to Messrs Putin, Obama, Cameron, Barroso, Rasmussen, et al
(and their representatives in the Baltic States)
STOP MESSING UP THE WORLD...
IT'S MAKING ME VERY SICK
THIS IS AN OPINION PIECE
Riga: March 9, 2014
Resident of the Republicof Latvia
This is an extended-length Open Telegram to all of you. I do hope you are not affected by ‘Attention Deficit Syndrome.’ Maybe you can read this while In-Transit to the Neutral Zone, or maybe your P.A. can ‘dumb it down’ to the bare essentials.
I am an Australian Citizen of Latvian heritage residing (since 1994) in the ethnic homeland of my parents, who were forced into exile during the Second World War. As a result of decisions made at Yaltain 1945, I had little choice but to be born very far away in the Territory of Papua New Guinea. As I grew up, I was quickly made aware of the devastation caused by the WW II Japanese occupation of New Britain, and Rabaul in particular. The combined Australian and U.S. forces of General Douglas MacArthur were no less tender in the ultimate damage they caused to the local indigenous peoples, who were forced out of their 'Stone Age' paradise and infected forever by the overt Cargo Cult on Manus Island (a place which is once again having its ethnic integrity threatened by remote control diplomats in Canberra and in New York).
I was born, quite symbolically, in an old colonial German hospital (from the Bismarck era) on Namanula Hill, a sort of a 'Buffer Zone' which had a dormant Volcano on either side. The Gazelle Peninsula itself has an interesting resemblance to the Crimea Peninsula. They say that everything is ultimately connected.
My brother was born in a still-utterly-devastated post-WW II British and American-Occupied Germany, my older sister in the newly-formed post-Civil-War Islamic Republic of Pakistan (picking up the remnants of the British Raj and heavily influenced by the Shah of Iran). My younger sister was the only one in our family who was born in a truly free country – the Commonwealth of Australia – before it became subject to the whims and pressures of Globalization and the pressure to conform... or be isolated (ask our 'roving' Ambassador Rudd when you next see him!). One of the first of these 'pressures' was the near-forced lease/purchase of 24 F-111 fighter bombers to 'defend' it from its neighbors to the north-west, who had just been gifted with a whole squadron of outdated French Mirage Fighter jets. The aging Sabre jets and Canberra bombers were already obsolete.
Oh yes, and then there was Vietnam. As an RAAF Air Training Corps cadet, I was once told, while still in high school, that if war intensified then we school cadets were next-in-line for conscription. My training was several degrees above the 'boy scout' adventure and I still remember how to disassemble, assemble and shoot an SLR automatic weapon. My sister missed out on that in those days as girls were all still meant to be home-makers first and foremost.
My mother died in a provincial outback township in Queensland... never having the real opportunity to become a true blue Aussie... and it wasn't for not having tried. She even referred to herself as a "Bloody New Australian." She had witnessed the brutal destruction of her brother under a Russian tank in downtown Riga. That memory haunted her until the day she died and is captured forever in one of her last oil paintings.
We were all Children of Exile. We are NOT a part of the so-called Latvian Diaspora... a convenient misnomer supported by the Latvian Ministry for Foreign Affairs that serves to fudge the explanation of the real circumstances and conditions that ultimately made us 'foreigners' and not particularly welcome as first-generation repatriants to the fatherland. The statistics say it all. The damage caused by the 1945 Yalta agreement and the Soviet Occupation of the three Baltic States severely 'damaged' in perpetuity the prospects of the Baltic "DiaTribe."
To conclude that thought... the Ministry must acknowledge that its present-day existence is solely due to the efforts of the Free Latvian Exiles that escaped to the U.S., UK, and Australia in particular and I challenge the incumbent Ambassador-at-Large with responsibility for this area of Foreign Service activities to defend the inconsistency with reality.
It was nearly forty years before I was even allowed to visit a still Soviet-Occupied Latvia in 1990. I still remember the smiling 'men in green' guarding a statue of Lenin at Liepaja in June 1991. They were happy to pose for a photo opportunity. It required two armored vehicles and four 'men in green' with Kalashnikov weapons to guard a hunk of rock that purported to represent one of the highest achievements of the human race – Communism.
