Sweden, Russia, NATO, and the military-industrial complex?

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming – Published on Intrepid Report, by Ritt Goldstein, May 7, 2013.

DALARNA, Sweden—The word ‘surreal’ was the first which came to my mind, what I witnessed during the last third of April indeed seeming best described by it. Of course, too much has too long been overblown, the strongest of adjectives too frequently employed to mask the weakest of circumstances; but, in this instance the word ‘surreal’ seems appropriate, although what brings it to mind are events that indeed seem ‘overblown … //

… Defense spending, NATO, and a game:

Good Friday was 29 March, and while the Russian maneuvers received relatively little media attention globally, such events being considered by many as ‘non-events,’ public perceptions can change when virtually every media outlet in a country carries the story, especially if threats to security are suggested. However, some might arguably say such an event would mark the highest order of ‘political theatre,’ especially if defense spending and NATO membership were items of current political interest.

Fortunately, not every Swedish journalist was smitten with ‘Bear Fever,’ and one respected commentator, Göran Greider, vividly explained his perception of “The need for fear of the Russians” Behovet av rysskräck. He observed that fear of the Russians was useful for pushing Sweden further towards NATO membership, not to mention helping defense spending. And so, not everyone here is being entertained by the ongoing show, a Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) source telling this journalist that the ‘scare’ was needed to justify 43 Billion Kroner in defense spending, plus aiding additions to that.

Consider how folks in the States would react if every major print, radio and TV network ran simultaneous coverage suggesting an alleged Russian threat. I’ll add that after this coverage, the majority of those Swedes I spoke with had some degree of concern regarding Russia. I won’t add that the fact such coverage could occur makes an interesting comment upon mainstream Swedish media. But, highlighting some remarkable politics here, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, has downplayed the incident from the start, essentially dismissing the incident as nothing that even demanded explanation from Russia, and an opposition Green MP on the Riksdag’s Defense Committee seems to agree with him.

“It is ordinary training for the Russian side . . . all was correct,” observed MP Peter Rådberg for this journalist, adding that the “Russian training wasn’t special.” When I then queried Rådberg as to whether the attention that the incident was getting reflected the desire of some to promote more defense spending and NATO membership, he quite candidly responded, “Yes, it’s a game.”

Fear and months of heated debate: … //

… Military-industrial complex:

Since this ‘episode’ started, and especially after some foreign media began echoing questions of a ‘Russian threat,’ I’ve speculated upon why more hasn’t been done to pop this balloon, dispel all the hot air that’s filled it. Of course, there are those here that want Sweden in NATO, but, I personally see something more.

Here, in Sweden, at the moment all I can think of is something former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower said in his farewell address. It is something which some might argue is particularly relevant for explaining ‘Bear Fever,’ and perhaps even suggesting its cure . . .”In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
(full text with many hyper-links).

(Ritt Goldstein is an American investigative political journalist living in Sweden. His work has appeared fairly widely, including in America’s Christian Science Monitor, Spain’s El Mundo, Sweden’s Aftonbladet, Austria’s Wiener Zeitung, and a number of other global media outlets).

Links:

Find Ritt Goldstein on en.wikipedia’s Operation TIPS/2nd paragraph;

The grand charade, on Intrepid Report, by Philip A Farruggio, May 7, 2013: We are living in an empire that ‘takes no prisoners‘. Sadly, the majority of we working stiffs still follow the hypocrites, thieves and liars like lemmings. These so called leaders play their magic flutes and hypnotize us with hype and false hope, as we fall over the cliff of reason …;

The financial press: A disinformation machine, on Intrepid Report, by Paul Craig Roberts, May 7, 2013.

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