Jan Oberg nato Ukraine

Ukraine: Foolish for Finland & Sweden to Join NATO

This is not the time to make decisions in a moment of historical hysteria and panic, writes Jan Oberg.
From left: Finland’s Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist, on March 16. (NATO)

By Jan Oberg / The Transnational

Here’s what the West is intellectually unable — in the midst of its boundlessly self-righteous, militarist mood to see:

NATO’s expansion policy created — and is responsible for — the conflict. 

Russia created ­— and is responsible for — the war. There exists no violence which is not rooted in underlying conflicts. Conflict and peace literate people, therefore, talk about both. 

And if they want peace, they do not increase the symptoms — the war — they address the real cause, the conflict and ask the conflicting parties to tell what they fear and what they want and then move, step-by-step towards a sustainable solution.

But neither the mainstream media nor politicians have the civil courage to address the conflict. It’s only about the war and only about Russia and President Vladimir Putin who must be punished, no matter the price to be paid by future generations. If we survive. 

It’s a banality to point out that it takes at least two to conflict. But that’s the intellectual and moral level decision-makers, media and much of academia operate in these dark times.

This approach has no future and can never bring peace. Period. 

Decisions taken with this irrational approach and emotionalism will only make things worse. Such as Sweden and Finland joining NATO based on the hysteric panic of the moment: There simply exists no credible, realistic scenario that would lead to an isolated, out-of-the-blue Russian attack on either of them if they remained non-aligned as they’ve been for decades. 

That some less knowledgeable people — or people who speak for NATO membership — have been talking about even an isolated, out-of-the-blue attack on the Swedish island of Gotland is Monty Python politics.

So why will Finland and Sweden now make a disastrous, tension-increasing decision to join NATO? Here are some of the possible reasons:

Heavy Pressure

Both have been under heavy pressure by NATO and the U.S. in particular. Sweden’s prime minister, Olof Palme, was murdered – a man who stood for the U.N. goal of international disarmament, nuclear abolition and the intelligent concept of common security. U.S. ambassadors have held secret meetings with Swedish MPS, there are many channels, demands and rewards.

Sweden’s single worst security challenge was the Russian submarine, U 137 Whisky on the Rocks. It was Russian, yes, but the operation was an American PSYOP – psychological operation – conducted by the “navigation expert” on board who was the only one never interviewed in Sweden and who soon after disappeared. 

Soviet submarine U 137 that ran aground on Oct. 27, 1981, on the south coast of Sweden near a large naval base.(Marinmuseum, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

It was a PSYOP intended to make Sweden recognize that the Soviet Union was a threat, that its defence against the East was deficient and that it should seek protection from the West itself. This is extremely well-documented by professor emeritus, Ola Tunander’s, eminent multi-decade research, latest published in the book, Navigations-ExpertenHur Sverige lät sig bedras av U 137  (The Navigation Expert. On how Sweden accepted to be deceived by U 137).

Step-by-step, Sweden was guided in the right direction. Certain Swedish politicians knew what was going on, but the media and the people didn’t.

Wooed by US & NATO 

Both countries have moved to be wooed by the U.S. and NATO. They have, over the last 20 years, become engaged with NATO in all kinds of ways – so, as the saying goes, why not marry now? 

In other words, Finland and Sweden now join because they have – incrementally – made one wrong decision after the other, painted themselves into “no-choice-but-NATO” corner and abdicated every ounce of their historical, independent-minded creative foreign policy thinking. And stopped criticism of warfare and militarism.


That has also been possible because critical, or alternative, independent intellectual input into ministries of foreign affairs has been cut out and substituted by various types of pro-American marketing of policies. 

For decades, the NATO Echo Chamber has defined the national pro-NATO Groupthink. Nobody was allowed in to ask: Where on earth are we heading in, say, 25 years from now? 

Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex

Further, Sweden and Finland are now joining because elites related to the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex, MIMAC, in both countries – rather than the people – decide security and foreign policy matters. 

Of course, there was extremely little open public discussion; it wasn’t wanted. Decision-makers knew that NATO’s nuclear weapons foundation and its members’ contact wars, particular in the Middle East were seen as basically evil among the citizenry. 

Time Pressure

From left: Finland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pekka Haavisto, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Swedens’ Foreign Minister Ann Linde on April 6.  (NATO)

Liberal media suggest that there cannot be a referendum because there is such a time pressure — presumably before that Russian invasion of Sweden and Finland — and, so, just make the most important foreign and security political decision since 1945 in a hurry now there is popular outrage at Russia — the beloved, necessary enemy.

The Swedish decision-makers of course know that there will never be a 75 percent or so majority for NATO — which is what there should be to make such a fundamental, fateful decision. So much, you may say, for democracy — but no new NATO member has held a referendum where NATO and other alternatives were freely discussed and a 75 percent majority came out in favor. (According to the Swedish Svenska Dagbladet daily of May 6, 48 percent think that Sweden shall join, but in just one week those who are not sure what to think have increased from 22 to 27 percent). 

Finland’s pro-NATO opinion seems to have grown from 53 percent in February to 76 percent in May 2022. It was 19 percent in 2017 according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Ukraine has played its role.

Intellectual Disarmament

A further reason to join is the intellectual disarmament that has left decision-makers unifying around one alternative; forgotten to leave other doors open and deliberately quelled alternatives.

The discourse of peace — in media, politics and research — has been disappeared. Peace has come to mean weapons, deterrence, more and more of it coupled to blind loyalty with every U.S./NATO war. 

For instance, then Social Democratic Prime Minister Göran Persson’s government quickly decided to disable Sweden’s weapons export prohibition legislation in 2001 in order to be able to continue exporting weapons to the U.S. during its invasion of Iraq.

