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The tiny Estonian town that could spell the end of NATO
The Week ^ | 3/27/2014 | By Michael Ben-Gad

Posted on 03/27/2014 3:54:03 PM PDT by Mariner

Will Putin call NATO's bluff?

The Russian invasion and rapid absorption of the Crimean peninsula might seem like the spark ready to ignite a new Cold War. In fact, given the feeble Western response so far, the more likely outcome is not the division of Europe once more between NATO's Western alliance and a neo-Soviet Russia, but rather the fracturing and ultimate demise of NATO and the Western alliance itself.

Of course, no one expects the West to use military force to protect Ukrainian territory, despite the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty in exchange for its relinquishing the nuclear weapons that remained on its territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet even the Russians now seem surprised, indeed somewhat amused, by how disunited and weak the Western response has been. So what comes next?

Having demonstrated to the Ukrainians with his Crimean excursion the emptiness of Western guarantees...

(Excerpt) Read more at theweek.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: estonia; moldova; nato; obama; putin; ukraine
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To: Almondjoy
I see that there is plenty of Chamberlin fans here in response to your question.

Such one-dimensional thinking. Like foreign relations is always A=B=C.

101 posted on 03/27/2014 8:43:56 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Play the 'Knockout Game' with someone owning a 9mm and you get what you deserve)
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To: kabar
If the US "walks away" from NATO, we are finished. You can expect China to go after Taiwan. Japan will no longer be able to depend on the US nuclear umbrella nor will South Korea be safe.

Agreed. A lot of people even here on FR do not truly understand Reagan's words: "We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth." It's not about being do-gooders or international adventurers. It's about our survival in the long run.

102 posted on 03/27/2014 8:54:08 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Paul R.
I am no fan of our intervention in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Yugoslavia. However, our country is bound by treaty to Poland and the Baltic states. We also owe them a debt for betraying them to Communism at Yalta. If Putin invades, we must declare war on Russia. God help us, but we made a commitment to the Poles and the Balts.
103 posted on 03/27/2014 9:09:36 PM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: Paul R.
I am no fan of our intervention in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Yugoslavia. However, our country is bound by treaty to Poland and the Baltic states. We also owe them a debt for betraying them to Communism at Yalta. If Putin invades, we must declare war on Russia. God help us, but we made a commitment to the Poles and the Balts.
104 posted on 03/27/2014 9:09:37 PM PDT by Wallace T.
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To: Viennacon
With Obama at the helm, Putin could invade Alaska without consequence

I'm sure Putin would be flexible and be satisfied with the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Panhandle.

105 posted on 03/27/2014 9:38:13 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: Mariner

The US public does not care about Estonia and certainly will not tolerate a sustained conflict over it.

The only question is if Estonia is sympathetic to Russia, and since they aren’t in the majority, it makes no sense for Putin to go against a well-funded guerilla campaign.


106 posted on 03/27/2014 9:43:01 PM PDT by sunrise_sunset
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To: Mariner
While I have no doubt US Forces would prevail eventually, I also have no doubt that Russia's best...not the export stuff...will have more than a few surprises for us.

No one really prevails if we have a nuclear war. The question is why would Russia commit national suicide over a tiny town in Estonia?

The American public is not used to taking losses and Congress is even worse.

I don't think you comprehend what is at stake here. The reason that NATO and our policy of deterrence and containment worked for 45 years and caused the collapse of the Soviet Union is that the Soviets believed we were credible on the use of force. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has no winners and the losses will be devastating for everyone.

107 posted on 03/27/2014 9:45:17 PM PDT by kabar
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To: goldstategop
NATO guarantees are so much p*ss*ng in the wind and we know it and Moscow knows it.

Then we are likely dead. Or worse. Most likely not from a Russian attack, and likely after I've passed on. But the consequences long term are pretty straightforward in general terms. It's pretty disquieting to know that in the best case scenario, I'll be looking down from Heaven (well, hopefully Heaven!) to see my daughter and her children living in a world dominated by a Russian / Chinese axis. Unfortunately, that is not one of the most likely scenarios. It goes downhill after that.

