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Bildt a 'medium-sized dog': US embassy

TT/The Local/dl · 6 Dec 2010, 10:33

Published: 06 Dec 2010 10:33 GMT+01:00

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The note, written ahead of a May 2009 trip by Bildt to Washington to meet with US National Security Advisor James Jones, also described Bildt as a respected politician who speaks frankly, but who has "limited political skills," according to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

According to SvD, Bildt figured more prominently than almost any other Swedish political figure in US diplomatic correspondence from Stockholm released by WikiLeaks.

In a report authored by the American embassy's second in command, Robert Silverman, Bildt is portrayed as a politician who believes in his own power.

He is, according to the US embassy, "A Medium-Sized Dog with Big Dog Attitude."

Current US ambassador Matthew Barzun also urges his colleagues in Washington to be well-read and to clearly state their views when meeting Bildt who can "otherwise easily dominate a conversation, spiked with comments of dry humour," in a September 2009 note.

The report also describes Bildt as being respected in Sweden, having a great deal of knowledge about international affairs, and an impressive network of contacts.

Story continues below…

Silverman adds in his cable that Bildt is given a great deal of leeway to shape Swedish foreign policy, but that he isn't especially close to prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Barzun also describes Bildt as being given a "long leash" to formulating foreign policy, which can sometimes irritate Reinfeldt aides who aren't always informed ahead of time.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:03 December 6, 2010 by marianne667
"Medium sized dog w/ limited political skills". I like it, I like it.
11:35 December 6, 2010 by glamshek
US should avoid abusing dignitaries. Not good ! Its not Hamas or Hezbollah. No No , Not good !
11:40 December 6, 2010 by asee
lol, US is full size bull dog with full political skills ....and can judge the whole world...
11:51 December 6, 2010 by eppie
Well after reading the full article it seems to be quite a positive comment isn't it?

Limited political skills just means he doesn't BS all the time like other politicians do. The récomendation to read up before meetng with him also is flattering.
11:55 December 6, 2010 by Boyfriend
Oh my God

Who they think they are these americans++ they name everybody They call one terrorists and dog and so on. I am happy for these leaks it would show the real face of American politicians.
12:11 December 6, 2010 by cabralb
American politicians, wake up and serve the justice
12:13 December 6, 2010 by glamshek
We are going to attack Afghanistan, either you are with us or against us. BS
12:37 December 6, 2010 by Syftfel
A medium sized dog wih limited political skills? That about summarizes it accurately. But what does that make Mona? A mediocre marxist maggot?
12:45 December 6, 2010 by krattan
Could anyone provide some clarity on what "political skills" is supposed to mean?

Also, recent articles stemming from the wikileaks leak tends to flatter the mentioned politicians not only here on thelocal. Seems to be the current selected strategy from propaganda departments around the world.
13:02 December 6, 2010 by calebian22

13:05 December 6, 2010 by Jaffo1970
Man, I am becoming more and more ashamed of my government every day. Why don't one of you fine countries do us all a favor and just nuke Washington D.C.
13:10 December 6, 2010 by TheOriginalBlackMan

You have a problem with reading comprehension since the cable is obviously describing Bildt as a person full of himself thus U.S.A diplomats were told that they should entertain Bildts delusion.

Anyway, last night I watched a documentary on TV 4 showing the Wiki Leaks cables made by American authorities about the Swedish goverment, it was quite funny. The U.S.A. diplomats are actually using "African American vernacular" when they said "Bildit is medium sized dog, that thinks he's a big dog" which translated into plain American English means that Bildt is a punk or a small man that thinks he is a big man or real "player" of world affairs when he actually is not.

Surely Bildit must know that Americans for the most part consider Swedes similar to a homosexual neighbors who is not threatening yet always helpful.
13:15 December 6, 2010 by Rishonim
Heavens to murgatroid. Luckily Biltd is a medium size dawg in Sweden and not in France. We all know a Basset Hound could be considered a medium size dog for the Frenchies ;-))))
13:29 December 6, 2010 by Rizwan Rahim
"Washington Washes Whiter"
13:47 December 6, 2010 by Truthgate
Kiss my a s s American, you all are big pile of cow s h I t
13:53 December 6, 2010 by Rishonim
Truthgate, seems like the truth hurts. n'est-ce pas mon pote ;-).. Biltd le pêtit chien
13:56 December 6, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
There is no bad blood between the US and Sweden.