This multi-year intellectual disarmament is manifest — and always tends to favour military over civilian means as well as diplomacy. And not only in these countries, of course.

An institute such as SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – has decayed intellectually into something that should rather be named Stockholm International Military Security Research, SIMSI – as I have suggested years ago.

In other words, the political creativity that was needed to run an independent policy of neutrality, non-alignment and global disarmament coupled with a strong belief in international law vanished years ago. 
It’s easier to follow the flock – particularly when, as it seems, the Social Democratic party today exists only by name.

Media 

Without exhausting all those — tragic — reasons, one final reason to mention is the role of the media. Like everywhere else, media from left to right have unified around a pro-Western, non-neutral policy. The present pro-NATO propaganda, not the least in the liberal Dagens Nyheter, is pervasive. 

Critical voices are marginalised and public information “explainers” are reduced to some high school-like basic facts coupled with FOSI, Fake + Omission + Source Ignorance. Sweden is able to have televised panel discussions where, de facto, all the participants are more or less pro-NATO thus leaving out a large part of public opinion. *)

The Consequences

Nov. 1, 2018: NATO joint country exercise in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea. (NATO, Flickr)

There are potentially so many — some more likely than others — that they cannot all be listed in a short pointed analysis like this. But let me mention:

  • The Swedes and the Finns will become less secureWhy? Because there will be harder confrontation and polarization instead of soft borders and mediating attitudes. In a serious crisis, they will, for all practical purposes, be occupied and told what to do by the U.S./NATO. 
  • To the degree that, at some point in the future, the two countries will be asked to host U.S. bases— like Norway and Denmark now – they won’t be able to say “No!” Such bases will be Russia’s first-order targets in a war situation. 
  • From a Russian point of view, of course, their NATO membership is extremely tension-increasing and confrontational. Russia has 8 percent ($66 billion) of the military expenditures of the 30 NATO members. Now there will be a huge re-armament throughout NATO. Germany alone plans to increase to almost twice as much as Russia’s expenditures. Ukraine will receive about $50 billion. Add a re-armed Sweden and Finland and we shall see Russia rush down to 4 percent of NATO’s expenditures — and still be called a formidable threat.
  • There will be virtually no confidence-building and conflict-resolution mechanisms left in Europe. No discussion will be possible about a new all-European peace and security system. And whether it is understood and respected or not, Russia will feel even more intimidated, isolated and — in a certain situation — become even more desperate. As does, normally, the weaker party in an a-symmetric conflict. We are living in very dangerous times and these two countries in NATO will only increase the danger, there is no way it could reduce it.
  • If Finland and Sweden so strongly want to be “protected” by the United States and/or NATO, it is completely unnecessary for these two countries to join because, if there is a serious crisis, the U.S./NATO will under all circumstances come to “protect” or rather use their territories to be closer to the Baltic republics. That’s what the Host Nation Support agreements are about.
    The only reason to join would be paragraph 5 – but the disadvantage is that paragraph 5 requires that Finland and Sweden will be expected to participate in wars that are not about their defence and perhaps even in future international law-violating wars à la those in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya. So, will Finnish and Swedish young people be killed in future NATO-country wars? Are they ready for that?
  • It will cost a fortune to convert their military infrastructure to full NATO membership — and when they have joined, they will pay whatever the price will turn out to be. In addition, there will be much less de facto sovereign decision-making possible — here de jure is almost irrelevant. And it was already very self-limited before they joined.
  • As NATO members, Finland and Sweden cannot but share the responsibility for nuclear weapons — the deterrence and possible use of them by NATO. It’s also obvious that NATO vessels may bring nuclear weapons into their ports — but they will of course not even ask — they know the arrogant U.S. response is that “we neither confirm nor deny that sort of thing.” 
    This goes against every fibre of the Swedish people — and Sweden’s decision to not develop nuclear weapons dating some 70 years back. 
  • The days when Sweden and Finland can – in principle, at least – work for alternatives are numbered.That is, for the U.N. treaty on nuclear abolition and the U.N. goals of general and complete disarmament, any alternative policy concepts like common security, human security, a strong U.N. etc. They won’t be able to serve as mediators — like, say, Austria and Switzerland. No NATO member can pay anything but lip service to such noble goals. NATO is not an organization that encourages alternatives. Instead, it seeks monopoly as well as regional and global dominance.
  • Finland and Sweden say yes to militarist thinking, to a “peace” paradigm that is imbued with weapons, armament, offensiveness (long-range + large destructive capacity), deterrence and constant threatening: NATO is human history’s most militaristic organisation.Its leader, the United States of America, has been at war 225 out of 243 years since 1776. Every idea about nonviolence, the U.N. Charter provision of making peace by predominantly peaceful means (Article 1 in the Charter) will be out of the window.
  • The political attention, as well as funds, will tend to switch to military matters, away from contributing to solving humanity’s most urgent problems. But – we know it now – the excuse will be Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Is there any huge change that cannot be justified with reference to that?
  • While everybody knows that the Arctic is going to be a region of central security and peace concerns in the near future, this issue has hardly been discussed in relation to the two countries’ NATO membership. However, it doesn’t require much expertise to see that U.S./NATO access to Sweden and Finland is a clear advantage in the future confrontation with Russia and China there.
  • As NATO members, Sweden and Finland not only accept but reinforce decades of hate of the Russian people, everything Russia including Russian-European culture. It will say yes to the West’s reckless, knee-jerk collective (illegal) punishment of everything Russia, the cancellation of Russia on all dimensions.
(GRID-Arendal Arctic Circle map, Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Once upon a time, in contrast, Finland’s President Urho Kekkonen stood for policies of active neutrality, a go-between role and initiating the OSCE. Finland was proud that its people felt that neither the East nor the West was an enemy, various kinds of equidistance prevailing. And that was during the height of the First Cold war when the Warsaw Pact was about 10 times stronger vis-a-vis NATO than Russia is today. How and why? One reason was that policies had an intellectual foundation and leaders a consciousness about what war meant. Not so today.