However, a new U.S. President in 2016, with the character, leadership, and actions to restore trust in U.S. commitments, could still change that future.

108 posted on 03/27/2014 9:47:37 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Mariner

Most Estonians don’t think much of Narva. It’s a slum with lots of drunks, HIV infections, etc. Nevertheless, the Estonias would fight for it. Or try to. But without NATO help, they obviously couldn’t stop Russia. For starters, they don’t have their own air force. (NATO fighter jet units take turns providing patrols for all three Baltics).


109 posted on 03/27/2014 9:51:33 PM PDT by Dagnabitt (Amnesty is Treason. Its agents are Traitors.)
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To: griswold3
There is a big difference between the annexation of the Crimea and an attack on a NATO member. Economic sanctions shouldn't be an option in the latter case.

What is war but failed diplomacy?

"War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means." von Clausewitz

War is not failed diplomacy. Some nations use war as an instrument of policy to achieve national objectives.

110 posted on 03/27/2014 9:52:48 PM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar
"The question is why would Russia commit national suicide over a tiny town in Estonia? "

Because there's a better than a 50-50 chance that Obama will not fight.

111 posted on 03/27/2014 9:52:56 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: Mariner

Those aren’t good odds considering what is at stake. Attacking a NATO country would provoke a US response regardless of who is in the WH. Putin as a former KGB agent in East Germany is well aware of the risks.


112 posted on 03/27/2014 9:55:35 PM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

Awesome. That’s a bright idea. Lets let Europe decide when America is REQUIRED to go to war. We live at the mercy of their whims.


113 posted on 03/27/2014 10:11:11 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: goldstategop
The Russians can take over the Baltics in 48 hours. It would’t be a close contest. We have nothing with which to stop them and the Cold War Tripwire is gone. And if Russia re-annexed those countries, we wouldn’t instigate World War III over it.

NATO was formed in 1949. Article 5 still applies. Any of the 28 member states, which arr attacked is considered an attack against all. That commitment is just as strong today as it was 65 years ago. Russia will be committing national suicide if attacks any of the Baltic countries.

There is a reason why the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union and are now liberated were eager to join NATO. It is a guarantee that they will retain their independence in just such circumstances.

NATO guarantees are so much p*ss*ng in the wind and we know it and Moscow knows it. At the moment the Kremlin doesn’t want to bite off more than it chew.

Where do you come up with such BS, suck it out of your thumb? If Moscow doubts the credibility of the NATO alliance, then they are making a serious miscalculation that will result in the destruction of their country. And you grossly overestimate the capability and operational effectiveness of the Russian military. We won't go to war over Ukraine, but a NATO country is a far different matter.

114 posted on 03/27/2014 10:15:03 PM PDT by kabar
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To: DesertRhino
Awesome. That’s a bright idea. Lets let Europe decide when America is REQUIRED to go to war. We live at the mercy of their whims.

We are signatories to the NATO agreement. We have treaty obligations and these have been in effect for 65 years. An attack against one member is an attack against all. Why would our commitment change now when it has been honored for 65 years. NATO has implemented Article 5 only one time since its inception, i.e., in response to the 9/11 attack against us. NATO involvement in Afghanistan is the result.

115 posted on 03/27/2014 10:22:05 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Mariner
Could Putin try to seize Narva, Estonia just as he siezed Crimea? I certainly hope not. But if we don't stop Putin from taking more of Ukraine with diplomacy and sanctions, Narva could once again regain a terrible importance not seen since the Great Northern War.
116 posted on 03/27/2014 10:23:15 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: rmlew

I can’t imagine Putin being that stupid.

Crimea was low-hanging fruit, like The Rhineland was for Hitler. Nobody was going to go to war with Germany over an area that frankly most frankly felt should have belonged to Germany.

Once he attacks a NATO country, those costs go way up, and I think he realizes he can’t afford it.


