by Bruce Bawer
It is not about what happened or what didn't happen on a specific night. It is a crisis which has lead to a complete U-turn in the debate about immigration.
Well, I knew I shouldn't have said anything. A few days ago I bragged in this space about having overcome my years-long addiction to the New York Times. Then, in the wake of President Trump's remark on Saturday in Melbourne, Florida, about “last night in Sweden,” I noticed on Facebook that the Times had run a “news story” by one Sewell Chan headlined “‘Last Night in Sweden’? Trump’s Remark Baffles a Nation.” I couldn't resist.
As it turned out, of course, Trump hadn't baffled the entire Swedish nation. What had really happened was that a great many members of the Swedish establishment – politicians, journalists, business and academic elites, and so on – had professed that they were baffled. “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?” asked former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt. Chan himself maintained that some news media (those, you understand, that lean right and have less rigorous journalistic standards than than the august Times) had presented “numerous exaggerations and distortions” about Sweden, “including false reports that Shariah law was predominant in parts of the country and that some immigrant-heavy neighborhoods were considered 'no-go zones' by the police.” (False reports, min röv.) Chan went on to quote various Swedish officials who roundly denied that Muslim immigrants had had a significant impact on crime and rape statistics.
To be sure, I was puzzled at first by Trump's reference to Sweden, and rechecked a few news sources to see if I'd missed something. Then I realized he might have been referring to a segment I'd watched the night before on Tucker Carlson Live. One of Carlson's guests was filmmaker Ari Horowitz, who had made a documentary about all those non-existent Swedish no-go zones and all that imaginary crime. Sure enough, Trump later tweeted that this was exactly what he was talking about: he'd been watching Tucker Carlson, too. (Which, incidentally, was nice to know.)
But one article calling Trump out on his Sweden remark wasn't enough for the Times. The next day it ran another. “The Swedes were flabbergasted,” claimed Chan and co-reporter Sewell Baker. Again we heard from Bildt, who this time said: “We are used to seeing the president of the U.S. as one of the most well-informed persons in the world, also well aware of the importance of what he says....And then, suddenly, we see him engaging in misinformation and slander against a truly friendly country, obviously relying on sources of a quality that at best could be described as dubious.” The piece went on to cite this incident as yet another example of Trump alienating “American friend[s]” (something that the Times hadn't been particularly worried about when Obama was sticking his fingers in the eyes of our allies and sucking up to our foes).
At the Times, of course, as I wrote the other day, “fake news” is old news. And “fake news” about Trump has been a staple at that newspaper ever since he rode down that escalator in Trump Tower. But this new bout of “fake news” about Sweden was even more transparently fake than usual. If everything's fine in Sweden, then why the hell are the Sweden Democrats rising in the polls? Hell, if everything's fine in Sweden, why do the Sweden Democrats exist at all? Chan and Baker interviewed a couple of leading Swedish politicians and other top members of Sweden's cultural elite, but they didn't quote any Sweden Democrats.
Nor did they quote any ordinary Swedes like my many Swedish friends on Facebook, every one of whom gave Trump a full thumbs-up. (Example: “Trump may be clumsy but it is true that we have a crisis in Sweden. It is not about what happened or what didn't happen on a specific night. It is a crisis which has lead to a complete U-turn in the debate about immigration. The self-proclaimed humanitarian superpower has zealously introduced border checks and tougher asylum laws. Attitudes are changing by the hour.”) They didn't quote anybody from the Australian version of 60 Minutes whose crew was physically attacked last year when they tried to report from one of those non-existent no-go zones. They didn't quote the Bosnian immigrant to Sweden who calls himself “The Angry Foreigner” and who has recorded a number of highly informative videos about the Swedish crisis. (On Monday, he posted a new video responding to the whole Trump debacle.)
