Two things you won’t see on the South Atlantic Coast!
Things are very seldom as they seem!
A history lesson for Muskogean young people: You are over twice as likely to serve in the military as any other ethnic group in the United States . . . generally as an independent command officer, intelligence operative or in one of the Special Forces . . . so you might as well learn the pertinent history that you are not taught in our American school systems these days. What you see and read in the national media is seldom the whole truth and often a complete facade to cover the truth.
You will be reading a very frank account of one country’s recent history. It is one of those European countries that were caught in a pincer between Nazism and Communism, but nevertheless, chose a path it thought suitable for its own people. In this case, you will learn what that country did right and what it did wrong. It is only from understanding history that we can avoid making the same mistakes ourselves. However, in this case we are making the same mistakes, but for different reasons. Both nations have spent vast sums of borrowed money for expenditures that will not enable our nation to be more productive in the future.
Did you notice those strange concrete structures on the water front in Landskrona, Sweden in their “Visit Landskrona” video? They are tank traps, machine gun bunkers and artillery bunkers. I was shocked to see that they still existed in 2018. You see . . . they were built in 1940, when the Nazi’s quickly conquered neighboring Denmark, across the Oresund Channel, and in a matter of months occupied most of Norway. Meanwhile, the Russian Communists were throwing 3/4 million men into an attempt to conquer sparsely populated Finland. Sweden expected at any moment to be crushed between invading Nazi’s and Communists. Thus, concrete barriers and bunkers were quickly erected to at least slow down an amphibious attack on the major military center in Landskrona. Of course, these forts would have been useless against Nazi paratroopers. As it happened, though, the Soviets got their noses blooded in Finland, while Hitler decided that he could come back and gobble up Sweden later. His first priority was the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa was launched against the Soviets, so the Swedes drew a sign of relief. Both of their enemies were in a blood bath with each other.
The Cold War was at its height, when I was living in Landskrona. Despite pressure from Socialists and Communists to demolish the concrete fortifications, the Kustbevakningen (Swedish Coast Guard) refused to do so, because out of fear of attack from Soviet Block countries – principally Russia. The United States was pulling out of Vietnam, after realizing that it could never win that war and never should have sided with the French, when they tried to hold on to Vietnam as an exploited colony. The Soviets were “feeling their oats” as a result.
Meanwhile, all Warsaw Pact (Soviet Block) ships had to pass Landskrona in order to get out of the Baltic Sea and reach the Atlantic. All submarines had to surface to get past the shallows around Ven Island, which was part of the City of Landskrona. There was a constant parade of baby blue colored (yes, really) Soviet warships back and forth in front of Landskrona in order to intimidate the Swedes. The greatest fear by the Swedish military, however, was a sudden air attack by Soviet fighters and bombers from Poland. They could reach Landskrona in a matter of minutes. Thus, it was no accident that my best friend in Landskrona, Sweden was recently graduated, Aerospace Engineer Maurizio Murro, son of the commanding general of the Italian Air Force. We later spent three weeks, driving around central Italy in his sports car, picking up Italian girls. All recon and no fun makes Maurizio a dull boy.
Actually, many things in our lives turn out to not be accidents. The year before, I had been one of Jimmy Carter’s first governor’s interns. Jimmy had been a Georgia Tech student, who transferred to the Naval Academy to become one of the rising stars in the US Navy. I did not apply for the job in Sweden. Not long after I was told that I would not be serving as an active duty Naval officer, I was notified of the job offer via a telegram from the Crown Prince of Sweden (an officer in the Swedish Navy) at a time when there was no diplomatic relations between Sweden and the United States. Within a month after returning to the United States, Jimmy invited me over to the governor’s mansion for a casual Saturday afternoon social with his family in order to meet Senator Joe Biden, also a Naval Academy graduate. While we were listening to Allman Brothers and Atlanta Rhythm Section records, Biden invited Jimmy to run for president. Later that same year, Crown Prince Carl Gustaf became the King of Sweden and ceremonial Commander in Chief of the Swedish military.
Both NATO and Swedish military intelligence knew that the Soviets planned to stage a Pearl Harbor type attack on Landskrona prior to invading West Germany. The idiots then running the civilian government of Sweden at that time refused to allow such possibilities being discussed so Swedish patriots had to work behind their backs . . . so to speak. Thus, the region around the city was highly, but covertly, militarized, but also crawling with immigrants from Slavic countries and Middle Eastern terrorists, working as Soviet spies. Meanwhile, a fifth column composed of Swedish Communists and unfortunately, many moles in the Swedish Internal Security (Riks-Saks), were heavily funded by the Soviets. The Russians foolishly assumed that in the near future, Sweden would become a Communist country.
