It seems that Biden will follow in Trump’s footsteps and continue to oust Sweden. Biden has thus made an active choice. They can no longer excuse themselves for not having any control over their wicked fellow countrymen. Biden can no longer pretend to be ignorant or pretend that he can do nothing about what is happening. Biden did not want to share with us. Biden, on the other hand, wants to share with the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. Shared power is double power. It is an active choice that Biden and his predecessors have made. In March 2021, Biden invited 40 world leaders to a summit, and he included the prime ministers of Denmark and Norway, but not Sweden’s prime minister. The summit topics were officially about climate change and measures to rectify it, and Covid 19. In reality, the summit was about energy and alliances, ”who is in and who is out”. But then the participants are also required to be able to read between the lines. Saying things straight in plain words is far too hazardous for a world leader.
Stefan Löfven’s press secretary announced in the newspaper Expressen, that questions about the invitation list are referred to the US administration and that it is still too early to say whether Sweden will ”conspire with” neighboring countries before the meeting. Quote; fPlus, March 28, 2021
Conspiring with means teaching our less initiated neighboring states.
In fact, I’m extremely relieved to no longer have to worry about helping the giant babies in the United States presidential administration. Biden, the old 60’s racist, is hoping for an American Saudi Arabia where the Americans have full control over their women. He will get a Brazil.
The stranding of the Panama-registered Japanese ship Evergreen Ever Given in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021 led to delays. Ever Given is a long-term leased container-ship to the Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen Marine, and at the time of the accident the ship had an Indian crew. The ship is 400 meters long and that makes it one of the world’s largest ships. The oil from the Persian Gulf, the oil that goes to the East Coast of the United States, passes through the Suez Canal. It would take about 1+ months extra time to round South Africa and it is not certain that the tankers and container vessels have fuel tanks with fuel that is enough for a month extra travel time without refueling fuel oil somewhere in West Africa. Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal for barely a week, until March 29, 2021.
But what does Biden’s announced withdrawal of e.g. at least three Patriot batteries, and more or less permanently stationed aircraft carriers, from the Persian Gulf mean?
The aircraft carrier called Nimitz, which is also the first aircraft carrier in the Nimitz class, was on assignment for almost a full year without rotation or leave for the staff, and without any ship maintenance that could not be accomplished on board, until very recently when Nimitz was called home. Nimitz is expected to retire soon, and it is very costly to dismantle and scrap the nuclear reactor on board. Scrapping Nimitz will cost billions of dollars. If you have to risk one of the aircraft carriers, in the Persian Gulf, when provoking Iran, it is the Nimitz. The aircraft carrier Nimitz has been in active service since 1975 when Gerald Ford was president.
Does Biden’s announcement mean tha
the oil infrastructure is now built and ready in Uganda and the region surrounding Lake Victoria, and that the expected oil is now flowing, that it is flowing to the United States and that the oil has been proven to be gasoline oil of West Texas Intermediate comparable quality?
Or does Biden’s announcement mean that
Iran is not taking the bait of war, time to rethink.
If so, what role will Israel and Syria play in the new game? Will the Iranians dare to expand their influence in Syria? Will they take the new bait and will the future war take place in Syria? What role will Russia then play, given the Russian bases on the Syrian coast at the Mediterranean in Latakia and Tartous. What role will Turkey play?
What does this mean for us here in Sweden?
Does it mean that the Biden administration will use the UK, France and Germany to ease sanctions on Russia, so that Russia will cooperate in Syria. For example by closing its eyes to Gazprom’s/Nordstream’s gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. A kind of barter.
Or does it mean that
the Biden administration is open to the possibility of shifting the event horizon northwards, thereby shifting the US pivotal from roughly the Indian Ocean towards the northern parts of Russia, by focusing on Syria and Israel rather than the Persian Gulf, thereby hitting two birds with one stone, while at the same time being able to assure its allies in NATO support and/or protection?
Given China’s ambitions in the Persian Gulf, what are the short-term and long-term risks of this? In the short term, this probably means no major military risks for the United States, which would not be to the United States fortune, as China lacks an expeditionary fleet and army and only has two aircraft carriers. Albeit, they can use these two aircraft carriers more efficiently because they can be more ruthless to the crews long-term. But the necessity of overhauls of aircraft carriers and a dependence on bases and friendly ports are still major factors.
In the long run, China will strengthen its economic oil situation in the Persian Gulf if the United States partially withdraws militarily. But maybe China would have succeeded with that anyway. They have so far. Practically every state in the Persian Gulf, including Saudi-Arabia, do more business with China than they do with the US. Perhaps China will also strengthen its position militarily if it is allowed to build air bases in Iran. But then they will probably have to invest in large scale infrastructure projects and production of aeronautical components in Iran. So the solution of partially withdrawing from the Persian Gulf is not optimal, and Biden would not have gone so far if he had had an alternative. But Iran, through its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, actually made an agreement with China already in March-April 2021, through China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. As usual, Mohammad Javad Zarif taunted the Americans during the photo shoot of the two dignitaries.
So timely then that Iran’s air force is like a garment of sackcloth and ashes, from the time of the Shah. According to the New York Times, the parties decided on a Chinese investment of 400 billion US Dollars in Iran over a period of 25 years. However, it can become problematic because the deal was apparently settled in US Dollars and not in Chinese Yuan.
China also recently signed a multi-billion dollar agreement with Saudi Arabia. But it is probably just a manifestation of economic opportunism, on the part of Saudi Arabia.
For the United States, it is important to first and foremost involve the four Arab countries below and win them over on their side, while Israel is guaranteed to stay safe. Before Trump, people thought this would be an impossibility. But the Arabs think like Trump and understood him, and they connected with the former president. The four countries that first Trump and now Biden are trying to get onboard the ship are;
3. Saudi Arabia
The rest of the Persian Gulf countries they hope will follow suit. If there is no war against Iran, all the better. Only as long as the Iranians fall in line.
