06 juni 2016

Politiskt korrekta SVT vågar inte visa filmen


Skriver idag på Aftonbladets debattsida:

I morgon kväll har dokumentärfilmen ”Watching the Moon at Night” svensk biopremiär i Göteborg. Filmen, som bär sin titel efter en dikt av nobelpristagaren Wislawa Szymborska, har medfinansierats av Sveriges Television. Men SVT vägrar att visa filmen och har brutit kontraktet med de båda filmarna, Joanna Helander och Bo Persson.


Det hela är egentligen obegripligt. Men i den politiska korrekthetens Sverige får man tydligen inte koppla samman antisemitism, jihadism och terrorism så som filmen gör. Där berättar anhöriga till terrorismens offer, från Bali över Nordafrika och Europa till 11 september i New York.

Det handlar om föräldrarna till en 22-årig svenska som dog i en attack på Bali. En israelisk OS-fäktare som överlevde München 1972. En kvinna i New York som överlevde World Trade Center 2001. Pappan vars bror och son som mördades på Nordirland. En algerisk kvinna vars familj slaktades. Eller sonen till en man som dog då Gaddafi såg till att spränga ett franskt passagerarplan över den afrikanska öknen. Efterbörden till massmordet på norska Utöya finns också med.

Det som för Sveriges Television tycks vara så besvärande och politiskt inkorrekt att visa är kopplingen mellan antisemitism och terrorism, samtidigt som de flesta vet att just antisemitism ligger bakom åtskilligt av världens terror och jihadism.
Den globala antisemitismen uppstod inte i och med Förintelsen. Eller försvann därefter. Martin Luthers manifesterade judehat plågar än i dag den protestantiska kristenheten. Vi kan oftast se vilka terroristerna är, men vi vet mindre om vilka som skriver deras manuskript. Filmens skildring går bortom terrorismens stereotyper och schabloner. I stället för att peka ut terroristerna pekar man i riktning mot terrorismens ”faddrar” som till exempel Iran, Pakistan och Ryssland. Man pekar också på många av de retoriska likheter som finns från Förintelsen och till terrorismen i vår tid.

Men när sådana perspektiv friläggs och visas upp har Sveriges Television stoppat sina chefshuvuden lika djupt i sanden som där man begravt den viktiga filmen. Från SVT hette det bland annat att om filmen ska visas, måste man också visa en ”motfilm”.

När regissören och författaren Marianne Ahrne var långfilmskonsulent på Svenska Filminstitutet fick hon slåss mot sin chefs väderkvarnar för att filmen skulle få produktionsstöd. Han försökte stoppa filmen med allehanda teknokratiska lögner och tjyvtricks, men Ahrne trumfade trots det igenom produktionsstödet.

Det är lätt att ana konflikten i Mellanöstern och frågan om Palestina bakom den hissade pestflaggan. Det hjälper tydligen inte att den polske journalisten Konstanty Gebert i filmen säger att ”Den palestinska saken är legitim. Det är den. Men samhället som producerar terrorism bör inte ge terroristerna legitimitet”. Att terrorstämplade Hamas i Gaza och dess proselyter på Västbanken kräver ett Palestina från Medelhavet till Jordanfloden glöms gärna bort i den svenska debatten.

Den tyskfödde historikern Walter Laqueur, som 1938 flydde undan nazismen, säger i ett av filmens avsnitt att ”Terrorismen är lika gammal som mänskligheten”. Filmen visar också att terror som begrepp myntades redan under franska revolutionen. Samtidigt menar filmen att antisemitism dök upp i Mellanöstern först på 1800-talet, alltså långt efter Luthers hatskrift från 1543. Han kom ändå att bli antisemitismens kyrkofader.

”Watching the Moon at Night” stoppas av SVT, trots att den visats i Sveriges riksdag och på en lång rad internationella filmfestivaler. Och trots att förre FN-diplomaten och tidigare ordföranden i fredsforskningsinstitutet Sipri, Rolf Ekéus, sagt att ”Det är en fantastisk film. Den borde visas i FN och varhelst det är möjligt att visa den”.

Den amerikanske författaren och kolumnisten Alan Dershovitz anser att ”Det är en kraftfull och övertygande film som vägrar att gömma sig bakom politisk korrekthet. Den tvingar till uppmärksamhet på en ökande fara”.

För Sveriges Television återstår bara att visa filmen. Allt annat är ren ynkedom.

Kommentera gärna här (moderering före publicering), eller på Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anders.carlgren/posts/1411972302162885?notif_t=like&notif_id=1465206980977349

