Monthly Archives: May 2021

European countries’ role as a vassal states exposed again

Lately, some European countries’ role as vassal states have been exposed to the public again, in particular by two events:

1. The withdrawal of military from Afghanistan (?)

The failure of the war in Afghanistan has been known for a long time, but it was only after the United States decided to withdraw their military that countries like Sweden could decide to also do so. But will these countries really end their destructive interventions? Lars-Gunnar Liljestrand writes in Dagens Nyheter (most links in this post are to content in Swedish):

After 20 years of war, the Swedish flag is being lowered in silence in Afghanistan. Sweden must now stand outside NATO’s new war adventures in the region

For those who don’t know, Sweden has been at war in Afghanistan under NATO command. Five Swedes were killed during their military service there and an unknown number of Afghans. Liljestrand continues:

Sweden’s minister of defense Peter Hultqvist (S) has for the longest time resisted ending the participation. In November 2020, when the then US President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw, Hultqvist warned against “leaving a vacuum for other actors”. It is the same as saying continued war without end.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also claimed in the end that the troops would remain. The Taliban must show that the threat posed by terrorists such as IS and al-Qaeda has been eliminated. For NATO, it was important to be able to point to some result after 20 years.

When the current US President Joe Biden decided that the last American soldier should leave Afghanistan by 11 September this year, without making it a condition of the Taliban’s action, Stoltenberg’s policy collapsed. He can now show no lasting success after the biggest and longest war in the alliance’s history. The US administration has signaled that it will continue its military intervention in other ways. Air and drone bases in neighboring countries should be able to be used to enter Afghanistan with bombings to support the Afghan army when needed.

NATO has stated that training of Afghan special forces will be able to continue from bases in the region. It is thus paved for continued foreign intervention. 

2. Some of Edward Snowden’s revelations confirmed

Revelations made by Edward Snowden many years ago about how European countries are used to spy on each other (which we have written about before), have been confirmed in Denmark. First, Danish Radio reported that Swedish industry had been a target. At that time, also Swedish reporters who had talked to a whistleblower were treated threateningly. Now it has also been confirmed that politicians in several European countries were targets, among others. A funny thing about the interview with Hultqvist last evening is that he seems to pretend that this comes as a surprise. Note that he gets the relevant question, from the journalist Camilla Kvartoft, if also FRA spied on Danish politicians? In any case, Hultqvist makes it clear that the cooperation with the US will continue. Snowden also revealed that the NSA has been pressuring EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance.

It is a shame to see that so many Europeans obviously accept to to be exploited and humiliated by participating in this. But as a vassal state, that is your role. Will someone now be able to break this absurd pattern?

Petition against nuclear submarines in Norway

This is a translation of the petion text:

Haakonsvern is one of Northern Europe’s largest maritime military bases. An increasing number of nuclear submarines call every year. The base will now be upgraded for NOK 350 million, i.a. with new «submarine facilities». The secrecy surrounding the arrival of nuclear submarines means that the population is largely unaware of the dangers they represent.

Increased risk of accidents
The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has already stated that more calls increase the risk of accidents. They write that «the increase in calls to Norway entails an increased risk that Norway may be affected by a major or minor incident in a reactor-powered vessel. Grounding, collision, leakage, fire or serious reactor failure will require handling by the Norwegian authorities» (Strålevernrapport 2018:10). In the event of an accident, the consequences for Bergen and the entire West Coast will be catastrophic. We have no reason to believe that the authorities have a credible emergency preparedness in place in the event of an accident with a reactor-powered vessel. We only remind you that people in North Hordaland have fought in vain to lift the wreck of the German submarine U-864 which has been on the seabed off Fedje since 1945.

High probability of nuclear weapons on board
All submarines of this type can also have nuclear missiles on board. The Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI) writes that «the reactor-powered military vessels are among the largest and most powerful vessels in existence. Most can be equipped with nuclear weapons» (FFI report 16/01536). The Norwegian authorities assume that Allied vessels do not have nuclear weapons on board at calls in the Norwegian Sea, but have never carried out an inspection to confirm that this reservation against nuclear weapons is respected. The anti-war initiative has been in contact with experts who independently say that the allied nuclear submarines that call at Haakonsvern «in all probability» have nuclear weapons on board.

The city council has said no to nuclear weapons
Cities are the main targets for the use of nuclear weapons, and local authorities therefore have a special responsibility to highlight opposition to the importance of nuclear weapons in military strategy and security policy. In 2019, the city council decided that Bergen municipality should sign the city appeal to ICAN – The international campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons. This is how Bergen showed its support for the UN’s ban on nuclear weapons. As early as 2013, the city council unanimously decided to join «Mayors for Peace», a worldwide network of cities whose purpose is an international ban on nuclear weapons. That Haakonsvern is a port for nuclear submarines, which most likely have nuclear weapons on board, is contrary to local political decisions.

We therefore demand that Haakonsvern be closed to nuclear submarines.

See the petition (in Norwegian) or read more about the German submarine wreck, which is a lasting threat to the North Sea.

Craig Murray sentenced to prison

Here on Accoun’s website, we have sometimes quoted Craig Murray and provided links to his blog. Recently he has been sentenced to prison because of what he has written. Democracy Now writes:

A Scottish court said Murray provided details on his blog that could allow people to figure out the identity of witnesses in the sexual assault trial, despite never identifying the individuals himself. Murray’s defenders say he is being targeted because he is a whistleblower who has closely covered the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The court is also preventing Murray from traveling to Spain to testify in a case involving the CIA spying on Assange while he lived at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The case also shows a risk with anonymous witnesses – someone reporting from a trial can obviously be sentenced to prison.

More about M/S Estonia

The Swedish minister for home affairs is now asked for a new investigaton of the military transports that took place on M/S Estonia (all links in this post are to content in Swedish). However, it is not likely that the whole truth will be told this time either. Some aspects regarding M/S Estonia are surrounded by extreme secrecy. The Swedish police and Swedish military have secret information. Even in the USA there are secret documents about M/S Estonia, which are kept hidden “because their disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security”. Drew Wilson has written about this in his book The Hole.

It would have been interesting if the minister was also asked why the Swedish government didn’t want to see the video material, which showed a hole in the hull of M/S Estonia? And what were the real reasons for turning down the request for a Truth Commission (proposed by Stiftelsen Estoniaoffer och Anhöriga)?

Now we are told it will take at least one more year until the hull of M/S Estonia is investigated properly. Therefore, the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority has been reported to the police for protection of criminals, although it is known that such police reports don’t lead anywhere. The Swedish state cannot properly investigate state crime nowadays, especially when the Swedish state is one of the suspects.