Daily archives: September 12, 2012

Libyan Blowback

It is a terrible thing if any US diplomats have been killed in Libya, as now appears likely. My condolences to the families of all affected. They add to the thousands of deaths in Libya, and one can only hope that finally some of the proponents of “liberal intervention” will realise that bombing people into democracy is not a viable policy.

But part of the responsibility for these deaths lies with the US and Israeli far right activists who made a film insulting Islam, with precisely the intention of provoking a spiral of violence. There are many interest groups longing to promote a perpetual climate of war and fear; some of them, like these filmmakers, are easier to identify than others.

Be it attacks on US diplomats in Libya or drone strikes on villagers in Yemen, it is all part of the same hateful cycle of violence – from which fortunes have been made in the arms, mercenary and security industries, and which climate of hatred has given cover and unflinching western support for resource grabs by Israeli illegal settlers.

So many people have poisoned what should be a beautiful world. The deaths of US diplomats in Libya get noticed. The evryday deaths of so many others in this manufactured conflict do not.

View with comments

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg Charged Again In Sweden

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm has been deported from Cambodia to Sweden to serve a one year jail sentence for breach of copyright. On arrival he was charged with a further offence; I have received several messages that this new charge relates to his work in hosting Wikileaks, but I have no confirmation at the moment and Svartholm is being held incommunicado. Can anyone confirm or contradict this?

Svartholm had been assured by Swedish authorities that, if he returned back to serve his jail sentence, he would not face further charges; that was broken the moment he arrived back in Sweden. That may well be a pointer for how seriously we can take assurances that the patently false “sexual assault” charges fabricated against Julian Assange are the real motive for the Swedish authorities’ pursuit of him.

EU Commission sources tell me that Sweden paid Cambodia around 50 million euros for Svartholm’s deportation to Sweden (there is no extradition agreement). The money is in government to government aid and targeted on development of democratic institutions and global warming. The Cambodian government is scarcely a democracy, and the idea that the money will, once paid over, in fact be usefully spent in those areas is extremely fanciful. From my own very substantial experience of development aid, 50 million Euros is a very large sum to dedicate to those areas in terms of the overall Swedish development aid budget, and absolutely unprecedented between Sweden and Cambodia. My EU Commission source is adamant that this “aid” payment and Svartholm’s extradition were agreed at the same meeting between Swedish and Cambodian officials a week ago.

The Svartholm case and the dodgy “aid” payment has been very little covered by the mainstream media, because it reveals the extraordinary lengths to which the Swedish authorities are prepared to go, to please the US in bringing down those involved with Wikileaks, and to dissociate themeselves from Sweden’s brief period as the home of internet freedom.

View with comments