04 juni 2016

BBC: Understanding media addiction to Donald Trump

By Nick Bryant, BBC New York.
Co-dependency is commonly defined as "an emotional and behavioural condition that affects an individual's ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship". Another term for it is "relationship addiction". People form and persist with relationships "that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and/or abusive".
Sitting in the atrium of Trump Tower on Tuesday, as Donald Trump harangued the press - well, you know where I'm going. For all the abuse, for all the belittlement, we as reporters show no sign of ending our relationship addiction with Donald Trump.
Much of our cravenness is easily explained. It stems from the record-breaking television ratings that Trump has generated and, just as important these days, millions of online hits.
A human headline, he more than satisfies the viral requirements of our new media age. At a time when media organisations are struggling still to monetise online news content, and to make the painful shift from print to digital, along comes the ultimate clickbait candidate, a layer of golden eggs.
Understandably, hard-pressed news executives are echoing the words reportedly uttered by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, at her Brooklyn headquarters: "I've got to get me some Trump."
It has meant that the default setting for cable news channels here is a split screen showing an empty Trump lectern on one side with pundits on the other, bloviating endlessly as they await the billionaire's arrival.
Entertainment value
As for a Trump news conference, it is rather like broadcasting one of those freeway police chases filmed from a helicopter: car crash television that you want to stay with until the end - though perhaps the more accurate analogy is of security camera footage that captures a street fighter who has no qualms about reaching for the broken bottle. It is unedifying, gruesome even, but also utterly compelling.
It explains why none of the news channels cut away from the Trump news conference yesterday, even as it degenerated into a one-way slanging match. Or why none of the reporters present, myself included, simply got up and walked out.
Yet the media's Trump relationship addiction is not explained by commercial imperatives alone.
Political reporters have a tendency of writing a campaign narrative that comports with the race they ideally want to cover. It's not an invented narrative, as such - we can't simply make up storylines. But I would suggest it's a slanted narrative, which, rather than betraying a liberal bias, reveals a "great story" bias.
In a reworking of the old newsroom adage "if it bleeds, it leads", candidates tend to be assessed on the basis of their journalistic entertainment value.
My sense, while covering the 2000 campaign for instance, was that reporters handicapped the race in favour of George W. Bush because the possibility of a son following his father into the White House, with all the oedipal complexity that went with it, was a better story than seeing Al Gore become president.
That would have felt like a Clinton third term, absent its charismatic leading man.
This tendency was even more pronounced in 2008, during the Democratic primary campaign, when journalists were more excited by the prospect of the first African-American president than the first female president, Hillary Clinton. Everyone wanted to compose their own first draft of that dramatic historical moment.
Trump is also a beneficiary of great story bias. Never before has there been a candidate with such journalistic entertainment value.
His unexpected emergence meant that we ditched our initial narrative of Campaign 2016, which we had set up a dynastic showdown between a Bush and a Clinton, in favour of a better storyline.
Willing enablers
The media didn't create Donald Trump, the basis of the ever more fashionable "Frankenstein's monster" critique of the press. But we have been more willing enablers than we would care to admit.
So while there has been no shortage of critical coverage of Donald Trump, there has been a reluctance to go for his jugular.
This tendency is most noticeable in broadcast interviews. Jake Tapper's interview with Donald Trump, in which the billionaire failed to disavow support from white supremacists and said he needed to do more research on the Ku Klux Klan before condemning it, offered a case in point.
Tapper, who has done some excellent interviews during this campaign, was tough and probing but did not go in for the kill. An obvious follow-up question would have been "do you really need to do more research on the KKK to condemn it" but he did not ask it.
As for the interview between Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump, it provides the textbook case study of campaign co-dependency.
Kelly rocked Trump in a televised debate last year, with a brilliant and legitimate line of questioning about his misogyny. But when she sat down with him at Trump Tower for a prime time special, and talked about his hate-Tweeting, she described how she imagined him doing it wearing "a crushed velvet smoking jacket, chaise lounge, slippers".
Mainstream media's weakness
Jon Sopel, my colleague and compatriot, wrote a terrific blog on the Trump press conference, observing: "The remarkable thing that has struck me as a British correspondent living in Washington, and who is used to a robust relationship between journalist and politician, is how Trump has been treated with kid gloves."
I could not agree more. The preference in American broadcast journalism is to end interviews on amicable terms. There is not the adversarial tradition of British interviewing, nor a US equivalent of John Humphrys or Jeremy Paxman.
What's also striking is that we as journalists do not have the power of old. Trump and other candidates have used Twitter especially, not only to bypass the media but also to become part of the new media themselves.
The billionaire's Twitter account has more followers - 8.5 million - than the Washington Post, ABC News, NBC News, the Huffington Post or Buzzfeed. He has become a self-publisher, and provided an unfiltered commentary of his own. Trump's strength is a measure of the mainstream media's weakness.
That imbalance was evident at the news conference in Trump Tower. He possessed the only microphone. He could drown out every reporter. He controlled who asked the questions, and probably half of the journalists present did not get the chance to do so.
Ever the shrewd media operator, he also knew that the cable news channels would stay with it until the end.
For another illustration of our comparative powerlessness, just witness the number of stories that have been written about Trump, which in an ordinary election cycle would have been disqualifying - his misogyny, his racism, his incitement of supporters to punch protesters in the face, his cussing, his refusal to release his tax returns, his constant flip-flopping on policy, Trump University, etc, etc.
Much has been written about how Trump defies the usual laws of political gravity, but one of the reasons is that modern-day media organisations lack orbital pull.
The Trump obsession has affected our coverage in subtler ways, too.
Had it not been for our fixation with the Republican contest, we would have paid more attention to Bernie Sanders' extraordinary success. Yet we've downplayed that storyline.
This is partly for valid analytical reasons. Early on, it became clear that Hillary Clinton was winning the all-important "black vote" - this race has proven again that it is all but impossible to win the Democratic nomination without it - and had the support of so many super-delegates that her lead became insurmountable.
But I wonder whether another explanation for short-changing Sanders goes to how Trump has impacted our professional pride. We can cope with being proven spectacularly wrong in one race, the Republican contest, but not two.
Absent Trump, journalists would have felt the Bern far more strongly, because it would have been the best storyline on offer. Again, it demonstrates how we as journalists tend to talk up certain narratives and talk down others, of how we are prone to great story bias.
Confessedly, I hated being at that Trump news conference, most of which I spent with my arm thrust skyward trying unsuccessfully to ask a question. But I also admit to being enthralled by the most extraordinary election campaign I have ever covered.
Like every other journalist, I dare say I'll be back the next time he summons us to Trump Tower. Perhaps, if he continues to be so personally abusive, journalists should stage a walkout. That said, I suspect we'll remain planted in our seats, sufferers of co-dependency, fellow Trump relationship addicts.

