It's Finnish Independence day. Time for celebration, right? Well, yes, but what I see is very little celebration for independence. What I see is just more and more talk about the wars, fighting, war veterans.
Hey, wake up. It's too late. The youngest Finnish veterans of Second World War are now around 85 years old. There's not a lot more we can really do for them. There are so few left that they can be adequately taken care for. They've earned the respect they now enjoy but I see little point in glorifying their sacrifices. After all, to repeat some of my earlier posts, I have the Pattonesque idea that war is not about dying for your country; it's about letting the other poor bastard die for his.
The veteran issue has been becoming more and more obsessive, although 20 years have now passed since the USSR ceased to exist and fewer and fewer of the actual fighting men are still among us. At least on TV and official celebrations, the independence day is mostly focused on wars.
So, what does independence really mean now? Many say that Finland is not really independent after joining EU and adopting the euro. True, joining this federalist-obsessed crowd has limited our sovereignty. I don't think that switching Finnmarks to the euro currency means nearly as much as the European treaties, some of which limit quite a lot what we can and can not do in this country. But of course the international treaties also have their good sides. And whether a member of EU or not, small countries like Finland are more and more dependent on international trade, globalization, exchange of people, money and ideas.
I think our current president Tarja Halonen has done remarkably little to point out any new direction for the country. Still, 2.2 million Finns are today going to watch tonight's reception where she shakes hands with an array of more or less colourful guests. Is that the best content we can give to our independence day? Watch on TV how our representatives get drunk for us?
What I'd give as an example for a suitable action on an independence day would be to announce that we withdraw from the utterly stupid Ottawa treaty and will continue to take care of our defence independently, thank you. That we decide ourselves who can immigrate to this country and who cannot, blast the ECJ. That we enforce legislation that guarantees equal rights and equal obligations for each citizen, forget the ECHR. That would show some independent spirit.