13:59 December 6, 2010 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
The media are having gr8 times now, with their top correspondence JA.
14:09 December 6, 2010 by Truthgate
Rishonim, The only people that got hurts is the American people after they discovered how they were taken in ride by their government, and how stupid they are. ;-).
14:26 December 6, 2010 by Rishonim
I have actually lived in the US and Sweden and I can frankly say that people in certain parts of the Swedish population are much more gullible than the Americans I have met. Don't you think Swedes in general are taking for a ride by the government? For example back in the late 90s Swedes were led to believe it was harder for them to catch AIDS and this had something to do with their immune system being stronger during the days of the black plague. LOL
14:27 December 6, 2010 by wabasha
boring! and who cares?
14:46 December 6, 2010 by Truthgate
Rishonim, you are right.
15:06 December 6, 2010 by Hauhr

I'm afraid it's off to Guantanamo for you! (In a private jet with an undocumented trip via Arlanda of course)
15:22 December 6, 2010 by kenny8076
pahahahahaha thats so funny... and all you anti american people that are being so dramatic.... you swear to god other governments just like sweden dont say stuff about America or other country's... they just havent been caught.....you know what, you hate america so much.... stop watching our shows,movies, eating our food, wearing our clothes, buying our electronics and technology, quite using our medicines..... and most importantly stopping touring our country!!!!! Stick up for what you people believe in, if you dont like something dont use it........ Well that would be too hard for swedes to do!!
15:24 December 6, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg
It's Big Dog talk, big dog giving less big dog a pat on the back.

Even if it's coded language, right attitude and rather flattering, not a mouse or a pussy , not a fox terrier, certainly not a squirrel, or a meek little doggy but “A Medium Sized Dog with Big Dog Attitude”

You must give it to Carl Bildt. Why not congratulate him?
15:33 December 6, 2010 by Luke35711

"a politician who believes in his own power."

the beauty of this comment is that it is generic. It applies to most people in authority here. Swedish society has a curious way of promoting a unique type of subtle but stubborn arrogance. I guess they like it. I guess they really believe in their own power. Maybe it's also because of good looks, known to promote narcissism.

Beware, success is mostly due to chance, it comes and it goes as it's pleased.
16:09 December 6, 2010 by mojofat

Yes, now we can see how wikileaks and J.A. are defenders of freedom. There's a clear connection to world peace in this cable. Who knew the gossip of government employees was so critical to global safety and security.

Good thing there isn't a picture of Mohammed in the leaked cables or there would be real hell to pay. And good thing wikileaks is so selective about whom it considers a target. I wonder if any of you anti-americans can differentiate between one bad period (the Cheney/Bush administration) and the overall decency of the american culture. This isn't about US vs Sweden, we are brothers along with the others of the western world. We believe in the same fundamental things...perhaps, officially, to varying degrees, but I would argue we have far more in common than not. It's not clear to me how any of the haters truly think the world would be better without the US. There are few places on Earth where one can criticize their political leadership as thoroughly and freely as they can in the US. I agree that certain policy changes would definitely be for the better, but you really think every dictator, theocratic ruler, king, and military strongman would suddenly turn nice if the US wasn't around. Please....

BTW, I'm still waiting for wikileaks/J.A. to release all records related to their funding. As of now, that seems to be the best kept secret around.
16:47 December 6, 2010 by unseen
loooool, that was bad a*s... these wiki fre*king leaks as silly as how higher ups think of nations.
18:02 December 6, 2010 by TheOriginalBlackMan
The report also describes Bildt as an "arrogant nobleman" with "limited political abilities" who enjoys a "long leash" by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt......I can not figure why so many of you Swedes who can hardly speak English comprehend this view of Bildit as a complement. The Swedes are truly delusional.

