Archive for May, 2010

The fun side of diplomacy

The following is an unproven hypothesis that I nevertheless consider to be very likely.  Either that or it was serendipity.

Georgia’s entry to Eurovision 2009 was the most genius diplomatic manœuvre I have ever seen.  Faced with a militarily humiliating (but diplomatically empowering) defeat at Russian hands, Georgia was not too keen to be attending any contests hosted by Russia.  Adding to that is the possibility that should Georgia perform especially poorly on Russian soil would be to add insult to injury.

But at the same time, Georgia wants to take the high road and not look like they’re chickening out.  Enter “We Don’t Wanna Put In”: a song whose political connotations (i.e. “We don’t want a Putin”) are obvious enough to ensure disqualification, but yet subtle enough for Georgia to claim Russian interference.

As for the song itself, it’s not bad but it sounds a lot like “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps.

* * *

Speaking of the Eurovision Song Contest, this year was quite a disappointment.  I found the overall quality of the songs to be much lower.  But I did enjoy the winner, Lena:

Lena Meyer-Landrut

I mean, isn’t she just ridiculously adorable?  Especially with that fucked up faux?English accent that mysteriously disappears whenever she’s speaking German.

But most importantly, thanks to Lena’s victory, her grandfather, a former West German diplomat, now has his own Wikipedia page.

VE Day, the military, gratefulness, intervention, neutrality

Date: May 8, 1945 (Victory in Europe Day)

Scene: VE Day celebrations, Ireland
“Yay! The Nazis surrendered!”
“And no thanks to us!”

Scene: VE Day celebrations, Sweden and Switzerland
“Yay! The Nazis surrendered!”
“In spite of us!”
“And I hope no one noticed how we aided them while maintaining the façade of neutrality!”

The Canadian military has a history of being uniquely selfless.  During both world wars there were periodic U?boat attacks along the Atlantic shoreline (many of which were directed at Newfoundland so technically not even Canada).  Apart from these, the last international conflict fought on Canadian soil was the War of 1812.  Time after time, our loyalty to the Empire and other allies has seen our young men and women being sent to all corners of the globe.  And that “women” part is key, too, as we possess one of the unfortunately few completely integrated militaries in the world.

Observing recent ceremonies in the Netherlands it was heartwarming to see how much respect our military can still command in light of the ungratefulness exhibited by more recently liberated peoples.  I guess some people just aren’t big on democracy.  Not that the liberation of Europe was seamless: there were plenty of people upset with the post?war status quo both legitimately (Forest Brothers, cursed soldiers) and not so much (Red Brigades, EOKA). But nobody as persistent or as popular as the Taliban.  Those guys reeeealy like their theocracy.

In the future I propose we only intervene in countries that have been democratic within the last 20 years and/or have significant cultural ties with us.  First stop: Fiji!

P.S. Oh, to add to that bit at the beginning.  I reserve a special kind of loathing for neutral states.  To be neutral is to say there is no right or wrong.