Any of you younger folks ever heard of that word? I’ll bet not.
You know about Finland. It is that small country that borders Russia. Always has. Always will.
How many times has it been invaded by Tsarist Russia and the old Soviet Union? How many fingers do you have? During the days of the Tsar, Finland was a “Grand Duchy” of the Russian empire.
The plucky Finns have beaten them off in the past at a high cost to the Finns.
Finland remains independent and prosperous. They make Nokia.
The Finns however learned something after World War II; Russia next door was not going to go away anytime soon. So Finland decided that the Russians needed to be accommodated.
During the Cold War, Finland’s policies were structured to remain neutral. In the West these policies were criticized but the Finns were doing what was best for Finland. No country in the West was going to risk war with the Soviet Union to defend Finland; the Finns were on their own. Finland developed a Western style market economy, trading with the Soviets without pissing them off.
We called Finland’s obeisance to the Soviet Union “Finlandization”. And we understood it. It is the essence of realpolitik.
There is a saying in Mexico – “So far from God and so close to the United States!.”
Could you imagine a government in Mexico hostile to the United States? I’ll bet you can’t. Can you imagine what our C.I.A. would do about it? I can. There are enough historical examples.
So now we come to Ukraine.
Thus far diplomacy has been ham fisted – on both sides.
What is needed in Ukraine is a government which recognizes the reality of Russia on it’s borders and comes to the conclusion that it will never be a NATO member notwithstanding what our neo-cons say. We in the West need to cease support of fascist and neo-fascist elements in the Ukrainian government; Russia will not tolerate it. Read your history.
Ukraine needs to recognize Russia’s legitimate interests in Crimea if it expects to regain Ukrainian autonomy over the region.
Ukraine can be a prosperous market economy trading with both it’s neighbor and the West. It simply cannot be militarily aligned with the West – not on Russia’s doorstep. Neither the United States nor N.A.T.O. will risk war with Russia over Ukraine. Ukraine is essentially on its own.
And Ukraine needs debt forgiveness or restructure on a very long term – not another IMF “program” which will get the banksters paid and turn the country into Greece. Besides, a good portion of the debt is owed to Russia itself.
There is a ready example of a smaller prosperous country with a market economy living in freedom and independence on Russia’s borders.
It is Finland.
photo: public domain – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aleksanterinkatu_Helsinki_summer.jpg