Monday, October 31, 2005

Webbtips under kongressen!

För dig som vill följa sossarnas kongress: på presenterar vi nyheter, "kongressen i korthet" (korta notiser om alla viktiga beslut), samt en blogg som uppdateras mycket ofta (klicka längst till höger i menyraden). Bloggen rekommenderas varmt... :-)

Den officiella hemsidan är naturligtvis också ett måste. Aftonbladet, Expressen och DN har journalister som bloggar på plats. SvD är värt att hålla ett öga på, i synnerhet när Göran Eriksson skriver.

Andra som bloggar från kongressen är Jonas Morian, Stikkan Ljunggren, Maryam Yazdanfar, Helena Markstedt, och Magnus Ljungkvist. Bland andra.

Ohly no longer a commie!

The leader of the Left party in Sweden has decided not call himself a communist anymore, even if he says that his opinions remain the same. Needless to say, to call yourself a commie in Sweden today implies that you often have to start with explaining what you mean by that. And the fights in the Left party has been... impressive, and Ohly is now hoping to be able to move on, discuss his party's political position, and hopefully end the infighting in the party. I can only wish him good luck, even if this happened waaaaaay to late. But it is probably better for him to be perceived as a not fully trustworthy flip-flopper than as an old-time communist. A small but maybe important improvement, one might conclude.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Congress alive and kicking

The social democratic party's congress in Malmö is alive and kicking, and you can read more about it at (news, blog, latest decisions). There is also an official site in English, read more here.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Time for southbound train

Tonight my bag is packed and tomorrow it is time to travel to the southern city of Malmö and this year's biggest political event in Sweden: the congress of the world's best social democratic party. I will be there all week, working, writing and blogging, mostly at I will try to post some conclusions in English here as well.

Earlier tonight I participated in the weekly "Press club" (Pressklubben), a 25-minute show at Svt24 in which four journalists discuss political events. Tonight we discussed, most naturally, the upcoming congress and as usual I played the role of the happy, positive social democrat whom defends the party against all evils and accusations. Actually, it was not that bad, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the interesting and I hope enlightening discussion with my fellow panelists Göran Eriksson (one of Sweden’s best political journalists), Stina Morian and Niklas Svensson. You can watch the show here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nu har en blogg!

Äntligen har bloggen kommit igång på, gå in och kolla själv (längst till höger i menyraden på En text om syftet med bloggen hittar du här.

Bye bye to the Carling Cup

Spent another 90 minutes of my life last night watching Liverpool lose to a not that impressive team from London, Crystal Palace (we lost to Fulham Saturday). So now we are out of the Carling Cup. Only good piece of news in this: Harry Kewell is back and has been quite impressive, and I think Zach Whitbread will become a great player. Believe me, sometimes I am right, I had Frank Lampard in my Fantasy Football team already in 1998.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The most successful society...

Thanks to Jon Worth I learnt that the Guardian's Polly Toynbee "finally" has published some new thoughts about Sweden. I say "finally" since I heard that Polly Toynbee was in Stockholm last week and I have waited for her to publish something for a few days now; you can read her column here.
Toynbee's article is named "The most successful society the world has ever known" and basically she makes three points:
1) Sweden is a great country with a successful social democratic government, and the reasom the right is ahead in the polls is thanks to the "most lethal human instinct - boredom". But she warns Swedes for replacing their government "with something deliberatly ill-defined on the right, just for the sake of a fresh face". Naturally, I think she is right.
2) Most of the privatizations made in Sweden were done in the years 1991-1994 during the Conservative government. Therefore Tony Blair is wrong when he says that even Swedish social democrats are privatizing, Toynbee means. I think that Toynbee is basically right, even if this is somewhat more complicated. No, I am no big fan of privatizations when it means putting parts of the public sector in the hands of companies. The public sector should be public and financed by money collected by taxes. But in the public sector we must try different alternatives and models in order to make sure that the tax money is used in the most efficient way, and this can be done without privatizing (for example) hospitals. These alternatives and new models must also be monitored and evaluated carefully.
3) Swedes (and the social democratic party) seem to lack-confidence, “intimidated by global neocon warnings”, Toynbee writes. She makes a comparison with Labour’s third term and says “when the left loses its optimism, it risks losing office”. Therefore, Toynbee concludes, it is good that young Labour ministers are keeping in touch with Göran Persson’s government: “Good governments can fall if they lose progressive, forward trajectory. The social democrats say they will regain self-confidence and win. Labour, too, needs to guard against spreading more fear than hope.” This is a point I have been making over and over again, and I would like to remind one and all that when Godon Brown came to Sweden/Gotland last summer a working group between Labour and the SAP was announced. What is happening with that? I hope that these two parties will get strength from each other, win many more elections, and develop an equal, efficient, social model based on the Swedish welfare state. That is something we could all rally around, Hallelujah!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Conservative foreign policy

