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This is Finland, the voice of logic
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-04-05 09:58:37
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After days of screaming regrets because Finland doesn’t participate in another bombing occasionally of innocents the voice of logic and for me the contemporary conscious of this country Martti Ahtisaari returned to say the obvious “no sense in Finland providing fighter aircraft to take part in enforcing the no-fly zone in Libya.”

Martti Ahtisaari is a noble man of Finnish politics and I know the former Finnish President mainly from his writings long before visiting Finland for the first time. A man with an ideology and dignity that he loyally serves for decades and what differs him from any other contemporary Finnish politicians and statesmen are exactly these two elements that unfortunately a lot lack dramatically. But you see Ahtisaari lacks the pompous attitude and populist behaviour Finnish politicians have often shown, he even lacks the athlete’s inspiration; he never crossed the whole arctic on a pair of old wooden skies and never survived for days with just water, he only plays golf and that poorly. And that doesn’t fulfil the stereotypes Finns have created and embraced for themselves.

The man doesn’t spent hours preaching about the superiority of the fatherland and how the world wouldn’t go around if Finland hadn’t become independent ninety years ago. Martti Ahtisaari is the logic in a world where everything effects everybody, where there is global economy and global poverty, a world where action bring reaction in a global level. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t agree in many things with Ahtisaari but I always appreciated his logic, his analytical and realistic mind and his noble nature.

But Finland the last thirty years is in a serious crisis and the crisis is not just economic, that’s the pick of the iceberg, the crisis is deep and it has to do with the national and historic identity. For decades the Finns built a series of myths and stereotypes for themselves occasionally in contradiction even with history as a weapon of defence. The national unity was very important for a little David to the gigantic Soviet Goliath and it became more urgently since this David had to fight alone, left out or misunderstood from the powers all around the world. Actually this national unity was their only defence and in Finnish has even a name, sisu, a word that combines pride and courage – oddly similar words there are in every language always followed by the same motto from the locals, impossible to translate!

Coincidentally with the fall of the Wall this spirit that held the national unity lost its power to the national confident. Suddenly the Finns were not the perfect workers and the Finnish universities were not the best in the world. There were immigrants with higher degrees and far more experiences and there are countries far more advanced not including the certain powers they admired. Some of the myths blew like balloons in the air and the Finns started a new campaign to find their identity. Some, painfully for any civilized country in the west try to find this identity through their prejudice, xenophobia and racism. Oddly a lot – and among them a lot of politicians and statesmen including military – try to find this identity through blood and vampire organizations.

The last few years there is a very tense conversation in Finland about joining a vampire – and with very dark past – organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. An organization that in theory should be dead the day after the Berlin wall fell, an organization that serves only one thing, the sales of American weapons in a huge supermarket only for members with no security guarantee for its members as the Cyprus incident shown nearly forty years ago and that in reality tries to do exactly what UN and the UN peace corps do by definition with no good excuse. So if the Finns to build a national identity need to become members in a club why don’t they become members in a golf club, it will definitely cost them less especially in these hard times.

But this didn’t stop there, the last few days politicians and amazingly former defence secretaries criticize the government for not participating in the Libyan situation. Most of the countries – there were very few exceptions – agree that something has to be done with Qaddafi and his regime and a few with neighbouring and special interest in the Mediterranean area decided to move their action on step further. In this step even the Security Council had to face with some opposition and we are not talking about the usual in thee case Russia and China. And even when the decision for the action was taken and the participants were chosen the American president declared loud and clear that this was a totally controlled operation targeting Qaddafi’s aggression and leaving the Libyan people to do the next steps; lesson learned. The rest of us we are just waiting in a case some other kind of help needed – for example refugees, something I bet True Finns don’t like to offer …it doesn’t include blood – and live the dirty part to the experts and the ones who have the right hardware to do the job or at least hopefully do the job. Remember their job is not to “free” the country but to enforce a non-fly zone in Libya.

Martti Ahtisaari pointed all that and asked the Finnish people especially the ones on position to influence to stop this talk. He even pointed the strategic aspect of the operation pointing "If I were running the operation, I would not want 30 countries sending 2-3 planes each or just eight, as Sweden has done. How could this be coordinated in a sensible manner so that it would be a controlled operation?" in answer to some of those finding the Libyan issue as a good chance for the Finnish pilots to do some target practicing – I cannot think any other reason for why they would like to be there.

Martti Ahtisaari started been appreciated more in Finland after his Nobel Prize award – exactly the same award shows how much the man was appreciated abroad and before the Finns and for how long – so lets hope that the voice of logic will reach the ones he should and personally let’s hope that he will say more before the True Finns manage to disorientate the whole nation more than it is now.

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