  • The prospect that no NATO advocates talk about is this: In all likelihood, we have only seen the hard beginning of an extremely Cold War with an ever-increasing risk of a Hot War too. It is the stated purpose of the U.S. – and that means NATO – to weaken Russia militarily in Ukraine so it can’t rise ever again and to undermine its economy back home through history’s hardest, time-unlimited and unconditional sanctions – that is, sanctions that will not be lifted in a lifetime or more.
  • And, finally, by joining NATO, the two countries will be forced to side with the larger West in the future world order change in which China, the Middle East, Africa and South America as well as huge non-Western regional associations will gain strength. 

The U.S. priority No. 1 is China. As NATO members, Sweden and Finland will be unable to walk on two legs in the future – a Western and a Non-Western — and will decline and fall with the West – the U.S. Empire and NATO in particular.

If you think that’s a too daring and pessimistic scenario, you’re not following developments and trends outside the West itself. Also, please consider that a split and problem-torn U.S., EU and NATO have just come together for one reason: the negative policy of hating Russia and cover-up for its crystal-clear co-responsibility for the conflict that brought us where we now are. 

The West has no positive vision anymore. Its actions are about re-armament, threats, sanctions, demonization, the self-righteous “we-never-did-anything-wrong” and the concomitant projection of its own dark sides upon others, China in particular.

For small countries to put all their eggs in one basket when they do have alternatives and acting without a clue about the next five-to-10 years has always been a recipe for disaster, for war. 

Both NATO and the EU act these days as the passengers did in the restaurant of the elegant, luxurious RMS Titanic.

There were huge problems which should have been solved for humanity to survive: climate, environment, poverty, inequality, militarism, nukes, etc. They are now forgotten. Economic crisis and disruptions followed, and then came the Corona virus and took a heavy toll on all kinds of resources and energies. And, finally, now this war in Europe with its underlying NATO-created conflict.

This is not the time to make decisions in a moment of historical hysteria and panic. This is indeed a moment to keep cool. 

One can only regret that Sweden and Finland lack the intellectual power to see the larger picture in time and space. NATO has had the time since 1949 to prove that it can make peace. We know now that it can’t. Joining it, therefore, is one big gift to militarism and future warfare.

Jan Oberg

Jan Oberg is an internationally experienced, independent peace and future researcher and an art photographer, columnist, commentator and mediator. 

29 comments

  1. It is these countries’ choice. Who would imagine Russia invading a sovereign country. They are scared Russia will do the same. As long as there is a West vs. East paradigm there will be no real change in the world.

    1. Brainless, and reckless choice. If/when Russia will feel threatened or get really very pissed off, all she has to do just press the nukes button …bumm….. if the billionaires in the USA still has some chances to hide and survive for a short while the nuclear Armageddon in their underground luxurious bunkers , the Baltic countries will be vaporized, is that feels safer to you stupid morons ?

  2. Yes indeed. Insanity.

    But we’ve just had two years of covid insanity. We should have learned from that.

    Should have learned that the problem is: insanity. Insanity in government. Inaction, lack of understanding, lack of interest in the masses.

    This reasoned, data filled, logical and sensible article is pointless and doomed to failure. It is virtually a waste of time. Though I and other are happy to see it. For it accords with what we think.

    But: the public at large will never see it. You know that. And nothing will happen without the public.

    And: very few in govt will see it and they’ll ignore it immediately or perhaps even move to have it suppressed.

    The fatal flaw: It is, we could say, a closely reasoned argument. But the only people interested in closely reasoned arguments are the converted.

    The covid and vax people have been doing this for two years. Voluminous correspondence, articles, books, comments and counter comments…. such a wealth of information and reason many express a hair-tearing frustration: ‘why can’t they see this??’

    Well they can’t see the logic of all that information, data, reasoning, because they never look. They don’t even know it is there. The public. The public only see govt and MSM propaganda. Simple fact. That’s all they see. All they want to see.

    And the govt of course sees only the govt. And an amorphous mass upon which to work its will.

    Sorry about all the words. You’ve used too many (though ‘we’ like to see them) and so have I.

    I should have said: You’re preaching to the converted and no one else will see it.

    You should have said, to wherever it might do some good: ‘They’ve got it all wrong, this is dangerously wrong’ and then if they expressed interest show them this.

    Experience has taught they’ll never express interest.

  3. Thank you for speaking the truth about a situation highlights the reality that many in the West have now well and truly lost their minds. I can really say no more on the matter – not that it would have any influence whatsoever on those who push these absurd Russophobic narratives to even more dangerous extremes. The future of our species is at risk from the excesses of these narcissists, sociopaths, liars and hypocrites.

  4. Putin has no right to criticize other Countries. When he planed a mischief against Ukraine.

    1. Ascot7, this is so much bigger than Putin, USA IS THE ONE WHO PUSHED HIM TO DO THAT, wanted this war so badly, they tried so hard for so many years to break Putin’s coolness and composure, all those insults and fake , staged provocations against him didn’t effect Putin’s calmness, but all those provocative, dangerous USA games in Ukraine finally got him, that was Putin’s ”Achilles spot”, and what do you think he should do? Sit & watch how the USA moving in Russia’s door step? What country leader wouldn’t do the same? Just think for a moment Russians are in Canada or Mexico, playing their games, what would the USA do? THINK ABOUT THAT .

