It’s not often someone will say this, but maybe we should stop our daily routine and take a look at Sweden for a moment. Spurring feelings of “What do they know that we don’t?” Sweden’s government has started handing out pamphlets to its citizens titled “If Crisis or War Comes.” The booklet is an informational guide on what to do in the event of an attack, leaving some concerned over why Sweden thought the pamphlet was necessary.
This is legit worrying, especially as Sweden hasn't been in a war since 1814. https://t.co/xpT5Nwwn8s
— Rosemarie Ward (@Rosemarie_Ward) May 21, 2018
While it’s easy to take it as a sign of coming trouble, we can’t forget the current state of the world. Sweden isn’t exempt from terror attacks, as witnessed in the April 2017 Stockholm event where a Soviet rejected asylum seeker drove a lorry through a crowd of people. Five people were killed and 14 were injured in the ramming attack.
It’s not that Sweden’s government is nervous. It just wants people to be prepared for rising seas, cybersabotage, fake news, terrorist attacks, food shortages or even war with a certain big neighbor to the east. https://t.co/9rCVoiapnr
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) May 21, 2018
The distribution of the pamphlet is causing unease, and considering what it covers, that’s not unexpected. One section, titled “Be on the lookout for false information,” is devoted to combating the spread of “fake news.”
This pamphlet is impressive. Has practical advice even for those of us not living in Sweden. Plus, this wise admonition: “when we are under threat, our willingness to help each other is one of our most important assets.” Thanks for sharing
— Lucy M. Sullivan (@lucymsullivan) May 21, 2018
It’s not the first time Sweden issued this kind of pamphlet. In 1961, during the Cold War, a similar guide-to-war was distributed as tensions rose between the United States and Russia. With Russia’s missile tests in the Baltic in April and simulated nuclear strikes on Sweden, it makes sense that the nation would want its citizens to be prepared for anything.
Fascinating to see this in comparison with the leaflets Sweden passed out in the cold-war era. pic.twitter.com/TEfQSvnNmO
— Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) May 21, 2018
Sweden to send out a 20-page pamphlet titled “If Crisis or War Comes” to 4.8 million households, the first such publication handed out since 1961 https://t.co/3PPcFkA1sC
— TRT World (@trtworld) May 22, 2018
Swedish Government hands out pamphlet teaching its citizens how/what to prepare for if War breaks out. Certainly isn't every day this sort of thing happens, especially in Sweden – a country w/ +200 years of abstinence from War. All this in response to Russian Aggression in Baltic
— Brian Dunn (@BankruptMedi4) May 22, 2018
The newly minted pamphlets come amid escalating security concerns following Russia's annexation of Crimea. https://t.co/04XoM9euBm
— Linda Hill (@bulldoghill) May 22, 2018
As Smari McCarthy, chief technologist of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, puts it: “A pamphlet is *not* preparation. Also, Russia isn’t on Sweden’s doorstep. Check a map.”
You're not reading the important bits. A pamphlet is *not* preparation. Also, Russia isn't on Sweden's doorstep. Check a map.
— Smári McCarthy (@smarimc) May 22, 2018
The most striking statement in the pamphlet goes against what many people think they know about Sweden. “If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up,” the pamphlet states.
— Armin Ronacher (@mitsuhiko) May 21, 2018
H/T: Twitter, Vice