Sweden marks its presence on Gothland in the Baltic

visby-gotlandGothland, the big island right in the middle of the Baltic Sea, belongs to Sweden and has been Swedish for centuries. Visby, the only city on the island, was founded back in the early Hanseatic times and is now a popular tourist resort.

Gotland, as it’s named in Swedish, has been protected by various Swedish regiments over the years, but in our time it has been left without any military defence at all. The money needed to keep the military defence capacity intact is said to be in better use for other purposes, such as maintaining Sweden’s relatively high standards of living. And to pay for the so called “newcomers”, by which is meant people from the Islamic dominated countries, of which only a small fraction are Christians, those who have survived Muslim oppression and persecution.

However, as Gothland has a strategically important location in Northern Europe  it is not unimportant who is in charge and controls it. Not only from a military point of view but also economically as the pipelines with gas from Russia to Germany passes the waters just east of the island and west of Russia’s enclave Kaliningrad, before 1946 called Königsberg.

The General of the Swedish Armed Forces, the Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister of the “green socialist” Government have this morning declared its intension to demonstrate Swedish military presence on Gothland. That’s fine. So as from today as many as 129 military soldiers have been transported to the island in order to safeguard it and its inhabitants, the Gothlanders. Impressed, are you not?

Some commentators have said in media that this is a “signal” to “Putin’s Russia”, which is the country from where the threat is said to originate. But what “signal” could possibly 129 soldiers constitute? It is far less than one tenth of a regiment.

Some politicians among the opposition have argued that now is the time to become a member of Nato. The “green socialist” minority government wishes in stead to cooperate more with Finland, Sweden’s neighbour  and a country which used to be the eastern half of Sweden before it lost the war with Russia back in 1808-1809. On the other hand President Putin has declared that if Sweden joints Nato, there would be “consequences”. Whatever that could mean.

Yes, no doubt Sweden has marked its precence in the Baltic. And how shall we understand the “signal”? Maybe a country not willing and not prepared to defend itself, its population and the secularized “Swedish way of life” (whatever that could mean)? Someone has said, “a country not willing to defend itself is not worth defending”. Wise words.

Should Russia organize a “coup d’etat” on Gothland or (although less likely) threaten Sweden with weapons of mass destruction, the 129 soldiers couldn’t do much. As Sweden isn’t a member of Nato, it is most likely that such a “take over” wouldn’t result in anything but some words of protest. The present discussions among the EU leaders to form a European army seem to remain as such – “discussions” – but one shouldn’t be too surprised though, if a EU military super power would become a reality in the near future. If so, war could be the sudden consequence.

Only God knows – and He certainly does. But His recipe for peace doesn’t involve the creation of a European army or the formation of an EU super power,  but to love ones neighbour, even ones enemies, yes, Mr Juncker, even the Russians. After all, the Russians are not atheists like the EU leadership but Christians, Orthodox Christians. 

CAB

Below a video from Russia’s Victory Day Parade 2015.