If there’s going to be a war, it’s not Joe Biden’s fault, it’s Donald Trump who put his foot in his mouth fault. His for the public covert war-mongering against Iran has led to the situation Biden is in now. Trump did not step on with woolen socks exactly, so the Iranians could hear the war thunder approaching and they also understand in general terms why Trump sought war with them. However, they probably do not understand that the United States is doing well without Iranian oil, they do not understand the bigger picture very well. The Iranians conclude that Iranian oil means war, they mistakenly believe that the United States is out to steal their oil and that is all there is to it.
Associated Press, Dec. 8, 2020:
”As the Pentagon pulls troops out of the Middle East in the coming weeks, under orders from President Donald Trump, U.S. military leaders are working to find other ways to deter potential attacks by Iran and its proxies and to counter arguments that America is abandoning the region./…/ The Pentagon announced last month that the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America’s long wars. Under the accelerated pullout, the U.S. will cut the number of troops in Afghanistan from more than 4,500 to 2,500, and in Iraq from about 3,000 to 2,500.”
Why pull out from Iraq and Afghanistan if they want a war? Because it is not optimal to wage a war against neighboring Iran from inside of Afghanistan. And they need to build up much larger forces in Iraq than they already have in Iraq. This takes time and is revealing and risky. It is much more optimal for the US to deploy their forces from the Mediterranean area, if and only if they can get Russia to go along with it.
It is not thankful to be the 46th president of the United States and take office after Trump. Biden has basically no choice. It seems like it’s time for a new US war president. Or what do you think?
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said in June 2021 that ”it remains unclear whether Iran will comply with nuclear deal”.
“We’re not even at the stage of returning to compliance for compliance,” Blinken said. “We don’t know if that’s actually going to happen. We’ve been engaged in indirect conversations, as you know, for the last couple of months, and it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance. So we’re still testing that proposition.”
Wow, they are not even at the stage of returning to compliance for compliance. That is like saying; ”We haven’t yet been in contact with a Kennel to make our dog understand who’s the boss.” Remember POTUS George W. Bush’s talk of weapons of mass destruction prior to the Gulf War? Anyone?
But this time it is probable that there are attempts to make weapons of mass destruction. Iran is trying to produce sufficiently enriched Uranium for use in missile warheads, and they have developed long range missiles.
By reading the article in The Algemeiner by Benjamin Kerstein, one can ascertain that the course to war is straight and the ’Fog of war’ is thick. War against Iran via the Mediterranean and Syria et.c. in the first place, the Persian Gulf in the second. Israel has a crisis of confidence in the United States, but Biden, Blinken and the United States are trying to make Israel understand that the course is fixed and that only the methods have changed back to the pre-Trump era methods.
Also, it is very interesting how one after another Iranian Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf catches fire and gets disabled or sinks, as reported by Israeli media in an error-prone manner. The latest reported and most noteworthy incident is from June 2nd 2021 when Iran’s largest Naval ship dubbed Kharg caught fire and sunk. However could a Naval ship sink from a fire onboard if there is no hole in its hull? Why would you even report it as if a fire caused the ship to sink? They are not idiots the Israelis you know. They ended one news report with the words;
”…One thing remains clear. Sailing in the region can be very hazardous.., for the wrong ship!”
The narrator emphasizing the words ”for the wrong ship”. They were also asiduous in pointing out the Iranians involvement in previous hostile mine operations in the Persian Gulf. So the Iranians are just reaping what they sowed. But it almost feels like if the Israeli media are hiding the true scope of this string of disasters, and Israels involvement in making it happen.
What started out as a Russian and later an American slander campaign against Sweden in forums like Quora online, has developed into a Nordic enmity against Sweden. Well it has always been there, but it has accentuated.
What would it mean for us Swedes if Finland and Denmark entered into an alliance against Sweden? To answer that question, we must first take a look at Finland’s strategic situation. Finland no longer has access to any port at the Barents Sea, as it had before the Second World War. They can not count on using any Russian port to supply their people. They will thus have to ally with at least Denmark among our Nordic neighbors, to ensure free passage through the Öresund straight or the Danish Great Belt. They become dependent on Denmark controlling Skåne and Blekinge with Karlskrona Naval Base. Otherwise, they will be forced unsustainably much into the hands of Russia. But the Finns probably also feel compelled to invade northern Norrland for access to the Swedish railway to the Norwegian port of Narvik, so as not to end up completely in the hands of the Danes. That is where Norway comes into the picture. They must keep the Norwegians happy. How do they go about doing that? By offering Norway financial gain. How? The ore fields in Kiruna, energy, joint venture. To fully make Sweden a slave state, they certainly would want to make Gothenburg a Norwegian city, which will control the import of oil and goods into Sweden.
What they cannot circumvent is that we can ‘breathe under water’. But it is, after all, a fact that our potential enemies hopes are quite vain.
What Finland is trying to do is to scuttle or berrew Sweden. It can be debated how much help Finland received from Sweden in Finland’s previous war against Russia in wwii. Was it too little? Was it a lot? One can argue for both. But what we did not do was to help Russia attack and occupy Finland or take advantage of their vulnerable situation! That much we can agree on, whoever we ask. Our help to Finland may even have tipped over the scale to the Soviet failure. It is not at all unlikely. Albeit you can argue that we did everything we did for Finland in self interest. But then one can argue that the United States fought in World War II and in the Korean War in self interest. However, this does not change the fact that Europe and South Korea were beneficiaries of the American aid. It is almost always the case that help in war is conditional in one way or another. The least negative thing you can say about Finland is that they are ungrateful. You can not be more objective than this.
