There were a lot of Swedish tourists in the fleshpots of Thailand when the Tsunami hit so the following is an interesting email received yesterday from one of my correspondents in Sweden:
"The Swedish government has made a total a*** of itself. Within a day of the size of the problem becoming known, the travel agents here organised something like 6 extra aircraft to begin shuttling stranded tourists and the less badly hurt home to Sweden/Scandinavia. The government, in contrast, took until today to begin organising an airlift of the significant number of seriously wounded citizens who can't be transported on the regular aircraft. They also did not/have not yet asked for help from such countries as Australia (we did get the obligatory shot of an Australian airforce Hercules transport in Indonesia). So, private companies acting with no profit motive have quickly responded to a major catastrophe on the other side of the world while the government of the people sits on its hands and does nothing. Hmmm, how do these burks get voted in again? I suspect the deeper problem is that the government *can't* quickly respond to such incidents despite their claims. Sweden is busy laying off its armed forces, where I guess quickly activated medical teams and aircraft are traditionally located, so they have been caught with their pants down. As for why they didn't ask for help from Australia or the US? That is a curly one, a cynic would suggest pride in not asking the dreaded Anglo-aggressors for help. There really is no other reason I can imagine. Granted, Australia may be stretched already and the US -- well, we get no information about that -- although I know at least one naval group is in the area to help. The point I think was that the Swedes didn't even ask"