10 april 2016

The Race to Run the United Nations

For the past 70 years, each time the post of secretary general of the United Nations has been open, those interested in the job lobbied and cajoled the five permanent members of the Security Council behind closed doors. The Council chose the finalist, whose name was then presented to the General Assembly as a done deal. This obscure process for selecting one of the world’s most important leaders has gone unchallenged for decades.

Not anymore. The race to replace Ban Ki-moon, who will step down at the end of the year, fortunately, will be different. At the insistence of small nations that traditionally had no say in the matter, the United Nations has asked that governments that wish to nominate a candidate for the job do so openly. Next week, diplomats from the United Nations’ 193 states will have an opportunity to meet and question the four women and four men who are vying for the job.

Among the candidates are five United Nations veterans, including Helen Clark of New Zealand, a former prime minister, who has led the United Nations Development Program since 2009, and Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Also in the race are António Manuel Oliveira Guterres of Portugal, who served for a decade as the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, through last year; Danilo Turk, a former assistant secretary general who served as president of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012; and Srgjan Kerim of Macedonia, who served as foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations.

The other contenders are Vesna Pusic, the foreign minister of Croatia; Natalia Gherman, a senior diplomat from Moldova; and Igor Luksic, the foreign minister of Montenegro.

Most candidates are Eastern European because that region is widely assumed to be the next in line to have a representative at the top of the United Nations. The Security Council is also under pressure to give serious consideration to female candidates, since no woman has run the United Nations. The Council will start vetting the candidates in July and will pick one later in the year.

The next secretary general will face a series of challenges that will require deft leadership and tenacity. The United Nations needs to play a central role in ending wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere, even as it struggles to provide resources and aid to millions of refugees who have fled Syria and other countries roiled by war.

The new leader will also inherit internal problems. The United Nations was slow to acknowledge and respond to allegations of widespread sex abuse by peacekeepers in Africa, a situation that could destroy its reputation and credibility in areas already struggling with the ravages of war and famine. The World Health Organization, which came under criticism for its inadequate response to the Ebola crisis in 2014, will also require sustained attention.

Those vying for the job will need to clearly outline their priorities and vision for a job that becomes ever more daunting in a conflict-ridden world.

05 april 2016

Kim Philby, British double agent, reveals all in secret video

A previously unseen video of one of Britain's most infamous spies describing his career as a Soviet agent has been uncovered by the BBC.
The tape is of Kim Philby giving a secret lecture to the Stasi, the East German Intelligence Service, in 1981. It is the first time the ex-MI6 officer can be seen talking about his life as a spy from his recruitment to his escape. He describes his career rising up the ranks of MI6 whilst providing its secrets to the Soviet Union's KGB. He ends with advice to the East German spies.


"Dear Comrades." With those two words spoken in an impeccable upper-class English accent, one of Britain's most famous spies and its greatest traitor begins a masterclass in betrayal to a select audience of East German spies.
Philby's hour-long address was preserved on video tape and never seen in public until now.
The BBC unearthed it in the official archives of the Stasi in Berlin.
It was never made for public consumption (and the grainy video and poorly synchronised sound shows the limits of technology at the time), but that means the former MI6 officer is open about his career in a way never heard before.

Enemy camp

After an introduction from East German spymaster Markus Wolf, who was so elusive to western spy agencies that he was known for many years as "the man without a face", Philby makes his way to the lectern to a hero's welcome.
"I must warn you that I am no public speaker," Philby says. "I've spent most of my life trying to avoid publicity of any kind."
That much is true. Previously the best known video of Philby was him giving a 1955 press conference in his mother's London flat. On that occasion he said very little, only denying he was a communist. In this newly discovered video, for the first time, we hear Philby himself boast about what he calls his "30 years in the enemy camp".

He describes himself as born into "the ruling class of the British Empire" and explains how he first was drawn towards communism at Cambridge. He details his recruitment by the Soviet intelligence service, later known as the KGB, after he returned from working with activists in Austria.
The most surprising thing about his recruitment, he says, was that it happened at all since he had no real job or prospects at that moment.
"It was essentially a long range project. No immediate results were expected or could have been expected." He says his Soviet contact did express his ambitions for his recruit. It was made perfectly clear to me that the best target in the eyes of the Centre in Moscow would be the British Secret Service."
Philby details how he spent years trying to work his way in - turning to journalism, working for The Times newspaper, covering the Spanish Civil War, building up contacts in the establishment and then as war came dropping hints about his desire to work for government.
At last, he was interviewed and accepted in to the inner sanctum of the British state - the Secret Intelligence Service - SIS (or as it is popularly known MI6).
In one of the most remarkable sections of the talk, Philby then reveals just how easy it was to steal secrets from Britain's secret service. He says that he simply made friends with the archivist who managed the files by going out two or three times a week for a drink with him.
This allowed Philby to get hold of files which had nothing to do with his own job.
"If there had been proper discipline in the handling of papers in SIS that would have been quite impossible. But there was, in fact, no discipline."
Philby goes on to explain what he did with all the documents.
"Every evening I left the office with a big briefcase full of reports that I had written myself, full of files and actual documents from the archive."
"I used to hand them to my Soviet contact in the evening."
"The next morning I would get the files back, the contents having been photographed and early the next morning I would put them back in their place. That I did regularly year in year out."

