Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tuomioja Blunders, Again and Again

Reading all the tepid, equanimious statements emanating from the European ministerial meeting at Brussels on the crisis in Lebanon, it's clear that Finnish foreign minister (and foreign minister of the EU presidency for the next six months) social democratic party member Erkki Tuomioja is up to a backtracking start from the position of leadership in Europe.

Right from the start of the conflict in Lebanon, Tuomioja (and his former lover, social democratic Finnish president Halonen) reacted with the most biased emotion, without thinking what was good for Finland, and good for Europe. As an established anti-Semite, Tuomioja immediately condemned Israel for its so-called “disproportionate” response, not realizing that this was an opportunity to not only engage Israel in a dialogue where European prestige and influence might be made more significant, but also finally to make Europe a political entity that is willing to take the lead in international affairs in a way that it believes it is destined to do.

The stage was also very well prepared: the Israelis had accidentally killed a Finnish officer in Unifil, and were of course at a disadvantage. Instead of lashing out at Israel, - and accomplishing nothing new -Tuomioja could have leapt at the opportunity to use the incident at getting closer to Israel. He should have shown understanding towards Israel in this predicament, and offered a helping hand in getting rid of the terrorists in southern Lebanon. Such a robust initiative would be instrumental in injecting the kind of debate within Israel’s democratic factions (which are open for all of us to see) as to have possible long-term significance making Europe an important partner in the Middle East peace process, and a major, multipolar player on the world stage.

But no, Tuomioja (and the Bimbo Of Finland, Halonen) both boorishly retreated into their self-defined moral high grounds by condemning Israel, at the same time slamming the door shut for Finland, and Europe. For it is not Hezbollah that needs to be courted and engaged (their religious fundamentalism means they cannot), - but democratic, secular Israel.

And we should ask if this was not done on purpose. The Middle East is a frightening place, where many international politicians and diplomats have failed in their efforts to bring peace (perhaps Tuomioja simply feels inadequate to the task, and tries to hide his cowardice). The US is already bruised and battered by experience in the Middle East; wouldn’t it just be easier to let the US do the leading first, giving Europeans the easier pickings later? In other words, is it not more profitable to let someone else (the US) do the leading, while Europe could enjoy the freeride later?

Finland, especially, has honed socio, political, and economic freeriding into an art form. It is not surprising that it continues to do so, especially with Tuomioja and Halonen as the most prominent shapers of Finnish foreign policy. The fact that such politicians are so quick to quit the field (making the US the only heavyweight left on the field) does say something about the quality of the moral high ground Tuomioja and Halonen are so convinced they possess.

12 Comments:

Anonymous plz said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do find it strange when people call anyone who critises Israeli government policy an "anti-semite". No one calls people who critise George W Bush an "anti-Christian" because it sounds insane. Yet in reality, it would be not really any different.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yep. i agree.. this is the usual dillemma which originates from the Jewish situation after WW2.
it makes chritizism a bit hard
when you are instantly called anti-semite. i have seen this happen too many times on many forums.. i try to impress my opinion trough constructive chritizism and suddendly im told to shutup and then in the end of the day im a nazi bastard. tough i don't have anything against jews.
remember.. there are anti-zionist jews out there too.. im not even anti-zionist.. i just don't accept the magnitude of the force used regardless of the civilians at risk.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well well.

Puntti, you are again stepping up censorship, aren't you?

Puntti, you certainly are "close to Israel". As a matter of fact, so close that in one of your post in the past (that, besides containg gross errors) advocated Israel to copy a Finnish gas detector - meaning you stood for copyright infringement and stealing of intellectual property. How nice of you towards Finland.

Puntti, I think you are not a true indigenous Finn. You may live in Finland, but as they say, if a man is born a stable, it doesn't make him a horse.

You can freely leave Finland and go to where your loyalties are if you feel so bad about democratically formed gevernment.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

The problem is that Finnish criticism is disproportionately in favor of Israel's enemies. That, and Finland's ingrained anti-Semitism, - together with its government's refusal to engage Israel constructively - does indicate that Finnish criticism is unbalanced, biased, and anti-Semitic.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think this is the case about Finland's government policy. During this most recent crisis, Finland has clearly critisised the actions of the Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorist groups.

However, it has also stated that Israel's reaction to these were less than fully in proportion, which is rather hard to deny.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

There is no "proportionate response" to terrorism. Terrorists and their collaborators must be exterminated, period.

This is yet another example of European anti-Semitism: the refusal to treat Hezbollah as the terrorists that they are.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having served two years in UNIFIL in late 1980's I am not ready to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The situation over there is not so simple that you can give "good" or "bad" labels to anyone, not even to the Israeli's.

3:14 AM  
Blogger Finnpundit said...

The fact that you've served in the UN makes you the least qualified to pass any judgment on the situation in Lebanon.

Unifil is staffed by morons who've no understanding of the true significance of the UN as a paradigm for corruption.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finnpundit, you're incredible!

So, have you spent time in Lebanon? Or do you simply claim to know more from your (Right-leaning) readings?

The world, my friend, is NOT a simple place, despite the Right's (well-publicized) assertions these days.

Yet you seem happy to brand entire nations -- as what, an armchair policymaker?

-A new (and probably last-time) reader.

[P.S. Nice debate technique ... passing judgement yourself by accusing somebody who says "there's more to it" of passing judgement themselves! Wish I had your 'sisu'!]

8:43 AM  
Anonymous EBD said...

Not every critic of Israel is anti-Semitic, but every anti-Semite is critical of Israel. And anti-Semites who criticize Israel typically profer up that rationale that criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitism.

Well that depends, doesn't it? If a critic is balanced and honourable, the defense applies but hardly needs to be said. If a critic demonstrates an angry focus on the "Jew" part of it -- and in my experience, such critics hide it less capably than they think they are -- his arguments are not buoyed, nor his motivations excused by the sophistry of the statement "it's not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel."

Not that that stops them from waving it around. Here in Canada a poll was commissioned recently. In one of the poll questions, respondents were asked whether they agreed, disagree, or weren't sure about that following statement: "Israel has a right to self-defense."

In Quebec, our French province, 23% of people said no.

What critics of Israel should never, ever forget, is that Israel wants peace, and the Arabs at their doorsteps don't. Just that straight. If you strip away the animosity and the politics and the history, that's all you're left with. Israel would like peace. Their neighbours never stop telling us, and demonstrating, that they don't.

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minä olen oikea, aito ja viimeisen päälle ehta suomalainen joten en rupea kuuntelemaan heittoja toisilta kommentoijilta etten olisi suomalainen.

Keep up the good work finnpundit !!!!
My country deserves has to face consequences of it's freeriding !!!!

3:15 PM  

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