      1. I agree with Ariadne – over many years both Putin and Lavrov did their utmost to repair the damage done to the relationship with Russia that was systematically undermined by the USA whose representatives had no more to offer than innuendo, insults and ultimatums. Scratching their heads in bemusement, Putin and Lavrov were at a loss to understand why their western partners should continue to behave as if the Soviet Union continued to exist. On more than one occasion Putin appealed to the West for a deescalation of the arms race, but the fact of the matter is that the Atlanticists by means of their Military Industrial Congressional Intelligence Media Academia Think Thank complex, had no interest other than the continued laundering of trillions of dollars of tax-payers money, engineering war after war and funnelling all this money back into the coffers of the arms manufacturers, the arms contractors and their lobbyists in Washington. Treaty after treaty on arms reduction were torn up by the Washington hawks as they are hardly inclined to put an end to the racketeering, embezzlement and corruption that forms the bedrock of this great crime that is war. And the great tragedy is that Russia, who showed such restraint and patience, has through all this baiting and provocation, been sucked into this iniquity. Those who continue to place all the responsibility on the shoulders of Putin, in their lack of knowledge regarding the precedents, fail to accept that this did not start on 24th February with some ‘invasion’ that was staged on a whim. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, there is more than one way out of this madness, one suggestion being that on a quid pro quo basis Russia could agree to have Putin take a back seat and appoint a younger representative, thus saving face, the other part of the bargain being the abolition of NATO and the MICIMATT complex that feeds this beast. Others may have alternative suggestions which would be welcomed, but what is unacceptable is this continual escalation, this perpetual warmongering and belligerence, mostly on the part of the West, which will not end well for anyone, regardless of which ‘side’ they fight for. To claim that Russia is entirely responsible here, is wholly disingenuous, as are the charges now being directed towards China in this insane drive towards even more warfare, as if any of it could satisfy the appetite of the world’s most indispensable nation. Meanwhile the bickering and recrimination continues amongst the ‘twitterati’ and the rest of the chattering classes. Why can’t we start talking about peace for a change ? if we did, then maybe there might be a chance of our so called ‘leaders’ following suit.

  5. This is an excellent and highly sobering commentary. It makes one’s heart sink.

  6. Here’s the thing, Jan:

    THERE IS NO NATO EXPANSION POLICY.

    Let me humor your demagogic delusion.

    Please refer us to the part in NATO ‘s charter where that policy is stated.

    NATO is open to expansion, but that in itself is not a policy. Its expansion is first and foremost an expression of prospective members for whom war mongers like Putin is a real threat.

    While the nonsense about ‘NATO expansion’ as a threat to Russia is a direct parroting of Russian paranoid propaganda, all of Putin’s acts of aggression against former soviet states followed acts of civil defiance of Russian dominance rather than military ones, so the left-ish Neo Progressive ‘NATO expansion’ excuse is pure nonsense.

    As for Finland and Sweden move, considering Putin’s ever increasing military aggression, the only way to deal with his bullying is to demonstrate that such actions would have precisely the opposite effect.

    1. Lol oof…

      Literally all you would have to do is look at the history of NATO which would betray its private geopolitical function, which of course stands unsurprisingly in extremely sharp, one might say entirely inverted, contrast to its publicly stated raison d’etre. Cui bono? It’s literally the only political question.

      “In their perpetual confusion, some liberal critics conclude that foreign aid and IMF and World Bank structural adjustments ‘do not work’; the end result is less self-sufficiency and more poverty for the recipient nations, they point out. Why then do the rich member states continue to fund the IMF and World Bank? Are their leaders just less intelligent than the critics who keep pointing out to them that their policies are having the opposite effect? No, it is the critics who are stupid not the western leaders and investors who own so much of the world and enjoy such immense wealth and success. They pursue their aid and foreign loan programs because such programs do work. The question is, work for whom? Cui bono?” – Michael Parenti

      So here, supposing one actually cares and is not merely trying to reinforce their illusory sense of perpetual correctness within the digital panopticon/plato’s cave of the internet, let me outline an incredibly brief/condensed history since I clearly have nothing better to do; the point of doing so is to root an historical continuity that leads to our contemporary moment in material reality and in so doing ground geopolitical analysis in a lens that cuts through nebulous normative nonsense and rhetorical shibboleths like “freedom” and “democracy”:

      The US has positioned itself as the “consumer of last resort” at the end of the global supply chain to absorb inevitable overproduction of capitalism through cheap consumption or of course through our favorite activity of war/arms sales (military Keynesianism, the only button we can push at this point clearly). It’s not by mere coincidence we have a bipartisan black-hole “defense” budget yet can’t even pass a modest domestic spending bill.

      NATO is an arms distribution network for this military industrial complex and essentially the public face of a European sphere of US domination, covertly enforced by a “strategy of tension” template seen in things like Operation Gladio in Italy (see: “years of lead”, Aldo Moro assassination, Bologna bombings, etc.) with parallel operations in every NATO country (and even ostensibly “neutral” countries like both Sweden AND Finland – Austria in fact having done an extensive internal investigation after discovering this if I recall) where the CIA directed fascist paramilitary insurgencies to stoke public fear toward particular goals favorable to US corporate/finance capital and continued US hegemony. Far from a “defensive military alliance” as is endlessly parroted without question (see: Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq), its internally recognized function as succinctly put by its first secretary general was/is to “keep the Americans in, the Germans down, and the Russians out” and wouldya look at that, it continues to do exactly this.

      https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Operation_Gladio
      https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Operation_Gladio#Finland
      https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Operation_Gladio#Sweden

