Romania VS Moldova. Eastern Europe Now
BSSB.BE realclearworld.com/ 20.04.2016
Some of the most enduring positive changes in politics occur slowly. The development and expansion of the European institutions that eventually brought about the European Union can be seen as an encouraging example of that precept, to the extent that their gradual evolution has been positive for the Continent since the end of World War II — and to any extent that it still might in the future.
Author Robert Kaplan expounded on this theme when he and I sat down for an interview in December. We were discussing Kaplan’s latest book, “In Europe’s Shadow:
- Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond,” which hits bookshelves on Feb. 9 and provides an incisive, tactile introduction to the politics and potential prospects of Central and Southeastern Europe — a region that finds itself once again caught in the headwinds of history.
- Unlike neighbors such as Poland and Hungary, Romania at the end of the Cold War did not rush to take its place in an integrated Europe. Nor, however, did it fall apart, as it well could have. Kaplan:
“Romanians will argue with me. But I believe that the fact that after the coup against [Romanian dictator Nicolae] Ceausescu, it was taken over not by democrats but by Reformed Communists, was actually a good thing, because it gave the country about six years of stability without which Romania could have descended into violence — like Yugoslavia did.
Remember, Romania didn’t have a normal communist society, it had a Stalinist society. it was much further back than Poland and Czechoslovakia. Therefore it needed another layer of transition, which the Reformed Communists provided. Yes, they stalled a lot of reforms, but they kept things stable. The worst never happened.”
Kaplan, as he is wont, turned to philosophy to bolster the idea.
“Edmund Burke wrote that most historical change that is gradual tends to work out better than anything sudden or dramatic. Poland and the Czech Republic were ready for sudden change, because they had bourgeoisies, they had nascent middle classes. They had Reformed Communists in many cases.
They had a history of that, whereas Ceausescu had eliminated most people who were Reformed Communists. Romania has been slowly breaking out of the gate simply by being stable, and by chalking up growth rates that while may be bad in a worldwide historical sense, are very good given Europe over the last six years.”
Romania’s gradual reform, and its slower pace of integration with the European Union, has left Bucharest sitting outside of the Union’s most ambitious projects — the euro common currency and the Schengen passport-free zone. Kaplan argues Romanians are all the luckier for it, and it sure is hard to disagree with him. Indeed, Bucharest in October 2015 withdrew its bid to join Schengen.
Portrait of a nation
“In Europe’s Shadow” provides a portrait of a country that flies beneath most people’s radar and yet in many ways serves as a microcosm of the region at large, and a key to understanding it. Kaplan’s relationship with Romania is intensely personal.
- The author was, as he described himself, “drifting in my late 20s” and reaching the end of his service with the Israel Defense Forces, when, aspiring to build a resume as a journalist, he bought a ticket to Ceausescu’s Romania.
- His own personal and professional evolution, as Kaplan returns to Romania time and again over the course of decades, mirrors a heartfelt, exhaustive rendering of the historical aspirations of a land indeed always caught in the shadows — of Byzantium, of the Ottomans, of Russia; of gothic spires, Carpathian ranges, and the contemplative magic of an Orthodox church.
Kaplan’s is travel writing at its contemporary finest, weaving in the sights and sounds of a faraway land alongside interviews with its philosophers and politicians. He juxtaposes the brutality of Romania’s history with the hopes for its present. Crossing the Prut River into Moldova, he also provides a detailed account of what it is like, in the Europe of the 21st Century, to look across a border that still has very real meaning.
Geopolitics Nations Crisis
- eurasiareview.com – Is Moldova a twin of Ukraine? – The political crisis in Moldova goes back to 2005 when the country had become a part of the Associations Agreement with the European Union. According to Iuri Vitneanschi, a city council member, “the Moldavian people were brainwashed by the pro-European propaganda while the government announced a pro-European political course for the country”. However, the reality the reality proved to be different from promising slogans.
- voltairenet.org/ – Multipolar world with media hegemony? – States struggling against imperialism are probably not sufficiently aware of the importance of having non-aligned media. Yet, obviously, Russia Today, Press TV, Telesur and Al Mayadeen are better at defending freedom than other weapons. For these are indeed weapons we are talking about. The first magic tool that the US uses for world domination is the dollar. The word “magic” is not just hyperbole; the dollar is indeed a magical creation since the Federal Reserve can create unlimited amounts in its computers, and the world sees these dollars as having an effective value, with an ulterior motive: petrodollars.
- com/analysis/ – Who will get Moldova. A Roulette Wheel – Like Ukraine, Moldova is both weak and divided. Unlike Ukraine, Moldova does not have traditional or ethnic ties to Russia; it is ethnically and linguistically Romanian. This, along with Moldova’s small size and strategic location, is a main factor in the weakness of the state and its ability to balance between external power
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