esmaspäev, märts 19, 2007

Four more years

Finland's sexiest man Matti Vanhanen and his Centre Party were narrowly reelected yesterday in Finland, giving Vanhanen the opportunity to continue on as the prime minister in Estonia's kindred nation across the gulf.

The election occured as Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves was busy on his first official state visit to Finland, and Ilves spent the day in Oulu, singing the city's praises.

The big surprise was the strong showing of Finland's rightwing Kokoomus Party, which seems to be everyone's favorite over at Finland for Thought.

It is now being rumored that the Social Democrats may be forced to return to opposition for the first time since 1995.

21 kommentaari:

plasma-jack ütles ...

offtopic - I've been reading the comments to mr Laidre's article in Guardian. Just wanted to say thanks. Add me to your growing list of potential beer-buyers if you happen to come in capital (:

Flasher T ütles ...

Supposedly this wasn't just THI's first official foreign visit, but the first visit by an Estonian head of state travelling on a military ship.

The strong showing of the right-wingers in Finland and the weakening of the social democrats is characteristic - the same thing happened in Sweden. Denmark's had issues with the youth centre demolition, and there were riots by ethnic Dutch in Holland recently. It's a backlash against the Nordic welfare state's open arms policy. I suppose there's a point - the SDs have successfully built up a social safety net, now there's no more reason to keep them in power. They don't seem to be very good at other stuff.

Kaur ütles ...

Nice typo in the second word of the post :)

Giustino ütles ...

Plasma-Jack,

Those comments were really valuable to me. You can see how warped the Western mindset is when it comes to discussing World War II.

After the war, everyone was fed this story that somehow the war was really about the Holocaust and that all nations were judged in the pantheon of nations by how they reacted to Germany's final solution.

Therefore, Estonia, and all Estonians, are guilty of the Holocaust because some of its residents participated with the Germans at their death camps in Estonia.

Its 'political capital' in the pantheon of nations is somehow less because of this, and therefore commenters felt they had the right to slime the ambassador and his dead relatives because individuals genetically linked to them had perpetrated war crimes.

****

Now, that's total bullshit.

Stalin didn't fight Hitler to stop the Holocaust. The Brits didn't either. And the US didn't join until the last month of 1941, and that's because we were bombed by the Japanese - not because of the Holocaust. That's just the sad reality of the situation.

But people can't seem to break out of that mindset and see beyond the childhood stories and recognize that it was a conflict primarily over territory.

Now, even 60+ years later, people are still denied empathy over that conflict. Estonians are denied empathy because of smear campaigns - founded mostly on mistruths - meant to degrade their position in the world.

Estonians are not worthy of respect because they are 'jackbooted fascists' and 'enthusiastic Jew killers' according some of the more idiotic posters in the comments section.

Sad to say, I'd have to believe that Hitler has somehow won if so many people are today so quick to order the world into superior and inferior nations, some more worthy of respect and empathy, others more worthy of death and distrust.

Reading the comments, I could believe that 'Nazi'-like thinking is alive and well, in the places you'd least expect it.

Giustino ütles ...

Noh Kaur, kas sina oled minu päevatoimetaja või?

Kaur ütles ...

Offtopic: Thank you for you comments to Laidre's article in Guardian. There are not very many people who can and are willing to protect our values so well in the English-speaking Internet.

btw, there are two Kaurs reading your blog, click on the name and you'll see the difference. I have corrected some of your mistakes that you have made in your posts in Estonian, but I didn't point out the typo you made today. It was the other Kaur. :)

Toivo ütles ...

I guess the success of Timo Soini has been the biggest surprise so far.

http://www.perussuomalaiset.fi/

space_maze ütles ...

Thanks, indeed, Guistino for your good work over at Guardian. I read through the comments, and ended up on the same agiated state I generally end up on when I have to read this stupidity.

A local board here is regularily flooded with the same rubbish by one particular horrid Russian nationalist. I've tried to fight her, but it just ends with me having to quit before I get myself an ulcer, every single time. I truely appreciate there being people out there made of harder stuff than I am.

Giustino ütles ...

A local board here is regularily flooded with the same rubbish by one particular horrid Russian nationalist.

Their interpretation of history is so different. Nowhere in the American education system was I taught that World War II was an ideological war.

We were taught that Germany basically decided that Germany wasn't good enough, and so they invaded most of Europe and bombed London.

The Americans stood by holding their noses until they were attacked by the Japanese - in what was essentially a territorial conflict over the Pacific.

We took the liberty to get into the European campaign and look what we got out of it - half of Europe for 50 years.

That entire conflict boiled down to foreign policy ideas that were popular in the 1890s and 1910s -- when the US foreign policy establishment decided to ditch isolationism and become interventionist at a time when European empires were crumbling.