They didn't quote Stephen Jerand, chief of police in the Swedish city of Östersund, who three weeks ago urged Swedish women to “adjust their behavior” in order to avoid rape by you-know-who. They didn't quote Swedish police inspector Lars Alvarsjö, who warned last year that the country's police departments and courts were on the verge of collapse because of the crush of immigrant crime. They didn't quote the Swedish cop who told one reporter just the other day that he would never drop his daughter off at the central train station in Stockholm because of the abusive conduct of the Moroccan youths who congregate there. They didn't quote Peter Springare, a police investigator in Örebro, Sweden, who got in trouble with authorities for stating publicly that virtually all of the criminals he deals with are Muslims. They didn't quote Stefan Sinteus, police chief in Malmö, who has complained about the “upward spiral of violence” by Muslim immigrants in that city, Sweden's third largest. They didn't quote any of the other Swedish police officers who last year told Norway's NRK that more than 50 neighborhoods in Sweden were, indeed, no-go areas where “lawlessness reigns.”
They didn't talk to John Dübeck, who teaches English, considers himself a leftist, and recently reported on Facebook about students of his who admit freely that they want sharia law in Sweden and look forward to a world “where all the whites have been killed.” (Wrote Dübeck: “I know students who've been raped by relatives, but don't dare report it because they're convinced other relatives will kill them....I know students who don't dare remove their hijab because they're afraid of being abused and raped....I know ethnic Swedish students who speak with a [Muslim immigrant] accent, just to avoid being frozen out. I know students who use 'fucking whore' or 'fucking faggot' to address ethnic Swedes.”) They didn't talk to the gutsy Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist, who has powerfully spelled out the truth about Sweden for the Glazov Gang and for Gad Saad. They didn't quote the indispensable Pat Caddell, who in a memorable November 2015 video summed up the Swedish nightmare quite succinctly.
Nor did they quote any of the dozen-odd pieces I've written on Sweden in the last few years, most recently last week. “Sweden is self-destructing,” I wrote here in December 2013, adding that “even as concerned observers in neighboring Denmark and Norway are sounding the alarm about the fallout of Swedish immigration policies, Sweden's own mainstream media – and the rest of its cultural establishment – are laboring overtime to silence the truth-tellers and keep the rabble from openly questioning the wisdom of their betters.” In the same piece I quoted recent pieces by two savvy Danish Sweden-observers. One of them, Morten Uhrskov Jensen, had published an op-ed entitled “Sweden's Race to the Bottom” in Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's biggest newspaper. It began: “Sweden has chosen to break down.” Jensen proceeded, as I explained,
to outline the steady slide in the quality of education in Swedish primary schools over the last decade or so...and to link that decline to what Jensen bluntly called the country's “insane immigration policy.” Sweden, warned Jensen, “will have to pay a very high price for its experiment with permitting excessive immigration from dysfunctional states.”The other Danish Sweden-observer, Mikael Jalving, published an op-ed headlined “A Land of Ghosts and Shadows,” also in Jyllands-Posten. It was about a new book, The Immigration Cover-Up, that elaborately catalogued the socially, culturally, and economically devastating consequences of Sweden's immigration policy. Jalving called the book “underground literature” and said it was being read “only behind closed curtains.”
On Monday, in the midst of the hullabaloo over Trump's Sweden remark, Tucker Carlson spoke again with Ari Horowitz, who stood his ground. Carlson then interviewed two shameless party-liners: Anne-Sophie Naslund, a U.S. correspondent for the Swedish newspaper Expressen, and Azita Raji, who served as America's ambassador to Sweden under Obama. Both of them served up nothing but nonsense. Listening to them, you'd think this was all fantasy. You'd think there was no such thing as the Sweden Democrats. You'd think Ingrid Carlqvist and all the others were just making stuff up.
Granted, nothing special took place in Sweden last Friday night. But as it happens, on Monday night quite a bit happened. “Violent riots” (as even Swedish television put it) erupted in Rinkeby, one of the Muslim-heavy Stockholm suburbs whose names have become very familiar to those of us around the world who follow these matters. Locals set cars on fire, threw stones at police, looted stores, and beat people up. One witness called it “a war zone.” But don't worry: this sort of thing happens all the time there. It's just a matter of getting used to it. And learning to deliver Orwellian lies about it to the outside world – learning to insist, smoothly and charmingly and with a genial smile on your face, that war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength. All, needless to say, in the name of a higher moral duty.
Bruce Bawer is the author of “While Europe Slept,” “Surrender” and, most recently, "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind."
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