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'Bildt hushed talk of Darfur genocide'

'Bildt hushed talk of Darfur genocide'

Published: 19 Sep 2011 14:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Sep 2011 14:27 GMT+02:00

Former minister and Liberal Party leader Per Ahlmark has slammed current Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt in a new book arguing that he has a "passive" attitude towards genocide, is ignorant about Isael and holds "reactionary views".

Ahlmark accused Bildt of having played down the massacre of Bosnians in Srebrenica by Serbs and for having kept quiet about the Sudanese regime's genocide in Darfur.

Per Ahlmark claims in his book "Gör inga dumheter medan jag är död!" (literally: "Don't do anything stupid while I am dead") that he was told by current Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund that Bildt forbade ministers to use the term "genocide" when talking about the killing in Darfur.

"Ministers, even the so-called liberals, sheepishly followed Bildt's directions," wrote Ahlmark.

Björklund was unwilling on Monday to discuss the revelations with news agency TT.

While the definition of what constitutes genocide is a matter for discussion on a case-by-case basis, US Secretary of State Colin Powell used the term in 2004 as the UN Security Council prepared to debate a second resolution threatening sanctions on Sudan.

"There is always a discussion about this, even while the killing goes on. It becomes a genocide when sufficient powerful people - such as Colin Powell - call it as such," Sudan expert Shane Quinn told The Local on Monday.

Ahlmark continued to accuse the four Alliance party leaders for having fooled the voters in 2006 by declining to reveal that Carl Bildt was slated to become foreign minister.

"The oil man with the share options will, we thoughtlessly believed, remain in north Africa and build up his private wealth. It was thus fully possible to vote for the Alliance in 2006 and hope for the best. They fooled us," Ahlmark wrote.

He furthermore slammed Bildt for his record on Israel, criticising him for being "ignorant and horribly cold on the Jews".

Ahlmark was part of a group who in 1991 pushed for a court case against the anti-Semitic radio station Radio Islam, and sought to meet the party leaders prior to the election of that year to discuss a perceived increase in anti-Semitism.

The group were able to secure an audience with representatives from the Social Democrats, the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats.

But not Carl Bildt, who was Moderate Party leader at the time.

"Instead he let it be known in a demeaning manner that he was himself totally disinterested in facts about contemporary, anti-Jewish sentiment," Ahlmark wrote.

Ahlmark continued to criticise Bildt for having a "simple-minded" view on the state of Israel as a mono-ethnic country, despite the fact that it is home to people from more than 100 different countries.

"The foreign minister's ignorance of this country's history, culture, vitality and democracy is tangible and is based on a clearly hostile attitude," he wrote, adding that this was evidence of Bildt's "reactionary values".

"We have no comment on this," Anna Charlotte Johansson, Carl Bildt's press secretary, told The Local from New York where the foreign minister is due to visit the UN General Assembly.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 September 19, 2011 by London_Jim
Influenced by private corporations to not mention murder, ignorant of Middle East affairs, horse-trading with coalition members to get what they want.

Sounds no different from 95% of politicians in Western Europe.
16:27 September 19, 2011 by Cornelius Hamelberg
To isolate just one strand from the barrage of wild accusations: it is a very serious charge to accuse Sweden's Foreign Minister of "passivity" or of "having kept quiet about the Sudanese regime's genocide in Darfur." Sounds like Mr. Ahlmark is saying that Sweden's foreign Minister was deliberately concealing a heinous crime. Such is not the legacy of Dag Hammarskjöld - to Sweden's international diplomacy.

And why does His Holiness Per Ahlmark single out Mr. Bildt for condemnation, but not Condoleezza Rice or Great Britain's, France's ,Germany's Foreign Ministers ? And none of the Foreign Ministers of the Great African nations?

The people of Darfur suffered death and destruction at the hands of the Janjaweed militia over a very long period of time and in the whole of the international community it was Soul Brother Colin Powell that was the very first to finally label some of the dark things happening in Darfur with some legal precision, as genocide:

http://www.google.com/search?q=Colin+Powell+the+first+to+label+as+genocide%2C+what+was+going+on+in+Darfur&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8&rlz=1I7ADFA_sv

Mr. Ahlmark's mouth was not muzzled - at least we did not hear him raise the hue and cry that it was genocide taking place in Darfur, or did he? And if not , why not?

For a government to raise the hue and cry that something is genocide , when it is not, would also be a serious blunder. To date - among international law experts, it is not 100% certain that what occurred in Darfur was Genocide.

Where does that leave Per Ahlmark?
16:30 September 19, 2011 by motti
Mr Ahlmark should be recognised as a breath of fresh air concerning Swedish foreign policy. Now all he has to do it to teach his erstwhile colleagues of a few more facts on the ground, instead of the usual biased opinions,. sweden, there is hope for you yet.
17:43 September 19, 2011 by Tysknaden
Carl Bildt. His agenda is well known. He is a dangerous man.
17:52 September 19, 2011 by Åskar
@Cornelius Hamelberg

I'd guess Ahlmark has left out Ms Rice and other foreign foreign ministers for the very simple reason that the book is about Swedish politics.
17:58 September 19, 2011 by RobinHood
One member of a political party said something negative about another member of a different political party today. Meanwhile a bear shat in a wood, and the Pope was forced to admit he was a Catholic.
17:22 September 21, 2011 by conboy
Nonsense Foreign Minister, Superstar, Oil company director Carl Bildt would never give or take a bribe or in any way or ignore genocide - this just does not happen in Sweden the whole Swedish world knowns this to be the truth and thats all that matters!
09:35 September 23, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
I never liked Bildt from the '80s. He is a cold and calculating type of individual. He ignored Serbian war crimes and was nonchalant about over 8,000 Bosniaks who were slaughtered in the Srebrenica massacre by Serbs and Greek Volunteer Guards. I do believe that Bildt is an embarrassment more than an asset for Sweden, and it's high time for him to go.
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