Over the past twenty years, together with my Latvian-born wife, we have raised a beautiful, thoughtful, intelligent, multi-lingual and courageous young daughter who has just recently 'Come of Age' in her own country of birth and, like her fellow young citizens, she has a right to be able to dream of a successful and happy life and career in her homeland ... with the world as her garden. Unlike her classmates, she has the unique distinction of being able to identify Papua New Guinea as her 'fatherland.' In other circumstances that might even sound quite exotic!
GENTLEMEN! On the present world stage upon which you are the great players, I don't even qualify as a suffliere, let alone as stage door Johnny. My only title, for want of a better sense of belonging, is that I am only a humble Resident of the Republic of Latvia. My only ambition, which you, gentlemen, can ensure, is to one day become a Senior Resident of the Republic and to attain physical death as a wise old man!
Nevertheless, I am becoming increasingly nervous about the outcome of the ‘Scenario’ that you, gentlemen, and your 'back room master negotiators' are creating for the present day citizens of the Crimea and which affects ALL of us. What happened on March 2, 2014 is exactly what happened in Latvia on June 17, 1940, just after the All-Latvia National Song Festival in Daugavpils. My father had just graduated high school and his immediate future was dealt a tragic blow that ended up with him being threatened with conscription into the Red Army (at their convenience) only to be illegally and cynically given little choice but to be 'trained' in the ‘Reich Arbeits Dienst’ and who was subsequently and according to German High Command 'Strategy,' sent to the Russian Front as fodder for the Soviet bullets that were otherwise intended for retreating German soldiers.
As history has recorded it, only one Latvian woman, the wife of one of the murdered border guards, fired back on June 17, 1940 in self-defense and... now she is together with her husband – remembered in perpetuity.
Go ahead, visit the Museum of the Fifty Year Occupation of Latvia. If you don't believe the tangible evidence ... take them to court ... all the way to the Hague!
You see, GENTLEMEN... even though I wasn't here in the 1940s, I am ultimately a subsequent generational victim of the Stalin-Roosevelt-Churchill pact at Yalta, in the Crimea. Had I been born in Latvia I would most surely be a fluent tri-lingual polyglot (as is my daughter). And, I wouldn't be scarred for life with an English accent to my otherwise near-native command of Latvian. Even the local non-native taxi drivers can determine by my accent and body language that I must be 'a tourist' and ... the meter is immediately re-set to A ... "Airport Tariff."
I don't know who are the grand Producers and Directors of your scenario; the ones who make sure you are all wearing the same types of suits for the Family Group photo sessions and who decide whether you appear open-necked or have chokers about your necks. I don't even know who is financing all of this mayhem. Are the 'men in green' on the peninsula 'doing their bit' for free? Who supplied their weaponry? Who supplies their meals. Have they been assured of professional 'Comfort Women' so that they don't end up terrorizing half of the local populace.
I don't like the rattling of sabres and issuance of ultimatums coming from the East and the now 10 U.S. fighter planes twenty minutes away from a dog-fight over Riga and based at Siauliai in Lithuania, purporting to be ready to do 'whatever must be done.' It was enough that when Mr. G.W. Bush was last in Riga, the feeling was that we were in a war zone. There were snipers, sniffer dogs and helicopters everywhere! Good old VVF was having the time of her life, no doubt well intended. I don't like that our three present-day Baltic States’ presidents have literally become 'formal signatories' as may be required to rubber stamp on agreements that they will have no part in the participation of.
You will be aware, Gentlemen, that the present government of Latvia is a Caretaker government – pending formal elections in late 2014. Does that make us more vulnerable? Is the timing right?
Perhaps we are due for yet another Cyber Attack to scare the #$%@ out of us. It worked in Estonia not so long ago ... no matter where the real attack may have originated.
I am fully conversant with the history and the reality of this - the Baltics - part of the world and that it is ideally, for external political purposes... a Buffer Zone, as it has always been, between the 'great' powers of the world that you represent. If this happens yet again, you will all be damned – for eternity – for crimes against humanity and there will be NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS to allow you the opportunity of a happy, conscience-free retirement.
Gentlemen... I am scared! Of you! All of you! How can you help me and my fellow pacifists - the vast majority of the civilized world – to be able to go to sleep at night without fear that tomorrow I may wake up in a country that is occupied and under military rule – be it NATO or Russian!
Was it not the last president of the first Republic of Latvia who sagely advised: "You stay in your places and I'll stay in mine!"
GENTLEMEN ... DO SOMETHING!
THAT IS WHY YOU AREHERE!