Just wrote a looong analysis of the foreign policy speech that the leader of the Conservative party (a.k.a. Swedish Tories) Mr. Reinfeldt held today. You can read the speech here and my analysis here (both in Swedish).

Mystic River and energy dependence on oil

I pay quite a few kronor every month for having a couple of extra TV-channels, mainly because I am a weekend-football- junkie (when I have time, which is way too seldom. But I saw my dear Liverpool lose to Fulham on Saturday). This gives me a feeling of guilt sometimes, since I never have time to see all the great movies I pay for. So last night a conflict appeared; I really wanted to see the movie “Mystic River” since my favorite actor Sean Penn plays a leading part, but due to that I missed part of Sweden’s Sunday night political show: Agenda.

To watch a movie was of course the right choice, and it was quite a good one, and Sean Penn was really cool as usual. But today I read on Helle Klein’s blog that Agenda featured an energy debate between Mona Sahlin (Minister in the social democratic government) and a spokesperson for the Conservatives (a.k.a. Swedish Tories), Mr. Mikael Odenberg. I had to watch the debate on Agenda’s website today and Helle Klein was right: Mona Sahlin was great with lines like “I would like to discuss your environmental policy but you don’t have one”. Odenberg criticized Sahlin for stating a vision saying that Sweden should not be totally dependent on oil in the year 2020 (meaning that all cars should get at least part of their fuel from something different than oil). I think Odenberg is way off target here.

I like visions and statements like Sahlin's "no oil in 2020". In an episode of the West Wing (“100,000 airplanes”) president Bartlet demands to include a passage about “a crusade to cure cancer within 10 years” in his State of the Union address (often called SOTU in American political jargon). Good policies, like already now stating a plan how to get off oil-dependence, is great. But clear visions and goals are needed as well. When it comes to the environment, the social democrats have both policy and a vision, and the Conservatives (a.k.a. Swedish Tories) have neither. To me, that mix is as almost as good as Sean Penn’s acting.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Habermas in practice...

Related to the point about Habermas and the European public sphere: just learnt about an interesting website, Café Babel. This is their mission (according to the website):
Welcome to, the first multilingual European current affairs magazine, designed for readers across borders. revolutionises European media through participatory journalism, providing a unique platform of expression for all citizens.

Café babel’s aim is to stimulate and develop European public opinion through two distinct but closely related missions. The online magazine – – offers every week analyses of current affairs from a unique, European perspective. Secondly, at grassroots level café babel’s network, actively promotes this perspective through debates, conferences and other events organised in towns and cities across Europe.
Café Babel has a network of local teams across Europe and I recently met the person who is responsible for the activities in Brussels. So far they have no local team in Scandinavia but hopefully that will be sorted out soon. Check out the website if you want to know more, the idea supposedly started among a group of Erasmus-students and for the sake of better European public debate, I wish them good luck.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Born to Run with Wings for Wheels down Thunder Road...

The 15th of November will be a special date this year as the "Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition" box set will be released. The box includes a film of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's legendary 1975 concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon; a new documentary film, "Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run;" the classic album in re-mastered CD form; and a 48-page booklet of previously unpublished photographs with an introduction by Springsteen. Wow.

When I worked as a speechwriter at the social democratic party’s HQ back in 2003 I had a fantastic work-mate next door, and we always played and screamed ourselves through the song “Thunder Road” every Friday afternoon. In that tradition I would like to point out that you can now see and listen to the song that finally named the “Born to Run" album, played live at Hammersmith Odeon (a teaser for the box set of course). Just click here, ‘if you wanna know if love is real’.

