Here is a letter I wrote in July (and sent three times) to journalist Sara Cosar* at the public service, state media Sweden Television – Sveriges Television (SVT):
“Hello Sara Cosar
A question related to the article under which your name appears:
Has SVT ever published a similar article with a number of foreign experts who are critical of NATO and/or Swedish membership?
If yes – please send me a url.
If no, would it be possible to imagine that you or a colleague took the initiative for such an article?
The reason I ask the question is that NATO’s military expenditure is 12-15 times greater than Russia’s and that the experts in your article, other experts and all leading Swedish media accept the argument that NATO needs even greater investments in military resources and even more countries as members or ‘partners’.
Fil Dr, Docent
Here is a translation of Sara Cosar’s article
Experts from three NATO countries: Why we want Sweden to join as a member
So say experts in the US, France and Norway.
“The Americans think it’s cool that planes can land on civilian roads,” says journalist Sebastian Sprenger.
A military alliance always benefits from being more numerous, experts interviewed by SVT agree.
‘The more the merrier,’ says Sebastian Sprenger, Europe editor at the US magazine Defense News.
They point to both military and political advantages.
“NATO is a flagship that will become even bigger when Sweden joins,” says Per Erik Solli, senior defence analyst at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.
“It’s an important signal to Russia that their attempts to weaken the alliance have backfired. “With Sweden as a member, NATO is actually stronger than it was before the invasion of Ukraine,” says Martin Quencez, director of the German Marshall Fund’s Paris office.
Defending Finland and the Arctic
Above all, experts say, the Nordic and Baltic regions would be strengthened.
“In particular, it would create depth to defend and push back forces in Finland in the event of an attack,” says Per Erik Solli.
They also jointly mention control of the Baltic Sea.
‘The Swedes know that water, and the Baltic Sea will become increasingly important. It is a potential flashpoint, says Sebastian Sprenger.
The Baltic Sea would become a kind of NATO lake, with the exception of Russian territory. “Sweden with Finland could also help defend the Arctic region, where Norway and Iceland have been alone,” says Martin Quencez.
The Swedish defence industry and the idea of total defence are other strengths according to the experts – hear more in the video.”
I recommend you see that video; it is mostly in English.
It doesn’t require a genius to see how such a public service article is much closer to pro-NATO propaganda than to any kind of decent journalism worthy of the designation ‘public service.’
However, today, public service instead means pro-US/NATO, pro-war, and pro-arming Ukraine to fight Russia on behalf of NATO and bleed it to death.
The fact that – yes, you guessed it, I of course, never got a reply from Ms Cosar – no leading Swedish media has tried, or dared, to seriously problematise Sweden’s NATO membership or fundamentally critique the way Sweden’s government made its helter-skelter decision with only 47% of the people in favour – also speaks volumes of how mainstream media are playing according to the movements of the US/NATO conductors’ baton.
Whether the media have been directly instructed or not, it was not – and still is not – in the interest of the Swedish government to have any qualified, multi-perspective, pro-et-con debate about joining the country to the most war-fighting superpower and its offensive alliance.
But one must indeed wonder about the homogenisation of the media coverage, the extreme uniformity in stark contrast to what would be a plural, democratic debate run by truly free media.
Two more things. To the right of that article here, you should click on this:
It means “Special • All you need to know about NATO. Members, troops, nuclear weapons and much more.”
It would be wrong to bother my readers with a translation. It runs like a high school essay, builds mainly on CIA’s World Fact Book, and avoids all mention of the alliance’s systematic violation of its own Treaty of 1949 (which makes it a non-defensive alliance) and of what its leader, the United States, has done war-wise the last good 20 years in its Global War On Terror, among other things killed and displaced several million people, done regime changes, etc.
There is, of course, also no mention of the reckless, promise-breaking NATO expansion that created the accumulating conflict underlying the war that Russia – strongly provoked and ignored but law-violating – started in Ukraine.
I would not let it pass as a student paper in any master’s course I have taught. And it is miserable and deceptive as an answer to “All you need to know about NATO.”
But this low-level, disinformation by omission suits Swedish public service well in NATO times.
Finally, believe it or not, the Swedish government has recently decided to start a huge information campaign about NATO – that means in favour of NATO – and now, way after its application was sent, make the Swedish people understand the organisation better.
One must assume that the campaign shall seek to prepare the Swedes to accept all bills they must pay for Sweden’s future participation in war, US bases on Swedish soil, lack of free foreign policy decision-making and, consequently, strongly reduced security.
*) According to Sara Cosar’s Linkedin profile, she has a two-year, folk high school education in journalism and has worked mainly as a video editor, social media editor and crime reporter. It’s not been possible to detect any competence related to international politics or Swedish foreign policy.
(1) This is the first of two articles related to the Swedish Television, SVT. The second will deal with the extremely one-sided SVT coverage of China – again looking like a replica of US/Western mainstream media’s systematically, negative narrative-telling.
(2) Sara Cosar finally responded on September 1, 2023, when I had sent her my article. She writes: “Hi Jan! Thanks for your email and sorry I missed replying. We have not done an angle that is just the opposite – three experts who are critical of NATO, but we have reported on some criticism of our membership and the process. But there is definitely a reason to do that particular angle, so I will take that idea to our editors. I’m sending you some of the critical angles we’ve done in the past” – and she includes 6 links where some Swedes present critical opinions, two of which have to do with Sweden’s negotiations with Türkiye.