It all started in Dublin the Easter of 1916
by Tommy Hansson

Ireland is, as we noted in Contra # 4 1999, a country rapidly moving forward. You often read about the “Keltish tiger economy”. Tommy Hansson was, during a visit to Ireland shortly before the parliamentary election in May, able to confirm the reports. An extensive construction program is a certain sign of economic progress. And the large number of construction undertakings is what a visitor is noting first of all, especially in the countryside. In this issue of Contra several articles deal with Ireland, where the country’s history is linked to present times. Because it was only at Easter 1916 that the history of modern Ireland started.

In spite of the peace agreement:
IRA has death lists

Approximately a month before the Irish parliamentary election it was revealed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) had made “death lists”, comprising names of prominent conservative politicians.

Ms Anna Lindh, foreign secretary and a shame for Sweden

When Palestinians march in Stockholm they usually burn Israeli flags and chant hateful slogans like “death to” or “crush” the State of Israel and the democratically elected politicians of Israel. The atmosphere is full of hate. But when pro-Israelis had a large rally on Raoul Wallenberg Square in downtown Stockholm on May 5th, the theme was “Against terror – for Peace”. Israeli flags were waved and the participants sang and danced in the nice sun of early spring. But Swedish foreign secretary Anna Lindh was not popular with the audience.

A catastropy in educational politics
by Staffan Sjövall

The new system for high school education in Sweden more and more turns into an educational catastrophy. A retired high school teacher discusses the problems.

Those who ruined Sweden:
Östen Undén, a pro-Soviet foreign secretary
by Tommy Hansson

Östen Undén succeeded Christian Günther as Sweden’s foreign secretary on July 31 1945. This was his final promotion after a long career as a loyal servant in the Social Democratic Party. The inetellectual academic Undén formed Swedish foreign policy, partly against the wishes of Prime Minister Tage Erlander, for a very long time (17 years). Undén formulated the policy of neutrality which in practice turned out to be pro-Soviet, during a long period of the Cold War.

The roots of islamic terorism
by Antero Leitzinger

This article discusses the roots of islamic terrorism, and especially looks at Afghanistan. Also discussed is the problems of media to find the correct path in islamic questions. The general “consensus” seems to be based on misunderstandings and myths. And the misunderstandings are as large with the islamists as with islamophobes. The analysis will continue in the next issue of Contra.

The heroes of the Cold War:
Bevin created the foundation of NATO

Ernest Bevin (1881-1951) was a pioneer in the British trade union movement. He was as a shop steward good at organizing strikes, but as a negotiator also good at concluding deals with the employers. When the British Labour Cabinet was formed in the summer of 1945 Bevin was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer but was after two hours (!) as Chancellor transferred to the Foreign Office. As Foreign Secreatary he turned into one of the heroes of the Cold War.