Sweden, Submarines, And Propaganda

Authored by Brian Cloughley via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Sweden’s most recent military cooperation with the US-NATO military alliance involved hosting armed forces of the many countries which participated in Exercise Aurora in September.

As noted by Euronews, “Sweden is undertaking its biggest military exercise amid fears of Russian military build up,” and NATO headquarters announced that “In the current security context with heightened concerns about Russian military activities, NATO is stepping up cooperation with Sweden and Finland in the Baltic region.”

NATO is anxious, even desperate, to justify the existence of one of the least-needed and most confrontational military alliances of modern times. In January, before he arrived in the White House, President Trump called NATO “obsolete” but in April went into reverse and said “It's no longer obsolete,” which was fair warning of what lay ahead in the erratic administration of the most vulgar and spiteful president the United States has ever had. 

The fact remains that NATO is indeed ineffective and irrelevant (the notion of Russia invading Sweden is preposterous and, as Der Spiegel observed on October 20, “to be sure, hardly anyone really thinks that Russia might attack a NATO member state”), but its nominal leader, Jens Stoltenberg (the real chief is the US General titled “Supreme Allied Commander Europe”), has assumed the air of a national head of government and whisks expensively round the world making statements that have nothing whatever to do with NATO

One of NATO’s “concerns” in its obsession with Russia is to persuade Sweden to not only increase its already substantial collaboration with the alliance, but to actually become a member - although defence minister Peter Hultqvist is not in favour of such a commitment, in spite of having increased military spending and reintroduced conscription. 

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

There is to be a general election next year, and Britain’s Financial Times is of the opinion that “Nato membership is set to be one of the most contentious topics in Sweden’s elections in [September] 2018. The opposition Moderates and their three centre-right allies have all pledged to seek Nato membership, ending more than a century of being outside a military alliance. They lead in the polls and are flirting with the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, which would solidify their lead further.” And according to a poll by the Pew Research Centre in May 2017, “about half of Swedes support Nato Membership.”

Given the NATO-joining aim of those likely to be in power in a year’s time, it is relevant to examine Sweden’s recent association with Russia, which is regarded as an enemy by a regrettably large number of Swedes. 

As reported by Swedish Radio, Ekot, there was an alleged incursion into Swedish waters by a Russian submarine in October 2014. The story was plastered all over the Western media, and in one example of disinformation Britain’s Daily Mail, a garbage newspaper, but with a large circulation, informed its readers of “Sweden’s History of Hunting Russian Vessels in its Waters” by recording that the most recent such incursions had taken place in 2011 when on April 13 “a possible foreign submarine is noticed in Baggensfjärden in Nacka, but later is identified as a raft frozen in moving ice” and on September 11 when the Swedish Navy had “investigated reports of an unknown object outside the harbour of Gothenburg.” 

Curiously, very few western news outlets reported later, as did Ekot, that the October 2014 alleged incursion was a load of nonsense. (Russian submarines, incidentally, are referred to as “U-Boats” in Sweden, but NATO submarines are called submarines.)

Ekot stated that “in October 2014, an intensive U-boat hunt took place in Stockholm’s archipelago” which had spurred Time magazine to speculate that the object of the hunt might be Russian because “Sweden’s military said Sunday it had made a total of three credible sightings within two days and released an image taken by a passer-by showing a partially submerged object...

 

A suspicious black-clad man was also photographed wading in the waters outside the island of Sandön.”

 

It was stated by the armed forces that “a [miniature] foreign submarine violated Sweden,” and in April 2015 Business Insider went so far as to state that “the Swedish military still believes that Russia was indeed sailing submarines around Swedish waters last year: ‘The assessment that Swedish territory was violated in October 2014 remains correct in its entirety’.” 

And so on and on went the stories, until, as reported by Ekot, “the Armed Forces suddenly announced in a press release [in September 2015] that this most important evidence [presumably the “three credible sightings”] no longer applied, but nothing was revealed about the background or what happened. And Ekot can now tell us that the Armed Forces’ deeper analysis showed that the sound did not originate from any foreign submarine... but from a Swedish source.” 

So there was collapse of an absurd allegation that had been seized upon by the West to illustrate the supposedly nefarious designs of Russia. But the propaganda machine had worked well.