Very dirty story

Philby, a Soviet agent, is then appointed number two in a new MI6 section, devoted to countering Soviet espionage. His KGB handler next instructs him to get the top job by removing his boss, Felix Cowgill.
"I said 'Are you proposing to shoot him or something?'" Philby recalls asking.
Instead his instructions were to use bureaucratic intrigue.
"So I set about the business of removing my own chief. You oughtn't to listen to this," he tells the audience of secret service officers to considerable laughter.
He succeeded.
"It was a very dirty story - but after all our work does imply getting dirty hands from time to time but we do it for a cause that is not dirty in any way," Philby explains.

"I have to admit that was the most blatant intrigue against a man I rather liked and I admired but the instructions stood and nothing I could do would alter them."
There is one episode which is usually cited to illustrate the human cost of Philby's treachery.
When he was posted to Washington DC as MI6's liaison with the CIA and FBI, he betrayed an operation to secretly send thousands of Albanians back into their country to overthrow the communist regime. Many were killed. In his lecture, Philby tries to turn it to his credit - even claiming he helped prevent World War Three.
He claims that if he had not compromised the operation and it had succeeded, the CIA and MI6 would have tried it again in countries like Bulgaria. He says the Soviet Union would then have become involved, leading to an all-out war.

Escape from Beirut

While he was in Washington, two fellow Cambridge spies, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, fled to Moscow, leading to suspicions about Philby and his interrogation. He says there were two reasons why he got away with his espionage for so long.
The first was the British class system, which could not accept one of their own was a traitor. The second was the fact that so many in MI6 had so much to lose if he was proven to be a spy.
Philby did officially leave MI6 but remarkably was soon taken back. He became an agent based in Beirut under cover of being a newspaper journalist. This allowed him to resume his spying.
Philby ends the formal section of his talk with an account of his escape from Beirut which he uses to mock MI6. In 1963, an MI6 colleague came to confront him with new evidence pointing to his work for the Soviets. Philby bluffed and stalled. Another MI6 officer was then left to watch over him.
But that man was an avid skier. Philby says that news came in of a fresh snowfall and the officer could not resist heading off to the Lebanese mountains to make the most of it. At that point, Philby got the signal from the KGB for his departure and was able to slip away.
Philby then sits down and takes questions from the East German spies. A fascinating first answer explains how he first acquired his communist beliefs and was then able to hold on to them despite living in the West.
He praises his Soviet handler and advises his audience that they need to take care of the political as well as physical health of any agents they run. Philby finishes with one piece of advice to the spies gathered before him that had served him well: never confess.
"If they confront you with a document with your own handwriting then it's a forgery - just deny everything… They interrogated me to break my nerve and force me to confess."
"And all I had to do really was keep my nerve. So my advice to you is to tell all your agents that they are never to confess."
This video, designed to be secret, is a chance to see Philby giving his own account of his life as a spy.
The tone is one of total self-confidence.
Philby died in Moscow in 1988 just before the collapse of the Communist ideal which he had spent his life serving.

06 mars 2016

Anne Applebaum: Is this the end of the West as we know it?


Back in the 1950s, when the institutions were still new and shaky, I’m sure many people feared the Western alliance might never take off. Perhaps in the 1970s, the era of the Red Brigades and Vietnam, many more feared that the West would not survive. But in my adult life, I cannot remember a moment as dramatic as this: Right now, we are two or three bad elections away from the end of NATO, the end of the European Union and maybe the end of the liberal world order as we know it.
In the United States, we are faced with the real possibility of Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump, which means we have to take seriously the possibility of a President Trump. Hillary Clinton’s campaign might implode for any number of reasons, too obvious to rehash here; elections are funny things, and electorates are fickle. That means that next January we could have, in the White House, a man who is totally uninterested in what presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan — as well as Johnson, Nixon and Truman — would all have called “our shared values.”
Trump has advocated torture, mass deportation, religious discrimination. He brags that he “would not care that much” whether Ukraine were admitted to NATO; he has no interest in NATO and its security guarantees. Of Europe, he has written that “their conflicts are not worth American lives. Pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually.” In any case, he prefers the company of dictators to that of other democrats. “You can make deals with those people,” he said of Russia. “I would have a great relationship with [Vladimir] Putin.”
Not only is Trump uninterested in America’s alliances, he would be incapable of sustaining them. In practice, both military and economic unions require not the skills of a shady property magnate who “makes deals” but boring negotiations, unsatisfying compromises and, sometimes, the sacrifice of one’s own national preferences for the greater good. In an era when foreign policy debate has in most Western countries disappeared altogether, replaced by the reality TV of political entertainment, all of these things are much harder to explain and justify to a public that isn’t remotely interested.
And Americans aren’t the only ones who find their alliances burdensome. A year from now, France also holds a presidential election. One of the front-runners, Marine Le Pen of the National Front, has promised to leave both NATO and the E.U. , to nationalize French companies and to restrict foreign investors. Like Trump, she foresees a special relationship with Russia, whose banks are funding her election campaign. French friends assure me that if she makes it to the final round, the center-left and center-right will band together, as they did two decades ago against her father. But elections are funny things, and electorates are fickle. What if Le Pen’s opponent suddenly falls victim to a scandal? What if another Islamic State attack jolts Paris?

