Sweden Prepares for WarProfessor Ferdinand E. Banks
September 29th, 2015
In Sweden, many voters from one of the opposition parties - the 'Center' Party - have denounced the dictatorship of the peace-loving Swedish majority, and declared that they are ready and willing to make common cause with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). At the same time this is happening, a thousand migrants a day are arriving in this country - more than enough to seriously wound the famous Swedish welfare state.
I know about this urge to "gird one's loins" in preparation for a war, riot or rumble. In this case it has to do with a long lasting nuthouse belief in a number of countries that all civilized human beings should join together and give the Russians the lesson they deserve. The first time I heard about it was in the U.S., about 3 years after the armed forces of that country and Russia - with important assistance from the U.K., Canada and a few others - defeated Germany. Before the guns cooled, there was a tidal wave of requests by prominent Americans that since Russia did not possess nuclear weapons, the contents of the U.S. nuclear arsenal should be dumped on Russian cities before they obtained these assets.
Prominent non-Americans also were giving vent to their feelings in this matter. Those I always discuss in my brilliant lectures are John von Neumann, sometimes called the 'best brain of the 20th Century', while the hysterics of Bertrand Russell might be viewed as a preview of his looney-tune performances during the Vietnam War, when he declared his precious allegiance to the Red Team.
Many U.S. Senators and Generals could hardly make an after dinner speech without unloading a salute to a concept that came to be known as "preventative war", with von Neumann saying that if you want to attack Russia tomorrow, then why not today, and if you agree to attack today at dinner time, then what about in an hour after you finish your breakfast. Having failed mathematics and physics, I was expelled from my engineering school about that time and had enlisted in the U.S. Army, and during the first part of my two years in Japan, the young gentlemen in my (infantry) regiment were promised a war with Russia almost every week.
What happened was that a war began in Korea in which the U.S. decided to take part, and the planes and tanks that could have easily won that war were kept in the U.S. and Europe in preparation for the Third World War - the war with the Russians that we know now couldn't possibly have taken place (but which some politicians in Sweden seem to be warming to as if it were a longed-for love affair). By the time that those planes and tanks became available, it was too late, and those of us who had obtained a glimpse of the tremendous power of the American ground forces, could only shake our heads at the turn of events.
The American historian Bevin Anderson called Korea a "lost war", although it was more than that. The most important detail in that struggle was that despite facing a multinational army with an overwhelming superiority in planes, guns and tanks, the Chinese succeeded in stopping our advance.
The communists did not concern themselves with our advance in Vietnam: they simply won that war - or better, they created the conditions which made it possible for us to defeat ourselves. And in case you have made a comprehensive study of that period, the nuclear weapons that many leading scientists and politicians said that Russia could not produce - and perhaps could never produce - may have been ready well before 1970.
Almost three years after the Korean War ended, I was in the 'operations van' of an Artillery Group (Brigade) in Germany, listening to the jazz played on a radio program called MUNICH AT MIDNIGHT, when a Colonel entered and requested the plotting of a simulated fire mission involving nuclear artillery. I of course followed his instructions, and the next day I used my trusty slide rule to discover what would have been the result of that exercise if it had been real instead of simulated. Assuming that my calculations were better than those I made for Professor DeCicco before being expelled from Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago), if the projectile employed had been genuine instead of make-believe, it would have removed the eastern suburbs of Nuremberg.
A remark about energy economics can conclude this note. One of the chief editors of the London Economist has protested against the purchase of Russian natural gas because he claims that all sorts of provocations, threats and low-life behaviour come with it. This is discussed at some length in my new energy economics textbook (2015), as well as emphasizing that as Lord Howell has pointed out, Russian gas is perfect for Europe. But now Russia is making China the customer of choice, while Swedish cranks are 'girding their loins' in anticipation of an attack that will never come. NEVER!
Banks, Ferdinand E. (2015). Energy and Economic Theory. Singapore, London and New York: World Scientific
Professor Ferdinand E. Banks
September 29th, 2015
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