This bromance between the Israelis and the Arabs lately prior to the US presidential election in 2020, that Trump lost, was all to superficial from the Arab side. I knew it was too good to be true. Now the Saudis seem to flip-flop. But why? Because there was going to be a war under Trump, aginst Iran, it was definitely decided in Washington D.C. a couple of years ago or so. Proof? I have no decisive proof, except for that the CIA Factbook unintentionally reveals that the US is going to run out of oil on its own territory at some point in time in this decade. But think of it this way:
The only reason why Saudi-Arabia ever reached out to Israel was because of Washington’s elaborate plans to push Iran into making a limited attack on American forces in the Persian Gulf or elsewhere, so that the US gets an excuse to start the war. That is why the US, already under Obama’s administration, had to withdraw from Afghanistan in such a hurry, to free troops for the coming war against Iran. It is also why the US at one time started showing interest in Iraq again and wanted to increase its troops there. The Saudis knew that under Trump they had to tolerate the Israelis and they welcomed Israel’s contribution in the coming war against the Saudis’ arch enemy Iran. To the Saudis, Iran is a bigger threat than Israel. And they are. Now when it looks like if the not so Israel friendly Joe Biden is going to be president in January, the Saudis turn on Israel with some uncertainty. The rest of the Gulf states will probably follow suit now that the Arabs are hoping for a war led by Biden against Iran.
It is important even for the sitting U.S. administration, that Biden doesn’t get bogged down in domestic bickering about him being a warmonger, which is why there were news reports (leaks) coming out from the white house in November 2020 about Trump wanting a war against Iran. Israel cannot be shut out of the deal by the Saudis, because they will not succeed then. Whether the Saudis realize this or not is another question. The Saudis had in late 2020 opened up for civilian Israeli air traffick over Saudi-Arabia, but they wanted to stop this after Trump lost the US presidential election when it looked like if Trump was defeated for sure. World Israel News quotes; ”In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia has allowed a precedent-setting move for Israeli planes to use its airspace on their way to the UAE and Bahrain, and in recent months there has also been harsh criticism of the Palestinians by senior Saudi officials.” World Israel News, November 23, 2020.
The Saudis’ foreign minister denied, according to another article in the web-based WIN, that Netanyahu participated in a meeting that happened in November 2020. ”No such meeting occurred. The only officials present were American [Pompeo] and Saudi [the Saudi crown prince]” he tweeted.
But if the US is going to provoke a war, when will this war take place? I even know the answer to that. It’ll be within a four year period, if they can succeed with their shady sceme. The aircraft carrier ship dubbed USS Nimitz is patrolling the waters of the Persian Gulf since late November 2020. Since 2012 Nimitz is the oldest serving carrier in the US Navy. Due to the big stakes of America’s future, with severe oil shortage, it is possible that the Trump administration are prepared to sacrifice USS Nimitz if it means that the Iranians, conveniently enough to the American administration, will start the war by attacking USS Nimitz. This is not very controversial, it is something they have to consider for and in any possible future war. They have done it before, in the Tonkin bay, but with smaller ships. A World Israel News quote:
”US promised UAE it would not greenlight Israeli sovereignty until 2024” Quote from a WIN headline September 13, 2020.
The article states among other things;
”The 2024 time frame lines up with the four-year window within which Israel is obligated to negotiate with the Palestinians under the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan.”
That is their time-plan. Peace means war, war means peace.
But there was an obstacle and the name of the country is Qatar. Qatar had been put under a covert commercial and political blockade by land sea and air since January 2017 by Saudi-Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt (from the first month of never-started-any-wars and nominated-to-the-Nobel-peace-prize Trump administration), till January 5 2021 (from the first month of the lets-go-back-to-the-nuclear-deal Biden administration) Why? Qatar had to much relations with Iran due to the two countries shared gas field in the Persian Gulf. The US initially supported the blockade, since the Trump administration wanted to push Iran into the corner and force them to make a limited military attack on American forces. Qatar stood in the way, albeit there is an US Airbase in Qatar. Qatar’s answer to the blockade was to strengthen ties with Russia, Turkey and China. Still not convinced?
Quote WIN December 22, 2020: ”He [senior Trump Advisor Jared Kushner] also said he expects Morocco to join an investment fund created by Israel, the U.S. and the UAE for investing in projects in the Middle East.
“There are several countries in the region that have approached us for projects”, he said. He added that the Democrats have signaled that the incoming Biden administration will continue to advance these business developments.”
I let the quotes speak for themselves. Note that the Biden administration at first seemed to have halted the war plans from the former Trump administration. It looked like if secret war preparations were being made public, and this makes it possible for people like me to find confirmatory information. I wasn’t in the dark before, but the fog of war was thick.
American bombers flew into Syria at dawn on the 26th of february 2021, and the target was an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group in Syria, a group that almost two weeks ago counterproductively, as usual, carried out a rocket attack on an US base in Iraq. The Biden administration is greatful. Because right after or the following day, the Biden administration slaps some of the minions of the Saudi Crown Prince and lets the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself off the hook for the gruel killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
”The relationship with Saudi Arabia is larger than an individual”, says Foreign Minister Tony Blinken.
So it is business as usual then! I knew that Biden wasn’t a freshman, so it is no use being surprised. But at least the Biden administration intends to make sure that such gruel murders don’t happen again.
”The United States will not tolerate threats or attacks from Saudi Arabia outside its borders against activists, dissidents or journalists,” Tony Blinken said a couple of hours after the air raid. Convenient.
If I had any doubts before I don’t have them any longer. There is going to be a war. I am writing this in february 2021. If there is going to be a war, please God let the US win, because there are no good exit options from a third world war for us Nordic people! At least they have a sober and intelligent chauffeur now. It is important that we Swedes remain pragmatic. Never have a small country known so much but being able to do so little. Hence the little prayer here.
The United States was in about the same situation as northern Europe in mid-March 2020. We northern Europeans are probably possibly better than the United States on infection tracing and we have a better social capital (political science term for citizens’ level of trust in authorities and other institutions). If we suspect that we have acquired the infection ourselves we seek contact with the right authority instead of taking protection in a bunker with an automatic weapon in our lap should someone intrude on our bunker. There is nothing wrong with weapons, it is American users of weapons that are failing in their heads. That is not how we Swedes would act if we had access to small firearms. In addition, at the time it cost more than a 1,000 US dollars to test for Covid-19 in some states. It probably reduced the number of confirmed cases.