      Surely goes without saying, but I’m explaining this because of course, this is merely the basic understanding of the actual context left missing for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; to be clear – not a justification, merely an explanation, “is” not “ought”. Far from being a spontaneous “unprovoked attack” as is also constantly parroted without question, this issue has been highlighted by Russia since the immediate aftermath of the USSR’s collapse in ’91, James Baker promising Gorbachev NATO would not expand “one inch eastward” in seeking reunification of Germany (see: transcript of this in natsec archives). In being far from a surprise, many have densely highlighted exactly this for decades, plenty of folks like John Mearsheimer, Noam Chomsky, George Kennan (long telegram author, basically declared the original “cold” war), now-CIA director William Burns’ wikileaked memo “Nyet means Nyet” from ’08 declaring a conscious understanding of their security concerns, hell even the demonic arcon Henry Kissinger himself (responsible for planning most of the callous and grotesque war crimes of the 20th century in the name of US empire) noted this increasingly exacerbated situation would eventually lead to a larger conflict and have been doing so for decades (not an exaggeration, you can find any of them, hell you can find Biden himself saying this decades ago).

      One could also refer to a few RAND corp studies called things like “Overextending and Unbalancing Russia”, as it reveals how intentionally calculated this entire thing was – uncoincidentally the very first thing on it is to flood Ukraine with “lethal aid” to goad Russia. Actually, here ya go:

      https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB10014.html#:~:text=Providing%20lethal%20aid,have%20significant%20advantages.

      Also maybe check out The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski, cold warrior architect of Operation Cyclone, which if circumstantially unfamiliar is basically the first time we did this to the then-USSR in Afghanistan before/during/after the Saur revolution in order to, in his words, “give the USSR its own Vietnam” ie ‘overextend’ them.

      Actually, probably the best or rather most grounded place for one to start to understand the current situation more clearly (and a good microcosm one can extrapolate further to the mechanics I’m trying to triangulate in this macro/historical materialist description) is to understand that we (the US) orchestrated a coup in ’14 that is often painted in mainstream corporate media, if mentioned at all of course, as a “revolution of dignity”, which obscures the reality betrayed by a leaked phone call of Victoria Nuland that anyone can listen to where she says “f*ck the EU” (the only thing the corporate media focused on at the time, I would say intentionally so to distract from more damning conclusions about this) and “magically” picking the next Ukrainian president after Yanukovych is ousted. She says, “I don’t think Klitsch [Vitaly Klitschko] should go into government… I think Yats [Arseniy Yatseniuk] is the guy…“

      The immediate issue was whether to accept a loan from the International Monetary Fund which was going to require a 40% increase in natural gas bills or to accept a loan from Russia with the inclusion of cheap oil and gas. The opposition wanted the Yanukovych government to take the EU/IMF loan. The opposition was comprised of different factions, undeniably including the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and Right Sector. And there is where it all connects to financial empire of the US. As usual for “western” corporate media, situations like this cannot always be flattened into normative nonsense, as this economic decision is not “pro-Russia” so much as it is an objectively better deal on energy, similar to the absolute mess we are demanding of Germany, the SPD apparently once again selling out the working class (see: split between national/international socialists pre-1918 over war credits) by signing its death warrant in terms of energy acquisition (see: Nord Stream II).

      Which is alllll to say, there’s “freedom” and “sovereignty” in the reality of contemporary geopolitics, which is to say the overarching global financial empire run at the behest of the US.

      Cui bono? As usual, the military industrial complex of the US and the protected “exceptional” corporate/finance capital which it serves. The empire feeds off the republic.

      I mean really in the most important ways the nazis didn’t really lose WWII, the only distinction between the US neoliberal corporate empire and the third Reich fascist project seems more aesthetic/ideological than anything else, chopping off the viscerally ultranationalist id in favor of a generic “cost-effective” corporate sheen (serving “the market” gods essentially; an unconscious ideological drive to maximize “efficiency” aka capital accumulation in neoclassical/neoliberal econ), trading an explicitly racist ideological lens for one guided by that drive toward technocratic “efficiency”, “inverted totalitarianism” as described by Sheldon Wolin (can also check out that Marx guy). If unfamiliar, one might dismiss this as hyperbole on its face, but to the contrary, here too is a dense historical continuity in trajectory, the SS 2.0 for transnational corporate/finance capital aka the CIA putting literal SS like Otto Skorzeny, Reinhard Gehlen, Klaus Barbie, et al. directly on the payroll for their anticommunism counterinsurgency experience and tactics (again, see: Gladio). Hell, literal nazi Hans Speidal himself was a NATO supreme commander or whatever the ridiculous title is lol…

      Plenty more (sadly) angles to get all this from, but don’t want to end up writing a book here (despite that train mostly having sailed already it seems lol…), but here’s some actual books on this topic coming to mind: The Devil’s Chessboard by David Talbot, Killing Hope by William Blum, The Jakarta Method by Vincent Bevins, Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins, War is a Racket by Smedley Butler (also see: “Business plot” actual fascist coup plot against FDR by wall street which he was asked to lead, was crucial to “banana wars” Monroe Doctrine policy for United Fruit Company In Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, et al. – an even deeper historical continuity pre-WWII, ie pre-usurping empire from the British and their pound sterling currency hegemony; see: “washington consensus”, “Pax Americana”, etc.), etc. Or just look up “US involvement in regime change” or my god like literally any of the CIA’s operational history. Also might wanna check out Chomsky/Herman’s Manufacturing Consent (or, again, that Marx guy – namely the concepts of dialectical/historical materialism).

      1. Jon, excellent review especially historical background, thank you.

        In fact among all writings on Fascism and its neocon forms in the west mostly formulated by lapsed Marxists one may clearly assert idealist or Hegelian Historiosophy that underlies their misunderstanding of real historical process grounded not in charismatic leaders divine missions or phantoms of “progress and liberty” but in continuous evolution of socioeconomic conditions and processes that results in observed policies and their implementations to accommodate them.