The Communists were on the streets constantly, demonstrating against the United States and handing out “Stötta Viet Folket” [Support the Viet people] medallions to pin on your shirt. It was quite an odd feeling to see sizable groups of people calling all Americans . . . Nazi War Criminals. No one bothered me and no one, who I didn’t have direct contact with, dreamed that I was an American. Most everybody assumed that I was a Sami, since I didn’t look like the Americans they saw on the street in New York City. LOL The Palestinian Black September terrorists down the hall certainly never dreamed I was an American.
Politicians out in lala land
It is highly debatable, who were the greatest idiots at that time, the Nixon Administration or the administration of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. You know about Tricky Dicky Nixon, but American World History textbooks typically spend, at most, one paragraph on each of the Scandinavian nations . . . thus leaving even college graduates vulnerable to lies told by our politicians. Meanwhile, graduates of Swedish gymnasiums (academic high schools) could talk at length with me in perfect English about the founding and planning of Savannah, Georgia.
Olof Palme received his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in Ohio. Afterward, he hitch-hiked around the United States and Mexico. He later stated that seeing the disparity of wealth in the United States, which was not nearly so stark as now, is what made him a socialist. He particularly was disdainful toward the way that African-Americans and American Indians were treated in United States. In the 1970s, after much improvement had been made in the United States on this matter, Palme still thought of the United States as it was in the late 1940s, when lynchings were common and most blacks couldn’t vote in the Southeast.
Palme did many good things around the planet in regard to negotiating regional wars, but he increasingly viewed himself as the “leader” of the non-aligned nations, aka the Third World . . . which was ludicrous. Even though Palme was not a great fan of Soviet Communism, the Russians flattered him into thinking that he was a much more important person on the world scene than he really was. Although, Palme at times criticized some Communist dictators, he started increasingly idealizing communist dictators such as Castro and North Korea’s, Kim-Il Sung, but was highly critical of several Western European countries and the United States. At that time, Sweden had about the same population as the State of Florida, but also had the highest median standard of living of any country. This hardly qualified Palme to be a spokesman for impoverished Third World countries.
When Palme appeared in Stockholm at an anti-American demonstration with North Vietnam’s ambassador to the Soviet Union, Nguyen Tho Chan, many Swedes were outraged and Tricky Dicky shut down the United States Embassy in Stockholm. Palme became paranoid about an invasion of Sweden by the United States and NATO members, Denmark and Norway. He began talking to the Russians about a “mutual defense arrangement,” which clearly would negate Sweden’s claim to being a neutral country. These actions highly upset many Swedes, especially its industrial and professional leaders. Meanwhile, Nixon and Palme began to really hate each other. Their thinking processes were affected by their own personal weaknesses and prejudices.
Despite the 50 year old lies, which have been regurgitated by talking heads recently, the Scandinavian countries are NOT Marxist. Nevertheless, I never saw any poverty anywhere in Sweden and I traveled the entire 2,100 km length of the country. The only central government-owned business in Landskrona was the SystemBologet – the liquor stores. Those bastions of Marxism . . . Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia also have a state-owned monopoly on distilled spirits. They also have a lot of poor folks. Like all members of NATO in varying degrees, including the United States, Sweden is a welfare state, but not officially a member of NATO. It became “aligned” with NATO in 2016, but I can verify that a long, long time before then the Swedish military secretly collaborated with NATO without the knowledge of the Social Democrats in power.
The United States became a welfare state in the 1930s, when unemployment insurance, county health clinics and social security were created in the 1930s. When I was growing up, people went to the county heath clinics for all vaccinations, blood tests, treatment for STD’s, birth control and for actual healthcare/dental care, if they were poor. Franklin Roosevelt intended the county health clinic system to evolve into universal healthcare after World War II. Richard Nixon planned to expand the county healthcare clinics into universal healthcare and increased their funding, but the controversies of the Vietnam War and the Watergate Investigation absorbed all of his energies, until he was forced to resign in 1974.
Federal support of county health departments was drastically reduced in the Reagan Administration to the point that most county health departments barely exist today – except as offices for food inspectors and septic tank inspectors. According to a recent report by an international organization of health insurance adjusters, the United States ranks 37th in quality of healthcare and first in total cost of healthcare . . . by a long shot. Nuff said.
