6th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party of Sweden

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Sweden, Communist Party of Sweden 6th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, Contribution of CP of
Sweden (SKP)
From: SolidNet, Monday, October 04, 2004
http://www.skp.se , mailto:skp@skp.se

The Assault On National Sovereignty

On behalf of the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP) I would
like to thank the Communist Party of Greece for arranging
this conference and for inviting us to participate.

SKP regards the European Union as the spearhead of
imperialism in Europe. We do not believe that the EU can be
transformed into a socialist organization, and we have
consistently argued that Sweden should withdraw from it.

Sweden joined the EU in 1994 on the initiative of the
Social Democrats, who arranged a popular referendum and a
comprehensive so-called information campaign that was
deliberately misleading. Despite this, less than 51% of the
Swedes voted to join.

Since then the social democratic government has actively
implemented neoliberal policies with the support of the
bourgeois, left and green parties in the Swedish
parliament. Privatization has probably been more extensive
in Sweden than in any other EU country, and efforts to
dismantle the public sector are continuing, in compliance
with EU directives and policies.

After only a few years it was obvious that a large
proportion of the Swedes had realized that they had been
tricked. The government was therefore forced to repeatedly
postpone a referendum on joining the European Monetary
Union, which has been at the top of the European capitalist
agenda since at least the mid-1980s.

The referendum was finally held In 2003, mainly because the
prime minister foolishly believed that a majority would
vote Yes. A special minister was appointed with the task of
selling the EMU to the people. The Swedes rejected the EMU
by a 6 to 4 margin, the largest in any referendum since
World War II. This came as a shock to the social democrat
leadership and the bourgeois parties.

Those of us who campaigned against the EMU in street
rallies and public debates were not surprised at all. It
was clear that both working class and middle-class people
were angry at the results of neoliberal policies, although
many of them are still not ready to accept the socialist

The main reason for rejecting the EMU was a widespread
insight, often intuitive, that joining it would be a
disastrous additional erosion of Sweden's national
sovereignty and the people's right to self-determination.

This explains why the Swedish government has refused to
arrange a popular referendum on the new EU constitution.

In addition, for Sweden the new constitution would enable
entering NATO by the back door. More than 60% of the
Swedish voters are against joining NATO, and the government
is well aware of this.

But pressure for a referendum is mounting, and SKP is
participating actively in a nation-wide campaign to ensure
one. The government is currently trying to hedge its
position with a vague promise that the question will be
dealt with somehow in the parliamentary elections scheduled
for 2006.

The attack on the principle of national sovereignty
The negation of national sovereignty is central to
imperialism and takes many forms, including the EU and the
WTO. It is part of the development of the new fascism,
which eliminates the last vestiges of bourgeois democratic
processes. We are constantly being reminded that the
sovereign state is an anachronism, that we need a modern
structure adapted to new needs.

SKP is convinced that the bourgeois sovereign state,
despite its limitations, must be defended because it
enables the working class to exercise political power. At
this point in time, replacing it by supranational
structures can only benefit the capitalists.

In the 1930s, fascist jurists publicly justified German
imperialism on the grounds that a homogeneous ethnic group
das volk forms the true nation and is of a higher order
than the state. This means that the ethnic nation also
supersedes international law, which consists of agreements
between states.

Military intervention in other countries is justified if
the leader of das volk considers that it is required to
safeguard members of this group, regardless of national
jurisdiction. A similar concept is also a component of
Zionist ideology, and Zionist leaders had repeated contact
with officials of the Third Reich.

In other sections of the imperialist camp, violations of
national sovereignty have often been publicly justified by
the need to safeguard the lives and/or property of fellow
citizens. This was a standard pretext for the US government
in 54 military interventions in Latin America between 1890
and 1994.

In recent years we have heard an argument that is analogous
to the fascist ethnic nation, as imperialist ideologues
attempt to enshrine the principle of "human rights" as
pre-empting existing international law.

One example is the prototype assault on Yugoslavia
1992-1999. The breach of sovereignty by NATO was repeatedly
justified in the mainstream media by claims that human
rights had either been violated, were being violated or
were about to be violated by the Serbs, which was the term
used in the West to denote the legally elected government
of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Parallels were often drawn in a fictional analogy to the
Munich conference of 1939, when the West supposedly "stood
by" and allowed mass murder of Jews. It was said that the
West could no longer allow the Serbs to trample on human
rights with impunity military intervention was both
necessary and just.

We may note that imperialist propaganda about Bosnia
contrasted Serbs with Muslims. Not only was this a false
dichotomy of ethnicity as opposed to religion, but it also
ignored the fact that a significant number of Muslims in
Bosnia are ethnic Serbs.

Rewriting the UN Charter
Attempts to establish the principle of the defense of human
rights as superseding national sovereignty and existing
international law have been launched within the UN.

At last year's conference I informed the delegates that the
Swedish government has established a state agency called
The Forum For Living History. Its tasks are to inform the
public about the Holocaust in 1941-45 and to carry out
research on the so-called crimes of Communism. It is openly
committed to spreading anti-Communist propaganda throughout
the Swedish educational system.

