Theater of Cruelty

Palm increases Vietnam support – US economic reprisals?

ORIENTERING 11.10.1969 / After Sweden has decided to provide extensive financial support for the construction of North Vietnam, the US criminal measures start a new round.


When Olof Palme went on a demonstration train last year with a North Vietnamese ambassador, the US responded quickly to withdraw its ambassador from Stockholm. So far, no new ambassador has been appointed, which is also intended as a "punishment" for Sweden using its neutrality to take on American deserters from the Vietnam War. 

What is "neutrality"? 

This clearly shows what the US means by "neutrality". Sweden may well be neutral, only if it does not act actively and shows this neutrality in practice. If Sweden acts in conflict with US foreign policy interests, penalties are put in place to try to pressure the government. It also involves moral support for the reactionary Swedish financial circles.

It is becoming increasingly clear how little leeway the United States is willing to give to Western European countries that belong to the United States sphere of influence, whether within or outside NATO. What pressure would the United States not be able to put on Norway, politically, economically and militarily, if the foreign leadership were to resort to a less one-sided policy? There is no doubt that US actions are warning that "Swedish conditions" will not be tolerated in other Nordic countries. 

Can rely on Norway

This time it is the federal financial agency Export-Import Bank that sent out a scare. According to Dagens Nyheter's correspondent, investigations are now underway to determine whether the bank's credit performance can be called "assistance to US enemies". It was also mentioned that SAS credits are at risk. The new SAS director, Knut Hagerup, is currently taking it easy and has reason to do so. Both Denmark and Norway are NATO countries that the United States can fully trust in foreign policy.

US-led trade? 

Sweden is also subject to US pressure in other fields. In July, Aftonbladet could tell that prominent leaders in Swedish companies were "informed" of the US boycott policy towards, among other things. Cuba, North Korea and North Vietnam. They were told that trade with countries such as the US boycott could mean the loss of US orders. 

The US has a so-called Z-list of countries to boycott, and it is important to get as many others as possible to follow the US example. Sweden is one of the countries that can conceivably act independently and is therefore in a vulnerable position for American reprisals. Following the recognition of North Vietnam, several progressive countries are trying to make closer contact with Sweden, and the United States fears a defeat for its isolationist policy. 

Previously, it is known that Swedish researchers are in a vulnerable position, and that the US embassy has accurate information on their political positions. Critical statements about US foreign policy or opposition to increasing Pentagon research at universities are destroying the opportunities for scholarships. In this way, more and more groups in Sweden are being pressured to act obediently against the US if they are to avoid being punished financially. 

What about the developing countries?

 The Export / Import Bank's measures should also remind you of the difficult position of developing countries in. This bank is one of the most important instruments in US "development assistance", and it has long been clear that assistance is only given to obedient clients in Africa, Asia and Latin -America. Countries that have applied for credit must demonstrate their US-friendly attitude in practice in order not to suffer major financial losses. 

Developing countries are in a significantly more vulnerable position than Sweden, and thus must be politically bound to receive "development assistance". Doesn't that give some thought to the Norwegian newspapers that are currently morally upset that "politics is mixed up in aid"? 


You may also like