Relationships have never been better between the US and Sweden, write Bonnier's

Beatrice Ask, Maria Larsson, Ewa Björling, Birgitta Olsson, Lena Ek, Karin Enström: six female members of Reinfeldt's cabinet paraded past POTUS Obama on his departure from the duckpond. As if that's supposed to prove something. They're sexual objects, no more.
Gone are the days when Sweden objected to the militarism of the US. The days when Sweden was a truly neutral country. That had not engaged in warfare of any kind for hundreds of years and was proud of it. Gone are the days when the sexes actually enjoyed each other (and sex itself). Reinfeldt and Bildt changed all that.

[Reinfeldt's a bit of a mystery there, and so is Bildt. Reinfeldt's wife left him a year ago, and Bildt is rarely home. Ed.]

Bildt's been an enemy of 'classlessness' since childhood. He's a member of the noblest of nobilities in Sweden. He thrives in a class society. Sweden had become, by the time Bildt was able to squeeze spots and other things, a virtually classless society, with only a thin layer of aristocracy and everyone else in the working class. PhD taxi drivers were not uncommon. Everything was blue collar. And the country was united.

Bildt got an invitation to an exclusive tour of the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command already as a teenager. He started building ties with Langley and Rove right away. He still counts Rove as a good friend.

And meanwhile back home: the international arm of the Republican Party had their eye on a young Fredrik Reinfeldt. Reinfeldt, like Bildt, had sworn to end the rule of Sweden's social democratic party. The party that catapulted Sweden to the top of 'standard of living' surveys, the party that kept Sweden comfortably in the middle in the Cold War, offering those who paused to think a bit of insight that one didn't really need that arms buildup.

But both Bildt and Reinfeldt had sworn to end that very welcome hegemony. Olof Palme, Sweden's last statesman of merit, was defeated in the 1976 elections, and ten years later he was assassinated. Problem solved. The GOP got involved in the youth movement of Sweden's most conservative party and they helped push Reinfeldt's opponents out of the way. Bildt went on to be prime minister, then later, perhaps at the behest of the GOP, stepped aside so his colleague (and sometimes enemy) Reinfeldt could take over.

Reinfeldt pushed through a makeover of his party. They were no longer the derided 'Moderates' - they were now the 'NEW Moderates'. One would think people would be smarter than to fall for that, but as Midnight Oil once sang, people have short memory.

Reinfeldt started something called the 'Alliance'. Sweden's right wing parties were notorious for being a bunch of bungling bickering buffoons. They could never agree on anything. Which was really amazing, as most of them didn't have any political platforms to speak of, limiting their campaigns to one-word slogans such as 'peace' and 'equality' and 'security'.

After the defeat of Olof Palme and his social democrats in 1976, when a young Carl Bildt, still with no portfolio, was sitting in the lap of the CIA at the US embassy in Stockholm and leaking secrets to them, they managed to stick together only a short time, after which the government unraveled.

Now with Reinfeldt and the astute guidance of Rove, they had their 'Alliance' (with their own website too natch) to give the impression they were less divided and less divisive. Today the key is keeping the social democrats out of power. No one cares about campaign promises anymore. None of them have any integrity, they realise everybody knows it, but they also know that it doesn't matter a damn.

Boring politics with no vision: that's the ticket! And come election time, they speak to the pocketbook, and for the soft-hearted, the tiny spurious 'Alliance' parties come out and mention other more humane issues.

Reinfeldt has a deal with the Bonniers. It's perverse and it's bizarre but it's not less real. The Bonniers control Sweden's news media, the online news media, and the monstrous TV4 empire. As far as their television holdings go, that's illegal. The media are strictly controlled in Sweden. TV4 is a relatively new entity not owned by the government. In the interests of honesty, no company may hold too much stock in TV4. Or else one can devolve into a Sky News situation.

But the ridiculousness of that situation is that such ownership can be prevented only if someone files charges against a TV4 owner taking too much control. The authorities themselves cannot stop it. And not just anyone can file such charges either - it has to be a sitting government.

Things were different before 2006 when the social democrats were still in power. Their cabinet had to constantly chase the Bonniers and keep an eye on them, because the Bonniers are always trying new tricks. And the social democrats believed in the law and and in democracy and in responsible newscasting.

But 2006 was the new end of the social democratic era, with PM Göran Persson, the country's most corrupt prime minister ever, finally getting the boot. And in walked Reinfeldt. The Bonniers saw their opportunity.

Reinfeldt and the Bonniers struck a deal. Reinfeldt passed a new law no longer requiring accuracy in reporting and no longer requiring that news media make it clear if they're reporting news or spewing out propaganda. Then Reinfeldt promised the Bonniers that his governments would never go after the Bonniers for breaking the terms of TV4 ownership. And in return, the Bonniers promised that the media under their control would both overtly and covertly support Reinfeldt both on a day to day basis but also at election time.

Sweden has not had legislatively protected (enforced) honesty in news reporting for almost eight years.

The time is ripe.

Obama may have Obamacare going into effect at the turn of the year, but it's not a very good system. It abandons too many people to the cold. As with all Obama's legislative proposals all throughout his career, it's built on considerations for corporate interests that undermine the spirit and efficacy of the proposal. Paul Krugman criticised Obama's abortive healthcare proposal already back in 2008 before the elections.