        For example abandonment of slavery was not a result of some mission accomplished of implementing liberal or humanitarian democratic ideals of Lincoln or benign progress of civilization but due to the processes of evolution of industrial capitalism that required legal and political adjustments to catchup with socioeconomic reality. The new means of production (new tech and production organization) required changes of social organization of labor power to match aimed for astronomical increases of productivity and capital gains.

        Neocon thought is clearly grounded in such discrete “divine” mission exceptionalism as supposed driver of historical process, which in fact is nothing but opportunistic attitude devised by ancient and contemporary empires and colonial powers also adopted by fascist left.

        Mussolini was a socialist before WWI, Goebbels until 1924 wanted industry under workers state control while Hitler social policies like universal pensions, healthcare, full employment and building state owned industry (to augment private sectors war efforts) were all petty bourgeois socialists dreams.

        Fascist right was largely sectarian not much enthusiastic about such social programs as they fought populist governments keen on implementing such programs, like in Spain in 1930s. Franco fascist state was surprisingly neutral in WWII despite decisive Nazi help in overthrowing republic.

        Every empire had its mission to accomplish namely bring superior culture, peace, prosperity and tranquility to the world.. as soon as all its enemies are defeated.

        The US as British, French, Spanish or Russian or Chinese empires in the past all justified their brutal conquest as inevitable Civilizational progress for good of humanity a form of national globalism or TINA.

        Mussolini wanted to bring superior Roman civilization to Africa, Hitler was on a mission to bring superior, exceptional Arian culture to backward eastern Slavs and the rest of the world including decadent west.

        Nazis after Brits and others declared their own version of German exceptionalism and mission to accomplish to bring chaotic world to peaceful ethereal order, end days of history, of course as soon as enemies of such order like Jews or inferior races that “sadly” hinder such a beautiful project (Hitler version of EU) are subordinated, subdued, enslaved or exterminated.

        American exceptionalism was not an exception as they founded US empire on application of genocide domestically against “lesser” peoples of America who stand in the way to.. progress.

        All in the name of supposed political and economic progress in a mission to spread American “benign” WASP (colonial) and US commercial culture under fashionable among contemporary western elites sanctified notion of, loosely called, liberalism, American libertarianism and vague democratic aspirations very few American elites believed or supported focusing instead on suppressing American populism.

        One of those export targets of American exceptionalism project of “progress and freedom” was “backward barbarian “ Russia what in 1917 turned into anti Bolshevik propaganda hysterics as a switch from previous anti German hysterics.

        Brzezinski, was fanatical supporter of American civilizational project of supposedly benign global imperialism or PAX Americana but as a Pole he had ulterior motives to fanatically condemn Russian and German supposed threats to human civilization in that matter.

        Brzezinski was eleven years old when he witnessed second partition of Poland on September 17, 1939 (when Polish government fled to be interned in pro Nazi Romania) to early October when both Stalin and Hitler finally signed prepared in August decrees of annexation of Poland with exception of small remaining vassal statelet of General Governorship ran by executed in Nuremberg Hans Frank where Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps were located.

        It was partition, annexation, complete obliteration of he beloved Polish state from map of Europe in late XVIII century for 123 years by European powers including Germany (Prussia) and most of all including Russian Empire that took Polish capital Warsaw Brzezinski was later born in that forced his historical consciousness. He grew up to despise invaders of Poland and in Patriotic upbringing desperately wanted to prevent it.

        His nationalistic fervor, vowing not to allow that to happen to Poland again, took in Brzezinski form of sickly Russophobic (and germanophobic) obsession and his misguided, cultish faith in US as powerful neutral outside force that can eliminate historical threats of national annihilation of Poles and other weak nations in Europe.

        Many would be surprised by my claim of Zbigi’s Germanophobia as he was a fanatical supporter of NATO.

        However if one reads his take alliance after 1955 when West Germany joined NATO membership one would realize that Brzezinski and many in the west understood NATO alliance (US) as aimed not only against Russia but also to control and subdue possible future German militaristic threat to French and Brits (and to Polish state as Polish diaspora worldwide understood) who insisted on retaining overwhelming military dominance over Bundeswehr.

        American military bases and institutions are in Germany politically for primarily that purpose. BND (German Federal intelligence services) was created in Washington DC several months BEFORE west Germany itself was created in 1949 and is completely under US control.

        Now chief of European Council, former German defense minister’s Ursula von der Leyen family comes from US where she spent over a decade (CIA training) before returning to Germany.

        Germany while leading nuclear weapon technology expert producing nukes for NATO countries are not allowed to have it in its arsenal. That much of trust west has toward Germany.

        France and Great Britain insisted of nearly ten to one advantage in all weapon category and military personnel while retaining their mediocre nuclear capabilities held not to confront overwhelming Soviet/Russian nukes but against rebirth of German militarism or return to Nazism.

        But Brzezinski’s nationalistic attitude to Germany and Russia was no idealist but opportunist one as he blinded himself to reality of brutal American conquest of the world and annihilation of nations and statehoods on a whim.

        One has to have Brzezinski’s state of Polish Nationalistic mind to understand his books and his blueprint for desirable future with Russians (and less advertised) Germans controlled or annihilated.

        Obviously what we witness now namely hot, regime change aimed confrontation with Russia is something what Brzezinski would envision and support.

      2. @Lampart

        You seem confused.

        The question was with respect to current NATO policy, not the history of the cold war, which bears very little relevancy to the current crisis.

