As a European-American in New York following the news on both sides of the Atlantic, I can readily see the flow of opinion from the US to Europe and the US pressure with regard to Russia and Ukraine. Those who hesitate will soon find themselves in the spotlight of American Media. Combined with political leverage, this seems to be working well.
Finnish Public Service Media has the legal and professional mandate to reflect a diversity of opinions and provide an information platform that is not reflective of a political agenda. This is not happening with the English language Yle platform.
In their reports from the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine until the end of April, 60% of their articles promoted a pro-Nato or pro-military alignment perspective. Conversely, less than 7% could be construed as being anti-Nato or anti-military alignment.
It's deeply unfortunate that even some MPs in the Left Alliance are now publicly advocating Finnish membership of NATO.
An Atlanticist hybrid of US power and British ‘diplomacy’, NATO is a deeply pro-capitalist and imperialist organization. From the start, it has used the ideology of an external enemy – first the USSR, now Russia – to attack and repress socialist ideas and politics at home and in what were once the colonies.
The events in Ukraine have opened a debate in many countries about NATO membership, with Russia already threatening peace in the Baltic region. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has expressed her intention to hold a referendum on Scotland’s independence by the end of 2023. If she is serious about holding a referendum by then, NATO alignment is something that Scotland must consider carefully over the next year.
Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked Finnish people’s sense of security. Having had their own wars with Russia before, Finns started to picture Russian tanks rolling down the streets in Helsinki. Iodine tablets were sold out from drug stores, queues for passport renewals were prolonged and record number of Finns signed up for military training.
When Elon Musk bought the single largest stake in Twitter, then announced plans to acquire the whole company instead of just accepting a seat on its board, the response varied:
Hosannas from many on the "right" who feel like they don't get a fair shake from Twitter's moderation/ban policies.
As the Finnish Government launches a process to consider the nation's NATO membership, while the frightening news from the war in Ukraine floods the media, all of us living in the country need to stop and think about how we got into this situation and where to turn now.
Naomi Klein’s influential work – ‘The Shock Doctrine’ reveals how power elites under the pretence of crisis use the threat of impending or present doom and fear to introduce policies that satiate the needs of vested interests in society. She gives examples of paradigmatic shifts in policy in Chile, Russia, Britain and other states to show how policies that under ‘normal’ conditions would be resisted, but because a population has been subject to shock it is willing to or is amenable to further manipulation. This is happening in Finland concerning NATO membership.
For the last 30 years I have seen the evolution of Finland into a country with unparalleled levels of prosperity and peace. It has been at the top of many global rankings from education to happiness. But I must have been living in some parallel universe. Amnesia now prevails in Finland and people forget everything that has been achieved and ignore the reasons behind the so-called Finnish success story.
At this point in my life, I've been consistently opposed to war for about twice as long as I spent as a Marine infantryman (with precisely the attitude toward war you would expect). The change was incremental and took a few years, but I consider my decision to march in the streets against the 2003 US invasion of Iraq to have been moral, and my decision to march in formation toward participation in the 1991 Gulf War to have been immoral.
Statement by the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Secretary General, Jan Egeland: ”Communities and families have been divided by the frontline in eastern Ukraine for the past eight years. The decisions of far-away politicians make it impossible for grandmothers to see their children and grandchildren on the other side. With increased military and political tensions, thousands of families will be separated indefinitely.