By the time that happens, Britain may also be halfway out the door. In June, the British vote in a referendum to leave the E.U. Right now, the vote is too close to call — and if the “leave” vote prevails, then, as I’ve written, all bets are off. Copycat referendums may follow in other E.U. countries too. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, sometimes speaks of leaving the West in favor of a strategic alliance with Istanbul or Moscow.

It’s not hard at all to imagine a Britain unmoored from Europe drifting away from the transatlantic alliance as well. If the economic turmoil that could follow a British exit from the E.U. were sufficiently severe, perhaps the British public would vote out its conservative government in favor of the Labour Party, whose leadership is now radically anti-American. Everyone discountsJeremy Corbyn , the far-left Labour leader, but they also discounted Trump. Corbyn is the only viable alternative if the public wants a change. Elections are funny things, and electorates are fickle.
And then? Without France, Europe’s single market will cease to exist. Without Britain, it’s hard to see how NATO lasts long either. Not everyone will be sorry. As Trump’s appealing rhetoric makes clear, the costs of alliances (“millions of dollars annually”) are easier to see than the longer-term gains.
Western unity, nuclear deterrence and standing armies gave us more than a half century of political stability. Shared economic space helped bring prosperity and freedom to Europe and North America alike. But these are things that we all take for granted, until they are gone.
Anne Applebaum är amerikansk-polsk journalist, författare och kolumnist i Washington Post. Hon är gift med Polens förre utrikesminister Radoslaw Sikorski.  www.anneapplebaum.com

15 februari 2016

When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism

Maureen Dowds giftiga kolumn i söndagens New York Times.
WASHINGTON — THE Clinton campaign is shellshocked over the wholesale rejection of Hillary by young women, younger versions of herself who do not relate to her.
Hillary’s coronation was predicated on a conviction that has just gone up in smoke. The Clintons felt that Barack Obama had presumptuously snatched what was rightfully hers in 2008, gliding past her with his pretty words to make history before she could.
So this time, the Clintons assumed, the women who had deserted Hillary for Barack, in Congress and in the country, owed her. Democrats would want to knock down that second barrier.
Hillary believed that there was an implicit understanding with the sisters of the world that now was the time to come back home and vote for a woman. (The Clintons seem to have conveniently forgotten how outraged they were by identity politics when black leaders deserted them in 2008 to support Obama.)
This attitude intensified the unappetizing solipsistic subtext of her campaign, which is “What is Hillary owed?” It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.
As Olivia Sauer, an 18-year-old college freshman who caucused for Bernie Sanders in Ames, Iowa, told a Times reporter: “It seems like he is at the point in his life when he is really saying what he is thinking. With Hillary, sometimes you get this feeling that all of her sentences are owned by someone.”
Hillary started, both last time and this, from a place of entitlement, as though if she reads her résumé long enough people will surrender. And now she’s even angrier that she has been shown up by someone she considers even less qualified than Obama was when he usurped her place. 


Bernie has a clear, concise “we” message, even if it’s pie-in-the-sky: The game is rigged and we have to take the country back from the privileged few and make it work for everyone. Hillary has an “I” message: I have been abused and misunderstood and it’s my turn.
It’s a victim mind-set that is exhausting, especially because the Clintons’ messes are of their own making.
On the trail in New Hampshire, Madeleine Albright made the case that it was a betrayal of feminist ideals to support Bernie against Hillary, noting that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” When Sanders handily won the women’s vote on Tuesday, David Axelrod noted dryly that they were going to need to clear out a lot of space in hell.
And in a misstep for the feminist leader who got famous by going undercover as a Playboy bunny, Gloria Steinem told Bill Maher that young women were flocking to Bernie to be where the boys are. Blaming it on hormones was odd, given the fact that for centuries, it was widely believed that women’s biology made them emotionally unfit to be leaders.
What the three older women seemed to miss was that the young women supporting Sanders are living the feminist dream, where gender no longer restricts and defines your choices, where girls grow up knowing they can be anything they want. The aspirations of ’70s feminism are now baked into the culture.
The interesting thing about the spectacle of older women trying to shame younger ones on behalf of Hillary is that Hillary and Bill killed the integrity of institutional feminism back in the ’90s — with the help of Albright and Steinem.
Instead of just admitting that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and taking his lumps, Bill lied and hid behind the skirts of his wife and female cabinet members, who had to go out before the cameras and vouch for his veracity, even when it was apparent he was lying.
Seeing Albright, the first female secretary of state, give cover to President Clinton was a low point in women’s rights. As was the New York Times op-ed by Steinem, arguing that Lewinsky’s will was not violated, so no feminist principles were violated. What about Clinton humiliating his wife and daughter and female cabinet members? What about a president taking advantage of a gargantuan power imbalance with a 22-year-old intern? What about imperiling his party with reckless behavior that put their feminist agenda at risk?
It rang hollow after the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. When it was politically beneficial, the feminists went after Thomas for bad behavior and painted Hill as a victim. And later, when it was politically beneficial, they defended Bill’s bad behavior and stayed mute as Clinton allies mauled his dalliances as trailer trash and stalkers.
The same feminists who were outraged at the portrayal of Hill by David Brock — then a Clinton foe but now bizarrely head of one of her “super PACs” — as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty,” hypocritically went along when Hillary and other defenders of Bill used that same aspersion against Lewinsky.
Hillary knew that she could count on the complicity of feminist leaders and Democratic women in Congress who liked Bill’s progressive policies on women. And that’s always the ugly Faustian bargain with the Clintons, not only on the sex cover-ups but the money grabs: You can have our bright public service side as long as you accept our dark sketchy side.
Young women today, though, are playing by a different set of rules. And they don’t like the Clintons setting themselves above the rules.