The figures for Covid-19’s spread probably had little to do with how many were ill at the beginning of the pandemic, and more to do with how many infected people were intercepted.
Trump declared the British coronavirus more sympathetic to the United States because Britons were allowed to travel to and from the United States without restrictions for the next 30 days despite having as many infected per capita as did for example Sweden have. The number of known infections in the US was at the time over 1,200 and the numbers increased rapidly, but relatively few Americans had been tested so the number of cases was probably larger. We can only hope that the British travelers were all exemplary infection-free. It is also fortunate that no homeless person has yet been affected because they lack the money to consult a doctor, so fortunately it is a class issue and only the middle class and the rich are affected in the United States.
”In an extra televised speech to the nation, President Donald Trump announced that all travel from Europe would be stopped. The exception was travel from the United Kingdom and American citizens who had undergone careful examination. The United States imposed similar travel restrictions on China when the virus began to spread there, something the EU did not do, and Trump now blames the corona outbreak in the United States on European travelers.” Quote SR; Ekot on 12/3 2020
The United Kingdom otherwise had almost exactly as many infected as Sweden per capita. No, this is not about the risk of infection, it is politically and economically motivated.
It looks like Covid-19 is a seasonal and weather-sensitive virus. It should come as no surprise. If you look at the climate zones, you can see how the virus in mid-March 2020, in the big perspective, stayed within a certain zone. Interestingly enough, Spain did at first not have a Covid-19 outbreak to the extent that they had in Italy. The tourists in Spain are mainly northern European. Italy receives many tourists from China and Northern Europe and America. Australia has many Chinese citizens but they only had about 200 cases of Covid-19 infected in mid-March.
I would also like to say that the government in Sweden was right not to force the schools to close. We have passed the time when we could have stopped the virus from spreading in our society. Forcing the schools to close would only have created a panicked situation and the hoarding of toilet paper and other life necessities. The only good thing that could have come from forcing the schools to close is that we could have gained a few weeks of activity, so that we or others could have had time to produce and manufacture a vaccine on a large scale. But making a vaccine takes time. Distributing it and organizing the vaccination also takes time.
We could see early whose population panicked and hoarded the most toilet paper. From the Swedish supermarkets, during the first half of the year, only toilet paper was hoarded, and some shelves with canned jars were empty. I have seen live videos from the USA where all the shelves in the entire supermarket were completely empty.
We could have closed our borders but we have no border controls. But if we were to close our borders, we should do so by being selective with who we let into our country based on where the travelers recently came from, so that we damaged our economy as little as possible.
China caused its own panicked situation by enforcing drastic and draconian measures such as nailing down doors and windows in building complexes with, it is said, the people still inside them without the tennants having any exit route from the building.
If new measures are to be introduced, care should be taken to base these measures on virological facts, mathematics and algorithms now that we have a better grasp of the situation.
Israel had extremely low death tolls, around a total of 100 total until mid-April 2020. This is because the Israeli government from early on used Mossad as a torpedo to vacuum the global market for respirators and other medical equipment for its own population.
What I would like to say to the world regarding Covid-19, is that what your politicians should do is take responsibility and saying:
”We can not lock down large companies in our country in the coming months, it will hurt the economy too much. There is even a risk that civilization as we know it will stagnate permanently. We can not expect our doctors and nurses to have to decide who is allowed to live and who is to die, but we should not take any responsibility, about which group of people must risk death and who will be allowed to live? If we do not soil our hands with blood, then we can not be said to be statesmen.”
”Isolate the elderly and the people at risk, not the average worker.”
Which general would you prefer to put your life in the hands of as a soldier, the general who saves everyone and no one, or the general who orders military doctors to save those who have a chance to survive?
According to Trump, we Swedes, he claims, internationally or in the world are known as ”the herd”. It stems from something that was discussed in the United States recently – herd immunity. Herd immunity is when a sufficient group of people in a society have had the virus and recovered from it so that society gets an immunity as a group.
It is the rest of the world that is ”the herd”, we go our own way. But if he means that we are a nation, then he is right.
I’m not a social Darwinist, I’m a realist. If there was any other method that could really protect the people at risk without damaging the economy too much, I would advocate it. But no matter how we handle the situation, Covid-19 will spread in Sweden, just as it will spread in the rest of the world all the way into nursing homes and into the healthcare system, and has already done so. Few or no countries have succeeded in artificially stopping the spread of infection for any pandemic. The only thing one can hope for with restrictions on freedom of movement is to slow down the spread of infection, but at a high cost to the economy.
Reasonably, the only benefit of trying to postpone the spread of the epidemic in a country is that we then have time to prepare and have time to take action. We have three research teams that works around the clock to produce a vaccine. But we have failed to prepare healthcare for the effects of the epidemic.
The biggest risk to the economy are the oil-producing countries. They are sensitive to extreme economic downturns in the world. It could be that many of the oil-producing countries lack sufficient robustness in the economic system and that the oil taps are permanently shut off due to unprofitability so that oil traffic stops abruptly. Thus we should act proactively for Sweden and the Nordic countries.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell and his decision on how to handle the epidemic in Sweden has mostly been for the better. He has acted as a statesman and reasoned logically and rationally. I have got the impression that a majority of the Swedish people still have confidence in the way Tegnell has handled the matter. I have also got the impression that the Swedish people are well aware of what they should do to prevent the spread of infection and that they also have a high level of awareness about what measures have been taken by the Swedish Public Health Agency. And I believe that there is a great incentive for personal initiatives and personal responsibility among the Swedish people.
It doesn’t pay to argue that Sweden’s death toll was higher than the outside world’s because we document deaths more accurately than the outside world does. It may be true, but it will not stop those who are malicious towards Sweden from throwing back selected information and claim that Sweden certainly has a higher death rate per capita of the Covid-19 virus. The devil lies in the details!
