strike by the US into Iraq, who doubled his investments when that war broke out, and who's worked tirelessly to bring always more eastern European nations into NATO?
The one who to this day, despite the Swedish navy having long since proven there never were Russian subs in the Swedish archipelago, insists there were, because 'it fits a pattern'?
'Their leaders want to weaken and split Europe at a time when we need to strengthen it.'
Nigel Farage doesn't like the EU. He says that decision making's passed on to a corrupt Brussels. That's a legitimate opinion. That's not extremist.
But this is what it all comes down to? That other peoples are to be sacrificed because Heimerson fears his beloved EU will otherwise be weakened? On what grounds can he presume membership in the EU to be the will of the people? On what grounds can he thereafter give his blessing to the IMF and the 'austerity measures' which have led to major crises in Spain and Greece?
'It was therefore typical that Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Front, described by French magazines as the country's most powerful woman, spoke of her fondness for Putin.'
So a right fringe freak likes Vladimir and therefore Vladimir's bad? A classic study in modern 'Swedish' thinking?
'Le Pen said when I recently followed along on one of her political campaigns: 'I am only surprised that the EU declared a cold war against Russia. Brussels cannot decide who's to be Ukraine's partners.'
'But are the extremists right? Realists say the sanctions against Russia are silly. The Germans fear Russia. They fear not getting the gas they need to support their commercial sector. The French go along with sanctions, but make exception for the warships they're building for the Russian navy.'
The Russians paid for those ships years ago. They merely said that they expect those billions to be returned if the ships aren't delivered. The French made up their minds thereafter. Or were you also hostile to Dominique de Villepin when he condemned the planned US invasion of Iraq at the United Nations Security Council? You want Freedom Fries with that, Staffan?
'If we want to support the democratic forces in Ukraine...'
Democratic forces? Where? The tanks? Right Sector? Svoboda? The threats made by Yats that he'd hunt the people of Crimea to the end of their days, and leave scorched earth under their feet? The way Right Sector bullies storm the parliament, carrying their Kalashnikovs? They way they summarily murder each other? The way they torched the trade union building in Odessa?
'... and their coming closer to the west...'
Why should they come closer to the west? It's only the west half of the country interested in that. The east half want to be closer to Russia - two provinces are sitting there, referendums in the bag, waiting for the nod from Moscow.
'... then we need more sacrifices on the part of EU member states.'
Why on earth would the EU want to take on the onus of Ukraine? The country is of interest only to the US. You and the EU sit in the middle like utter fools. And get any closer and threaten Russia's fleet in Sevastopol and you're going to have a world war, Dr Strangelove.
'Joschka Fischer of Die Grüne, former German foreign minister, has written that after the tragedy in Ukraine, no one in Berlin can defend the German position.'
Exactly what tragedy are you talking about, Heimerson? The tragedy of the 40+ who perished in Odessa at the hands of the 'democratic forces'? What tragedy? The tragedy of installing a bespoke putsch government populated in detail exactly as the US assistant secretary of state dictated? The tragedy of the dozens of lost lives as the right wing murdered protesters to help drive the duly elected government from the city?
What tragedy, Heimerson?
'We need an energy union.'
We need a what?
'It's time Europe showed what she can do.'
O RLY? Why?
'Perhaps Fischer was remembering that happened in Berlin in his first years of life, 1948-1949.'
Joschka Fischer was born 12 April 1948. That's good memory.
'Stalin was going to cut off the inhabitants of West Berlin. The US and Great Britain responded by, in a spirit of sacrifice, manliness, and derring-do, fly, in an impossible 'air bridge', the supplies needed by the big city, including briquets to their ordinary ovens. Back then decency and freedom won.'
So there we have it. And possibly a partial explanation. Heimerson was born in 1935; he was 10 or more when the 'cold war' began. Historically and emotionally he's not progressed beyond that in three quarters of a century.
'People are the same wherever you go', sang Paul McCartney at Red Square with Vladimir Putin, arriving unannounced, in attendance. And we are the same. Save for a thin layer of elitists who control everything and are continually at war with each other. And it's good to try that exclusive club now and again - get a visit to a vineyard in Provence for a bit of music recital now and then - just to see how thin the air is, just to see how incomprehensibly weird - and dangerous - those people really are.
But they're the 0.5%. Back here in the real world with the 99.5%, things work differently. The 99.5% like to learn things. They like to see what their duly elected representatives are up to, and they don't take kindly to closet cuckoos like Heimerson.
Postscript: The Mind of a Swedish Left-Wing Neocon
Staffan Heimerson is a war hawk. A left-wing establishment war hawk. That becomes evident when one browses through his other chronicles.
- Heimerson thinks neutrality is 'conceited'.
- Heimerson is ashamed Sweden's not a member of NATO.
- Heimerson thinks NATO can boast of an impressive merit record.
- Heimerson is an extremist as well - an extremist for European military power.
- Heimerson even attacks the venerable father of modern Sweden Per Albin Hansson.
- Heimerson insists Sweden can be attacked at any time, and the risk is great right now.
- Heimerson ruffles his feathers because Palme and others pointed to corruption in Brussels.
- Heimerson says Putin is driven by 'unsound urges', nationalism, and narcissism which all lead to warmongering.
- Heimerson accuses Swedish leftists of thwarting Swedish membership in NATO, and admits they have won, as a full two thirds of Swedes are against it. Heimerson totally dismisses the agency of the Swedish citizenry to think for themselves.
- Heimerson likes NATO and he likes Fogh. He says NATO's OK because they're mostly in a 'peaceful condition'. He sees their intervention in Yugoslavia as a good thing, even though Bill Clinton said it was a mistake, and he thinks their part in the invasion of Libya was a good thing too.
So bottom line? Does Heimerson suffer from a lack of information as other ducks in the pond? Heimerson's mostly outside the pond, attending Ravel recitals or whatnot. Has Heimerson been brainwashed by Bildt and his ilk? Most definitely. His 'thinking', more reminiscent of second world war (and cold war) thinking, always bellicose, cannot admit of a vision of a world at peace, a world without war machines and monster military budgets, a world where people at Ravel recitals aren't continually looking for new countries like Ukraine they can conquer, new peoples they can enslave.
Pacifism will never be wrong. Reluctance - or outright refusal - to get involved in military conflicts that cost millions of lives and destroy nations will never be wrong. Military thinking will never be right. Cold War thinking was never right, and most often was based on lies perpetrated by the military industrial complex, as Eisenhower warned over 60 years ago.
Staffan Heimerson doesn't read, and if he does read, then he's too goddamned old to learn. Even entertaining the thought that US informer Carl Bildt can be right about something is proof enough.
Swedes need unfiltered access to the truth. They're not getting that with the likes of Staffan Heimerson controlling the flow of information.
Swedes are captives of a mindset where people are afraid to think for themselves. It's not certain if Staffan Heimerson is or ever has been capable of thinking for himself, but he's certainly not helping his fellow Swedes get any better at it.
Sweden used to be admired - the nation of Olof Palme, Tage Erlander, and Per Albin Hansson. If Sweden could avoid involvement in the biggest war ever, then the country can quite easily avoid involvement in Staffan Heimerson's and Carl Bildt's war games today. Sweden has to be for Sweden, not for a foreign power Staffan Heimerson and Carl Bildt so love to suck up to.
Staffan Heimerson doesn't belong at Aftonbladet, just as Carl Bildt doesn't belong in the ministry for foreign affairs at Gustav Adolfs torg.
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