The “Russian U-Boat” reporting farce was in a way similar to an incident in the Irish Sea in April 2015 when Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that “a trawler that nearly capsized when its nets became snared near the Isle of Man may have been hit by a Russian submarine, a fishermen’s organisation has claimed . . . Naval sources said there were no British submarines in the area at the time of the incident on Wednesday afternoon. The incident took place amid concern about increasing Russian submarine operations off the Scottish coast . . .”

These dreaded Russians, again and again. Would their dreadful provocations never end? 

But there wasn’t an end, because there was never a beginning. 

On 10 June 2015 a British Member of Parliament, Margaret Ritchie, asked the defence minister “What reports he has received of submarine activity in the Irish Sea on 15 April 2015.” The reply was that “Following reports of damage to the fishing vessel Karen on 15 April 2015, Ministers were advised of the Royal Navy’s confidence that no UK submarine was responsible. We do not comment in detail on submarine operations as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.” In other words they were lying in their teeth and trying to disguise this unpleasant fact by employing the usual disguise of national security. (This happens all the time in US-NATO. It’s the best weapon they have.)

On July 13, 2015, Ms Ritchie returned to the fray and asked if the matter could be followed up because the Ministry of Defence had “confirmed that it was not a vessel belonging to the Royal Navy” that had been responsible for the incident that threatened the lives of the fishermen. She was fobbed off with the reply that “the Royal Navy takes its responsibilities very seriously.” Indeed it does, and I have the greatest regard for Britain’s Senior Service which knows exactly where its vessels are at any given moment, and doesn’t tell lies 

But politicians tell lies although sometimes these fail to stand the tests of time and truth, and eventually, five months after the incident, the UK’s defence minister was forced to admit that “I now wish to inform the House that, on the basis of new information that has become available, the Royal Navy has now confirmed that a UK submarine was, in fact, responsible for snagging the Karen’s nets. The incident, the delay in identifying and addressing the events on that day, and their consequences, are deeply regretted.”

“New information”? After five months? 

It had been known all along that it was a Royal Navy submarine that accidentally snagged the boat’s fishing nets, but the first instinct of politicians in matters like this is to try to disguise the truth until it becomes impossible to continue such trickery. If deception works, that’s fine; if it doesn’t work, then there is always the fall-back of “national security” to justify anything — especially when there’s a good chance that the blame assigned to Russia, by casual implication or calculated insinuation, will continue to stick. That is what propaganda is all about. Just as in Sweden, unfortunately, many people continue to believe that there was a Russian “U-Boat” in Swedish waters in 2014, as they were meant to do. 

Such non-incident stories are absurd - but they can’t be dismissed as amusing trivia. They are used to persuade ordinary decent citizens that there is a threat to their security, and no matter how many subsequent admissions may be made that prove the stories unfounded and ridiculous, there will be very many people who will continue to believe them. Watch how the Swedes vote next year.

Just as nobody found a submarine in the Stockholm archipelago, nobody has ever identified the “suspicious black-clad man” who was “photographed wading in the waters.” Let’s hope he’s got a vote.

Comments

pawn greenspanator Fri, 10/27/2017 - 04:24 Permalink

Feminism in Sweden is a significant social and political influence within Swedish society.[1][2] Swedish political parties across the political spectrum commit to gender-based policies in their public political manifestos.[3] The Swedish government assesses all policy according to the tenets of gender mainstreaming.[4][5] Women in Sweden are 45% of the political representatives in the Swedish Parliament. Women make up 43% of representatives in local legislatures as of 2014.[1] females

In reply to by greenspanator

Ghordius pawn Fri, 10/27/2017 - 06:10 Permalink

Swedish feminist 3rdGen shrieks don't scare hardened Russian soldiers. so it is completely OTmeanwhile, yes, Swedish women make up half of their electorate, and their feminists want half of the seatsthis discussion is completely tedious. part and parcel of a US discussion on the Alt-Right that has little to do with Europeyes, men are treated very badly by several US laws and law enforcement agencies. in some places, if a woman calls the police... it's overfrom children and wife in custody of the state to debtor's prison for the man. Sweden, while a bit daft on too much 3rdGen feminism, is nowhere thererant begin: you want women... at home, caring for the household and children? well, it needs... the right man, for such. it's based on individual action, not The State. gov can't make your woman happy to stay at home, bear your children, cook your mealsget your mess in order. there is plenty of it... at home. and stop projecting your issues on foreigners in far, far foreign lands. :rant end

