Why Stockholm is burning and why the world should care
By Richard Cottrell
Contributing writer for End the Lie
For the best part of a week a bustling, largely immigrant dominated suburb in the Swedish capital Stockholm has been gripped by violence and anger formerly unknown to an international audience which thinks of the country as a sleepy Nordic backwater where nothing much happens.
Editor’s note: be sure to read Richard’s previous articles “Boston: a cynically calculated rehearsal” and “Thatcher’s true legacy: Her Majesty’s national socialist state”
That image is wrong: Sweden has a contemporary history of violence against its most senior leaders, the Prime Minister Oluf Palme – a near saint-like JFK figure – and more recently the foreign minister Anna Lindh, both struck down by assassins.
Under the neo-con government now in power, the Swedes have dropped their purely token neutrality and waded gung ho into the neurotic war on terror. This in turn puts native-born Swedes in the front line given the swelling immigrant population drawn by the country’s alluring economic strength.
There has been simmering tension for years between the predominantly white Protestant Swedes and the country’s rising immigrant population, mostly as a consequence of wars, and especially the instability promoted by Western forays like Iraq, collapsing failed states and climate change. Mostly but not entirely Muslim immigrants account for 1.4 million permanent residents in a country of 8.5 million.
The dichotomy is quite clear. The newcomers are in a land of settled peace yet we are supposed to believe that having been given the benefits of perhaps the most generous refugee re-settlement programs in Europe, freely helped to dig themselves in with generous financial help and subsidies, disaffected ‘radicals’ want to upset the apple cart by attacking their host.
One example: two years ago there were bomb explosions in two city center streets which. It was later revealed that the timing of the explosions was known to the city police before they happened. The bombs were attributed to radical Muslims.
The West’s wars on the Muslim world are bound to inflame hot temperaments. There is no point in denying that as a direct consequence, militancy does exist among young Muslims in Europe or anywhere else. Equally, it is useless to deny that as a cultural policy, multi-culturalism in Europe is not under severe stress, because it plainly is. Sweden is no exception. But the reasons are complex and not easily pinned down to provide pat, simple explanations, as the authorities would have us believe.
Take the latest troubles in Stockholm, which then spread around the country. The trigger: the police shooting dead a 69-year-old Portuguese man called Lenine Relvas-Martin. It occurred in the predominantly immigrant populated suburb of Stockholm called Husby and provoked nationwide riots. The man’s neighbors are still incensed. One said: ‘You would have thought there was a huge group of terrorists, not a man with a little knife,’ adding: ‘If he was Swedish they never would have shot him. I’m sure about that.’
As soon as I read those words my mind flew to my book, Gladio, which contains an account of the huge race riots which convulsed Belgium’s 2nd city, Antwerp, in December 2002. They were sparked by the murder of an elderly and harmless Moroccan imam, allegedly by his elderly and mentally disturbed white neighbor. The city of diamonds was soon the city of broken glass, Belgium’s already tense race insecurities tossed into another vortex of hate.
These events were all of a decade and more ago, but here we have a more or less identical replay.
Locals suggested the turf in Husby had been well prepared. The police, who are not known for their lightness of touch in Sweden, frequently turned up to strip young suspects naked, often in front of their humiliated families, searching for drugs or guns. Hardly the stuff of harmonious inter-racial relations.
The tally of reported damage so far runs to at least 200 cars set ablaze, fires started in schools, police stations and restaurants, and about a dozen police officers injured. The gendarmerie stated that the violence was started by a core group of about 300 young people, although somewhat curiously, given such a large contingent, only about thirty were taken into custody. How many officially-connected agents provocateur were on the rampage is an important question.
The ructions in Husby quickly started a brush fire which spread to other suburbs with substantial immigrant populations and then to other important centres around the country including the famous university city of Uppsala, Södertälje, and Linköping and Örebro, in the country’s central belt. So once again, another sideshow of the war on terror.