117 posted on 03/27/2014 10:25:07 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Mariner
This is an interesting scenario and begs the question: Should the US go to war with Russia over a town in Estonia NATO that is nearly all Russian? YES.
118 posted on 03/27/2014 10:27:52 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: Mariner
Whoops! Let me rephrase this further:

This is an interesting scenario and begs the question: Should the US NATO go to war with Russia over a town in Estonia NATO that is nearly all Russian? YES.

119 posted on 03/27/2014 10:39:50 PM PDT by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
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To: sunrise_sunset
it makes no sense for Putin to go against a well-funded guerilla campaign.

If Putin goes further into Ukraine, that's exactly what he faces. The divisions in Ukraine are not as cut and dried as they are often made out to be. He almost has to have Kherson, and Kheson is only a ~25% Russian speaking area.

There's also this from Elena Filatova's website, probably biased, but still worthy of note:

Now I shall say couple of words about Russian speaking Ukrainian who 40% of population in my country. Putin propaganda make people believe that Russian speaking Ukrainians all want to Russia. Please, don't believe this. Only bunch of paid Russian extremists want to Russia. They are often appear to be Russian citizens. In this battle is very important what side Russian speaking Ukrainians will take. Interesting fact is that 60% of officers in Soviet Union army were Ukrainians, mostly from Russian speaking part. Military was an occupation for Russian speaking Ukrainians for centuries, they lived on the border of Russian empire and served Tsar, or Turks or Poles or whoever paid them. War was normal state for them for centuries. They lived for war and they lived off war. What we see this days here in Ukraine is readiness of Russian speaking Ukrainians to fight Russian occupants. I wouldn't worry about Ukrainian speaking part. Everyone cool and reservists willingly join army. Spirit is high

http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/maydan/updatemarch15.html

If only 30% of the Russian speakers support Ukraine's integrity, Putin has a big problem on his hands. We've seen in Iraq what happens when only a portion of the population is actively against an invading force. Plus, the "pro-Russian" regions are not 100% pro-Russian. It's usually 65% or something like that. Barring some sort of violent ethnic cleansing, a huge disaster for Putin itself, if that happens, the other 35% of the population is a big problem.

A very crude analogy on the language side of things would be Hispanics in the U.S. Sure, SOME Spanish speakers in New Mexico might like to see it become part of Mexico. But they are in the minority. Most realize they are better off in New Mexico, USA, than New Mexico, Mexico.

120 posted on 03/27/2014 10:42:52 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Paul R.; sunrise_sunset

Correction: “occupying force”, not “invading force”.


121 posted on 03/27/2014 10:49:27 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: dfwgator

virtually and almost are the first things Putin cares about


122 posted on 03/27/2014 11:08:00 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: DesertRhino
That’s a bright idea.

It mostly kept the peace for 65 years, in a region not exactly noted for such.

123 posted on 03/27/2014 11:14:09 PM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Mariner

Any political agreement between government entities, be they local, national or multinational, must be couched in wording or affect so that no one party or group of the parties to the agreement can take away the authority of a dissenting parties obligation to that parties citizens. To hold otherwise is loss of the parties obligations to it’s citizens.


124 posted on 03/27/2014 11:36:57 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: Zhang Fei

Even with the recent increases in Russian military spending, the EU still outspends them about 2-1. For the previous decade, It hunk they outspent them about 3 or 4 -1.


125 posted on 03/28/2014 3:00:08 AM PDT by Natufian (t)
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To: goldstategop
A lot of people would say this is exactly why NATO should not have been expanded eastward. We find ourselves on the hook defending tiny countries no one cares about. The original NATO made sense. The new one doesn’t.

Like we would somehow find the will to defend Germany but not Poland? Not with this crowd.

126 posted on 03/28/2014 4:02:47 AM PDT by denydenydeny (Admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt one has for others.-Tocqueville)
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To: Mariner
I do hope everybody here who advocates going to war with Russia over some town in Estonia realizes that the announced Russian war doctrine states: that if attacked by conventional weapons, Russia will respond with nuclear weapons.

Since the One is canceling the so called missile shield - for what it would be worth against Russian ICBMs, American cities would be among the first to discover Russian war doctrine.