I should add that the American Government could not believe that a country such as Sweden, that is no bigger than Rhode Island, considered even giving their opinion since Sweden's opinon holds no weight in the world community. This is the truth.
18:19 December 6, 2010 by workforthesoup

Check your facts dude.

Rhode Island is 1,214 sq miles, no where near to Sweden which is far bigger 173,745 sq mi. Sweden is bigger in size than Germany.
18:32 December 6, 2010 by emphir
"you know what, you hate america so much.... stop watching our shows,movies, eating our food, wearing our clothes, buying our electronics and technology, quite using our medicines..... and most importantly stopping touring our country!!!!"

Sure, if only Americans would stop feeding on achivments of european culture and science - oh, I am sorry, I've forgotten - without Europeans you wouldn't even have a language to speak, not to mention your "shows, movies, food, clothes, electronics, technology and medicines". Life sucks, doesn't it?
18:37 December 6, 2010 by Ranjit T Edward
Maybe, Bildt is a Medium-Sized Dog with Big Dog Attitude!! However, for certain there is one small bitch, with a Big Bitch Attitude...who also happens to be the prosecutor!!
19:29 December 6, 2010 by mojofat
@emphir @kenny8076

And according to your logic we're all benefiting from the achievements of the africans that migrated out 100,000 years ago...you're both arguing and making foolish points. We are ALL immigrant countries.
20:20 December 6, 2010 by TheOriginalBlackMan
Okay @workforsoup, I exaggerated a bit as to how small Sweden is (it's slightly larger than California), however, other than that, my prior comment still holds true.
22:00 December 6, 2010 by Luke35711
>Sweden is bigger in size than Germany.

and so much bigger in ego!

but that's only because the government conditions people to think that Sweden is so important. This justifies high taxes, lack of freedom of expression, incompetent bosses, bullying authority figures, intolerance of individuality, etc, etc. Take any newspaper, and see how many times the word "Sweden" is used. Then compare with newspapers from other countries. It's just relentless mind control. Half of the public life in here, is just Orwellian double game, groupthink promoting propaganda, smoke and mirrors, for the government to control and bully the ordinary citizen. And then the elites are surprised that this gives rise to sinister nationalism.

You have to live in Sweden for a while to understand American fear of Big Government.
00:18 December 7, 2010 by wenddiver
Last I saw the English Bull Dog was a medium size Dog, with a big Dog Attitude, so we chose it for the mascot of the US Marine Corps.

I hear tell there were once thirteen little British colonies, who started a revolution against the world's biggest Empire. Non-existent Dog with suicidal attitude.

They became Thirteen small States and refused pay tribute to the Muslim pirates of Tripoli, that the great powers of Europe paid. They built a Navy of 6 Frigates and went on the attack. Scrawny puppey developing big attitude.

Britain and France press Gang US Sailors on the high sea. With same Frigates US threatens war with Britain and France (Both of the worlds biggest empires), Napolean backs off and they declare war on Britain. Insolent puppy with big attitude.

There are worse things you could be than a Medium size dog with a big attitude, Dog

Sweden fighting in Afganistan is the biggest that dog has been, since the 1700s..
04:04 December 7, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

There are chicken, crocodiles, toothless chimpanzees, bears.

You guys are probably more fascinated by cats?

Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

What kind of dog would you like to be? Pekingese? St. Bernard? German Shepherd? Cocker Spaniel?

All said and done dog is dog.

Son of dog is dog.

And Bitches?

Dogs may have different/differing mentalities. Some are vicious.

Some little dogs are capable of thinking and acting like big dogs.

Some cowardly big dogs shiver in fear when they see a little dog.

Personally, I prefer a medium-sized dog with big dog attitude.

I hope that you like this song by my favourite Scottish folk singer Bert Jansch:



05:04 December 7, 2010 by ghostwriter
Bildt actually had an important role in Kosovo.

It's also thanks to Bildt (among other Swedish polticians) that Sweden can influence the European Union. They're doing well considering the size of the Swedish economy.

