Plasma Jack quotes an extremely friendly - to the point of ass-kissing - speech by a Liberian diplomat, on the occasion of establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Liberia. (Don't click on the source link over at Jack's - thar be viruses.)
No doubt, it's nice when somebody says good things about you, and the Liberians probably have a thing or two to say about personal freedom. But, at the risk of beating a dead horse, isn't this contrary to what Russian MPs and Amnesty International are saying?
In truth, by European standard Estonia's riot was nothing to write home about. This is an important point that has to be driven home, I think, especially to all the foreign readers of AnTyx trying to figure what the hell is happening in this country:
The reason that the drunk youth rioted, and the reason that the local Russians completely flipped, and the reason that they're still trying to find some form of retribution through European courts (who want to hear nothing of it), is because Estonia is a free, prosperous and modern country. YouTube was flooded by clips of police brutality because in Estonia, cops using tear gas on a crowd, beating down individual rioters with batons and leaving them to lie on a concrete hangar floor with their wrists in zip ties is an event as outrageous as the murder of Rodney King was in the US.
Estonia is, socially, a far more liberal country than most of Europe. But because the left-wing social approach is tempered by the fact that it is still a predominantly right-wing country in economic terms - in fact, Estonia is a model of the classic US Republican dream untainted by the Moral Majority wankers - it does not have the unequivocal tolerance of Europe's left-wing success stories, which happen to mostly include the Scandinavian countries that Estonia likes to see itself bunched up with.
In a country with free healthcare, free education, serviceable public transport, and a functioning democracy, the lack of a Swedish or Dutch approach to minority issues creates the contrast that makes an insignificant little clash between the police and a vocal, violent minority seem outrageous.
And we, of course, are not outrageous. Right? ;)
5 weeks ago