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.
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.
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.
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
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.
H/T: Twitter, Vice