In reply to by pawn

BrownCoat Ghordius Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:15 Permalink

@ Ghoridus,When I grew up, I was properly conditioned to believe the Vietnam War was winnable and I was willing to fight. The conditioning in the US today is different, but does influence the thoughts of both spouses in a "marriage." So rant all you want, people get married assuming their spouses have similar values to themselves. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. Societal norms and changing societal norms do impact individual relationships (whether marriage, work related, whatever).As you point out, it is ironic that laws pertainling to divorce are skewed unfairly toward women considering the so-called equality of the sexes. This is just one of the many Double Standards that shows the irrationallity of Cultural Marxist ideology.  

In reply to by Ghordius

land_of_the_few SoDamnMad Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:35 Permalink

They didn't do it "over" Sweden though. We also don't really know if they did simulate an attack. Report was from Sweden but sometimes reports from there turn out to be kind of debatable regarding submarines etc. Russia flies military planes in that area to Kaliningrad and back all the time.The real story is that Sweden didn't care enough to have any interceptors ready to take a look, they didn't fly anything up at all, seems a reasonable laid-back attitude :D 

In reply to by SoDamnMad

peddling-fiction 07564111 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 09:10 Permalink

54 F-18's in the Finnish Air Force is quite a statement. Whose side are we on?The Google (eNeSgAy) "datacenter" placed on the the border with Russia, in Eastern Finland, was also clearly noted as aggressive behavior. Quantum attack censorship and more, is with us now.Looks like Finland is not Neutral anymore.I protest this position as a Finn.May it be duly noted, that not every Finn agrees with this madness. 

In reply to by 07564111

peddling-fiction earleflorida Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:51 Permalink

The Jagiellon dynasty is the Swedish thorn in our side.I want to be clear, Finland is sandwiched between two heavy burdens, we have as neighbors.We should retreat into the EEC, the Finnish Mark and adopt real neutrality, that would make Kekkonen proud.The F-18's need to be phased out, and the Google datacenter needs to be nationalized. NATO should be out of the question, unless we plan on murdering our children and men, in yet another senseless war.Our agriculture and animal husbandry needs to fomented again.The One Belt effort should be welcome, and our commitment to Anglonistan, should be lowered, not cut.Finland needs to do business with everybody, but has never really been free.Here is one sane and loyal Finn standing up against the staus quo.

In reply to by earleflorida

Ghordius Hkan Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:25 Permalink

enemy? last time was when? a couple of hundred years ago?fact: Sweden has kept neutrality for a long timeanother fact: Sweden is having a discussion about joining NATO, instead of, as recently, participating in some detailsand another fact: Russia makes real manouvers with real soldiers, in Belarusand another one: the "counterexercise" of NATO involved... computers and officers in bunkersmeh. all this "saber rattling" is tediousNATO has no plans to take any Russian territory. in the Russian Duma, instead, there are elected MPs that ask for a return of whole countries under the benevolent stewardship of Moscowall this is less then serious. the article and the discussion remind me of kiddies on the playground playing Cowboys vs Indians

In reply to by Hkan

tweet_twat_tt Masher1 Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:30 Permalink

And we remember that everytime an attack on Donbass by the Ukrainian forces, volunteer batallions, NATO forces and foreign mercenaries was turning into a disaster, there were claims of a Russian invasion in Ukraine...If Poland and the Baltic states imagine they will be protected by those who risk a nuclear holocaust, good luck ! They will be the first to be wiped off the surface of the Earth.

