After Saudi feud, Sweden debates a “feminist” global role, as a “great moral power”

STOCKHOLM, March 15 (Reuters) – In a few months, Sweden’s minority government has managed to antagonise both Israel and the Arab world, while also angering business leaders at home as Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom steadfastly pursues human rights and feminism.

Wallstrom’s agenda, and the criticism it has drawn, has exposed a struggle over Sweden’s identity and whether it should become what some politicians call a “moral great power”, or prioritise security and an export-led economy.

After Sweden cancelled a defence cooperation accord with Saudi Arabia last week over rights concerns, the Arab League condemned Wallstrom and blocked her from giving a speech in Cairo. Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador from Stockholm; hundreds of millions of dollars in business are threatened.

Wallstrom, a former EU commissioner, promised a “feminist” foreign policy when her Social Democrats formed the coalition government last October. Since then, she has described the flogging of a liberal Saudi blogger as “medieval”, winning praise from many commentators for standing up to the kingdom.

“I won’t back down over my statements on women’s rights, democracy and that one shouldn’t flog bloggers,” Wallstrom said, referring to sentencing of Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes. “I have nothing to be ashamed of”…

…”The Swedish brand, as a reliable partner who you can talk to, has been badly hurt,” said Sven Hirdman, a former Swedish ambassador to Moscow.

How stupid is this woman anyway? Does she even read the news? Does she really think the Saudis are going to change because of her opinions? The left is impossible in their self-righteousness.

  • BillyHW

    How do you laugh in Swedish?

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    They are so used to playing the “sexist pig” card that they are surprised it doesn’t work when encountering REAL sexist pigs.
    Burn Sweden burn.
    In your death maybe something good will come from the ashes, but in your life, nothing good shall come.
    Die faster, please.

    • Frau Katze

      They’re crazy but I’ve run into some sensible ones in commenting areas.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Oh, me too, but the ones you run into on the Internet are not the policy makers that are flummoxed that the Muslims won’t put down the toilet seat or pee sitting down.

  • canminuteman

    At least she’s calling them on it. Canadian feminists all give muzzies a pass on their medieval behaviour

  • Brett_McS

    Accepting sharia at home; condemning it abroad. That’s an optimal strategy … for destroying a country.

    • Canadian

      Everyone knows that Sweden was too swedish.
      Situation corrected.

  • A fight between the Saudis and Swedish feminists, how sweet it is.

    It almost makes me root for the Saudis.

  • Exile1981

    I think her brain is non- functional; you can make comments to the saudis but you don’t trash your allies and trading partners without good reason.

    Of course she has no real experiences running anything like Obama so it seems to work so well in the US as well. – sarc

  • Exile1981

    From her wiki page
    – worked as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
    – Environment Commissioner from 1999–2004
    – Minister for Consumer Affairs, Women and Youth in 1988–1991
    – Then she went to work for the EU
    – The Economist listed her among the least effective commissioners in 2009.
    – Her work on such platforms has earned her names like “the Propaganda Commissioner”.

  • Rosenmops

    a “moral great power”

    Anyone that describes themselves as a great moral power is a deluded narcissist . ISIS thinks they are a great moral power too. So do the imams in Soddy Barbaria.

  • Sharkibark

    By trying to make everyone happy – you piss everyone off.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    In a different context in a different country, her attitude was called “the arrogance of power.”

  • Millie_Woods

    Well I can’t argue with her opinions on democracy, women’s rights and flogging bloggers in Saudi Arabia. But diplomacy doesn’t appear to be her strong suit. The Sweedies might have been better off making this harridan ambassador to a friendly, like-minded country where all of the heavy lifting on human rights issues has already been done.

  • As with Greece, indeed as with the USA, we are now seeing the coming to power of extremist leftist elements, who have moved from the lunatic fringe to mainstream.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Don’t worry. She’ll come around to blaming it on the Jews.