How should one then respond to the outside world’s criticism? By proclaiming that Sweden intends to wait and see how the spread of infection has peaked in Sweden by comparing our data with the outside world. A contagion curve over time is comparable to the contagion curves of the outside world. It doesn’t matter how you have handled the spread of infection, the curves will be comparable when this is over, not before. What makes a difference is the extent to which countries’ healthcare workers have had access to face masks and other protective clothing and protective equipment as well as alcohol gel. One more thing comes into play. How different countries have handled their epidemic in different stages. And the social capital of a country plays a big role for what rate the infection spreads in. We can look at Somalis in Sweden. We can see it in our suburbs. These people largely lack social capital. ”Social capital” is a political science term that means; The degree to which citizens have confidence in the authorities and vice versa.
It is telling, however, that in the most recent Swedish peak to date, 4 November 2020, Sweden had turned the death curve to a low 4 deaths of 4,497 infected. By comparison, when Israel peaked again on September 30, they had 37 dead out of 9,078 infected. But then many of our oldest Swedes have sadly already died of Covid-19.
I understand why in the first half of the pandemic, people outside the group who had been traveling in risk countries and healthcare staff were not tested. It is perhaps mainly in China and Italy that test kits are manufactured, and these countries frequently tested their own population. But they had no overproduction on test kits and used that method excessively for their own part. We simply could not get enough test kits.
The number of deaths does not have a strong correlation with the number of infections. I wish that when this pandemic is over, people who suspect that they have had Covid-19 will continue to test themselves, even if it turns out that these people have not had the virus, but that they have had a completely different virus.
What do we gain from such a voluntary test then?
First, we get a better picture of who is immune to a later epidemic, and the negative effects on society’s functions will then be less, as will as the risk of rapid spread of infection will be less.
Secondly, we may find out how accurate the infection statistics are. Could it be that the infection came to Sweden earlier than we think? In February, we only tested Italian and Austrian travelers. But outside that group, the infection may have spread in the country already in December or January.
On April 17, 2020, Trump went on the air along with the entire professional infection control corps, and Mike Pence also participated. Trump said at the press conference that the United States would test millions of Americans for immunity to Covid-19. On April 18, an Israeli stock-conservative online media that I follow to keep up with the situation in the Middle East and Israel in particular, issued a statement saying that Mossad had helped Israel with the transport of a million protective masks and thousands of respirators to Israel. At the Swedish Public Health Agency, they said, the day after Trump’s statement, that Sweden ”currently has no plans to test people for immunity”. It’s a nicer way to say ”we made a mistake”.
Some time before these statements, Trump went out to the media and said that ”I have control over when we will open the economy.” I also understand why Trump was so careful to point out that ”frankly, I think one dead is too many” several times. He wanted to distance himself from Sweden’s alleged herd mentality and our alleged strategy with ”herd immunity”.
Sweden violates human rights when they sacrifice the elderly, international law researcher Katinka Svanberg wrote in a debate article in Göteborgsposten on 23 April 2020. Katinka believes that Sweden should introduce binding restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic.
Firstly, it has not been established that binding restrictions in the long run will save more people. Secondly, no one in the government has said that Sweden strives to achieve ”herd immunity”. Sweden is not ”an experiment with herd immunity”.
The UN Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that everyone has the right to health and that the state must prevent epidemics: ”prevent, treat and combat all epidemic diseases and create conditions that ensure all medical and hospital care in the event of illness.”
Sure, but pretty much the whole world was fighting for the same few resources right then. Sweden does not stand out here, not in terms of prevention and treatment. We do the rest.
”EU:s fundamental rights include a general ban on discrimination. The elderly must not be discriminated against and must be treated with dignity.” Says international law researcher Katinka.
Here I agree with Katinka. But Sweden has no ”intentious ending of elderly life”. In Sweden during the Covid-19 epidemic, priority is given to care, ie. respirators, to those who have a chance to survive. It could be a 20-year-old who is considered not to have a chance to recover and therefore is not allowed to occupy one of the few and precious oxygen breathing assistive devices. But most of the time, unfortunately, these are really old people. It is not intentional to prioritize away many elderly people, it is intentional to prioritize those who can be saved first and foremost.
Katinka writes ”In March, Australia and Sweden had the same number of covid 19 cases, about 5000. After the Australian government shut down society, the infection curve fell from 400 cases per day to about 20 per day, which means that restrictions can be lifted before so that a British vaccine may be available in the autumn of 2020.”
Katinka points here to a figure of 5,000 patients in Covid-19 in Australia in March. But that is not true because it was 500 when Australia peaked at the end of the same month. And it was not until the end of April that the numbers dropped to ~20 ill per day in Australia. Sweden had 280 patients at the end of March. In a different climate, albeit we peaked later. In addition, Sweden certainly has binding restrictions, it is just that we have not implemented a special monetary fine or other penalties for violating the prohibition rules in Sweden. Sweden still has a high ”social capital”, which political scientists call the trust between government and the population. At least as far as Anders Tegnell and the Swedish Public Health Agency and Sweden’s citizens are concerned.
”But the right to life is not worth much if a pandemic rages freely,” writes Katinka.
It’s not like that.
”The right to protection against pandemics is part of the concept of human security which is part of a state’s duty to protect its population in urgent humanitarian emergencies… If the state fails to protect its population, it should receive help and advice from international experts, like WHO, or otherwise face international sanctions.”
Sweden reserves the right to act on its own initiative to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and other epidemics within Sweden’s borders.
Finally, Katinka writes that she is worried about her 84-year-old father, who is ”from the time when ”folkhemmet” (state induced workers union) was built”.
I dare say that Katinka has her loyalty elsewhere than to Sweden, but if her father was involved in building the Swedish folk home, he deserves the best possible care. But it almost would not matter in which country he lives, he would at the time have problems getting respiratory breathing assistance.