In January of this year the Forum arranged a conference in
Stockholm on the theme Preventing Genocide - Threats and
Responsibilities. At the insistence of the Israeli
government the Forum did not invite a representative of the
Palestinians, although the actions of the Israeli
government fall within the definition of genocide in the UN

The delegates to the conference came from 60 countries.
Virtually all of them referred to the Holocaust, which
shows that they had a historical perspective on the crime
of genocide, since the Holocaust ended 59 years ago. But
this perspective was rather limited, as you will see.

"The Holocaust" are the first two words of the declaration
adopted by the Forum, which states that the delegates are
"conscious of our obligations and responsibilities under
international law including human rights and international
humanitarian law, deeply concerned with the repeated
occurrence of genocide, mass murder and ethnic cleansing in
recent historyWe are committed to exploringthe options
presented at the Forum for action against genocidal
threats, mass murders, deadly conflicts and ethnic
cleansing as well as genocidal ideologies and incitement to
genocide, including the concrete proposal presented by the
United Nations Secretary-General".

This proposal appeared in the keynote speech by Kofi Annan.
He mentioned Yugoslavia, Rwanda in 1994 and Srebrenica in
1995, the latter three times. The alleged genocide in
Srbrenica is said to have involved 7,000, sometimes 8,000

Annan said that in a report to the UN General Assembly in
November 1999 he "drew attention to serious doctrinal (!)
and institutional failings within the UN, including a
pervasive ambivalence regarding the role of force in the
pursuit of peace".

He also said that a "Special Rapporteur" should be
appointed, supported by the High Commissioner for Human
Rights, to report directly to the Security Council "making
clear the link, which is often ignored until too late,
between massive and systematic violations of human rights
and threats to international peace and security".

This was of course at the core of the propaganda justifying
the attack on Yugoslavia. Alleged violations of human
rights within the borders of the sovereign state of
Yugoslavia were said to be a threat "to international peace
and security", which they could not have been even if they
had been committed.

Annan referred to an International Commission on
Intervention and National Sovereignty which in 2001 issued
a report entitled "The Responsibility to Protect".
According to Annan this report "has altered the terms of
debate on this very difficult issue in a most creative and
promising way. Thanks to the Commission we now understand
that the issue is not one of a right to intervene, but
rather of a responsibility in the first instance, a
responsibility of all states to protect their own
populations, but ultimately a responsibility of the whole
human race to protect our fellow human beings from extreme
abuse wherever and whenever it occurs. This nascent
doctrine offers great hope to humanity. I believe it will
gain wider acceptance" Das volk has now been supplanted by
"the whole human race".

Annan finally stated his proposal. "Genocide, whether
imminent or ongoing, is practically always a threat to the
peace. It must be dealt with as such by strong and united
political action and in extreme cases by military action.
And that means that we need clear ground rules to
distinguish between genuine threats of genocide (or
comparably massive violations of human rights) which
require a military response, and other situations where the
use of force would not be legitimate".

This will obviously require a revision of the UN Charter,
which expressly prohibits the use of force except in case
of self-defense.

Armed intervention according to Annan is legitimate even
when genocide is "imminent", which means that the crime is
to be punished before it is committed. Neither Annan nor
any of the delegates to the Forum bothered to explain how
alleged genocide is a threat to the peace.

The US Ambassador to Sweden referred to the Holocaust,
Cambodia, Rwanda and "over 25 years of massive assault on
humanity in Iraq", but did not indicate who was behind the
assault. The Ambassador advocated the use of "force where
appropriate." He claimed that "the US is committed to
working with the international community to ensure that
every state fulfills its obligations to guard against those
who would exterminate liberty and innocent life". He said
that we all have to "support the rule of law". The
Ambassador also said that "Since the Nuremberg trials, we
have all worked to create a framework of principles to
secure the rule of law and hold perpetrators accountable".
There is no indication in the transcript that the delegates
to the Forum laughed at any of these statements.

Who will provide the evidence to substantiate claims of
"massive violations of human rights"? It will come from the
same sections of the "international community" that
produced the so-called evidence that was used to justify
the wars on Yugoslavia and Iraq. For example, Washington is
currently trying to apply Annan's doctrine it to justify an
attack on Cuba.

Annan's doctrine is also highly selective, as the
historical perspective of the conference did not include
any of the following examples of "genocide or other
comparably massive violations of human rights", among many

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August
1945. US Admiral William D. Leahy, a special adviser to
both Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, said of Truman
and Byrnes that "They went ahead and killed as many women
and children as they could. Which is what they wanted to do
in the first place".
The terror bombings by the US of North Korea in the early
1950s, and of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in the 1960s and
The slaughter of more than 1.5 million Communists in
Indonesia 1965-66 under the supervision of the US
government, with no protest from the West
Years of slaughter in East Timor, also without protest from
the West
Mass murder under US supervision in Colombia, Guatemala, El
Salvador and other Latin American countries, also without
protest from the West
Murder and ethnic cleansing of the Serbs in Croatia
1994-95, under US supervision
The terror bombing of Yugoslavia
Considerably more than 25 years of Israel's massive assault
on humanity
The attack on Iraq in 1992, followed by 12 years of bombing
by the US and the UK, which together with Western-imposed
sanctions resulted in well over a million deaths, including
at least 500,000 children

There is no reason to believe that the new ground rules
called for by Annan will be used for anything else than to
justify aggression against states that defy the will of the

SKP urges all Communist and workers' parties to vigorously
combat this attempt to pervert the UN Charter.

Peter Cohen
International Secretary
Communist Party of Sweden (SKP)