What’s up with the extreme-left, part III

This is getting more and more fun every day now. In today’s DN there is an interview with Werner Schmidt, who is publishing a book about the communist left in Sweden. He says that “the Soviet rucksack is still fixed to the body of the Left party”. Below there is an interview with Ida Gabrielsson, who again does not acknowledge any problems in the history of communism. See the connection? Will Werner send her a copy of his book?

And at the website of the organization Ida Gabrielsson will become president/chairperson of, there is a comment about Margot Wallström’s plan to democratize the EU – Plan D (as in democracy, dialogue and debate). At the website the plan is called “D as in dictatorship”. OK folks. The communist movement in Sweden was supported by a dictatorship (the Soviet Union) well into the 1960s and maybe longer. Today the European left is discussing how to democratize globalization, and create a European public space where citizens can debate politics. To think that communism, nationalism and EU-bashing is the way forward is ridiculous. Therefore, if you are young and to the left in politics, read Habermas and support Wallström’s initiative instead.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What's up with the extreme-left, part II

The youth organization (Ung vänster) of the former Swedish Communist party (vänsterpartiet) is about to elect a new president, and the unanimous election committee’s candidate is a person called Ida Gabrielsson. She is interviewed in Aftonbladet today, and she does not hesitate to call herself a communist “since we have a history to really be prod of”. If she is quoted correctly, she has quite a few history books to catch up with. (She is not asked if she shares Åsa Linderborg’s ideas about terrorism in Iraq, read more about that here).

In the early 1990s I followed a friend to a few meetings with that organization. Each time I read statements like this I remember why I never went back, and why I stuck with the reformism of the social democratic movement. In what galaxy do you find these Swedish communists today? (And if you happens to end up on one of these planets for a short while, I recommend you to take a sharp turn and get out of there. And if you would decide to stay and fight, remember to put democracy above communism, for crying out loud).

The index of corruption

This week’s trade-newsletter from the think-tank PPI is as interesting as usual. Ed Gresser (the very smart guy behind the PPI Trade & Global Markets project) highlights something I had completely missed: the new Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI 2005, here you can also read more about sources, methods etc).

According to the index, which ranges from 10 (very clean) to 0 (very corrupt), Sweden is as usual in the top group with a figure above 9. This year’s position (6) and index (9,2) is identical to the CPI 2004. A few years ago Sweden ranked even higher, hovering around third place with a slightly higher index (9,3-9,4). One difference is that the Scandinavian countries are no longer alone in the top, and this year’s top five list looks as follows: Iceland, Finland, New Zeeland, Denmark, and Singapore. I guess that the differences are not that big at the top, and hopefully Sweden will continue to be challenged from behind as other countries improve. Still far behind: Russia is on place 126th!

When it comes to US, the newsletter discusses the fact that the US has dropped three places (from 14th to 17th), and as we all know scandals have popped up both in politics (Tom Delay, CIA-agents and Karl Rove, etc) and business (remember Enron, anyone?). Read more here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What’s up with the extreme left?

Today I participated in the "Swedish version of Crossfire", Korseld. Fredrik Malm (leader of the Liberal youth) and I asked the questions, and the historian/left-wing debater Åsa Linderborg defended her bizarre political position: the “resistance” in Iraq (blowing up American soldiers as well as Iraqi children) is legitimate. And the best thing would be if the US left Iraq, which quite probably could lead to a civil war. And the “resistance” in Iraq (Baathists, al-Quaida, and others) is by definition as legitimate as the Norwegian resistance against Nazi-occupation…

Needles to say, the discussion was quite heated, but I think that Fredrik and I asked some tough questions, and Åsa got a lot of time to try to explain her positions. I also think/hope that I managed to stay pretty calm, and I have to say I feel quite comfortable in my general position: the invasion was wrong, but now we have to do the best of the situation and strengthen the imperfect but now existing democratic process (and I feel very proud of Swedish Social Democratic Student’s and Kurdish Students in Sweden’s project to start a youth center in Kirkuk). But honestly I cannot understand Åsa Lindeborg’s positions, even the Iraqi Communist party is "accepting" the US presence now and wants to move on and try to build up the country. What is the alternative? You can watch the show here [YES, the link is working now!]

