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JULY 2022

On International Relations, The Public Is Clueless, Democracy Fails

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On International Relations, The Public Is Clueless, Democracy Fails

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Written by Eric Zuesse

Nothing is more important to the people in any nation than international relations, because that includes national security, peace and war, and also includes the nation’s economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. 

Take, for example, the big issue in Finland and Sweden, the decision whether or not to join America’s NATO anti-Russian military alliance. To join that alliance would cause Russia to target the country as being an enemy nation if there is to be a war between America and Russia — which now seems increasingly likely. These nations weren’t targeted by Russia in the past (neither Finland nor Sweden is), because they weren’t Russia’s enemies in post-WW-II times. So: joining NATO would create an enormous and entirely new national-security threat to the people there. But, apparently, they either don’t know this; or, if they do, then they don’t think it’s important; and, so, it doesn’t affect their opinions on whether or not to join NATO — which their leaders are now determined to do. Apparently, Finns and Swedes are being led into this monumental decision on the basis of ignorance, if not of inattention, to the issue of the potentially grave threat to their national-security that might be entailed by their joining NATO.

To judge from what is being reported in the press, public opinion on the matter, in both countries, ignores the issue of whether being targeted as an enemy, by Russia, even factors, at all, in their opinions, on whether or not their country ought to join.

Turkey’s AA News agency headlined, on May 23rd, “Swedish public … have mixed thoughts about country’s NATO membership bid”. None of the respondents volunteered that concern (about whether becoming an enemy of Russia might reduce, instead of increase, their nation’s safety and security) when asked “how they feel about the sudden urge of their country to become a NATO member.” The closest answer which was volunteered to that was “if you poke the Russian bear too much, it might react because Putin has totally no regard for any laws of war”; but no preference, one way or the other, was cited from that individual.

Alleged experts on the subject were similarly ignoring the issue. On May 13th, France 24 News bannered “In Sweden, misgivings over rushed debate to join NATO”, and reported that,

“It’s not Sweden deciding the timeline, it’s Finland, because they share a 1,300-km border with Russia”, said Anders Lindberg, political editorialist at Aftonbladet, an independent social democratic daily.

Sweden is otherwise more accustomed to lengthy government-commissioned inquiries on major issues, aimed at fostering debate and building consensus so that decisions are broadly anchored in society.

In contrast, a security review on the pros and cons of NATO membership prepared by the parties in parliament was pulled together in just a few weeks.

The rapid U-turn is also remarkable given that the country “has built its identity on its neutrality and military non-alignment,” Lindberg added.

Support for NATO membership has soared in both Finland and Sweden since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But while a record 76 percent of Finns are in favour of joining NATO, Swedish public opinion is more divided, with recent polls indicating that between 50 and 60 percent back the idea.

On April 20th, Reuters headlined “Growing majority of Swedes back joining NATO, opinion poll shows”, and reported

 A growing majority of Swedes are in favour of joining NATO, a poll showed on Wednesday, as policy-makers in both Sweden and Finland weigh up whether Russia’s invasion of Ukraine should lead to an end to decades of military neutrality.

The poll by Demoskop and commissioned by the Aftonbladet newspaper showed 57% of Swedes now favoured NATO membership, up from 51% in March. Those opposed to joining fell to 21% from 24%, while those who were undecided dipped to 22% from 25%.

The March poll was the first to show a majority of Swedes in favour of joining NATO.

Sweden has not been at war since the time of Napoleon and has built its security policy on “non-participation in military alliances”.

But like Finland, the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, has forced a radical rethink. Both countries are now seen as highly likely to join the 30-nation alliance.

The article didn’t even mention the issue of whether becoming targeted by Russia’s missiles might possibly endanger Swedes far more than protect them by NATO.