With "TheOriginalBlackMan"'s attitude, Sweden would be nowhere. I guess that also says one or two things about where TheOriginalBlackMan is in terms of personal success.

Hehe. If you can't be proud of yourself, there's always a race to fall back on :)
07:10 December 7, 2010 by TheOriginalBlackMan

I've heard courses that teach English as a Second Language do wonders for one who is either illiterate or a bit slow. Please feel free to enroll within one since your grammar is atrocious:-)
12:47 December 7, 2010 by OllieCrafoord
That doesn't seem to be derogatory, to be fair.
23:56 December 7, 2010 by americanska
All countries have these cables. I'm sure in nearly every cable from every country there is some colorful language.

Do you expect them to talk about nothing? This kind of analysis is their job.
03:32 December 8, 2010 by Steve911
Many people have a mistaken belief that Sweden is still a model of progressive Liberalism, neutral, pro peace and a bastion of free speech. For many years now Sweden has been ruled by a motley coalition of Conservatives, Royalists, Farmers and Christian interests, some of whom are advocating joining NATO, reducing Abortion rights for women and giving strong support for Israel's wars and ethnic cleansing. Carl Bildt the Swedish Foreign Minister famously supported George Bush's Iraq War and accused Russia of a Nazi style invasion of Georgia in 2008 (the facts later showed that it was Georgia, ruled by another George Bush poodle that did the invading). US ambassador to Sweden, Michael Wood wrote (as recorded in the WikiLeak logs) that even though the official Swedish line is non-alignment, Swedish participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace and role as leader of the EU's Nordic Battle Group show that the position is an untruth. How about when it allowed rendition flights by the CIA? Sweden is now a fully paid up member of the US controlled 'International Community' / Neocon alliance and has one of the most Right Wing governments in Europe. Julian Assange was badly mistaken if he thought he was going to get any help or sanctuary against US oppression there.
04:09 December 8, 2010 by ghostwriter

Your reply is as lame as your nick.
15:31 December 8, 2010 by Alf Garnett

Lucky for you Napolean was an idiot & attack the Brits, who could then not release the other 70% of it's forces to put sort out some upstarts throwing away good tea, otherwise those 13 small colonies would have been put back in their kennels.
19:44 December 8, 2010 by americanska
Does it make you bitter Alf? At least you still have your empire......wait, my bad, you have a decrepit little rock in the north Atlantic
22:28 December 8, 2010 by Cornelius Hamelberg

Still going on about “ medium sized”?

In some of these crises it's only a sense of humour that's missing.

If countries were dogs which breed would mine be?

Sweet Baby James sings:

“Got a dog named David

Got a bird named Dinah

Got a birthmark on my thigh

In the shape of mainland china

Got a somewhat southern accent

'cause I come from Carolina

And if you want to find us

We'll be walking right behind you “

Real fallout germinated in Germany: not a German shepherd or a lap dog, which mind you doesn't have to be from Lapland:


(Nothing to do with Lapland but a mole is said to be somebody who plays it cool and hibernates and finally ventures out when the time is right):

07:19 December 9, 2010 by Alf Garnett

I like a glass of Best Bitter whenever I visit the UK

Even though I don't reside there, I think the little rock in the North Sea is decidedly better than the "old colony". Not so much segregation/neo apartheidism/hypocrisy & the Brits don't have the "ours is bigger than yours" attitude.

Thing the Brits do have that you'll not have for a few thousand yrs is the ability to brew, identity & a long long long HISTORY.
11:01 December 9, 2010 by Marc the Texan
TheOriginalBlackMan (#12) doesn't know the difference between southern vernacular and African American vernacular. Rich folks used to sick their "big dog lawyers" on important matters. TheOriginalBlackMan has a cartoon image of America (probably based on Hollywood flicks and hip-hop videos). Obviously no clue about how we keep the lights on.
17:01 December 30, 2010 by T Murphy
It is a colloquial expression but not a pejorative one...

"Medium Sized Dog" with "Limited Political Skills" means he's tenacious and doesn't put up with bull sh*t.

Essentially we're reading peoples e-mails so make allowances for regional expressions.
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