Terrorism – within or outside the war scenario – is abominable. The killing of innocent civilians has to stop and be denounced with the strongest terms. For instance, it would be most relevant for the Swedish media focused on terrorism 1,2,3,4, take also care of ISAF attacks on civilians in Afghanistan which relatively recently killed just in one strike over 30 civilians. My query referred however to something else.
[Update: Swedish media (5) reports the killing of 17 civilians in Southern Afghanistan. Responsibility of the attack remains unclear. For more data regarding killings of civilians in Afghanistan by the occupation forces NATO/ISAF see appendix in the post Minister Tolgfors krigspsykologiska bakhåll (Swedish). Added 18/10 2008]
The vast majority of the comments I have received on my previous posts about my opposition of the Swedish participation in the Afghanistan war are positive and supportive to my theses. However, two among the comments have expressed remarks of the kind suggesting that my point on the issues would not have clearly come across.
For instance Hayek-Institutet Sverige, a blog from the USA, asks in Statsmaktens repressionsalibi what do I mean with a picture of terrorists being airborne transported (in the picture from Indymedia – of a non verifiable source – are seen over a dozen of lying suspects, blindfolded and chained to the floor of a transport aircraft), and then the comment continue reasons on the Taliban’s intolerance.
Hereby my rebuttal in brief:
1. Terrorism is indeed an outrageous and condemnable praxis and which has nothing to do with manifestations of political opposition or with licit or ethical acceptable means of conducting war or resistance to war, or means of insurgency, independent of how justified the motives for a liberation war would eventually be. State terrorism is just as awful.
2. The Taliban, insofar they remain a fundamentalist religious-political movement ruled by supremacist religious convictions are to be considered alien to basic principles of democracy and tolerance. I personally deeply distaste religious fanatics, and this includes Catholic fanatics, Muslims fanatics, Jewish fanatics etc. But this is not the point in the questioning of the legitimacy of a military intervention from the part of Sweden under the orders of NATO.
My query has has to do with the principle of neutrality and non-intervention, and it has to do with whether Sweden will come back of having a strong, self-dignifying and independent foreign policy.
My point has to do with the stand of Sweden with regard to the poor or emerging countries of the so called Third world and which traditionally had both high respect but also high expectations on the Swedish foreign policy.
3. The war against terrorism has to be fought legally, according to the international accepted principles of warfare, and respecting the legal bodies of democratic national states. Paramount to this activity should be the respect of the human rights as signed in the UN chart. Situations such as imprisonment without trial are in my view not acceptable, long-time arrest while awaiting trial should be avoided also for reasons of the processes legal consistency and safety. Certainly, Swedish citizens accused of terrorist activities should rather stand trial in Sweden [1, 2]. And lastly, torture of prisoners is unacceptable.
4. The critic I had, and many had – in Sweden, USA and elsewhere – regarding the transport of suspected terrorist under the rendition-praxis (a CIA operation, according to Swedish news), were based on the fundamental juridical principles mentioned above, and which were ostensibly infringed including the subsequent collaboration of local authorities, as it was the case of Sweden.
5. I favor a Swedish foreign policy of absolute neutrality, independence and non-intervention. Sweden should not be an active part of NATO neither of any other geopolitical block.
6. In general terms and by principle:
a) I do not regard warfare as an intelligent, effective or ethical method to deal with international conflicts. Very many of such wars, announced on behalf of a nation’s interests, are in fact initiatives deployed to serve the political and/or pecuniary profit of leading groups of interest, and which in its turn are opposed to the truly interest of their nation.
b) People from the roots in different countries share in much a common fate, similar conditions, and even if at present still a utopia, they share a common destiny.
War for the majority of these people becomes a fratricide paradox, the unwilling and forced murder of an “enemy” person whose social and existential circumstances are far more similar to those of his own than those of the economic generals or fanatic popes ordering him to kill.
c) Unfortunately, countries – even if non per se belligerent – would have to fight wars of survival and defence in case of external aggression. Considering the possibility of this exceptional contingency, I would favour a Swedish defence policy based in preparedness for the effectively defence of the Swedish territorial sovereignty, their people, and their societal and democratic values against any eventual imperialistic aggression.
However, in supporting the armed protection of the nation, I do not endorse such measures – like those contained in the FRA legislation (FRA-lagen) – which entangle the human rights of the same people the nation’s military establishment is supposed to protect.
More about religious and political intolerance:
7. Abraham Lincoln´s remarks should in the highest degree prevail
When tolerance tolerate intolerance, tolerance ends destroyed by the
8. Immanuel Kant universal principle should in the highest degree prevail
There is no unique, absolutely first, universal principle of all truths
(New Elucidation of the Principles of Metaphysical Cognition, prop. 1, 1:388)
9. Immanuel Kant categorical imperative should in the highest degree prevail
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time
will that it should become a universal law (Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals)
10. Being an atheist, and a scientist, I take distance from any religious-related explanations of natural or human processes. At the same time, being at hearth a liberal, no matter how far left in the liberalism spectrum my ideological positions may be, I am tolerant towards others religious beliefs. But I demand and expect that those should be at the same time tolerant both to the religious faiths or beliefs of other groups, nations, or cultures, and as well towards plain atheists.
11. The same applies to democratically put forward political views or ideological reasoning. Tolerance in a democracy – through veritable freedom of expression – should be extended to the philosophical, metaphysical, or any speculative reasoning on the merits, shortcomings, critic or justifications of the social construct state. This theoretical reasoning should not be equated with sedition, or philosophical anarchism with menace.