Leroy N. Soetoro
2017-02-09 01:33:43 UTC
A winter evening in Stockholm, lights glinting in the harbor, snow falling
outside. And what about us, I am asked, up here in the North? What
happens to us? My Swedish companions are journalists, analysts and civil
servants, people who care about their countrys national security. Though
neither elite nor wealthy, they do share a worldview. They think their
countrys prosperity depends on the European Union and its open markets.
They also think their safety depends on the United States commitment to
Europe. And since President Trump took office, they suddenly find
themselves staring into an unfathomable abyss.
Its not party politics that bother them: These are conservatives, by
Swedish standards, and Republican presidents have suited them in the past.
Trumps tweeting and bragging dont bother them that much either, though
they find these unseemly. The real problem is deeper: Swedens economic
and political model depends on Pax Americana, the set of American-written
and American-backed rules that have governed transatlantic commerce and
politics for 70 years and they fear Trump will bring Pax Americana
crashing down. Nor are they alone: Variations of this conversation are
taking place in every European capital and many Asian capitals too.
The Swedes do have specific, parochial concerns, and one of them is
Russia. For the past several years, Russia has played games with their air
force and navy, buzzing Swedish air space and sending submarines along the
coast. Jittery Swedes have brought back civil defense drills, and until
November, it looked as though other changes were coming. Once, Swedish
neutrality was a useful fiction, both for them and for the United States,
because it gave Sweden a role as a negotiator. Now, Swedish support for
joining NATO is at an all-time high. But they seem to be late to the
party. If the U.S. president feels lukewarm about NATO, then what is the
The health of the European Union worries them too. Sweden is a small
country, but it has big companies, all of which have major investments and
trading arrangements all across Europe. Brexit probably caused more
distress here than anywhere else in Europe: Sweden had long counted on
Britain to help make the arguments for more open, less regulated European
markets. In the past, the United States made some of those arguments too.
But what now? If the United States is dedicated to America First, then
American diplomats are hardly going to help Sweden wave the flag for free
trade, as they did in the past.
What worries them most of all, though, is something else: Over and over
again, they ask me about Stephen K. Bannon. But in the course of the
evening, it becomes clear that theyve read more about him than I have and
know more about him than I do. White supremacist ideology is alive and
well in Scandinavia Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in a 2011
attack in Norway, is its most famous exponent. Sweden also has a home-
grown populist party, the Sweden Democrats, who share Bannons pro-Russian
and anti-Muslim sympathies. My Swedish companions think their country has
absorbed and assimilated large numbers of refugees in the past couple of
years pretty well, but of course there are tensions, and tensions can be
exploited. Will the U.S. administration, consciously or unconsciously, now
help Nordic nationalists make their case?
None of my companions go as far as the extraordinary editorial in the
German magazine Der Spiegel, which has just called on Germans to stand up
for what is important: democracy, freedom, the West and its alliances,
and which asks Europeans to start planning political and economic defenses
against Americas dangerous president. But, yes, these Swedes would like
to create new forms of European security. A Baltic-Nordic security pact
should be on the table. European defense structures should get attention
The world is more dangerous than they imagined; the alliances and
institutions they have long relied upon may be crumbling. We are on our
own here, one of them writes to me the next day. Which pretty much sums
up how the rest of Americas allies feel right now too.
Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party has run out of gas.
Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for ending the disaster of the
ObamaCare is a total 100% failure and no lie that can be put forth by its
supporters can dispute that.
Obama jobs, the result of ObamaCare. 12-15 working hours a week at minimum
wage, no benefits and the primary revenue stream for ObamaCare. It can't
be funded with money people don't have, yet liberals lie about how great
Obama increased total debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the eight
years he has been in office, and sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood
queer liberal democrat donors.
With a little luck, we'll see compulsive liar Hillary Clinton in jail too.