Finland was not “suddenly” interested in NATO. Finland spent decades building its military to be compatible with NATO troops. It is about a process that already started in the nineties.
Let me remind you, in 2014, Finland signed a memorandum of understanding with NATO.
It gives the military alliance broad rights to act on Finnish soil, including “attack”.
In Finland, they are jokingly asking where we are going to attack. Is it Sweden? This is how Mauno Saari, one of the most renowned Finnish journalists today, answers the question of the weekly “Pečat” –
The presence of this author causes attention in the Scandinavian public.
Saari started his career as a reporter at Helsingin Sanomat and then continued his ten-year career in journalism as the editor-in-chief of the magazines Iltaset, Suomen Kuvalehti, Iltalehti and Uude Finland, literally in the most respected daily newspapers and weeklies published in Helsinki. In recent years, he has been writing TV scripts and film templates. He returned to journalism recently and for a reason.
At the beginning of 2022, I founded the Naapuriseur association and its online publication Naapuriseur Sanomat, because as an old journalist I thought the situation in the country was scandalous and intolerable. The last straw was the statement of our Prime Minister Sana Marin, or rather her request that “all ties with Russia must be severed”. Our association, “Good Neighbors” opposes that policy. The club is independent and impartial. She wants Finland to have good relationswith all our neighbors. Of course, we pay special attention to what is happening in Russia because it is highlighted when they really want to cut off all connections, including mail and rail traffic…
Dragan Vujicic (DV): Let’s go back to Finland’s Memorandum of Understanding with NATO from 2014?
Mauno Saari (MS): The decision to sign that agreement was made when the Parliament was on vacation. The agreement was not presented to the parliament and has many strange features. In my opinion, membership in NATO was the long-term goal and dream of President Niiniste. He will go down in history for implementing it. In other words, he will go down in history as the president who ended the nearly 80-year peaceful and even friendly era between Finland and the Soviet Union/Russia. At the same time, Niiniste destroyed the work of two previous presidents, Juho Kusti Pasikivi and Urho Kekonen, and their life’s work, the doctrine of how a small country can live in peace and prosperity as a neighbor of a great power. It was a very successful “policy of active neutrality”.
DV: Prime Minister Marin points to threats from Russia?
MS: The question of the Russian threat is fundamental. There was nothing like it, not even the slightest. The media has been developing an image of the threat for years, but without any facts. In reality, President Niinista conjured up that threat on February 24, 2022, like a magician, he pulled the threat like a rabbit out of a hat to get a reason to report NATO.
DV: Doesn’t Finland learn from history?
MS: My friend, the academic Paavo Haavikko, who passed away a few years ago, wrote: “Finland cannot learn from its history because it has never made a mistake. A fitting irony. Finland has lost every conflict it has been involved in for nearly 300 years. The history of the Second World War has been forgotten, or the current generation of politicians has never studied it. Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s phrase on TV news became famous in Finland: “Finland went to war with Russia and won.”
DV: Apart from youth, did your prime minister have any other good qualities?
MS: The only thing he has is youth. No comment.
DV: It seems to us that the whole of Scandinavia is in some kind of militaristic frenzy?
MS: Nordic militarism is America’s dream. The creation of this type of militarism was also influenced by the USA through its many years of activity. Sweden has long been a “little America”, with very close relations with the US, also in the field of espionage. Finnish politicians and ordinary people have a completely wrong picture of the United States. We admire America, we don’t want to know that it is a monster that has 750 military bases around the world and lives by devouring the countries it goes to “help”. We don’t want to see the results when the USA “helped” Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Libya and many other places. We lie to ourselves that the USA will rush to help us if Russia threatens us. America is in no hurry! She’s not even walking. Its way of waging wars is to use the armies and territories of other countries. If there is ever a conflict between NATO/USA and Russia, Finland will be destroyed. In that case, we are a scorched battlefield.
DV: What else has NATO gained since your country joined the alliance?
MS: NATO got a strong army. So we are paying the big costs of the NATO military. In addition, we are also paying for the new F35 fighters that we bought for NATO. Finland is everything poorer, but has unlimited money for weapons. Good job! We sold our independence and paid the price ourselves. On the other hand, Finland came under the nuclear umbrella. Our politicians do not understand that there are two umbrellas. Neither will protect us if an atomic war breaks out.
DV: All this happens when your region is led by the female leaders of Sweden (Magdalena Anderson), Estonia (Kaya Kalas), Lithuania (Ingrid Šimonite), Ursula Von der Leyen who is going to be the head of NATO?
MS: You are asking for a female leader! Well, for decades it has been said that peace would return to the world if women came to power. What does it look like? These bosses, starting with Ursula acting The female is much more aggressive than the male. If a rooster wandered into this chicken coop, it would be immediately liquidated. I feel that women have had a longing and lust for power for a long time. That could explain the situation. Fortunately, there is a woman in my house (Pirrko Turpienen) who is passionately on the side of peace. We do what we can for that, but we don’t see Finland as “the happiest country in the world”. The atmosphere of censorship and the threat of war is oppressive.
DV: Is nuclear war threatening?
MS: There is an old saying: “They can kill the whole world six times with their bombs, but only the first time is bad”. Our “Association of Good Neighbors” and its web newspaper “Naapuriseuran Sanomat” were created to fight against this hateful and suicidal atmosphere. Your readers can find the publication by clicking on naapuriseura.fi and selecting their language.
DV: Mainstream media don’t see the situation like ordinary normal people?
MS: A complete turnaround took place in the Finnish media in 2014. Until then, newspapers and TV followed normal journalistic principles. After that, the entire media field turned into a producer of Western propaganda. It is not wrong to say that he became an effective brainwashing machine that scared people with the threat of Russia and pushed for NATO membership. The electoral victory of the right and the extreme right is also due to this.
DV: What exactly happened?
MS: The state established “Mediapool” in the country for crisis situations. Although there was no crisis, in the media sense, Finland moved into a state similar to wartime censorship. This “pool” announced on its own website that one of its purposes is the fight against anti-NATO communication. “The fourth level of power in the state” (media) became number one. The media, which have always been the “watchdogs” of the home, have become the master of the house. Freedom of speech has become a prison of words.
DV: Your association in Finland is accused of being “pro-Russian”?
MS: We publish essays, opinions and news stories that are not currently in the mainstream media. We have a great correspondent in Moscow. Our publication is not the megaphone of the Kremlin, but it is good that people have more diverse information than what is offered by the censored media.
Finland is involved in the isolation of Russia. It has successfully isolated itself both spiritually and materially.
Copyright © Mauno Saari and Dragan Vujicic, 2023