        In any event, I am well familiar with the left-ish, Neo progressive anti-western narrative. Maybe you should expand your intellectual landscape to include real facts rather than the ones fed by the left’s alternative facts.

  7. Finland, Sweden joining Nato proves beyond doubt the power of American media, and it’s persuasive propaganda.
    Their media and financial weapons are even more compelling than their $776 billion Pentagon budget.

    Once Russia is subdued, and a pro American puppet is in charge of the Kremlin, then China is blocked on the west ward Belt and Road.
    USA then gets its greatest wish– return China’s economy to pre 1980s level.

    Finland, Sweden are merely pawns in the geo political game of defeating China by diminishing its only ally-Russia.

    China still does not fully realize this strategy as they only hope for a soft landing which is near impossible.

    The only miracle is for Trump to regain the WH and bail out his bud.
    Which is unbelievable but better than a nuclear war.

  8. It’s hard for me to understand why Sweden and Finland would get involved with NATO. Finland did fight a war with Russia and lost territory prior to WWII which motivated them to fight the Soviet Union during the war; but those days are long past. Sweden? NATO is simply a front for the US empire. It conveniently allows the station of American troops on foreign soil and a market for US arms manufacturers. It also surrenders a measure of that country’s autonomy. Consider Guam. It’s been occupied by the 3rd Marine division for 27 years. The people of that country complain but to no avail.

    1. It is important to add a small fact about Finland’s war with Russia; Finland lost a significant proportion of it’s male population. When I was a young man, here in the UK, there were a lot of Finnish women here looking for a man to marry. As such, their own history demonstrates the disastrous effects of any Russian attack upon their otherwise very peaceful nation. That is not to say that this description of what one must describe as an alternative viewpoint, is wrong. It is very accurate to reflect that we need such alternative debate, and that the modern media has lost sight of their responsibilities to the people of the planet.

  9. Good analysis here.
    What madness has gripped Europe?
    .Good relations with Russia would provide Europe with Security and economic prosperity .This military posturing by Europe leaders will potentially risk extinction of the European life form. Also thish continual expansion of NATO on its road to World domination, together with its current sponsorship of this Ukrainian conflict will lead to Global Armageddon. This must stop.
    lt is perplexing to say the least that any “so called” rational Leader could support this Death wish.Europe is in shambles as it descends into the Abyss. Ed

  10. I think it is great article especially that author acknowledged that such catastrophic decisions by Sweden and Finland to senselessly join NATO may possibly result in annihilation of those two big countries of small over 15+ million only population combined in case of all out NATO-Russia nuclear war while providing no possible increase in national security of those two countries.

    NATO Is there not to defend anybody but to provide excuse for US presence and intervention in Europe as they choose. Ukraine may serve as exact example of what would happen if Article 5 is triggered by any NATO member as Ukraine is de facto in NATO already.

    As in Ukraine, US wouldn’t do a thing, it would immediately withdraw all the US forces including land Navy units as they did in Ukraine and leave NATO member to fend for itself as they did in Ukraine unless US is prepared to use it as pretext to launch WWIII but only when it is ready.

    Better NATO members understand that fact sooner and sober up and act to protect their own interests and their own people.

    One may understand historical grievances against Russia Finns may have but those where against Tsarist Russia and Soviet Union not against modern Russia that did not threaten but cooperated despite tragic common history of conflict.

    And if Finns are so sensitive why they would not complain about Swedish imperial conquests resulting in control of Finland, Norway, Baltic states large parts Lithuania, Poland Ukraine and Belarus. In fact in Poland a Swedish king was installed. And it was his brother who invaded Kingdom of Poland and other countries few hundred years ago. So what? Should Ukraine call Sweden or Turkey or Poland a pariah states?

    Judging sentiments of people in relation to supposed Russian threat by mob like hysterical attitude of most EU NATO governments is completely misleading as most of the people actually want de escalation and peace and are actually more threatened by economic collapse or others even EU countries.

    For example in Poland recent poll from April 2022 showed that country which aggression they are most afraid of is not Russia with which they have tiny border but fellow EU member Germany with its economic aggression slowly creeping with intention to regain control over western Poland territories that were under German control in 1914. Meaning taking over 60% of Polish territory. Polish government however is totally in bed with German government and militantly aggressive against Russia. These are US puppet regime oblivious to natural sentiments.

    Finns themselves are not spotless and their friendship with aggressive Nazis invaders before and during WWII makes their righteous indignations about Russia. invasion of suffering Ukraine somewhat morally questionable.

    They themselves committed horrible war crime against Soviet civilians in WWII by invading Russia to support their friends, German Nazis invaders, for sole purpose to help with total blockade of food to the city of Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg, Russia) and shelling of the only road namely Ladoga lake frozen passage for Leningrad defense supplies making them effectively co-responsible for 1,500,000 civilians deaths in two years of siege.

    Soviets forgave them and offered friendship and cooperation instead. Bygones be bygones was Finnish attitude. Fins wisely took it and became neutral and very prosperous.

    I am sorry for Scandinavians who while neutral were of neither threat to Russia nor Russia was of any real threat do them of course until they joined NATO and then they will become a target.

    The fact is that Militarily Sweden and Finland territories are easy to defend and difficult to conquer (look up geography) with costs of trying far exceeding any potential benefit as it shows with just 300 tanks and APC (Ukraine had over 2000) and 30k of permanent military they have both combined to cover huge land masses. It was enough as they wisely assured their own security but equitable peace treaty with Russia not by illusion of gun power.

    Simply there is not much terrain to use regular armies there on Finish marshes and thousands of lakes and streams or in case of Sweden mountains. All in extreme cold and snow most of the year.

