esmaspäev, aprill 30, 2007

The Silent Victor

There are a lot of unpleasant feelings out there in Estonia right now. Most people I think are angry at the violent marauders that broke windows and looted shops since Thursday.

Why? Because we all live here too. And we're not necessarily very political people. We have small children. Or we are old. We have to go to the store to buy food. We have to go to the Apteek to buy medicine. We want to live our lives in peace, and thousands of drunk 17-year-olds destroying our home is revolting.

But the extreme dislike for the rioters has now spilled over into politics. Prime Minister Andrus Ansip is the focus of those who are maddest -- in every sense of the word -- over the removal of the monument. They want him to resign. It's their stated goal and, surprise, surprise, it's also the goal of the Russian government, who would rather work with their good pal Edgar Savisaar.

But the thing is that Savisaar is equally hated at this moment. People's stomachs turn as they watch him go on Russian state TV and apologize to the Russians on behalf of Estonians. Who was he again? The Mayor of Tallinn. No one will form a coalition with Keskerakond now. Not even Reform party. So he too is marginalized from the debate.

But surprisingly silent is Mart Laar, the head of Isamaa-Res Publica Liit, yet holding no official capacity at the moment. Laar of course supported the removal of the statue. But he's not the face man for the removal and therefore no ire is directed against him. It's Ansip they want, not Laar. At the same time he is encumbered by the slime that follows Savisaar wherever he goes.

In short, I am begining to think that Laar will benefit most from this.

22 kommentaari:

Kristjan ütles ...

This is not the time to analyze who will win the most from this! This is still very much the time to fight for our Republic as a unified nation!

stockholm slender ütles ...

Savisaar may serve a purpose, wittingly or unwittingly, in integrating the minority into Estonian society. Kekkonen's politics absolutely did not look pretty, and he was unscrupulous and hyper-ambitious, especially his later years had a poisonous effect on our internal politics, but his legacy in the end was marginalizig Finnish Communism (by embracing all air out of it) and integrating Finnish economy fully with the West. I would think that the task for the Estonian society is to integrate those Russians that are willing to accept a Western oriented and independent Estonia and marginalize ruthlessly those that don't. Ruthlessness in this respect might have a soft and polite form and approach.

From what I have heard I believe that the present crisis has wakened ugly memories, but today things are totally different: Estonia is fully integrated with Western structures, in reality she is fully secure, and can thus surely afford to make (or be appearing to make) some symbolic concessions along with absolute firmness on the unnegotiable issues.

Giustino ütles ...

Savisaar is like Kekkonen. But I think that Estonia owes its Western to support to Laar and Kallas and Ilves. Savisaar could work a little harder in that regard.

Kristjan ütles ...

Stockholm Slender, you are absolutely correct.

Giustino, Savisaar doesn't need to work on anything anymore, because he is politically a corpse.

Giustino ütles ...

The thing is that Keskerakond exists, Kristjan, and his party is the second largest in Estonia.

So who do you see taking over there, because it seems like there are no other leaders in KESK.

I mean look how he shamefully just took Ratas' job. "Jüri, I want my job back."

Kristjan ütles ...

Keskerakond will disintegrate, or change its nature completely.

Eleonora ütles ...

From Australia and with genetic connections to Estonia, I have been watching Giustino's site and blogs with much interest over the last few days.

As to who wins out of this it is always useful to ask "cui bono", or "who benefits"?

One could argue Putin.

Within Russia, the events of the past few days seem to have successfully diverted internal attention away from the recent very public street protests in Moscow and St Petersburg against Putin and in which Garry Kasparov was prominant.

There is a TV Channel in Australia that takes news programs direct from overseas countries such as Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Japan and Russia. This morning the Russian news of 45 minutes duration devoted more than half the program to the events in Estonia and the Russian public reaction.

Kristjan ütles ...

Eleonora, I think you're wrong.

However, I would like to ask everyone to please not discuss this topic at the present time.

I will use foul language, if necessary. ;-)

Giustino ütles ...

Eleanora,

I think that the anti-Baltic campaign of the Russian Federation has always been for internal consumption.

Estonia poses no threat for Russia, and it is obviously not an impediment to its economic development.

Ukraine and Belarus and Finland -- all of whom have minorities in Estonia -- never complain about the citizenship policies.

So you have to deduce that the constant negativity serves a domestic purpose.

Kristjan ütles ...

Let's stop this now.

Eleonora ütles ...

Ciao ja head ööd
:-)

Kristopher ütles ...