16 januari 2016

Wallström betalade ingen skatt på miljoninkomster som EU-kommissionär

Under sina nästan tolv år som EU-kommisionär i Bryssel tjänade Margot Wallström närmare 28 miljoner kronor. Men hon betalade ingen skatt för sina mycket omfattande inkomster. Under åren 1999-2004 var hon kommissionär med ansvar för miljöfrågor. 2004-2010 var Margot Wallström kommissionens 1:e vice ordförande med ansvar för kontakter med institutioner och kommunikationsstrategi.

Det var nättidningen Svensk Tidskrift som den 3 oktober 2014 avslöjade att hon aldrig betalade någon skatt under alla åren i Bryssel. Men tidningens avslöjande väckte inga som helst reaktioner i andra medier Uppgiften redovisades först av Open Europe. Jag skrev om skandalen i mars förra året i samband med Saudiaffären.

Lönerna för parlamentariker och kommissionärer är i praktiken skattefria. Man betalar bara någon enstaka procent i skatt i Bryssel. En skattesats som är närmast försumbar.

Kritiken mot de svenska europaparlamentarikernas nettolöner ledde till att det nu finns ett regelverk för att beskatta deras inkomster. Beskattningen är frivillig eftersom systemet hade tvingats att göras om ifall någon hade valt att ta det till domstol. Men för att undvika kritik, för att inte skapa ett slags frälse och för att mer ha levnadsförhållanden som liknar de svenska har europarlamentarikerna själva valt att beskattas.

Margot Wallström hade mycket enkelt kunna ringa upp Skattemyndigheten och meddela att hon ville följa det svenska regelverket för parlamentarikerna. Men det gjorde hon aldrig. Hon har heller aldrig själv öppet redovisat sina enorma inkomster från åren i Bryssel. Möjligen ansåg Wallström att en högt uppsatt kommissionär inte berördes av det frivilliga svenska regelverket.

Helt enkelt att hon var "untouchable" och en ekonomisk fribrytare i förhållande till de övriga svenskarna i Bryssel.

Men det var en nonchalans som stack i ögonen på de svenska parlamentarikerna. Andra högt uppsatta personer inom EU retade sig samtidigt på att Wallström under alla år i Bryssel vägrade lära sig franska, som inom EU är ett viktigt arbetsspråk. Wallström skaffade sig alltså ett högst personligt privilegium, en självutnämnd medlem av det socialdemokratiska privilegiesamhället.

Efter åren i Bryssel blev Walllström FNs generalsekreterares särskilda representant i frågor som rör konfliktrelaterat sexuellt våld under åren 2010-2012. FN-gräddans monstruösa skattefria löner är välkända världen över. Men de inkomsterna har Wallström heller aldrig redovisat öppet. Till  saken hör att hennes arbete i FN aldrig avsatte några bestående intryck.

Socialdemokraterna har varit mycket tydliga i synen på parlamentarikernas arvoden. I ett
pressmeddelande den 25 mars 2009 säger de. "All inkomster ska beskattas. Skattereglerna för de svenska EU-parlamentarikerna skall inte avvika från de som gäller för de svenska riksdagsledamöterna".

Men Wallström avstod och anslöt sig till EUs skattefrälse. Det är precis samma sak med lägenheten i Stockholms innerstad som hon fick av Kommunal. Från skattefrälse till bostadsfrälse. Sedan spelar det ingen roll att Wallström påstår att Kommunals ordförande ljuger. Hon fick en lägenhet av Kommunal och uppbär dessutom bidrag från regeringskansliet på sammanlagt 12 400 kronor per månad för bostaden. Ur egen ficka betalar Margot Wallström hela 32 kronor för sitt boende som utrikesminister.

Det är Margot Wallström som ljuger och inte Kommunals ordförande.

Efter Saudiaffären, bråket kring ett erkännande av Västsahara, det regelvidriga erkännandet av Palestina och bråken med Israel är bara några exempel på när grodorna hoppat strömhopp ur munnen på Sveriges utrikesminister.

Egentligen har Margot Wallström för länge sedan förlorat allt förtroende som utrikesminister och statsråd.

Avgå Margot Wallström! och gör hon inte det självmant är det statsministerns uppgift  att skilja henne från uppdraget.