Al Gore, Martin Wolf and Swedish unions

An article about the Al Gore-seminar on climat change and a column about FTs Martin Wolf and Swedish trade unions can now be found at (in Swedish).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

London calling

Tomorrow Monday I will make a quick and short trip to London in order to represent my dear old SAP at a meeting with the group of Nordic Social Democrats, SAMAK (it is a tradition that SAMAK visits the country holding the EU-Presidency). The busy day includes meetings with Douglas Alexander and the TUC and I will write more about this later during the week. In the meantime you can read what one of my favourite UK bloggers is writing about Sweden.

Bob Dylan and the direction home

Finally saw the first part of Martin Scorsese’s documentary about Bob Dylan, No direction home, last night. High expectations were met and I must admit that I am really fascinated by the Beatnik-period and the 1960s in Greenwich Village – a lot of amazing literature, music and political consciousness came out of that period. As expected, the documentary included a lot of interesting footage but I must say that what I liked the most was all the interviews with people I had mostly read about before; Suze Rotolo, John Cohen, Dave van Ronk, Mark Spoelestra, etc. And above all, it was a joy to hear Bob Dylan himself talk at length about his formative years in the same open way as he wrote about them in Chronicles Volume One. I will miss part two (which will be shown on the rather obscure TV-channel Kunskapskanalen tomorrow Monday) due to a short trip to London, but I will record it and I hope it will include the most well-known “conversation” in rock’n’roll (Judas…).

Thursday, October 13, 2005

What are the other 343 MPs up to?

Just heard that when the president of the European Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barosso, is visiting Sweden next week he will not address the Swedish parliament. The address is cancelled since only six (6) MPs had RSVP:ed and said that they wanted to come and listen and ask questions. I don’t know what the other 343 MPs will be doing but I have to stress three things:
1. I think Mark Leonard is right when he underlines that the huge advantage of the EU as a political project is its “soft power” which has forced so many countries to reform in order to create a peaceful continent from Galway Bay to (sooner or later) Ankara. This is indeed a model that many countries and regions are studying right now in the whole world.
2. Margot Wallström (vice president of the European Commission) is on the right track when she presents a “Plan-D” for Europe, but in order democratize the European Union and create a public, European debate/sphere à la Habermas you need a solid bottom-up process – and not only top-down. From a center-left perspective: if we are all going to feel like members of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and not only our national parties, we need more activism on the grass-root level, among trade unions and NGOs – not only in the PES-leadership and at universities.
3. I am proudly and staunchly pro-European, but I also understand that we have a problem when only six out of 349 MPs answer a call to listen to and meet the president of the European Commission. But since I believe that capital and companies again are so much stronger than the necessary democratic control, I want to do something about it, and then the EU and the PES are two very important tools.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Guessing again about the Nobel Prize…

To discuss who should get the Nobel Prize in literature feels pretty pointless from my point of view (I still think Galbraith was a great name for the prize in economics though). Probably the best solution would be to give it to a really good author (I mean a really good author, not a weird poet somewhere) who preferably not is an older man from the west (a woman again would be great).

But if the Swedish Academy would like to go populist (i.e. authors I have heard of/like), here are some suggestions: Bob Dylan (of course, it is me writing, and his memoars are great), Joyce Carol Oates (very good, but too well known?), Orhan Pamuk (I have never read him, but this would put more light on reforms in Turkey), Tomas Tranströmer (wrong nationality?), or Philip Roth (who I have not read yet, but Henrik keeps ranting about him, and I read his name in the speculations, and he is supposed to have an interesting political touch). But most probably it will be someone else, as always.

Wake up, Merkel does not like Turkey!

Last week there was a lot of debate about Turkey and the EU and most leading Swedish newspapers thought it was a good idea to allow Turkey into the ante-room where negotiations can start (I wrote about that here). This week many of the same papers, most of the to the right of center of course, are singing praises to Germany’s soon-to-be new Chancellor Angela Merkel (I wrote about the German election here). Do they mention that Merkel is against Turkish membership of the EU? Of course not…

And an editorial in Dagens Nyheter today discusses the fact that in Sweden a negative majority in parliament is enough to form a government after an election (i.e. a government can be formed as long as a majority of the MPs are not voting against it). In Germany a positive majority is needed when a new Chancellor is elected (i.e. a majority of MPs will have to vote for Merkel, and the CDU/CSU and SPD has a solid majority in the Bundestag).

