The Democracy Dilemma: Should Swedes Sacrifice Their Values Vis-à-Vis Turkiye To Join NATO?

The Democracy Dilemma: Should Swedes Sacrifice Their Values Vis-à-Vis Turkiye To Join NATO?

By Andrew Korybko

There are literally only two ways in which this can go: Sweden will either stick with its principles and thus never formally join NATO; or its leadership will defy basic democratic principles by going against its people’s will and thus capitulating to all of Turkiye’s anti-terrorist demands. Either way, this dilemma is disadvantageous to the soft power interests of the US-led West’s Golden Billion since it exposes that de facto New Cold War bloc’s double standards on democracy, especially with regards to NATO.


Bloomberg reported that 79% of Swedes polled by the popular Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter are against sacrificing their values in the face of Turkish demands to change their laws on terrorism in order to receive Ankara’s approval for joining NATO. This presents a dilemma for that Nordic nation since becoming a formal member of that anti-Russian alliance is its top strategic goal nowadays, yet the only way to do so is to capitulate to President Erdogan, which the vast majority regards as unacceptable.

NATO claims that it’s a group of “democracies”, yet the scenario of the Swedish government going against its people’s will is by definition anti-democratic. Furthermore, despite the PKK and other Kurdish militant groups veritably being terrorists, the Swedish population considers them to be “freedom fighters” who shouldn’t be extradited to Turkiye where they’ll certainly face imprisonment or worse. They also feel the same way about members of the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO).

The Swedish Supreme Court’s refusal to hand over FETO member Bulent Kenes to Turkiye epitomizes this dilemma since that country’s failure to do so will indefinitely delay its NATO membership bid. Ankara is unlikely to approve Stockholm’s membership absent the latter capitulating to its anti-terrorist demands, which also include far-reaching legal reforms on this sensitive issue, yet that Nordic nation is reluctant to sacrifice what its people consider to be their “values” in pursuit of joining that bloc.

There are literally only two ways in which this can go: Sweden will either stick with its principles and thus never formally join NATO; or its leadership will defy basic democratic principles by going against its people’s will and thus capitulating to all of Turkiye’s anti-terrorist demands. Either way, this dilemma is disadvantageous to the soft power interests of the US-led West’s Golden Billion since it exposes that de facto New Cold War bloc’s double standards on democracy, especially with regards to NATO.

On the one hand, it claims to be a group of “democracies” uniting for the supposed purpose of “self-defence” in the face of alleged “aggression” from putatively “authoritative” Russia. On the other hand, however, one of its latest aspirants is being forced by a fellow member to defy democracy in order to join. This dilemma confirms the objective fact that the very concept of democracy itself is relative to national conditions and that no universal model thus exists despite NATO itself claiming otherwise.

After all, if NATO is truly a group of “democracies”, then this makes Turkiye one too by default despite many Westerners increasingly criticizing President Erdogan’s political reforms over the years. It also implies the doublethink that it would be the embodiment of democratic principles for the Swedish government to go against its people’s will by capitulating to all of Turkiye’s anti-terrorist demands, presumably because Turkiye is supposedly a much more mature democracy than Sweden is.

The vast majority of Westerners don’t truly believe the narratives put forth in the preceding paragraph, yet they don’t dare to publicly say so due to their fear of defying the Golden Billion’s “politically correct” dogma about NATO being a group of “democracies”. Once that “sacred cow” is defiled by the facts, its entire raison d’être is exposed as geopolitical, not values-driven like its perception managers among the US-led West’s Mainstream Media (MSM) so insistently claim.

From there, it’s just a proverbial hop, skip, and a jump away from realizing the “politically inconvenient” truth that Russia was right all along in claiming that NATO is an aggressive alliance aimed at global domination, which in turn vindicates its national security concerns about that bloc’s clandestine expansion to Ukraine that prompted Moscow’s special operation almost a year ago. The Golden Billion can’t afford to admit this reality since it discredits the basis of its soft power, ergo its continued lying.

Even so, the average Westerner has slowly wised up to what’s really going on, hence their cognitive dissonance as of late with respect to the democratic dilemma over Sweden’s NATO membership bid. Still, it’s difficult for them to acknowledge that they’ve been lied to their entire lives about everything that the West stands for. They also struggle to accept that different models of democracy and value systems exist since they remain convinced that theirs are exceptional, superior, and universal.

The end result is that the MSM is able to perpetuate the West’s soft power charade by exploiting its target audience’s emotional vulnerabilities to distract them from thinking about the truth. The average person goes along with this perception management operation since it’s easier to react to “agitprop” against Russia, China, Iran, and other leaders of the emerging Multipolar World Order than to deal with the “politically inconvenient” reality that their own governments are lying to them about everything.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.


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Categories: Analysis, Geopolitics, International Affairs

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