Swedish JAS squadrons deployed to the NATO base in Sicily during the war in Libya.
The US assumes more and more the right to execute anyone at all in the global war on terror. Barack Obama lets mercenaries carry out key assignments and then hides his own pilots behind computer screens with remote controls in the US. And Sweden is there to help. One example: in a project jointly financed by Sweden and the US, the company ÅAC Microtec from Uppsala, in conjunction with the university in the same town, is developing nano-satellites to guide US drone systems and help the US further develop their unmanned warfare capabilities.
We're in the middle of a military technological revolution where SAAB, ÅAC Microtec, and Sweden are pushing developments. Unmanned aircraft as big as the JAS 39 Gripen will soon be able to drop nuclear weapons. Swarms of drones will themselves choose which targets to attack. Every village, every neighbourhood can soon be monitored, and all that digital information can easily be stored in searchable databases.
No one knows where this development will end. But the sense of international ethics and morality that followed after the old wars, to the extent they could help us, is eroding today at the same furious pace the unmanned weapons systems are being developed. This indiscriminate war of 'execution' by the US - where drones drop bombs in six muslim countries and where elite troops, mercenaries, and local elite troops trained by the US carry out missions together, hunt down and kill in nearly one hundred countries - makes it likely other players can also attack their declared enemies.
What target is more reasonable: a Taliban suspected of hiding a mortar under his bed? Or university engineers suspected of collaborating with ÅAC Microtec?
The Swedish cabinets have cast their dice. Carl Bildt and Sten Tolgfors talk in the same tongue as the US generals and weapons companies: Sweden is to defend her territory by 'protecting our values', 'safeguarding the flow' of oil, weapons, and other goods in the global economy, and by stopping terrorists in Afghanistan before they attack our own shores. It's for this reason that revelations of US death squads in our war in Afghanistan are met with silence in Sweden. And that's why Swedish cabinet ministers and weapons manufacturers are developing military ventures with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the other dictatorships in the gulf who are blocking the democratic uprisings in the area and who are at the same time the most important allies of the US in the region.
And whilst the election campaigns are dominated by household economy issues, our governments decided to bind Sweden into a global war of extermination with unforeseeable consequences. The Swedish people didn't get to debate the issues when the concepts 'war' and 'peace' were replaced by 'terrorists' and where 'our values' and 'economic flow' are to be defended by Swedish weapons and Swedish troops.
We must urgently demand our politicians open up the debate on our role in the global warfare of the US, so our citizenry can be given the chance to form their own opinions, and so that we the citizenry can decide ourselves what we're to support.
Offer up your best defence.
- Don Henley
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