But the editorial in Dagens Nyheter does not mention two things. 1. The bad experience of the Weimar Republic is the key to understand why stronger governments are always sought in Germany. In Sweden minority governments have been reasonably solid, and the last right-wing government (1991-94) was a minority government as well. 2. The main reason why Merkel, and not Schröder, is forming the Grand coalition that will get the needed positive majority, is that the German tradition implies that the biggest party should always form the government and get the post as Chancellor. In Germany the broad center-left (SPD, Greens and Links/PDS) got more seats than the right (CDU/CSU and FDP). But the CDU/CSU got more seats than the SPD. And in Sweden the Social Democratic party has been the biggest party since the 1910s.

God I miss a Swedish morning newspaper to the left of center, like The Guardian, Le Monde or La Repubblica.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Give the Prize to Galbraith!

Today at 1 PM the Nobel Prize in Economics is announced. I just looked through the list of laureates and promised myself to try to come up with a name that should have the prize. My suggestion: John Kenneth Galbraith! My arguments?
1. He has been widely read (“The affluent society” is probably the best example).
2. He has influenced the world of politics (part of Kennedy’s “the best and the brightest”, the book mentioned above was pivotal in “The war on poverty” and "Great Society"-programs).
3. He has introduced quite a few interesting economic theories and concepts (a must if you should get the prize, I guess). Examples include “The New Industrial State” (few industries in US fit model of perfect competition), “Public Purpose” (which for example discusses ‘the subservient role of women in the unrewarded management of ever-greater consumption’) and "A Short History of Financial Euphoria" (about financial bubbles).
4. He has come up with quite a few, good quotes:
"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
"If you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the sparrows." [In relation to trickle-down economics]
"It is a well known and very important fact that America's founding fathers did not like taxation without representation. It is a lesser known and equally important fact that they did not much like taxation with representation."
"Humility is not always compatible with truth.”
5. He is not another American right-wing economist, but actually Canadian and to the left of center. That might not increase his chances to get the Prize, I guess, but if he will – remember where you read it first!

Clean out your wardrobes, folks!

Living in a small apartment means that you should throw some clothes away at least once in a while. Last week I cleaned my wardrobe, trying to use the “two-year-rule” (i.e. throw away everything you have not used in two years). Although I used that rule in a flexible way, I ended up with quite a big pile of clothes, shoes etc. Moreover I was convinced to give everything to Convictus, an organization that runs a center for people with drug problems, most notably for persons who also are HIV-positive.

I started my Sunday by paying a visit to the center that has a café, a room where you can sleep, showers, and a section where you can get new clothes. And it was very nice to see that the pair of jeans I bought at an outlet in Virginia, but that I never really got to like, immediately came to use at the center. Along with the sweater I bought at H&M some ten years ago and maybe used twice (it survived quite a few two-year-tests), and my old Manhattan Transfer-bag that I used every day for way too long, along with a lot of other stuff…

The point I am making is pretty obvious; it is easy that sunny weekends, like the one we had in Stockholm this weekend, pass away without any concrete action helping people who are not always on the sunny side of the street. I am not trying to take the higher moral ground here, just because I ended up doing something in a concrete way this weekend. I just want to say that I felt so happy when that pair of jeans finally came to use, and Convictus is one organization you can support if you live in Stockholm and happens to clean out your wardrobe.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Are you feeling lucky?

Just got this from an Irish friend, hurry up!
1) go to
2) type in "failure" without the quotes
3) press the I'm feeling lucky button (instead of the google search one)
4) Laugh
Hurry, before the good folks at google fix this/are sued...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Opposition proposals presented

Thoughts about the Swedish political landscape right now, as well as comments about the four budget proposals presented by the opposition parties today (in Swedish).


I heard the following story yesterday and have to spread the word. Apparently Joschka Fischer of the German Green party has a nickname for the new Die Linkspartei: PDS-ML. PDS is of course the left-wing socialist party (legal successor to the SED that ruled Eastern Germany) that was part of forming Die Linkspartei. But ML? I thought Fischer was joking about the old days when ML always meant Marxist-Leninist. But PDS-ML means, according to Fischer, PDS-Mit Lafontaine (with Oscar Lafontaine, formerly with the social democratic party). Right on target, Joschka.