On March 23rd, Business Insider headlined “Finland’s people now strongly back joining NATO, poll says, a massive political shift that would enrage Russia”, and reported: “A survey of people in Finland found that a majority wanted the country to join NATO after Russia invaded Ukraine. The survey by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum Eva think tank found that 60% of people supported Finland joining NATO, a massive jump from previous years.” It closed:

Ilkka Haavisto, the research manager at Eva, said of the results: “Russia has shown that it does not respect the integrity of its neighbors. “The war in Ukraine has concretely shown what the horrors of a defensive war on Finland’s own territory would be and made it clear that NATO countries cannot use their military forces to help defend a nonaligned country.”

No mention was made that joining NATO would cause Finns to become targets of Russia’s missiles, perhaps even of nuclear missiles.

On May 9th, The Defense Post bannered “Overwhelming Support for NATO Bid Among Finns: Poll”, and reported “Around 76 percent of Finns now want the country to join NATO, up from 60 percent in March, according to the poll commissioned by broadcaster YLE and conducted by research firm Taloustutkimus.” The same day, YLE headlined “Yle poll: Support for Nato membership soars to 76%”, and reported that, “Backing for membership in Yle polls has grown from 53 percent in February to 62 percent in March and 76 percent in May. Before the Russian attack on Ukraine, a majority of Finns had long opposed membership.” No mention was made there, either, regarding Finns’ possible thoughts on whether becoming targeted by Russia as being an enemy-nation might possibly create massive new danger for Finns, vastly more than any possible increase in Finland’s national security might result from joining Russia’s enemies.

Also, none of the alleged news-reports mentioned that, when Russia, on February 24th, invaded Ukraine, it was the result of a war which actually had started eight years ago in February 2014, when the U.S. perpetrated a bloody coup disguised as a ‘revolution’, that replaced Ukraine’s neutralist government, by a rabidly anti-Russian government, which then promptly started a civil war against Russian-speaking Ukrainians, especially in Ukraine’s far east and south. Neither Sweden nor Finland is in anything like that situation regarding Russia — at least not yet.

How can democracy work if the public are in the dark, and are being kept in the dark? And are satisfied to remain in the dark? When their government is taking them to war? Maybe even rushing them into a war? Maybe into WW III? Is this really democracy? Who profits from whatever it is? If this is true in Finland and Sweden, then is it true in every country? Is there any way to change it — to produce a democracy that cannot be manipulated so that it is functioning against the most important interests not only of foreign publics, but of its own public? Does anybody even discuss these problems? Why not?

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Matt

On April 20th, Reuters headlined “Growing majority of Swedes back joining NATO, opinion poll shows”, and reported

Lets see how many Swedes and Finns want to volunteer given the information already being disseminated on the compound rich potting soil being made since March from vol(s) in the U.K., U.S., Turkey, Poland and elsewhere that serves as a Warning on what they can expect when they put themselves in the ring?…

By the way… I stopped reading when I saw the author of this “opinion poll” was Reuters… After all?… What’s the point!

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Elohim Kosher Bar

Search “NATO is Khazaria in drag” byEdward Menez.

FlorianGeyer

Does this mean that Father Christmas will have a NATO sleigh?

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rex

democracy doesn’t exist

there is no democracy when the only thing you can do is put a voting paper into the ballot

you vote for some people, based on some program, you send them to power to do some things

as soon as they sit on the throne, they start doing other things, the things that the oligarchies want them to do

how is this democracy? it is just a spectacle, as the late Zirinovsky liked to say

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Ivan Freely

Yes. If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.

jorge

Sometimes, when they can, they don’t, other times…

jorge

Hummm, Zirinovsky…but alright, you are russian nacionalists, no?

jaredX

One way to attack a idea or opinion is to make a very weak, easy refuted arguement in support of the idea. This is the case in this article.

