On Sunday, The New York Times devoted two full pages to analyze the rise of the Swedish right. It concludes that the cause of this new xenophobia is “external forces.”
“To dig beneath the surface of what is happening in Sweden, though, is to uncover the workings of an international disinformation machine, devoted to the cultivation, provocation and amplification of far-right, anti-immigrant passions and political forces. Indeed, that machine, most influentially rooted in Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia and the American far right, underscores a fundamental irony of this political moment: the globalization of nationalism.”
But the Times goes on to say that “Swedish popular opinion, has become more critical of the Kremlin than some of its far-right European counterparts.” After writing that ‘Russia’s hand in all of this is largely hidden from view’ it discovers ‘fingerprints.’
The worst that the article can come up with is an allegation that a crew from the Russian TV station NTV paid some youths in Rinkeby to pretend to riot so that it could film them.
Considering the overall evidence, a dodgy broadcast on NTV, some reposting of Alexander Dugin, RT, and Sputnik on far-right websites, and the rather peculiar advertising strategy of a German auto-parts company don’t go very far in explaining the spread of anti-immigrant sentiment.