By Ocaya p’Ocure, Social and political commentator in Uppsala.

Linde Signing NATO ApplicationUpon initiating debates about Swedish NATO membership, skepticism spread. In Sweden, we had just got a new government and a new Prime Minister, and the omicron variant of COVID-19 threatened Christmas celebrations. Four weeks later on January 1st, 2022, Foreign Minister Ann Linde responded in a parliamentary debate by reiterating previous positions on dialogue with the population within the Social Democrats party. She also talked about opportunities for in-depth cooperation with NATO debates. Well, the NATO issue is now being debated extensively within the Swedish Social Democratic Party, at dinner tables and intensively throughout the country. The issues of security policy have changed with NATO, relative to what Russia termed its security concerns which precipitated invasion of Ukraine. Perhaps the Swedish security policy must change because of the new international situation, but more people must be allowed to take part in such a discussion. And above all, that discussion must take time--culminating in a national referendum. If so, why is the debate being hurried so much?

The latest turnaround of two months within the Social Democrats is well known as the views by skeptics that it has gone too fast, and that Sweden is now rushing into NATO without a proper process. In short, dialogue with the grassroots in the party has been called a sham process, and the interest in participating has been undermined, thus  weakening the rationale for joining NATO.

The common perception is that the party leadership has already decided to join NATO but felt compelled to arrange pretentious debates with theatrical hesitation from those who decide. Sorry, as the debates for NATO membership of Sweden continues to be discussed, it seems to be held under a process rigged by the US President, Joe Biden. The regime of Biden continues to send signals to the Swedish political leadership that Swedes must accept NATO membership. Otherwise, bad things will happen to them.

The question is, what difference does it make if the application for NATO membership for Sweden is made after this summer or in six months or even after the September 2022 Swedish general election? The Swedish politicians are being given assurance by the United States and the UK that they would guarantee Sweden’s security during the application period for NATO membership. Recently, the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Ann Linde, told reporters in Washington that she got assurances from the US Secretary of State, Mr. Anthony Blinken that the period for application for full NATO membership would take four to twelve months. Surprisingly, the expected thorough civil debate among the citizens was short circuited when Ms. Linde signed the application on May 17, 2022.

Another thing which was dogging the NATO political debates in Sweden, might have been psychologically attributed to the Assassination of Olof Palme, the late Prime Minister of Sweden, on 28th February 1986. 

Political history is very difficult to follow if we were to accept it as it is. It is important to know that there are no saints as far as what has and continues to happen in the history concerning the US, NATO, UK, EU, and UKRAINE versus Russia. Let us fathom for a moment that the US, UK, EU, and NATO had done by forcefully conscripting but not recruiting members to their ranks, simply because they have nuclear weapons which had been tested and used to end the Second World War quite brutally. Could the same approach be happening in Ukraine, Sweden, and Norway?

Three years ago, I read about a fatherly advice given by the US former President, Jimmy Carter, to President Donald Trump, on 13th April 2019, when he lamented by asking if the President knew how many times China has been at war with anybody since 1979. He answered his own question in the negative and proceeded to point out that the USA has stayed at war almost in its entire 242-year history, except for enjoying  only 16 years of peace. According to the former President, this makes USA the most warlike nation in the history of the world. He surmised that the USA has wasted three trillion US dollars on military spending whereas China has not wasted a single penny on war which explains why they are ahead of the US in almost every way. While some people may disagree with President Carter’s explanation, he did make a compelling case which cannot simply be denied.

The only U.S. president to complete his term without war, military attack or occupation has called the United States the most warlike nation in the history of the world. This means the ongoing war in Ukraine must not be viewed differently from what has been taking place in Israel's occupied territory of Palestine. You should ask yourself why you should expect the US and its allies to behave differently in Ukraine while they always kept quiet about human rights abuses by their troops in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, former Apartheid Southern Africa, and even now about contemporary autocrats all over the world?

Two key domestic policy of the then new President Biden was the “Build Back Better” and the foreign policy was “America is back, and Diplomacy is back”. However, the policies are lost in implementation because lately, we read and hear from American media houses that the Biden administration has abandoned his much hyped “Build Back Better” domestic policy. Similarly, Biden’s proclamation of “Diplomacy is back” policy has disappeared. Only “America is back” part of the foreign policy is back. His heavy involvement in the war against Russia in Ukraine with the strong support from both the  Democratic and Republican parties, who hardly agree on domestic issues including health, immigration, gun control, and domestic terrorism against minority people is consistent with what former President Carter said of the USA as being a warlike nation.