Latest gossip I have heard about the German election suggests that both Schröder and Merkel will step down and that Franz Müntefering of the SPD will lead a ”grand coalition” to start with. It is a shame “traffic light” does not seem to happen since I think a SPD/CDU-coalition will make the extremes to the left and right grow. Which of course will benefit PDS-ML.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The fate of Tantalus and Turkey

The British author Mark Leonard has given us the best illustration to why we should all be celebrating the fact that the formal talks on Turkish EU-membership now can begin (from his book "Why Europe will run the 21st century"):
“Beware the fate of Tantalus. The Ancient king of Sipylus in Asia Minor upset the gods by serving his son up at a dinner party and was sentenced to a life of perpetual frustration. He was immersed up to his neck in water, but when he bent to drink it all drained away; luscious fruit hung on trees above him, but when he reached for it the winds blew the branches beyond his reach. The gods could have smitten him from the face of the earth, but they made him suffer more by dangling untold wealth in front of him and then preventing him from ever enjoying it. This is how the European Union wields its power today.
For over 40 years Turkey has been waiting at the gates of the EU. And yes, there are improvements that must be made before Turkey can become a full member of the club. But remember that they are now only in the ante-room of the EU, and the soft power of the Union – so brilliantly illustrated by Mark Leonard – will continue to ensure that Turkey works hard with the necessary improvements.

There are many strong arguments to why Turkey should become a member of the EU: Turkey is fascinating country with a young, vibrating population; the EU will no longer be an all-Christian club; the EU will get an inside gateway to the Middle East; Turkey will continue to reform and will become a model for other Muslim countries (especially: democracy and separation of Mosque and state) – just to name a few. And to be geo-political and very American: Turkey borders two thirds of the “Axis of Evil” and it is better to “have them in the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in”. Congratulations Turkey and Europe, continue to reform and I hope to be using euros in your beautiful capital one day.

But there are always a few “but”. I hang out with a lot of Kurds and I promise I have heard quite a few stories about what is still going on in Eastern Turkey – and I was in Diyarbakir this summer. It is easy to mention many needed reforms and issues (Cyprus, Kurds, Armenian genocide, the role of the military) – as the Swedish author Kurdo Baksi is doing in a very lame article today in Svenska Dagbladet. But I think this kind of criticism is shooting beside the target. Turkey is so far only in the ante-room negotiating, the soft power of the EU is stimulating more reforms by the hour, and when Turkey and the EU are ready to close the deal in full we will have a larger, richer Union. And when it comes to the Kurdish questions: more or less all Kurdish friends I have are positive vis-à-vis Turkish membership, since they know it will mean that Turkey must respect its large Kurdish population in accordance with 88,000 pages of EU-legislation – based on the rule of law and including human rights.

One last points: I get a very bad, brownish stinking feeling when a right-wing Austrian politician is obstructing European politics with semi-racist arguments.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Weekend's best read

Just some links from the weekend that you should not miss:
1. The newsletter by the leader of the Liberal party (I wrote about this already Friday, and the newsletter was also quoted in Sweden's Sunday-night political program, Agenda).
2. PM Nilsson's editorial in Expressen yesterday (about Tory election defeat in 2006).
3. Niklas Ekdahl's editorial in Dagens Nyheter about Turkey and the EU ("Seldom has such a good idea had so few friends").
4. The Economist's article about Turkey (they have quite a few right articles on this subject right now, but for the others you need a password, get one!).
5. The Washington Post's article about Tom DeLay (password needed, get one!).
Please let me know of good articles about the EU and Turkey, very important and interesting indeed.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Another article about Iraq/Kurdistan!

Today my good friend Claes has an op-ed in one of Sweden’s leading newspapers, Expressen. The article (in Swedish) is about the trip to Northern Iraq/ Southern Kurdistan that we did in July and I recommend you all to read it. And if you don't read Swedish: The basic point the article makes is that even if it was wrong to invade Iraq the way in which the US with (rather few) allies did it, now we must all work for and support a positive, democratic development in the region. It might seem like an easy point to make, but personally I am so sick of right-wingers pretending that it is a-ok when the US does whatever it wants, but I am also sick of the other extreme saying that the US soldiers and even the Red Cross are “legitimate targets” in Iraq (yes, we have people seriously arguing both these points). So, the invasion was not legitimate, but now it time to move on and work concretely for a positive development in Iraq - something that Social Democratic Students will do as soon as we get funds to start the youth center in Kirkuk.
(Photo of me, Emma and Claes in Halabja, 11th of July 2005).