Maybe that is the One's end game?

127 posted on 03/28/2014 4:09:33 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: Mariner

“Should the US go to war with Russia over a town in Estonia that is nearly all Russian?”

Look gays, If you don’t want to do that, leave NATO immediately. Leave it now or your butt buddy approach will trigger off WW3.


128 posted on 03/28/2014 5:53:52 AM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: workerbee
For the first time in a long time, they're realizing what it actually means when they get their wish for a Euroweenie-type U.S. president. Now they're whining...

Good point.

129 posted on 03/28/2014 6:00:42 AM PDT by GOPJ (NASA: N othing A bout S pace A nymore - - FreperClearCase_guy)
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To: Paul R.

The problem is, does Estonia have enough men in arms to do any good?


They need to immediately adopt a Swiss-style militia, where every man (and any women who want to volunteer) are trained with and provided with a modern military rifle and an adequate supply of ammo to keep under the bed.


130 posted on 03/28/2014 6:06:20 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed ("Income Inequality?" Let's start with Washington DC vs. the rest of the nation!)
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To: AlexW

The trouble with alliances. isn’t this how World War one started?


131 posted on 03/28/2014 6:21:31 AM PDT by Yorlik803 ( Church/Caboose in 2016)
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To: AlexW

“NOPE.....I am sure you were being sarcastic”

The US will go to war over a NATO member. Period.

Putin is an idiot but he is not idiot enough to push that limit and expose his inferior military and especially his inferior weapons.

That would put a crimp in something dear to Russia’s heart, their arms exports.


132 posted on 03/28/2014 8:16:17 AM PDT by rbmillerjr (Russians to the Left of me, Useful Idiots to the Right...)
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To: FreeReign

“I bet “peace thru strength” will not be the answer by more than a few here. And that peace thru retreat and appeasement will be the answer....Besides Estonia is way over there, they will say. “

LOL 3 of the isolationist appeasement at any costers got in before you even posted lol. They live in a fantasy land. If NATO is violated, NATO and the US will respond in devastating fashion.


133 posted on 03/28/2014 8:29:26 AM PDT by rbmillerjr (Russians to the Left of me, Useful Idiots to the Right...)
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To: dalereed

“Eliminate NATO and also the European Union!
They are both nothing but roads to a ome world socialist government!”

It’s a shame that you Alex Jones idiots get to live here. Seriously, I wish I could replace all of you with a Pole or Estonian who appreciates living under the yoke of the Soviets/Russians.


134 posted on 03/28/2014 8:53:04 AM PDT by rbmillerjr (Russians to the Left of me, Useful Idiots to the Right...)
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To: bigheadfred

Poland———or Buffalo?


135 posted on 03/28/2014 10:02:56 AM PDT by cherokee1 (skip the names---just kick the buttz)
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To: Grzegorz 246
"Look gays, If you don’t want to do that, leave NATO immediately. Leave it now or your butt buddy approach will trigger off WW3."

I'm assuming you're talking to an amorphous group of homos now serving in the military and not folks on FR.

136 posted on 03/28/2014 10:05:26 AM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: MaxMax
It' high time the EU stands up off their lazy socialist butts to do something.

You might as well go to a crack house and ask the occupants to form a neighborhood watch.

137 posted on 03/28/2014 12:59:22 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
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To: bigheadfred

Poland is mostly Polish, there are not many other ethnic groups there. This does beg a larger question though, any bordering nation that is watching this and not rethinking their defense/reserve strategy are idiots. I’ve always thought that Swiss have a terrific solution to this; prepare defenses throughout the country and assure the populace is trained. Based on the Swiss Model, the Poles could easily mobilize a five or six million man army.


138 posted on 03/28/2014 5:32:12 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: MSF BU

Poland is mobilizing, they’ve also decided to ramp up fracking to try to reduce dependence on Russian Natural Gas.

One of the ramifications of the recent events in Ukraine, is that Poland is going to emerge as a big player in Europe, perhaps even forming a new alliance with the other Central European and Baltic Countries.