    The only possible role of Sweden and Finland in NATO is not defensive one as not much help from NATO soldiers would ever be needed but strictly offensive as a great place to deploy nukes to target heartland of Russia military industrial complex and vital strategic military bases in the Arctic north including strategic nuclear submarine bases in Murmansk region and heavily industrial regions northeast of Moscow.

    Norway was recruited to NATO early and solely as to allow close NATO monitoring of those Soviet military areas and track Soviet submarines but they are not enough and geographically insufficient to stage nuclear attack on Russia. US wants whole Scandinavia peninsula for their canon fodder.

    Why they are doing it? Sweden and Finland had good thing going for decades assured by Olof Palme and Urho Kekkonen wise social democratic policies of non engagement, highest standard of living thanks to cheap Russian energy and status as a front state with full support in the west including EU , a place of international diplomacy and respect worldwide.

    But all of that started to rotten after dismantling of Soviet Union when they blatantly took side of reborn historical national fascism and supported Islamic terrorists from Chechnya and elsewhere in Middle East including ISIS fighters. They gave it all away. And for what? US aggressive financial blackmail and intimidation.

    Now Turkey is opposing the deal exactly for the reason of Sweden and Finland supporting terrorism in MENA in last two decades.

    One of causes of such insane political shift one could be looking at is who’s Finish prime minister Sanna Martin. She graduated from WEF young leadership program and has, as many in EU close ties to western MIC and she is just doing bidding for them by trying to enslave Finns in astronomical unpayable military spending debt spiral.

    The same applies to Sweden whose neutrality paid off even during WWII made them rich as they were recipients of Jewish capital flight from Germany and later from rich Polish Jews who bought their freedom by fleeing to Sweden which in the same time cooperated with Nazis in procurement most advanced military hardware. Later in century Swedes made billions in smuggling weapons to apartheid South Africa and electronics to Soviet Union. So why abandon prosperity for debt slavery to US bankers.

    People of Scandinavia better demand direct referendum on ascension to NATO as their fate is in the balance before they give up their precious and profitable neutrality, sovereignty and their prosperity only to enrich Western MIC oligarchy. But that has been already ruled out as Scandinavian governments seeming are rejecting any democratic process as well. Of course it was Putin who made them abandon democracy and pivot to their nationalism. It is a shame.

  11. In essence, Jan Oberg got it right and indeed Sweden and Finlands joining Nato is unnecessary and as it may prove very unfortunate posturing and heckling. Sweden already helps the US develop weaponry such as the drones the Saudis now use to kill innocent civilians in Yemen. Finland didn’t go to Sweden to buy SAAB jet fighter planes but rather has an air force primarily consisting of US made F-16’s. Both Finland and Sweden already participate in NATO’s war games and both countries could be considered “de facto” members if not on paper. Now they have joined up with countries with despicable xenophobic views such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech republic along with a country that condones violence against women (as long as it happens in the home), namely Turkey. Social and human advances (and in Sweden’s case the idea of neutrality) that generations prior have fought hard to achieve have gone straight out the window in favor of the fluff cloak and dagger cold war saber rattling and taking sides rather than a soberly objective stance in what at the end of the day can only lead to more tragedies and destruction. There is nothing positive in this incarnation of how the military industrial complex plants its nasty seed all over the map, there’s no peace aspiration in reinforcing war thinking, only fear and acquiescence to forces that clearly are very poorly understood by the general public and more importantly, decision makers.

  12. You mean foolish for Finland and Sweden to be owned and controlled by the US, Great Britain and Israel.

  13. madness indeed
    billions for war when we have our world to save
    India is facing crop failure too
    a fight for survival is on the event horizon
    but hey, let’s do the war thing

    how much of all that high tech weapons gear will be sold for reverse engineering? just so new stuff can be rolled out

  14. Frightening possibilities. couldn’t we send a large petition to those countries, asking them not to join NATO?

  15. I disagree with the authors premises, because in unity there is strength. As far as Putin goes- any excuse will serve a tyrant.

  16. Today, I have admitted all NATO members to the PELO organization, which means they are covered by the PELO organization’s security guarantees.

    We do not use the old fashioned HAWKS and Satan 2 rockets or other military hardware but ground-based OMIT (one moment in time) rockets to neutralize dysfunctional behavior, making the old-fashioned HAWC and Satan rockets and other military hardware superfluous.

    The admission took place today on the steps of the mini supermarket Europa in Varna and I stood proud as a little schoolboy welcoming the new members, while a couple of Ukrainian mothers with their children clapped, with the prospect that the war, would soon be over.

  17. Losing my faith in humanity. The amount of coddling and support in the article and many comments, for Putin’s genocidal war of aggression and war crimes – the likes of which we have not seen since WWII – is nothing short of disgusting. Finland and Sweden are doing what any sensible person would do when faced with a neighbor who is actively murdering their neighbors. Ukraine is only the most recent of many places carpet-bombed into oblivion by Ras(Putin). Russia is a deranged kleptocracy run by homicidal megalomaniac with a population too stupid to realize they are manipulated by weapon grade propaganda. To deny someone, a whole nation of people, a right to protect themselves is to side with an abuser.
    Shame on you. May you be haunted by the ghosts of dead Ukrainians for your Russophilic ignorance.

    1. What a Hypocrite! Well..shame on you! May you be haunted by the ghosts of dead people of Iraq,Libya, Afghanistan,Syria..etc. Regarding Finland and Sweden..pissing in your boots won’t keep you warm for long.

  18. more phantasy; Turkey and Croatia have stated they will block both from NATO membership

  19. The West could have been a role model, but instead all Western culture’s psychopathic traits are triggered in the Ukraine conflic.

  20. The West could have been a role model, but instead all Western culture’s psychopathic traits are triggered in the Ukraine conflict.

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