Sweden has managed so far to mainly quietly absorb about 100,000 refugees from the disastrous intervention in Iraq, where inter-communal violence between Sunni and Shiite sectarians make the troubles in Sweden look like a mere squall after a football match. Fifty thousand have arrived from Somalia, one of the world’s most tragic failed states thanks to endless foreign meddling and climate change. Now the tide is growing from Syria, about 15,000 so far.
The important question is, of course, how many of those one hundred thousand Iraqis would be in Sweden were it not for the disastrous invasion?
Unsurprisingly a lot of native Swedes are looking for the ‘sorry we’re fully booked’ signs. If we cannot understand that, then we cannot hope to understand human nature.
What is rarely mentioned is that many of the established immigrants, especially those into the second generation, think precisely the same. They are experiencing the same pressure cooker tensions as the hosts, particularly since any mass exodus inevitably leads to a large degree of ghettoization, of which Husby is the classic example of high cultural walls.
Needling immigrants to provoke reactions which then drive some elements into an embittered laager and thus inflate the ‘war on terror’ in the streets and cities of the West is a tactic borrowed straight from the old Gladio ‘strategy of tension’ dating to the 70’s and 80’s. Back then, the primary targets were imagined communist sleepers waiting for Moscow to blow the last trump of capitalism.
The parallel is a good one because there were ‘inflamed radicals’ abroad at that time – think the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany as a notable instance – but most of the bombings and attacks were later attributed to neo-fascists and criminal gangs in cahoots with western secret services.
The enemy within, the famous ‘anarchist bomber’ lurking with malintent, is a famous and immensely portable leitmotif from history. Now the fabled figure is the young maddened Jihadist attacking the despised symbols and freedoms of the west, whereas in the wake of every big atrocity attributed to radicalized young Muslims, it is the native dwellers who are subjected to yet another cull of their privacies and civil rights.
The perturbations in Sweden have, fortunately, not been accompanied by loss of life, unlike the events in Norway centering on the highly equivocal figure of Anders Breivik. But consider that in the space of just a few short weeks, we have witnessed the Boston bombing, the horrific public butchery of a British soldier near the Woolwich army barracks in South London and now the violent commotion in Sweden. After each incident came the usual siren calls to curb the internet.
The terrible London murder of Trooper Lee was immediately leapt upon by government supporting politicians and judges as the prompt to bring back a stalled parliamentary bill to subject all the e-mails and web traffic of all British people to round-the-clock secret service snooping.
Now we come to the elephant in the room.
The problem is that one of the alleged perpetrators of the London attack, the British Michael Adebolajo of Nigerian descent, was very well known to the secret services and police for the best part of a decade. Six years ago he was arrested during protests outside the Old Bailey central court in London, but no charges brought. In late November 2010 he was arrested in Kenya as a potential terrorist suspect.
The Kenyans exported him back to Britain where neither MI5, nor MI6 nor the Metropolitan Police demonstrated the vaguest interest. The other suspect, his fellow countryman Michael Adebowale, was also no stranger to the police and the intelligence services. One of the pair – apparently Adebolajo – was offered the job of paid informant by MI5 but declined to take the bait. So here we have two cosseted terrorist suspects, free as air to commit an atrocity, who turn out to be pets of the secret services for years.
For once the corporate media in London is on to the story, but fails to see a rather obvious problem: the old one, which is part of the long running Gladio story, of authorities charged with the safety and security of the public at large, looking the other way. ‘Just Let It Happen.’ There are hints of this. Dan Hodges, writing in the Telegraph (he lives close by to the events in Woolwich) said ‘nothing made sense’ that bloody day.
It didn’t, unless events are upended as another dramatised episode of the war on terror, the ‘enemy within’, designed to pressurize Brits, Americans and Swedes to surrender more of the liberties on account of the blind justice practiced by the very authorities who are paid to protect them. Terrorism as black theater.
Boston, Stockholm, Woolwich: same story.
Edited by Madison Ruppert
Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Doctor Who? The Atomic Bomber Beeching and his War on the Railways is available and Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is now available from Progressive Press. You may order it using the link below (or by clicking here – Gladio, NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe: The Pentagon-Nazi-Mafia Terror Axis):
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