Sitting in my office in Kaisaniemi sipping a soy latte, it’s hard to imagine that there’s any real threat from Moscow, just 555 miles straight to the left. But it’s clear that Putin is pissed, which has many people here feeling uneasy. Understandable given Finland’s history and recent history in Crimea.
It has seemed pretty clear that Putin’s sights are set on at least attempting to take back Ukraine. Although who knows for sure, besides Putin and possibly his plastic surgeon? “Doctor, I’m thinking about annexing some countries. What do you recommend, Botox?”.
But according to one of Putin’s closest ex-advisors, he’d also like to “reclaim” Finland. Yeah, good luck with that, dude.
What makes me so confident? I have a Masters degree in politics and over 20 years of experience with Finnish men. And while it’s true that many suffer from the national disease of low self-esteem, when it comes to defending their country they have the amazing ability to put generations of angst into kicking some serious ass.
Threatened from the west in the form of a big ice hockey game or the east in the form of the Russian army, you can be sure the Finns are going to fight back. Hey, the Soviet Union technically won the Winter War, but Finland came out alright, right? Right. Although obviously the Winter War isn’t something anyone wants to relive.
So what other options are there?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing more and more status updates in my Facebook feed saying things like: “Can we please just join NATO already?!” I’m not sure that’s such a great idea for many reasons, not least of which that it would be like a poking a proverbial stick right into Putin’s bee’s nest. Plus, NATO membership is expensive, there are lots of people out there who see it as an enemy, and who even knows if they’d rush to help if we needed them anyway.
The best argument I can think of in favor of joining is that maybe the U.S. and Canada would be willing to send Justin Bieber over as protection? I can just hear Putin commanding his troops now: “RETREAT, RETREAT!” Forget Finlandization, what we need is Bieberization!
It’s worth a thought.
Love from (still) Finland,