Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Carl Bildt: A Two-Faced “Humanitarian”
Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister, claims to be a true humanitarian. In him, it would seem the ever-suffering Palestinians have finally found a true champion within the Swedish government; one who is willing to fight for their rights, to stand up against their oppressors. Yet Bildt’s “humanitarian” image might not be as true as he claims. A few years back, he was part of the board on Lundin Petroleum which cared more about making revenues than bringing peace and prosperity to war-torn Sudan.
Lundin Petroleum is now being investigated and suspected of war crimes. During the period from1997-2003, more than 10,000 people were killed and close to 200,000 forced from their homes in southern Sudan. The reason, according to the report Unpaid Debt, is that foreign oil companies needed the rebels removed from the drilling area in order to start pumping oil—companies such as Lundin, of which Bildt was a board member. Of course, it is not the oil companies themselves who are accused of carrying out these crimes; rather, they are said to have hired officers of the Sudanese army to clear away the obstacles that stood in the way of their prospecting.
While Bildt today claims to have a commitment to the Palestinian people, this is as much a product of wishful thinking as his attempts to bring about peace and prosperity in Sudan. Like so many other so-called “humanitarians”, he was quick to condemn Israel for the violence surrounding the boarding of the Ship to Gaza flotilla, and more than willing to give the Swedish activists on the flotilla a hero's welcome.
This, however, seems to be the extent of his commitment to the Palestinians: condemning Israeli soldiers for having the nerve to defend themselves when being attacked by an armed mob, as well as publicly endorsing that mob. The pattern seems rather familiar; rather than actually doing something to help the Palestinians, Bildt thinks that condemning Israel will be the solution to the problem. He is angered by Israeli soldiers shooting nine violent activists in self-defense, but he says nothing when 32 members of the Fatah party are executed in cold blood by the Hamas.
That Sweden’s foreign minister has adapted a two faced “humanitarian” approach is evident; that Sweden chooses to use Bildt as their face to the world says a lot more about the Swedish claim to being humanitarians.
As a board member at the time Carl Bildt may be found a guilty party in the Lundin war crimes in Sudan. While he pretends that he can be the savior of human rights world wide, and especially a great friend to the Palestinian cause, this stain on his record exposes quite clearly the phony two-faced humanitarian mask which Bildt has put on.
And as far as his friendship to the Palestinians is concerned: If it only extends to endorsing anti-Israeli actions while keeping quiet about the crimes the rulers of Gaza are committing against their own people the Palestinians should probably start looking for friends elsewhere.
The report Unpaid Debt can be found here: http://www.ecosonline.org/reports/2010/%5Eindex.html/UNPAID_DEBT_fullreportweb.pdf.html
The text was written by
guest blogger : Adam Eberhag