In a political video channel on Youtube by Kim Iversen from the end of April 2020, it is stated with good cause that most people are infected at home or in other closed spaces, and that outdoor living does not give the same spread of infection. This shows that Sweden has not chosen the wrong path if it is true. It may not show that we have chosen a better path than the outside world in terms of the spread of infection because it would have happened in any case, but our path has been less harmful to society as a whole. My conviction is that, just as I concluded in this spread of infection, Anders Tegnell and the National Institute of Public Health had these factors in mind when we began to diverge from the outside world on how we should handle the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Sweden.
What is the difference between public transport in Germany and Sweden? Does Germany have public transport? Of course they have. But they do not have many buses, they have rail traffic, and it is probably the buses that are the worst villains. Each passenger touches the same places on the same poles in the bus to hold on to something when the bus starts to move even before people have had time to find a seat. And if you have to stand up during the bus trip, you have to grab the same poles as everybody else. Unlike Germany, Sweden has a lot of public transport by bus, and we were affected almost twice as much as the Germans in terms of the number of infections per capita. That is at least part of the explanation to Sweden’s high infection rate.
Sweden’s refusal to let Chinese owners into our ports has probably relieved Sweden’s strategically difficult situation. Russia may, or may not, want to see a Chinese sphere of influence in the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia or on the West Coast as welcome. The more we oppose Chinese interests in Sweden, the more it affects Russia. But they probably do not want us to know it, nor how it affects them. But that does not mean we can sit back and relax. China has reportedly recently set up a military base with the greatest possible obscurity somewhere in the Stan countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan. I do not think this is welcome in the Kremlin.
The Kremlin had hoped to see that Trump won the election in the autumn of 2020 and went all in with Russia to attack Sweden economically and (by Russia) later militarily. This would of course be an extreme situation and we are not there today. Trump has even wished Kim Young-Un well, and the man has threatened the United States with nuclear weapons. But Sweden’s anti-Trump sentiment Trump cannot swallow.
I understood from SR;Ekot that there was something called TINA in the financial world in the USA since the autumn of 2019. Tina stands for; There Is No Alternative.
Huawei sent threatening letters to the Danish Prime Minister:
”In Denmark, it is now reported that the Chinese tech giant Huawei in threatening terms in letters to two different prime ministers has tried to influence the country’s government.
It is the newspaper Berlingske that has read several letters from Huawei Denmark to both the former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and the current Mette Frederiksen.
In the letters, the company writes, among other things, that it wishes to be involved in the expansion of the Danish telecommunications network of the future and that the media coverage of the company contains errors that it wants to clarify.
But in one of the letters, the company writes that if Huawei were to have problems in Denmark, it would seriously affect other Chinese companies’ willingness to invest in the country, something that can be interpreted as a threat.
The letter was written in March 2019 at the same time as the large Danish telecommunications company TDC was in negotiations about who would be awarded a contract for the 5G expansion in Denmark. In the same month, TDC switched from Huawei to Swedish Ericsson as a supplier of a new 5G network in Denmark. A decision prompted by a debate over Huawei’s relations with the Chinese government.
In an email to Berlingske, Huawei denies that the company had in any way tried to threaten the Danish government.
David Rasmusson, Denmark correspondent ”
SR; Ekot on Thursday 14 May
Of course, it depends on what you put in the concept of what a threat is. The real reason why China is bullying Sweden and refusing to sell face masks and other medical equipment such as respirators in these Covid-19 times, or selling defective equipment, is that they want to get rid of competitors to Huawei regarding 5G systems, and we do not allow it. The methods they use are communist authoritarian and should discourage all normal people from doing business with China in the future. They can do nothing against us from a military perspective, which would not automatically lead to immediate or imminent economic collapse for their regime, e.g. if they were to use nuclear weapons or explicitly threaten us with nuclear weapons.
We did not know until the autumn of 2020 if there would be a second wave of Corona. Nobody knew. We did not damage our economy that much, that is true, but then the big EU countries wanted to deprive us of our money just because we were smarter than them. That was solely the Germans’ idea. Our not-too-smart prime minister thought he was helping Sweden by answering the EU that all EU countries affected less severely than Italy and Spain should pay for the failures of these two countries. And I who thought that it was Sweden that was a failure? Note, traces of irony may appear in that comment. The Germans in particular should pay, I think that was the idea of our Prime Minister. I’m not saying anything bad about Italy or Spain, but I will take the opportunity to speak up against Germany.
A statistical comparison:
Sweden, 10 million inhabitants
Infected June 24 first peak 1,698
Infected November 4, second peak 4,497
Deaths Sweden 15 April first peak 115 deaths
Deaths Sweden 26 October second peak 12 dead
Germany, 83 million inhabitants
Infected March 28 first peak 6,294
Infected November 7, second peak 23,399
Deaths Germany April 16 first peak 315 deaths
Deaths Germany November 6 second peak 166 deaths
Israel, 9 million inhabitants
Infected April 1 first peak 120
Infected September 30, second peak 9,078
Deaths Israel April 15 first peak 13 dead
Deaths Israel 8 October second peak 47 dead
Iceland, 365 thousand inhabitants
Infected April 1 first peak 99
Infected 8 otober other 2 peak 106
Deaths Iceland April 1 first peak 2 dead
Deaths Iceland November 7 second peak 2 dead
Australia, 30 million inhabitants
Infected March 28 first peak 458
Infected July 30, second peak 721
Deaths Australia 7 April first peak 6 dead
Deaths Australia 4 September second peak 59 dead
United States, 328 million inhabitants
Infected April 24 first peak 36,741
Infected July 16 second peak 75,687
Infected November 6, third peak 132,797
Deaths US April 15 first peak 2,752 deaths
Deaths US June 25 second peak 2,466 deaths
Deaths US November 4 third peak 1,616 deaths
We can clearly see on paper that Sweden had its first peak in the death toll more than two months before we had our first peak in the number of infected. So we tested far from enough at this time and consequently we counted the spread of infection according to what the death toll looked like, more or less a guess work. We are also more rigorous in what constitutes a death in Covid-19. During the autumn spread of infection in Sweden, justifiably few people die from the virus, despite four times as many infections as during the spring spread of infection. Germany, Israel and Iceland have all succeeded better in protecting their inhabitants than Sweden has done. But our situation with a lack of equipment and test kits was probably worse than all these countries, at least as far as Germany and Israel are concerned.
