In the Oval Office in December 2002, the president met with a few ranking senators and members of the House, both Republicans and Democrats. In those days, there were high hopes that the United States-sponsored ''road map'' for the Israelis and Palestinians would be a pathway to peace, and the discussion that wintry day was, in part, about countries providing peacekeeping forces in the region. The problem, everyone agreed, was that a number of European countries, like France and Germany, had armies that were not trusted by either the Israelis or Palestinians. One congressman -- the Hungarian-born Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California and the only Holocaust survivor in Congress -- mentioned that the Scandinavian countries were viewed more positively. Lantos went on to describe for the president how the Swedish Army might be an ideal candidate to anchor a small peacekeeping force on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Sweden has a well-trained force of about 25,000. The president looked at him appraisingly, several people in the room recall.<quoted text>
Good grief, FYI
The Swedish Army trains land combat and air defence units which, in concert with Air Force and naval units, can be deployed operationally on both national and international missions.
The Army’s land forces are being reoriented towards an increasingly clear rapid-response, mission-oriented role which includes participation in international operations."
''I don't know why you're talking about Sweden,'' Bush said.''They're the neutral one. They don't have an army.''
Lantos paused, a little shocked, and offered a gentlemanly reply:''Mr. President, you may have thought that I said Switzerland. They're the ones that are historically neutral, without an army.'' Then Lantos mentioned, in a gracious aside, that the Swiss do have a tough national guard to protect the country in the event of invasion.
Bush held to his view.''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.''
The room went silent, until someone changed the subject.
''No, no, it's Sweden that has no army.'', that Sweden?
you guys actually voted for that idiot? what were you thinking?