13 augusti 2015

Johan Hakelius blir ny chefredaktör för Fokus

Johan Hakelius blir ny chefredaktör för nyhetsmagasinet Fokus. Journalisten, författaren och kolumnisten Hakelius tillträder som chefredaktör vid årsskiftet.
– Det ska bli spännande att få bli del av en så pass unik tidning. Det finns inte många tidningar i Sverige som har den kombinationen av seriös ambition och stilistisk höjd, säger han till Dagens Nyheter.
–Jag skulle vilja bygga på de styrkor tidningen har men även bredda tidningen till att behandla fler ämnen och skapa ett tilltal som är lite vassare ibland. Det sades en gång om Johan Björkman, magasinets förste finansiär, att han var ”uppriktig på gränsen till oförskämd”. Jag vill dra Fokus ditåt, och inte gå som katten kring het gröt alla gånger, säger han.
Johan Hakelius förnekar ett påstående som Dagens Nyheter citerar att tidningen nu kommer att dras åt en politisk höger och tillägger att tidningens första chefredaktör var socialdemokrat och som nu arbetar på en socialdemokratisk ledarsida. Och jag är själv varken medlem i något parti, eller röstar ens, säger han.
Direkt efter tillkännagivandet meddelade Henrik Frenkel att han avgår som Fokus styrelseordförande med omedelbar verkan, eftersom han inte står bakom ägarnas beslut att göra Johan Hakelius till chefredaktör.
– Johan Hakelius är en väldigt spännande krönikör och författare och jag tycker mycket om honom. Men han är inte rätt profil för Fokus, säger Frenkel till tidningen Resumé.
Viveca Ax:son Johnson, styrelseordförande i ägarbolaget FPG Media, är däremot nöjd.
– Han är en av vårt lands mest spännande, självständigt tänkande intellektuella. Han kommer att utveckla Fokus unika styrkor och göra tidskriftens identitet än tydligare, säger hon till Dagens Media.
Min kommentar till Henrik Frenkels påstående om Johan Hakelius är att Frenkel själv är en ifrågasatt mediefigur. Inte minst då han var redaktionschef på SVT/Aktuellt. Det var en tjänst han tvingades bort från efter bara en kortare tid.
Johan Hakelius har gedigen erfarenhet från både Finanstidningen och Svenska Dagbladet, plus att han är en både uppskattad och skicklig författare och kolumnist i flera tidningar och tidskrifter.
Hans önskan att vässa tilltalet är något som verkligen behövs i det här landet.

12 augusti 2015

Fallet Assange: Tre av fyra misstankar om brott faller nu bort

Efter fem år av juridiska turer och internationella förvecklingar preskriberas nu tre av de fyra misstänkta brott som Julian Assange anklagas för att ha begått i Sverige.
– Han blir inte dömd för brotten, men han blir inte heller frikänd, säger målsägandebiträdet Claes Borgström.


Brottsmisstankar om olaga tvång och sexuellt ofredande preskriberas under torsdagen. Misstanke om ytterligare ett sexuellt ofredande preskriberas med största sannolikhet på tisdag. En av två kvinnliga målsägande i det uppmärksammade Assange-ärendet faller bort.
Efter att i flera år ha begärt Assange utlämnad till Sverige har svenska åklagare sedan några månader tillbaka försökt att få till stånd ett förhör på ambassaden i London. Särskilda krav från Ecuador – som enligt svenska justitiedepartementet står i strid med svensk lag – har gjort att förhören hittills inte blivit av. Men det förnekas bestämt av Ecuador.
Av de fyra misstänkta brotten i Sverige kommer det efter preskriberingarna att kvarstå en händelse som rubricerats som våldtäkt och som preskriberas om ytterligare fem år.
Samtidigt skriver idag advokat Svante Thorsell i en debattartikel i Göteborgs-Posten att åklakarens hantering av fallet är ett brott mot juridisk anständighet. Här följer hans artikel i sin helhet.