The US entered a power vacuum, so to say, looking to gain more. Roosevelt and Churchill were allies, but in reality the 'torch was passed' from the half-American Churchill to Roosevelt during WWII. The Americans became the successors to the British in world affairs.

Why do you think America holds some kind of moral responsibility for Israel and now Iraq? It has basically assumed the position of responsibility for formerly British possessions.

All this crap about the 'war on fascism' is a joke. I mean Franco was a fascist, and he stayed in power until 1975. So much for winning the war.

plasma-jack ütles ...

I wondered why Russians don't accuse Uzbekistan's leader Islam Karimov of fascism revival, but then again, he was a member of the Communit party, so what if he boils some people.

stockholm slender ütles ...

I saw yesterday a most impressive interview of Ilves on FST (the Finnish Swedish channel): never heard him earlier, he really throughly demolished the Russian case in very cultured and intelligent words. Very nice work indeed. He should be quite an effective fighter for the Estonian case in the international arena. Was quite surprised actually.

And no comments on the boring Finnish elections, the consensus parties lost 3 seats to "True Finns", so the score is now 195 vs 5. No regime change in sight (a good thing surely but our politics certainly are not very interesting).

Anonüümne ütles ...

Plasma Jack,
Why would Russians accuse the Uzbekistan leader?

When will the US of A accuse Saudi Arabian totalitarianism? Or Israelian fascism?

Giustino ütles ...

When will the US of A accuse Saudi Arabian totalitarianism? Or Israelian fascism?

Oh, I am not going to defend our actions in the Middle East. Our president can barely do that.

I think Russian and American foreign policy goals in their 'near abroad' have been failures.

We push buttons in South America - South America hates us. Russia pushes buttons in Eastern Europe - Eastern Europe hates Russia.

Que sera sera!

Giustino ütles ...

Not sure if you caught this but it's being rumoured that Sauli wants Tuomioja's foreign ministry chair. Such an event could put a triumvirate of Bildt, Laar, and Niinistö in the foreign ministries of Estonia, Finland, and Sweden:

http://newsroom.finland.fi/stt/showarticle.asp?intNWSAID=15304&group=Politics

plasma-jack ütles ...

Why would Russians accuse the Uzbekistan leader?

I already answered that question, didn't I? They boil dissidents and shoot demonstrators, but they don't say anything bad about Russia, so no need to seek fascism there. It's not like they were moving bronze statues from one place to the other.

plasma-jack ütles ...

and yes, I also am not a big fan of US politics, either. It might sound surprising, but some people are against Bush AND Putin. Just like some people are both anti-communists and antifascists. They are sometimes referred to as human rights activists or democrats.

space_maze ütles ...

The only thing I actually "like" about Putin is the look he gets on his face every time he has to deal with Bush - like he'd just about to use his Judo on him.

But yeah, I find it quite amusing how you're automatically a Bushite for Russian nationalists if you're against Putin. One would think that russian nationalists would get the stupidity behind "either you're with us or you're against us", after Bush's "either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists" - considering Russia's stance on Chechnya, I don't think they're with the terrorists. And they're most certainly not with Bush either ...

Mattias ütles ...

considering Russia's stance on Chechnya, I don't think they're with the terrorists.

Well, yes, considering Russia's stance on Chechnya, they're not with the terrorists, they are the terrorists.

space_maze ütles ...

Well, yes, considering Russia's stance on Chechnya, they're not with the terrorists, they are the terrorists.

That anyways. I meant "terrorist" in the sense Bush meant in "if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists" - if you're not islamic, you don't count.

space_maze ütles ...

Their interpretation of history is so different. Nowhere in the American education system was I taught that World War II was an ideological war.

I find it quite disgusting how convenient the holocaust is coming in for Russian nationalists. You can't get any argument for the Estonian side of the conflict in without getting "HOLOCAUST!!" thrown at your head. If there's one thing I would much appreciate the holocaust not being, it's convenient.

Well guess what? Your random Ivan didn't give much more of a damn about that at the time than your random Juhan. And I doubt that's changed much.

What I find almost amusing though are people like my friend at this local message board who are openly condemning Estonians as fascists .. and at the same time are openly anti-semetic. This particular person will in one article be pushing the .. lollus :D .. we've been talking about here, while at the same time talking about how the Jews have too much power in Russia, and that it was thus perfectly legitimate for Putin to put Khodorkovsky behind bars, in spite of evidence being .. less than sound.

Put the clowns on the pravda English board or even more amusing. I've read countless threads in which Russian nationalsts accuse Estonians of being nazis and of being part of the Jewish word conspiarcy .. IN THE SAME THREAD!!!!

*dies*

hullu poro ütles ...

@space maze
One could, of course, point out that it was official Soviet policy to pretend that the victims of the Holocaust were not specifically Jews, they were just Soviet citizens that the Nazis and their bourgeois nationalist henchmen murdered for no particular reason.