139 posted on 03/28/2014 5:36:16 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: staytrue

Thanks for the reality check. Too many halfwits don’t understand the importance of the actual soldiers doing the fighting. We’ve conquered a few third world pig pens since Vietnam. In a ground war the Russian forces would not be cowards as in Irag. Plus I’m sure the incentive of capturing our female soldiers might “stiffen” their resolve. Does anybody remember what happened to the German girls they captured?


140 posted on 03/28/2014 5:39:59 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Dagnabitt

Actually maybe a little bit of ethnic cleansing would make sense? Pay them to return to Russia and continue to enhance the miserable conditions in Russian ethnic areas. This really points to the absurdity of the “Diversity is our Strength” mantra.


141 posted on 03/28/2014 5:42:24 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: Paul R.

This only points to the need for Taiwan, Japan & South Korea to develop nuclear weapons.


142 posted on 03/28/2014 5:43:29 PM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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To: MaxMax
Europe didn't do squat to Hitler until England stood up. I don't really expect anything to be done other than rhetoric.

Remember when Russia invaded Afghanistan, or when the tanks rolled into Yugoslavia? We were in much better financial and military shape then than now IIRC. We didn't really do anything then either.

That's why I don't expect much now. Also we have a limp wristed Chamberlain in the White House.

143 posted on 03/28/2014 5:48:29 PM PDT by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
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To: MSF BU; Jim Robinson
Perhaps of interest. Direct link to the Prague Post.

Full text of Putin’s speech on Crimea

144 posted on 03/28/2014 5:56:31 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: Viennacon

Half the people in this country might say “I disagree with obama on this but I still love and support him.”


145 posted on 03/28/2014 9:10:20 PM PDT by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: VerySadAmerican
And they would still vote for him.. My father told me that many Dems in his
town are backtracking saying they're Republican now. I said they're lying because
of the embarrassment Obama is causing them and they would most certainly keep voting
Democrat in every election expecting a different result.
146 posted on 03/28/2014 10:08:49 PM PDT by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
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To: VeniVidiVici

Hardly.. there is a tried and true behavior in life. When a bully punches you in the nose he never backs down when you simply say to him... “That’s not a nice thing to do.”


147 posted on 03/30/2014 10:53:24 AM PDT by Almondjoy
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To: MSF BU
So true. "Diversity is our strength" is no more true in Estonia than it is in California or Detroit.

At least Russians in Estonia don't play the knock out game (they prefer the pass out drunk game).

148 posted on 03/30/2014 11:55:49 AM PDT by Dagnabitt (Amnesty is Treason. Its agents are Traitors.)
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To: Atlas Sneezed
It is a late reply, but I hope it is okay. Estonia has adopted a Finnish style defense policy and I believe it is very wise considering our very limited resources. Soviet occupation ruined our economy and costs in money easy for rich countries are hard for us. Every male nowadays has to go to a 8 to 11 month military training (it used to be longer, but training was of lesser quality) and we have weapons caches hidden in all our forests. Forests cover more than half of Estonian territory. In addition to this we have a large unpaid volunteer militia where people can keep on training on how to defend our land.

It is not so easy as we have to be very wise in where we spend our money. Estonia has 725 times smaller GDP than USA so there are no mistakes allowed when we want to build a credible defense against Russia. If NATO bails on their obligations we will die in a futile fight.

I hope this will not happen. I'll post a video of our volunteer militia training to lighten the gloomy mood.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otQ3fmG9YUI

149 posted on 03/31/2014 3:47:21 PM PDT by Krosan
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To: Dagnabitt

Yes, but in all fairness, that is pretty common up there. In Finland it is perfectly acceptable to answer “get drunk” when asked what you’re weekend plans are. The difference of course is that the the Finns (Swedes, Norwegian, Estonians, etc.) are industrious and live in well ordered societies. Why this is beyond the Russian people to do is an interesting anthropological question.


150 posted on 04/01/2014 6:54:43 AM PDT by MSF BU (n)
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