Even if Sweden had closed down to the same extent as e.g. Germany did, we would not have relieved the health care system. There were many more who became infected and fell ill in Sweden than we had medical equipment for, and probably that would have been the case even if we had shut down our entire country. I’m mainly thinking of respirators. What we could have done, however, is to compete better for the little healthcare equipment that were available on the global market during the pandemic. This applies not only to respirators but also surgical masks, alcohol gel and body protection. If we had managed to do that, we could have saved more people. But unfortunately, the anti-Swedish incentives in the world are very tangible. People with positions of power in large parts of the world are largely trying to not only ignore our attempts to buy medical equipment but also actively oppose us by stabbing us in the back when they can about how we handled Covid-19. Even Germany does so, which is strange because we Swedes have done a lot of good for Germany. Not even Norway, Denmark and Finland miss a chance to strike a blow under our belts. But we will emerge victorious from this.
I believe that the number of deaths for some countries and some states in the United States, such as my own country, Sweden, is high because they, our politicians, never planned for an epidemic even though we have already had several Corona virus outbreaks in the 2000s. We had Sars, the Bird Flu and the Swine Flu. One of them is not a Coronavirus, but it does not matter to my argument. We must not learn that our leaders neglected to prepare for a new pandemic and in some cases even scrapped the stocks of medical equipment.
But the Chinese do not like the United States, Britain and Sweden because our governments have high principles against the totalitarian regime in China. For Sweden, we can take the example of Sweden’s support for the Chinese-Swedish publisher Gui Minhai, who published controversial books in Beijing’s eyes, before the Chinese regime captured him in Thailand. So we were not allowed to buy the necessary medical equipment from China when we needed it the most, neither as a state nor when Löven delegated the purchasing assignment after he had noticed that the state of Sweden was not allowed to buy any functional medical equipment at all from the communist state of China. Our nurses often had to work with Covid-19 patients without a mask or protective clothing or with defective equipment that was not even made for virus protection. That is the real reason why Sweden had such a high death toll.
It is difficult to use the number of deaths in Covid-19 as a marker of how effective a state is, because China selectively decided which countries to help with the surplus equipment it had available or could produce. The fact that different countries had different conditions at the start of the pandemic also affected the outcome. Germany, for example, had a much more robust healthcare system and more existing equipment than many other countries, including Sweden. Sweden had no contingency stocks at all. Sweden can do better than that.
The number of patients in Italy was very high at an early stage. Italy is one of the leading manufacturers of test kits, alongside China. So they could test more and faster. Sweden could not test to the same extent. We had no test kits. We do not really know what the spread of infection looked like in Sweden. But we know how many dead we got, and there were many, especially in nursing homes. The Italians knew what the spread of infection looked like in their country, but they did not know who died of what because they did not have the same control over the cause of death as we Swedes had. It will thus be difficult to compare the spread of infection then.
Beijing was behind the fragmentation of the Western world in the wake of the Coronavirus, fear and confusion, by being selective with whom they helped. They exploited schisms between countries or at least did not oppose the development of schisms. It almost seems as if Beijing had prepared for the next pandemic that came from China, not by trying to prevent the spread of infection, but by planning to broadcast terror propaganda with e.g. film clips from inside China of people standing upright on the street one moment and collapsing dead the next. The horrors portrayed in various YouTube videos were partly genuine, but nowhere in Europe or the United States have there been reports of people standing up one moment and collapsing dead the next.
It was probably so that Stefan Löven and his government reacted to China’s hostile actions, when our government by legislation excluded Huawei from supplying telecom networks to Sweden’s 5G networks, and they are also being phased out of the 4G networks, as China is a security risk. To Say ”China’s hostile actions” is another way of saying that they are unreliable. The long-standing collaboration between Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and China will also soon end. In September 2020, the state-owned space company announced that it will not enter into new business contracts with Chinese customers. Existing contracts will not be extended either.
The F-35 is the United states latest fighter jet. It is also the future naval aircraft-carrier based fighter jet aircraft (F-35C with C as in Carrier based). An F-35C has a realistic combat range of about 500 miles, i.e. 800 km. Combat range as seen in the chart below is the realistic range a fighter jet has with the option still for, hold your breath, you have heard it before, dogfight.
MQ-25 Stingray is an air-refueling aircraft under development (2018). In the chart below the air-refueling of the F-35C:s is thought to be done with this carrier based fuel-tanking aircraft. But they could also refuel the F-35C with a bigger tanker like for example the C-130 tanker, although this cannot start from or land on a carrier. C-130 is an aircraft with multiple functions. Some are made for transporting materiel and soldiers or dropping large bombs, and some are made for refueling of other aircraft in the air. Some are made for other purposes.
Depending on how many fighters sent up and what tankers they use and how many tankers in the air, the possible approach for the mission will vary. Simplified, the possibilities regarding flight paths plus the opponents capability will set the boundaries for the mission. The possible outcome will mainly depend on the planner and the level of professionalism of his crews. Of course the level of yours and your opponents technology will matter too. And the rest are due to circumstances like weather, malfunction or the battles randomized chaos.
In this example, I did not count on hanging extra tanks on the fighter aircraft. Those would have significantly reduced the number of offensive weapons and sensors hanging on the pylons. As you will learn, one MQ-25 Stingray can only refuel one fighter jet at a time of approximatly about 2-4 minutes. 2 minutes minimum. Two fighters need to work together as one tactical unit and both must follow through all the way to the target. Two fighters are refueling in the air approximatly ten to twenty percent of their combined flight time, using only one tanker and tanking the two fighters only once per aircraft in a mission, and it has to be initiated within the first 360-430 miles of flight.