"Dawit Isaac har suttit frihetsberövad i fjorton år utan att få sin sak prövad i domstol. Fångarna på Guantanamobasen på Kuba har hållits kvar där av USA sedan 2002 utan rätt att få sin sak prövad av en allmän och offentlig domstol. Allvarliga brott mot rättssäkerheten, hävdas det. Sverige har här sin egen bakgård, dåligt belyst av jurister och glömd av makthavare.
Julian Assange har de facto varit frihetsberövad av Sverige i snart fem år. Först i husarrest och sedan som inlåst asylflykting på Ecuadors ambassad i London. Assange lämnade vårt land hastigt 2010 i tron att Sverige inte var rättssäkert och är alltjämt misstänkt för egenartade sexbrott. Om han infunnit sig, ett åtal prövats och Assange fällts hade ett fängelsestraff varit omkring två år och betydligt kortare än den tid han nu varit berövad sin frihet i London.
Det finns skäl att granska vad åklagaren haft för sig under de fem åren. Sedan Assange sökte asyl på Ecuadors ambassad har polisbevakningen kostat de brittiska skattebetalarna drygt 160 miljoner kronor.
Sverige utmärker sig i EU då det inte finns någon tidsgräns inom vilken förundersökningen skall avslutas. Det anges i lagen bara att den skall bedrivas så skyndsamt som möjligt. Det finns inte något rättsmedel, någon rätt att i domstol få den nedlagd eller arbetet granskat i ett rättsligt förfarande. Assange får liksom andra finna sig i att vara föremål för brottsutredningen så länge det passar åklagaren.
Avsaknaden av rätten att få beslut om förundersökning prövad av domstol är besvärande. Europakonventionen för de mänskliga rättigheterna är direkt tillämplig som lag i Sverige. Enligt artikel 6 garanteras den som anklagas för brott en rättegång inom skälig tid. Men Sverige som rättsstat är unikt då vi saknar en regel om maxtid för frihetsberövande före rättegång.
Av de närmare 10 000 personer som häktas årligen var ifjol 21 frihetsberövade i mer än 361 dygn. En misstänkt narkotikasmugglare släpptes efter 3,5 år i häktet. Det krävs inte någon livlig fantasi för att förstå vad det innebär att vistas i ett utrymme som motsvarar en transporthiss tjugotre timmar per dygn i månader – kanske år. Det tillämpas i primitiva stater ”in order to break them” och leder ofta till att den misstänkte har en väl etablerad apati då han sent träder in i rättssalen för att tillvarata sin rätt. I rättsstaten Sverige har vi en ordning med många förundersökningsfångar, det vill säga personer som sitter frihetsberövade utan att vara dömda. Till orimligheten hör att de dessutom skall bemötas som oskyldiga om än i sina celler.
Från åklagaren i Assangemålet, Marianne Ny, har det varit tyst sedan hösten 2010. Under våren 2015 bröts tystanden då hon kommit på att man skall höra Assange i England. I rättegångsbalken anges att Ny, som varje annan kollega, skall bedriva förundersökningen på sådant sätt att ingen onödigtvis utsättes för misstanke och får vidkännas olägenheter. Så länge en person är misstänkt leder det till en stor anspänning. Det är en svår prövning i sig även utan rättegång. Vad har åklagaren haft för sig under snart fem år?
Vi saknar särskilda regler om rätt till domstolsprövning av hur förundersökningen bedrivits. Kvar finns JO:s generella uppdrag att enligt grundlagen granska att varje myndighet är opartisk och saklig i sin maktutövning och att de grundläggande fri- och rättigheterna iakttas. Justitieombudsmannen, JO, har tvärtom i karga former avvisat två anmälningar i fallet Julian Assange. JO Cecilia Renfors har avfärdat en anmälan av före detta hovrättsdomaren/rättsvetenskapsmannen Brita Sundberg-Weitman med ett avhugget besked att det inte föranleder någon åtgärd eller något uttalande. Sundberg-Weitman ansåg att Assangefallet strider mot Europarådets konvention om de mänskliga rättigheterna och regeringsformens proportionalitetsprincip.
2012 avskrev JO Hans-Gunnar Axberger en anmälan med motiveringen att saken var ”föremål för en pågående rättslig prövning”. Hur Axberger kunde veta att den var pågående är i marginalen märkligt. Vad var det som ”pågår”? Allt talar för att brottsutredningen redan då var död. JO avstår i fallet Assange från att ta värn mot det som felas.
Allmänheten kan befara att Sverige har en dold agenda, att JO i vart fall inte vill ha detta känsliga ärende på sitt bord, i skärningspunkten mellan juridik, politik och CIA-mystifiering.
Varje spekulation blir berättigad till dess åklagare Ny berättat, saken utretts av JO eller blivit kända genom domstols prövning. Det är något ruttet med fallet Assange. Varför är han de facto frihetsberövad? Varför avslutas inte förundersökningen? Svaret finns på utrikesdepartementet, tyvärr inte inom rättsväsendet. En slutsats lika säker som någon annan i detta tystnadens hav. Den politiska makten tillåts här ha inflytande över rättsväsendet för att vårt konungarike inte skall få problem med USA och dess intresse för ”hackaren Julian Assange”? Om Sverige inte är följsamt i fallet Assange, kan vi frysas ute från utbyte av information med amerikanska säkerhetstjänster och blockeras från köp av militär teknologi, säger de som vet.
Jag har ingen närmare kännedom om rättsordningen i Dawit Isaaks Eritrea eller rättsordningen där Guantanamofångarna vistas, men jag befarar det värsta. Gemensamt med Sverige har de dock att man där kan hållas frihetsberövad utan rättegång, och utan någon maxtid. Det finns inte heller någon tid inom vilken förundersökningar skall vara avslutade.
Den misstänktes lidande skall alltid begränsas oavsett om det är Eritrea, Sverige eller Guantanamo. Och när tänkte åklagaren Ny på de båda kvinnorna som brottsmisstankarna avser? De är i vart fall offer i den meningen att de fått vänta i fem år på Ny.
I maj prövade Högsta Domstolen häktningen av Assange. HD gav då Ny en sista chans. HD fäste då särskild vikt vid att åklagare Ny, som en nyhet, åtagit sig att förhöra Assange i London. Det har hon inte gjort.
Hennes obegripliga invändning har tidigare varit att det fanns formella hinder för staten Sverige att genomföra ett förhör i Storbritannien. Det stämmer inte. Under samma tid har svensk polis, tvärtom genomfört 44 förhör på brittiskt mark. Trots löftet har hon, i dag, ännu inte avtalat någon tid med Julian Assange. Det har snart gått fem år sedan de påstådda våldtäkterna. Åklagarens passivitet är ett brott mot anständigheten."


Fotnot: Den JO-anmälan som JO Hans Gunnar Axberger avvisade 2012 gjordes av mig.
Länk till min analys av den omdiskuterade häktningspromemorian från 2010. Det är det enda kända dokument som läckt ut från utredningen. http://stadsholmen.blogspot.se/2011/02/fallet-assange-lackta-svenska-forhor-en.html
Allt mitt material om fallet Julian Assange finns här: http://stadsholmen.blogspot.se/search/label/Julian%20Assange