Estonia was a member of the League of Nations and had a non-aggression treaty with Soviet Russia. Sales figures indicated that the British seemed to like Estonian butter and pork products very much. All that integration didn't do squat. A couple unlucky citizens were kidnapped from across Lake Peipsi and spirited away to Russia in the 1930s before the Molotov-Ribentrop Pact. That example never ceases to amaze me as far as brazenness is concerned.

I'm not saying there is necessarily any danger, but

1) Don't count on the West 100% (the White Ship thing)

2) Don't put anything past Russia (riddle inside mystery etc).

By the way, the story among the Defence Leaguers is that as long as those two helicopters that flew around Tallinn on Thursday thru Saturday are flightworthy, we have a national air defence, hence no NATO air support. That is probably apocryphal, but if you have a lawyerly eye for fine print you might want to peruse Article Five and ask yourself how rock solid that guarantee really is.

Kristjan ütles ...

Kristopher, your post serves no positive purpose. Please stop.

Giustino ütles ...

Kristjan, when did you decide to occupy my blog and tell people what they can and cannot do?

Just curious.

Kristjan ütles ...

When it became realistically significant to what is going on.

I will go away as soon as this is over.

Kaur ütles ...

Kristjan, please stop it, everybody has a right to his or her opinion and we need a discussion here. The "only positve comments allowed" reminds me the Soviet Union where the media didn't speak about anything negative.

Kristopher ütles ...

I shouldn't play ombudsman for my own comment and I will shut up and get back on topic -- but I will say don't see much negativism in my comment. The fact that some Russian extremists think NATO and EU is a bluff was reported on last night's Estonian evening news, on 2 or 3, so it's definitely an issue that is now out there and fair game for comment in my book.

The fact that a well-trained national guard is standing by is only a very positive thing, and if the Kaitseliit is realistically cynical about the West, that will probably only contribute to self-reliance. The West is deadly slow in responding to anything, and if there is a diversion of any kind, rapid response will be critical.

martintg ütles ...


Giustino said...

I think that the anti-Baltic campaign of the Russian Federation has always been for internal consumption.

So you have to deduce that the constant negativity serves a domestic purpose.


Unfortunately the domestic television that carries this internal anti-Baltic campaign is also available to Estonia's Russian speaking population via cable.

martintg ütles ...


Kristopher said...
The fact that a well-trained national guard is standing by is only a very positive thing, and if the Kaitseliit is realistically cynical about the West, that will probably only contribute to self-reliance. The West is deadly slow in responding to anything, and if there is a diversion of any kind, rapid response will be critical.


I've read that both Finland and Sweden have both agreed to join NATO's Rapid Reaction Force, which must be a positive development for Estonia. See:
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/04/14/europe/EU-GEN-Finland-Sweden-NATO.php

Once both Finland and Sweden become full NATO members, I think Estonia's future will be secure. But ofcourse the Kaitseliit will have to continue to build their self-reliance capability, even a rapid reaction force will take some time.

Sam ütles ...

More on topic, Savisaar is a political corpse. Never, and I mean never, have I heard any dyed-in-the-wool Keskerakond supporter recant their support for him, regardless of his demagoguery or blatant hypocrisy.

Yet, in every major news commentary site in Estonia, I've read his (Estonian) supporters expressing bewilderment at his statements and vowing to never vote for him again, despite siding with him since his call to defend Toompea in 1991.

Yes, there are obviously still pro-Edgar sycophants making the rounds, condemning Ansip to the depths of hell, but I must stress that I have NEVER heard any Kesk voter badmouth him before.

Then there's mahasavisaar.com, collecting signatures to call for his resignation, which has collected nearly 50 000 signatures so far, most of which seem genuine. Even allowing for 50% of repeat voting or sock puppetry, that's still 25 000 very POd citizens.

And as far as my self-selected anecdotal evidence (meaning friends, family, and the sites I frequent) goes, Ansip is a golden boy to most Estonians right now, by finally showing that our nation has a spine. And it's not just him, it's the entire government. Take that, Gazprom lackey.

eestiema ütles ...

Mart Laar certainly shouldn't benefit from this, since he missed the boat on his first watch.

Had the statue been removed when all sort of Lenins and other unwanted memorials were being removed, the current rioting could have been avoided. Back then, everyone was too uncertain to protest.

How I wish Harry Henn and his crane had taken this one down too!

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Today i got a copy of the latest issue of leading German magazine Der Spiegel, they did an interview with Mart Laar about the current situation. Rare occasion for Estonian politicians to explain their views.