If one calculates the numbers correctly, one will come to the conclusion that the range of a Carrier Air Wing increases by at the most 3/4 if this Air Wing is air-refueled only once during one and the same mission.
If the Air Wing is air-refueled twice during a single mission, the range is still limited by the combat radius the aircraft has. 500 miles + 500 miles which become a 1,000 miles (1,600 km) is in any case the maximum range.
With a single MQ-25A Stingray, one can only air-refuel one (1) F-35C per mission, once on the flight path to the target and once on the way back, if it takes about 4 minutes for a refueling.
The F-35B is the VTOL and STOVL variant of the aircraft. It must sacrifice a considerable amount of fuel for this capability of being able to vertically take off and land on the spot (VTOL) or start on a very short stretch and land on the spot (STOVL). The individual F-35B pilot must have enough fuel left to make a what is a fuel costly vertical landing on the aircraft carrier, but a number of aircrafts at a time can descend to land on the aircraft carrier. That alone compensates for a lot of the sacrificed fuel, since a number of F-35B doesn’t have to loiter in the air waiting to get clearance to land one by one. So in an operational environment, the sacrificed fuel doesn’t make that much of an impact on the mission range compared to if using the F-35C. Did I mention, the F-35B can also air refuel.
The combat radius of an F-35C could actually be as low as 430 miles if you want to have good safety margins. But if we assume that the combat radius is 500 miles and that one Stingray refuel one F-35C once per mission with an air refueling distance of about 60 miles, then the F-35C aircraft must return after a total flight distance of 870 miles from the aircraft carrier. After air refueling, it can fly a distance of 370 miles + the return distance of the 870 miles = 1,240 miles. The F-35C has a maximum range of 1,350 miles. In total, it gives a margin of 6 minutes for all F-35C to circulate and descend for landing on an aircraft carrier, which corresponds to a distance of 43 miles at a speed of 435 miles per hour on a low altitude. It would provide a four-group F-35C, supported under a mission by four Stingrays, approximately 1+ minute for landing per plane, if only one aircraft is touching the deck and taxing in at a time.
A third or a fourth of all the aircrafts onboard the carrier will be under maintenance at any given time. As one can count on at least one Stingray always being on maintenance aboard the Carrier, one must make place for one extra Stingray on the Carrier. Several Stingrays will occupy a lot of space on the aircraft carrier at the expense of at least twice the space required for the F-35C. Then it’s probably better to invest in the existing E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft and the radar plane E2-C Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, if you want to optimize. These must still be carried onboard the Carrier.
But how optimal is it to base three or four MQ-25 Stingray on a lone Carrier group? The Carrier group would have to adjust their distance to the goal after any caprice of the Stingray mechanics, so these Stingrays must be kept in top condition so that the aircraft carrier group is not constantly forced to maneuver into a new position in a jerky way.
The United States has around a dozen carriers but some of them must be on rotation in the US at every given time. China has two aircraft carriers. The US carriers allows the fighter aircraft to carry bigger payloads, i.e. weapons, because of the carriers typicly steam-catapults that catapults the aircrafts into air, combined with the thrust of the aircrafts engines. However, the US Navy needs to project power in many parts of the world simultaneously.
The fact that the US Navy’s aircraft-carriers have nuclear propulsion does not mean that the carrier groups as such have longer range in reality. There are many ships with different tasks in a carrier group. A single fighter aircraft can perhaps fly four missions in a day and in those four missions it will consume the amount of fuel equivalent to a tank truck and a trailer full of fuel. That equals up to several ships full of fuel only for the aircrafts alone. Some ships protect the carriers from air-threats, some ships protect the carriers from underwater threats, some ships supply the carriers’ surrounding group with fuel oil and some ships supply food and beverage to all the crew-members of all the ships.
In reality, friendly harbors are important during a far away mission.
Now you know the basics.
Look at where your country or any country of your choice is located and try to imagine how the US or China could tackle them or come at them using possible means. What countries are likely to display animosity and what countries do you think would display the opposite to the two nations respectively. Check out where they have friendly airbases and/or ports in friendly countries if you can. You may know if there are naval ships with air-defense systems on it based in naval ports. Naval ships air-defense systems against aerodynamic targets rarely have more than a 120 km (75 miles) range and it is a defensive weapon and should not be used offensively, i.e. it is there to protect the ship or group of ships first of all.
If you know where different nations ground based air-defense systems i.e. surface-to-air missiles are deployed for the moment being or will be deployed, you get extra credit. They are there to protect cruical infrastructure or military installations or mobile equipment and are also not offensive weapons. But such knowledge is rarely public knowledge unless the country is at war and its adversary or other players reveals their location, as is the case with Russias S-400 and S-300 systems and their radar systems in Syria.
Use the internet to find out things if it is not enough to use the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK, and it usually isn’t. The variables are many and intertwined which makes the task incredibly complicated. The more you know the more complicated it gets. Mix as many variables as you think you can manage for this task, but start learning how to slim them down effectively. I am only talking about military targets here. And I am only talking about air raids with F-35 starting from air strips or carriers.
This is not meant to be an exam that I will scrutinize as if it was a Masters degree. You are bound to not knowing what type of bases your country has where, and what capabilities these have. It doesn’t have to be accurate, you’re in training! But part of the training involves finding out as much useful information as you can. I am first and utmost training you to be an intelligence person. Information on the Internet can be accurate, grayish, dubious or just plain false, and I really cannot teach you how to find out accurate information for yourself. You have to have a sense for realities and reason to be able to do that, and that cannot be taught. At least not if it is not taught from an early age.
Remember, choice of the wrong means is less of a liability for a commander than failing to act! (Old Swedish jungle-proverb)
Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden