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Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Sweden has frequently presumed to the role of moral judge of the United States and other Western nations.  The Swedes, indeed all Scandinavians, need to examine their own history to gain a bit of humility.

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Washington Times editor in chief Wesley Pruden’s latest opinion column is titled Cutting no slack for Romans and Rebels.

He reports that Swedish Professor Tore Janson has published a study of the Latin language.  In the course of studying the language, the good Professor became aware of the social and political practices of ancient Rome.  All this “makes me feel sick,” the Professor declares.

Editor Pruden explains: “The Romans, after all, owned slaves (white folks, mostly) with whom they conjugated more than verbs, engaged in wars (they would have fought with unregistered guns if there had been any), and the red-state Romans would probably have voted to re-elect George W. Bush if only they could have.”

Harsh judgments of other nations’ conduct have in recent decades been one of Sweden’s main exports.  Meanwhile, they aren’t having much success managing their own society and economy.  Sweden is lagging woefully behind other socialist nations in Europe, as Swedes stagger under the heaviest tax burden of any European nation. 

Had Professor Janson looked at the history of Scandinavia and how it acquired its wealth and status among nations, he might have been less bold about criticizing the Romans. 

The Scandinavian Vikings burst upon the scene with terrible raids in the British Isles and Continental Europe beginning in the 700s AD.  Peaceful villages near the ocean or accessible by rivers were attacked without warning, the Vikings looting whatever wealth they could and carrying off as many of the inhabitants as possible.

This sudden irruption was no accident.  It coincided with the devastation of Western Europe by the Islamic hordes coming out of the Middle East in the early period of Muslim conquests of Eastern and Western Roman Empire cities.

The connection was the sudden wealth of the Muslims from the gold and silver mines they had taken in North Africa and Western India.  The Muslims wanted slaves to make their lives easier, and they now had the wealth to pay for them.  The Scandinavian Vikings obliged, supplying a torrent of slaves, all of whom were caucasians.

Moving via long boat across the Baltic and down the rivers of Russia southward toward the Muslim capitals, the Vikings established Russia’s ancient capital Kiev as a slave trading post.  So vast were the numbers of caucasian slaves captured in these Slavic areas and sold to the Muslims that the ethnic term Slav became the word slave.

Perhaps the Swedes should just keep their criticisms to themselves henceforward.