The public and leaders in those countries reasonable assess that Russia will not attack (or “nuke”) them because they have signed an agreement. But the process that leads to war is subtle and can become difficult to reverse. Many countries are now realising that the voters do not have the ability to control thier governments even if they are capable to devote the time to know all the relavant details of the issues with which the government is presented. Add to that that once engaged in an agreement, government officials find that they (and their people to some extent) are richly rewarded if they play by the rules handed to them and in grave jeapardy if they choose not to conform.

I wont waste time with further discussion. They allow this to happen to their country and the problems will become their childrens problems.

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jorge

Planet Telaviv, it’s yours planet, no? Schlomos, you have to be wise, there’s a lot of people in Earth (90%, including me) that hate zionists. Schlomos, try to get rid of the zionists or you will be once for all…

Last edited 1 month ago by jorge
Bobo

Don’t listen to Western option polls they are all rigged in favour of the outcome the government’s want. Sweden supplied money for many years to the ANC in South Africa during the 1970s through to the 1990s with the knowledge that this money was being used to buy weapons and kill white farmers in gun and bomb attacks. So Sweden can be regarded as a terrorist state .personally I have a dislike for Swedish people but I will try not to allow this to interfere with the facts. In my opinion what comes around go’s around. Many Somalian immigrants now in Sweden living in the cities I’m sure if they were financed and armed as well as the ANC had been during the past years it would cause serious problems for the current Swedish government

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Boggs

Fuck Russia. The sooner it is nuked, the better.

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jorge

Boggs, you are fucked.

GreekCommunist

Of course it’s possible Mr. Zuesse, but not with corrupt politicians, which unfortunately reign supreme nowadays. Swedes and Finns should listen to what their Communist parties have to say about this: Don’t be foolish. Don’t choose between the bad and the worse: you don’t have to. People need to take the power back: The time has come.

https://skp.se/english/we-do-not-choose-between-imperialists-we-choose-socialism/

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jorge

Are you sure that you aren’t a guy from Mars (the planet)?

TomSawyer

Even Belgium is stronger as Russia haha

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jorge

Right, Injun Joe corps.

Ivan Freely

Currently a great majority of people living in Western nations are too busy / worried about their financial situation. Massive rise in prices of staple items is of greatest concern. While it’s not the ideal method, it’s the best distraction “The Powers That Be” have right now to allow them to wage war abroad. However, it’s a race against time as the financial situation cannot be adverted.

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Hypersonics rule

Yugoslavia was firm on its decision to remain independent as a sovereign nation and despite the pressure had declined NATO’s offer to join the bloc.. That rejection has led to destruction of the country where the monsters demonstrated their brutal reaction when they could not get things their way. It’s either you’re with us or against us. At least Russians are now around and ready to confront the evil empire as initially illustrated in Syrian war.

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hunter bidé lab pork !

Rato is NAZI !!! Rato is TERRORIST !!! Rato is Cowerd monkey corona nazi m f !!!!

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jorge

Sorry but I disagree, NATO has a lot of people, more or less as Ukrajina villages, towns and cities. I don’t think you are prepared to the actual hybrid war, but I can be completely wrong, so, lets go to the battlefield?

jorge

DPR govern of the people, by the people, for the people, will judge the imbecil nazis by the rule every human as the right to the law (even if is uno hijo de puta nazi).

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jorge

“The public is clueless”, lets laugh, stupid sons of a bitch, idiots, imbeciles, pieces of shit, your ADN is public, and includes a bit of Neanderthal ADN. Well, you already know how the matter will be resolved.

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they

cnn hyped the hiallry chanses liek a crazy person same same that alexander that was for the presidenet candiate eu was saying he waited 30 years for this so … its not been loong and the offiser proably get soem pay raise work with nato — i was dumb funded when i heard hitler payed officers and they still get pension pay forww2

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William White

Ah the old saying “the only thing dumber than a dumb Dutchman is a smart Swede” continues to ring true but most people are pretty much Cattle when it comes to their understanding of International affairs. The most startling thing is how the Americans portray themselves as the “good guy” and people believe it!

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