In reply to by Masher1

Ghordius tweet_twat_tt Fri, 10/27/2017 - 05:55 Permalink

"NATO Forces"... in Donbass?are you sure you don't mean... "unmarked men in green uniforms"?some of them were speaking... English. a different set of them spoke... Russian. (but Mr. Putin later confirmed that the second set was indeed Russian soldiers in Crimea. +1 for Mr. Putin)while we are at it, some of those volunteer battaillions spoke... Polish"If Poland and the Baltic states imagine they will be protected..."wait a moment. protected? from what? you only need protection if there is an agressor around, potentially or in full invasion realityeither is Russia a potential aggressor of the Balts and Poland or... it is notI say Russia is not. despite all this "Saber Rattling" from some Russians drunk on National Pride and Superiority of Arms, and the counter-claims from some NATO talking heads that follow on a completely different set of prioritiesand so all this is just the equivalent of men shedding their clothes, painting themselves blue and brandishing their spears, "Maori style"keep it real, man

In reply to by tweet_twat_tt

tweet_twat_tt Ghordius Fri, 10/27/2017 - 06:37 Permalink

That's what I mean. I don't believe there is any russian agression. Hence no need for protection. However, the Baltic states and Poland hold on to the soviet times and their memory of bad times. Russia wants to trade with the EU, not make war on the EU.As to the presence of NATO, why were some NATO weapons, NATO ammunitions and NATO armoured vehicles (Polish) seen in Donbass ? It's not like they advertise it. Officially, they were never there.And by the way, in order to keep things real, and avoid being one-sided, yes there were Russian soldiers in unmarked green uniforms. But that was not encouraged by Moscow. They were volunteers. Also, the Russian artillery did shoot from the other side of the border to support Donbass.

In reply to by Ghordius

Volkodav Ghordius Fri, 10/27/2017 - 06:41 Permalink

       what you say does not matter...       Fact is those Green Men photos you saw were Crimean citizens.       Otherwise there were plenty Russian troops, cos Russian Base allowed there       Russian Military were legal in Crimea under agreement with Ukraine for Sevastopol Base      

In reply to by Ghordius

rejected tweet_twat_tt Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:08 Permalink

If Russian troops are in Donbass defending Russians I commend them. Exactly what are the US forces there for? I know of no US citizens in Ukraine or Crimea. The USA funded and assisted the Ukrainian Nazi's to overthrew the original Ukrainian government. The stupid morons in Washington actually thought Russia would give up their warm water naval base? LOL.I despise fascism and Nazism, both of which exist in the Ukraine and the West,,, especially the USA and Canada albeit a mixture of Marxism.

In reply to by tweet_twat_tt

mog Fri, 10/27/2017 - 04:02 Permalink

The Swedes are as thick as two planks.They need to be cultivating Russia.Their lives may depend on Russia.They are islamifying their country so fast that in ten years max they will be fleeing in droves as refugees themselves - as will much else of Europe.They will be facing Balkan style wars, mass killing - beheading and even more rape.Its what islamics do when they take your country, Sweden.Ask the Serbs.You will be fleeing to the nearest safe place which will be Russia.Dream on.I hope they close their borders.Why take in an enemy - an enemy of such stupidity and weakness they have handed their nation on a plate to islam.That attitude will be a liability and threat to Russia.They won't want pathetic wimps and fools to undermine Russian security.

LA_Goldbug Fri, 10/27/2017 - 04:08 Permalink

"One of NATO’s “concerns” in its obsession with Russia is to persuade Sweden to not only increase its already substantial collaboration with the alliance, but to actually become a member "

Translation : "Sweden needs to spend money on useless junk."

Arrest Hillary Fri, 10/27/2017 - 04:15 Permalink

Olaf was killed by a friend of mine .... something about a botched arms deal with the Basque separatists .... he made his get a away on a Husqvarna (sp?) moto to Norway .... a friend of his is D.B. Cooper .... they also flew a famous Arabian race horse .... from Ireland to Canada .... in a small Lear jet with a special cargo door ? LOL

BritBob Fri, 10/27/2017 - 04:16 Permalink

Ruskies are always against facts, freedom and democracy...Russia tells Britain give back the Falklands before telling US what to do.RUSSIA has told Britain it should "clean its conscience" and give back the Falkland Islands before it criticises them over their involvement in Ukraine. Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin made the shocking remarks when responding to his British counterpart Matthew Rycroft at a UN security council meeting in New York. (Daily Express 4 Feb 2017) They forget that a lot of territory was 'taken' in the 19th century (much of a norm). That doesn't excuse their actions in the 21st century. Falkland Islands – The Usurpation (1 pg): https://www.academia.edu/34838377/Falkland_Islands_The_Usurpation