Sunday, October 3, 2010

A terrorist from Sweden and other tales

Never mind the Vikings that for all intents and purposes should, to a certain degree, be regarded as terrorists.

But if we move forward in time to the break-up of the Kalmar Union (1397-1523) that had united the Nordic countries but was gradually opposed by Swedish terrorists taking action against the Danish monarchy, and finally broken off by the terrorist would-be king Gustav Vasa. A king that at the same time broke with the Roman Catholic Church and established the Reformation. A heretic and terrorist created modern Sweden. How about that one?

Personally I think this was a mistake. A unified Norway (and Iceland), Denmark, Sweden and Finland with all its might would have been a very powerful entity in Europe and the world. And take away the animosity that historically speaking has been very fierce between Danes and Swedes, and the countries (country) would have been much stronger not fighting each other and instead been able to focus armies and diplomacy elsewhere. I am very convinced that if a successful merger had taken place history and the European landscape would look very different. Frankly hardly anyone in the world would have been able to compete, at least not in the 15th and 16th century.

But I digress, so let’s get back to the terrorist father of Sweden.

Gustav Vasa was a great monarch. Probably the best and brightest in Swedish history, and his policies and laws were at the forefront laying the groundwork for a future grandiose country and transforming a very poor underdeveloped nation into a European Powerhouse.

However he did start out as a terrorist. A murderess scoundrel that killed thousands of people in rebellions and wars and assassinated Danish officers and broke out from a lawful and hundred years plus old entity. And he had no problem with turning against old allies slaughtering anyone that opposed him.

After his father got executed together with other terrorists for rebelling against the lawful sovereign, Gustav got himself involved in several revolts until he managed to rally an army in the province of Dalarna and gaining troops from Leipzig he then, after some years, repelled the legal king of Denmark and eventually, through wars and shrewd practices, became king of the nation of Sweden.

For most historians today (except maybe Danish ones) he is regarded as a liberator of sort, a freedom fighter. However he should rather be regarded as a terrorist and instigator of rebellions. By today’s standards he would probably be sitting in a secret CIA terrorist jail, alongside the USA’s founding fathers, getting tortured. Any contemporary politician and the politically correct would today have regarded him as a horrible nutcase, a fascist, and a terrorist. Isn’t it fun how things change?

This little excursion into the past isn’t the only example of how some individuals or groups in one passage of time can be labeled in one way, and gain recognition in a completely other way if times change.

History is written by the victorious.

But this isn’t really the point I am trying to make. Many others have made this observation before, probably a lot better then I just did. What I am trying to get at is that it’s not necessarily a bad thing doing the dance of revolution.

Those in power will never relinquish it without name-calling and certain elements both in-house and abroad will make an effort to curve any “terrorist” from gaining power and try stop such individuals/groups from having any say in matters of the state.

It’s not really about you (or Gustav) being or not being a terrorist, that’s secondary. You see those in power doesn’t care about your policies, your politics or who’s right and wrong, such archaic descriptions have nothing to do with it. The reason that they fear so called terrorists is that they oppose those in power. Nothing less, nothing more. Even religion or cultural differences are secondary.

Those sitting on power want to keep it, preferably expand and strengthen it. Those sitting on power are always the righteous legal leaders that you should obey. Anyone opposing those sitting on power are terrorists, extremists, anarchists or crazies. This has actually never changed.

Remember a fellow named Jesus? He too could be regarded as an instigator and since so many Jews at the time actually were terrorists against their Roman rulers, it’s not that hard to understand why Imperial Rome feared that Jesus had the charisma to lead a guerrilla uprising against them. Today we would probably have sided with Rome, at least most of you out there would. And with words thrown at you from an effective propaganda machine many of you would probably have cheered Rome on as it killed this terrorist Jew.

I am not religious and I’m frankly not convinced that the historical figure Jesus even existed, but what we do know is that many Jews (and people from other religions and cultures) were slaughtered for being what we today would label ‘terrorists’. And the Romans were in no means alone. Pretty much every leadership and country in the history of mankind have executed, tortured, or expelled potentially dangerous individuals. Sometimes with good reason, but mostly on a whim or in order to keep their power.

This hasn’t changed. The same thing goes on today.

Granted many democratic (and mainly western) countries do have an actual reason to argue their case. There are many communists, anarchists, fascists and religious fanatics out there that don’t want any form of freedom or democracy and have no problem murdering millions to get their way. And I cannot really sidestep deeply religious and nutty Muslims either; no matter how “racist” it makes me. So maybe there’s a slim difference here, but the real reason for those in charge to chase down and oppose terrorism hasn’t changed. It’s still about power.

You see they aren’t only chasing down fanatics or extremists - pretty much anyone that gets in the crosshair of the righteous elite is a target.

They start out small. People who like drugs, smokers, and fat people have been targeted almost with the same ferocity as real terrorists. And don’t even get me started on Internet users. In America people that believe in the constitution is today “potential terrorists”. And in pretty much every western country anyone wearing a turban or burqa is a potential suicide bomber.

Read that word again; “Potential”.

As said, they start out small. With suspicions.

Soon, very soon, they will go to the next step. Following in the footsteps of rulers before anyone that is not conformed, listens to ‘reason’ and those that have a deep seated suspicious view towards government will be targeted. Some say this has already happened.

And when you think about it, are you really safe?

Would your government take a view opposing yours and silence you, and those who would speak for you, and refuse to countenance any debate at all that would let you have a say? Would your government use lies and deceit to override anything you might want to do or say? Would your government use the law against you, demonise and punish you, encourage others to treat you as subhuman, for no other reason than they just don't like you?

Of course they would, and do.

The fact is that most of us live in societies were every single one is regarded guilty until proven innocent.

Ordinary folks, you and me, your neighbor and everyone you know are already treated as criminals. Not only in regards to internet or smoking. We have already seen and heard horror stories on how innocent people are locked up, flown to distant lands getting tortured for no other reason than that they can, maybe, possibly, know a bit about someone or something.

Spanish Inquisition… anyone? Leg-Iron has a magnificent piece on the subject. Go read.

This will escalate, and the good thing about it is that real “terrorists” will emerge as a consequence of these policies. I am not talking about religious fanatics living in caves or right-wing trailer park attendees; I am talking about ordinary citizens that simply have had enough.

As usual those in power will bunch all that oppose them together. Guilty by association. And Guilty because the government says so.

It’s all about power. Nothing more, nothing less.