What happened behind the scenes
Sweden had a privately-owned economic system and the vast majority of its people wanted to keep it that way. Palme had become a “loose cannon” which could drag them into a disaster like befell Cuba and the countries in eastern Europe under Russian domination. I am convinced that progressive “entities” in the NATO countries formed an alliance with pro-free enterprise “entities” in Sweden to de-throne Olof Palme. Out of nowhere a minor political party, the Center Party, rose to sudden prominence then took control of Sweden in 1976 . . . the same year that populists, Jimmy Carter was elected president of the United States and Thorbjörn Fälldin was elected prime minister of Sweden. The Center Party was Pro-NATO, wanted greater economic ties with North America and labeled the Vietnam War a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided by all sides. That neutral approach more typified Swedish attitudes on the war.
The reason that I know that the Center Party’s sudden power was no accident was an incident in an ICA supermarket in Landskrona. About four days after arriving I was standing in the 150 feet long bread isle, trying to figure out what to buy. There was no white bread or even American style pre-sliced bread. Never ate white loaf bread again. A beautiful, statuesque Nordic blonde came up to me and introduced herself as my official Swedish girlfriend, who was going to keep me out of trouble. She was President of the Center Party College Division, a law student at Lund University, 20 miles away, and lived in Malmö, 30 miles away. There is no way that her appearance in the supermarket was an accident. Both Lund and Malmö were larger cities than Landskrona. Britt Louise served in the Swedish Riksdag (Parliament) throughout the time that Thorbjörn Fälldin was Prime Minister. She now runs a law practice that specializes in “women’s issues.”
Bet you didn’t know this! Like Carter, the new Swedish prime minister, Thorbjörn Fälldin, was a university educated farmer, when he first ran for political office under the Center Party banner. In fact, the Center Party was originally named The Farmer’s League. Both presidents pushed for increased internal agricultural production, plus international markets for agriculture and industrial products. The years under Fälldin’s leadership were the golden years of Sweden’s economy. Swedish prefabricated housing technology, ABBA, Volvo, SAAB, IKEA and Husqvarna came to America.
Until the late 1970s, the presence of produce, grown in another country, was unheard of in the United States. However, the chickens, I bought in the ICA and Tempo Stormarknader (Supermarkets) in Landskrona were processed in Gainesville, GA. The canned peaches that I bought in that supermarket came from Fort Valley, GA. In the 21st century, ICA and Tempo call their stores, supermarkets.
After Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, his administration allowed loan interest rates to rise as high as 24%. This caused millions of Middle Class Americans (as intended) to lose their businesses and their real estate investments. There was a massive transfer of wealth to the upper class, who didn’t need to borrow money from banks. The winners of political elections were increasingly determined by who could assemble the greatest amount of campaign contributions. Our nation is a very different place now.
The American recession spread to Europe. Sweden, which had depended on exports for much of its economic base, was severely affected. Whereas Sweden was a major center of advanced consumer technology and ship building in 1972, Japan had taken its place in electronics, appliances and vehicles. The ship building industry in Landskrona completely shut down because it could not compete with the shipyards in Asian countries. The Center Party was blamed for the economic shrinkage and so the Social Democrats came back into power.
Once in power again, Olof Palme renewed his love affair with Castro and similar regimes, just as communism was collapsing. He also pressed for more nuclear power plants. While he had been obsessed with the Vietnam War, Palme was strangely quiet about the atrocities being committed by the Soviets in Afghanistan and Angola. Officially, Palme was murdered by an unknown assailant in February 1986. A small time drug dealer, who was a member of the Social Democratic Party and had no motivation to kill Palme was framed for the murder in a local court. His conviction was thrown out, because there was no evidence and no motivation to associate him with the crime scene. No one has been charged since then.
Chernobyl . . . an economic and political catastrophe for Sweden
Americans were only told part of the story about the April 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine . . . now the independent nation of Ukraine, trying to prevent being conquered by Russian again. About a month later, I was contacted to see if we could take in a mother and her children from the Swedish Province of Dalarna. The Swedish government would pay for their travel and most of their salary, if I could provide work for the woman, who owned a goat cheese creamery in Sweden, to work in our goat cheese creamery. The embassy employee, who called me had no clue that I had actually lived in Sweden and therefore, would be able to make the refugees feel comfortable. It turned out to be a very pleasant experience for all of us . . . despite the fact that she missed her home and farm.
It was the government-owned electrical utility in Sweden, Vattenfall, which revealed to the world the existence of the Chernobyl Disaster. The Kremlin had tried to cover up the accident, but elevated radiation levels at Vattenfall’s Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant forced the Kremlin to admit the accident had occurred.
