Ingen människa kan bestå genom ondska, men de rättfärdigas rot kan inte rubbas.
Ordspråksboken 12:3

Världen idag

Iran's Swedish Protector: Tunehag article in Wall Street Journal

· Publicerad 09:17, 22 jul 2010
I was asked by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) to write an op-ed on Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's dealings with Iran and related Middle East issues. The article is published today, 22 July. Here is the link to the WSJ op-ed. My full text follows; the WSJ version is slightly edited:
Iran is by far the most dangerous threat to peace in the Middle East and beyond. We know that the Iranian president Ahmadinejad is an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier and that he threatens to annihilate Israel. This threat is reinforced by the well known fact that the Islamic regime is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. We know that Iran is an exporter and supporter of terrorism. One only has to mention two terrorist organizations which are backed up by Iran: Hamas and Hezbollah. We know that Iran is a dictatorship. Human rights are constantly trampled upon. There is no freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, or political freedom. Last year"s election was a case in point. Leaders and followers of the emerging democracy movement were brutally beaten, jailed and killed. But dictatorships always fall; it is just a matter of time. Three things are of the utmost importance in dealing with Iran: containment, human rights and democracy, as well as international strategic alliances. Sweden is a small Scandinavian country with limited influence on international affairs. But it has a larger-than-life former Prime Minister and the current Minister of Foreign Affairs – Mr. Carl Bildt. The post-Christian and secularized Sweden has to a large extent abandoned belief in God and the United Nations has for decades served as the new Supreme Being. Swedish governments, regardless of political leanings, have referred to the UN as the final arbiter and guide in international affairs, almost with a metaphysical reverence. Among democracies there is a broad consensus that Iran must be contained, and more sanctions should be imposed to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear program. But lo and behold, Mr. Bildt hesitates; some even say he tries to stall the sanction process. On his own blog he questions the decision by the UN Security Council. He suggests supporting Brazil and Turkey, which voted against UN sanctions against Iran. Is Mr. Bildt representing a new direction in Swedish policy - away from the UN - or is he just running his own race – again? The Swedish Parliament, and some of his own government coalition partners, passed a resolution earlier this year deeming that the killing of Armenians in 1915 should be labeled genocide. His responsibility should then be to carry Swedish foreign policy forward. Instead he publically distanced himself from the resolution and apologized to Turkey. Mr. Bildt is a gifted and well connected politician. He has a track record of speaking up against dictatorship even when it was not politically correct. He has also proven himself as a man committed to peace and nation building, including risking his own life during his years in the Balkans. But Mr. Bildt"s dealings in the wider Middle East region – with dictatorships, and the only democracy, Israel - raise questions and cause concerns. Last fall, diplomatic tension rose between Sweden and Israel. A Swedish tabloid published centuries old blood libel myths, but Mr. Bildt refused to take a stand against those anti-Semitic accusations. He then cancelled a scheduled trip to Israel, at a time when Sweden held the EU presidency. But he gladly went to Syria in February 2010. Syria, one of the worst dictatorships in the region, occupied neighboring Lebanon for many years, and supports Hezbollah in its Holocaust agenda. Syria"s dictator Bashar al-Assad hosted president Ahmadinejad at the same time, as well as the leader for Hezbollah and the leader for its twin terrorist organization Hamas. Only bin Laden was missing. Mr. Bildt failed to bring up human rights issues or challenge the fact that Syria supports terrorist organizations. In short: Bildt doesn"t hesitate to have photo ops with dictators, terrorist supporters and Holocaust deniers, but he refused to visit the only democracy in the region. There were probably many people with good intentions on the Ship to Gaza convoy. But one of the ships was organized by IHH, a terrorist organization with links to Al Qaida. The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan backed IHH in their Ship to Gaza engagement. On their ship Mavi Marmara they sang Islamic songs inciting hatred and murder of Jews. Two well known Swedes also participated with this terrorist group. After the incident at sea the Swedes came to Istanbul. Who met them? Mr. Bildt. He quickly showed sympathy for the Swedes and the Ship to Gaza cause and equally quickly he condemned Israel. Religious freedom is often a good litmus test on democracy in general and human rights in particular. Religious liberty in Iran is as prevalent as rain in the Sahara. Mr. Bildt replied recently to a question posed by the Swedish MP Mr. Lennart Sacredeus regarding increasing persecution of Christians in Iran. Mr. Bildt assured that Sweden takes this seriously and referred to discussions within UN"s Human Rights Council. Seriously? How can anyone in his right mind take UN"s Human Rights Council seriously; it is a pathetic playground often dominated by dictatorships which don"t allow religious freedom. Mr. Bildt has to my knowledge never pro-actively dealt with religious liberty issues, while 70 percent of the world"s population lives in countries with limited religious freedom. Democracies are unlikely to start wars. A truly democratic Iran would defuse tensions in the region. But Mr. Bildt, like president Obama, does not proactively support the democracy movement, nor does he take human rights, including religious liberty issues, seriously. It is disconcerting that Mr. Bildt seems to work against containment of Iran. It is equally troubling to observe Mr. Bildt"s uncritical alliances with dictators, anti-Israel activists and terrorist supporters. The democracies in the world need to unite to contain Iran, to actively promote democracy and strongly support human rights in the Middle East, and build strong strategic alliances to that end. But Mr. Bildt seems to have other agendas and the wrong friends.

Evangeliets erbjudande är en ny identitet i Kristus

Ledare I centrum av det kristna evangeliet står något som förr brukade beskrivas som det ”saliga bytet”:... onsdag 22/3 00:10

Upprop för samvetsfrihet – vill inte ange papperslösa

Samvetsfrihet. Tunga fackförbund, vänsterpolitiker och debattörer driver just nu en kampanj för att lärare, läkare... onsdag 22/3 07:00

Fler förhandlingar förlänger konflikten

Israelkrönika Mönstret känns välbekant: Precis före den muslimska fastemånaden ramadan organiseras ett regionalt... onsdag 22/3 00:00