But he does have Obamacare. And that's something. Yet he doesn't have much else. The nation's collapsing under increased poverty and homelessness. Obama took taxpayer money to bail out the banks, then the banks turned on the same taxpayers and screwed them royal. And Obama just gave a new speech. Borders to Canada are closely guarded, as so many in the US can't afford healthcare and the cost of prescription medicine. Over one half of the total population are living under the official poverty line. Workers on hourly wages have next to nothing to live on and no benefits and very few rights.

The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing in the US. There is a growing tension there. One can see the anger on their faces. Obama didn't help as he promised.

Back home in Stockholm, there are soup kitchens to help feed those who Reinfeldt abandoned. This might be hard for people in the US to understand, but Sweden never had poverty in the days of social democracy. No homelessness and no one going without food and a bed. This was throughout Scandinavia.

But the US - and the GOP - didn't like being shown up by Sweden. Sweden had cool sexual politics - people were getting laid in a way that frightened the corseted Republicans; they used a successful economic model that worked, and thereby proved the Republicans wrong; and the bastards stuck their necks out and called out the US every time the latter would try to bamboozle the world into a new war.

They had to be stopped. Carl Bildt and Fredrik Reinfeldt stopped them.

Under Reinfeldt, the national insurance company has been gutted. Headed today by one of his party colleagues, the company's new goal is to deny benefits anytime they can. Reports regularly reach the media not controlled by the Bonniers about poor destitute people refused their rights on absurd technicalities.

Under Reinfeldt, the once famous Swedish school system - once regarded as one of the finest in the world - has been outsourced to pecuniary private interests with profits being funneled out of the country, with huge state holdings being given away for a song, with Sweden now at the bottom of the list rather than the top.

Under Reinfeldt, even care for the elderly has suffered ignominiously. For people who all their lives paid their taxes to ensure a secure retirement, there is nothing left. Reinfeldt's outsourced this too - stories regularly pop up (in the media outlets not controlled by the Bonniers) of old folks collapsing in corridors of communal homes and not being found until it's too late, sometimes not until they're dead.

All the while the private companies now running the care system cut back mercilessly on expenses and channel their growing profits to numbered offshore accounts.

Under Bildt, Sweden has gone from an exemplary neutral country whose very existence shone a light on world politics, a light exposing bad people engaged in warfare for profit, showing the citizens of the world that yes, there is a true alternative, a way to solve conflicts without bombs, guns, and more ammunition.

Today Sweden is exactly what Bildt wants in that regard: a vassal state of the US. A country he hopes will be granted an exalted position by the US, a country he hopes will become the de facto representative of the US in that area. That Fredrik Reinfeldt held the keynote at the latest NATO summit, even as Sweden has never been a member of NATO, says all.

Gone are the days when the US suffered the neutrality of Sweden for geopolitical reasons - for being a buffer between vulnerable Finland to the east with borders on Russia, and a Norway, member of NATO, to the west. There is no tangible threat from Russia anymore, but the US so dearly want world domination at all costs, and the Sweden of Carl Bildt will be there to offer every possible assistance.

The Swedish media smeared Julian Assange after the allegations of 20 August 2010 became known. And the Bonnier media made sure the allegations were spread worldwide in no time flat. Swedish intelligence agencies were warned by the US to not allow Julian Assange to set up his headquarters on Swedish soil or risk the consequences.

Recurring media blackouts in Sweden regarding Assange, WikiLeaks releases, Snowden, the NSA, PRISM, and similar programmes tell their unequivocal tale. Bildt knows Reinfeldt needs the votes so Bildt can keep crying 'wheels up' as he jets across the globe; Reinfeldt knows he needs the cooperation of the Bonniers to keep the ducks in the infamous duckpond in the dark about events in the world; and up to now, the Bonniers have been able to count on Reinfeldt not bringing charges against them for illegal media control. It's a tenuous predicament, but a predicament that's worked nicely for the past seven years. The social democrats, still the largest party in the country, appear poised to return to power in 2014. At which time all the givens are out the window and things can change radically.

But even if the social democrats are to return to power next year, the grip the US has on Swedish domestic policy will be great. It was the US embassy in Stockholm that dictated the kangaroo trial of The Pirate Bay, that dictated the FRA law, that dictated almost every contentious piece of legislation Reinfeldt's pushed on the Swedish parliament - this revealed by a WikiLeaks cable which literally itemises what Sweden must do to not incur the wrath of the US. And this all started back with the social democrats, not Reinfeldt or Bildt.

Things will be better with the social democrats returning to power in 2014, but it remains to be seen how much better they will be. From a country of concerned world citizens who kept on even keel in a disruptive world, Sweden's grown into a country of shameless sycophants who will suck up to power like no other people on earth.

So why the parade of female cabinet ministers? For show. No more. Ask is a minister for justice who has never practiced law, doesn't even have a degree in law, for that matter doesn't have a degree in anything, so the suspicion is she was chosen by Reinfeldt precisely because she doesn't know (or care) about the law. Her list of blunders over the years, trampling on rule of law left and right, is notorious. She's also the one denying she knew anything about US embassy surveillance in the country, only to have to admit two days later that she'd known about it all along.

The whole situation is ridiculous outside the context of yet another photo shoot. Six women of no import paraded past a POTUS no one any longer respects. Someone is supposed to be impressed, but so what? One may as well watch a military parade in a banana dictatorship controlled by Washington. The words 'vapid' and 'fetid' don't come close to describing what's going on. All the worse for what Sweden used to be.