By a fluke of the weather, some of the most dangerous radioactive fallout from the exploding reactor fell in a rainstorm a thousand miles away in Dalarna . . . one of Sweden’s most important dairying regions. Instantly all of the pastures and newly sprouted grain crops were poisoned. Most of the cattle had continued to graze in the rain and therefore had to be euthanized. Goats don’t like the rain and so ran into their barns prior to being significantly contaminated. However, all of the pastures and hayfields would be off-limits for livestock for at least a year. The goats would have to be kept in their barns for a year. The government would pay for their feed, but children and women of child-bearing age had to be relocated during that period.
The economic catastrophe, caused by the Chernobyl accident was as devastating for Sweden’s economy, but it was one of many economic losses during that era, the others being because of Sweden’s failure to focus on technological advancement and production efficiency. SAAB and Volvo could no longer compete on the world market, and were ultimately bought out by foreign corporations. SAAB was closed by General Motors in 2010, but will reopen soon as a Chinese-owned corporation, making electric cars. Volvo is now a subsidiary of a Chinese company. After 1982, the Social Democrats continued to increase the scope and scale of “goodies” given back to the citizenry without doing anything to significantly increase the tax base that supported those benefits. This is quite different than the approach taken by neighboring countries, Finland, Denmark and Norway. The Swedish approach to agriculture was to provide large subsidies to farmers, which discouraged innovation and increases in productivity. The result is like heavily subsidized agriculture in Great Britain. Sweden can’t feed itself, but still retains a great quality of life and cultural sophistication . . . on borrowed money.
The Riksdag, under Social Democratic control, resorted to deficit spending and borrowing of money to support its welfare state. It was fighting a demographic problem, however, that would make paying back owed money almost impossible. Swedish women were not having enough children to become workers, paying the taxes of the future that were required by a welfare state. An increasing percentage of the population was on their version of Social Security, but unlike the theoretical situation in many Western countries, the elderly were drawing money from existing tax revenue, not past contributions. For years, their approach was to pay women to take time off from work to have children and make the presence of children in a family far less costly that it is in the United States. Healthcare and educational costs for children have become a crushing burden for Middle Class American families. That did not to do enough to reverse the decline in the native Swedish population.
Then about 30 years ago, the Social Democrats hit on a new solution, they would import families from the lower latitudes around the world, who traditionally had larger families. These workers could be paid a little less, but would produce many consumers and tax payers in the future. The experiment worked fine for families from Latin America and Southeast Asia. It became a socio-economic disaster, when hundreds of thousand of immigrants were brought in from the Middle East and Northeastern Africa. The Armenians, Kurds and Christian Assyrians from Iraq made great additions to their communities. Immigrant men from other countries in the Middle East and Somalia came from traditions in which men did as little work as possible and women were slaves living in their homes.
The Social Democrats were warned long in advance that there could be problems, when people of radically different cultural backgrounds were imported into a sophisticated country such as Sweden. While I was living in Landskrona, the city had its first murder in 12 years. An immigrant worker from the Middle East beat his wife to death with a hammer because she wore women’s pants to the Tempo Supermarket during a snowstorm.
There are now no-go Middle Eastern districts in several Swedish cities, which are drains on the stressed tax base of the country. The same type of corruption which pervades the Middle East is now a drag on Swedish communities. In most of the cities, 90% or more of the crime is committed by first and second generation immigrants from the Middle East. Policemen didn’t even carry guns, when I was living in Sweden. Now they look like assault troops. The Swedish people are highly intelligent and well educated. The nation still has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Outside of the big cities, in such places as Landskrona, life is still very pleasant. They could well dig out of the mess that was created by their leaders in past 30 years, but it is going to be a “long row to hoe” to fix the problem of large numbers of immigrants, who really don’t want to be Swedes.
Norway was the poorest of the Scandinavian countries when I visited there. Now, it is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Norway’s citizens have most of the welfare state benefits as Sweden, but its leaders only budgeted for increasing benefits as much as they could afford. Meanwhile, they put most of the revenue from the North Sea oil wells into a Sovereign Wealth Fund for investment into technological advancements and international corporations. That fund is now worth over $1 trillion. Norway now has 5.4 million residents, about the same as Minnesota. However, it has the same demographic problem as Sweden. Native Norwegians are only producing an average of 1.82 children per couple. Without immigrants, the nation will shrink in size. The lesson learned is that governments, which spend more than their economies can afford, sooner or later have to pay the piper . . . whether the objective is being the dominant military power in the world or providing all of its citizens a comfortable lifestyle.
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