Security Measures of Summit Compromises Free Speech and Open Borders to EU citizens

NATO’s Bucharest Summit

As I have written elsewhere, the NATO Summit in Bucharest will determine the future of NATO for many years to come. Some (mostly harmless) questions in my mind:

Will European members rediscover a common will regarding redefined global goals and strategy of the alliance?

Will NATO come to represent something more than an American heavy hand in the European pie or merely as a gate keeper for nations seeking membership in the European Union?

Since the Cold War is over, how will NATO assure Russia that NATO plays a new role in international politics – a role that supports common economic interests including reasonable Russian interests?

Related to the NATO Summit in Bucharest, but more immediately interesting than the NATO specific questions on my mind is… recent authoritarian moves of the Romanian government to prevent dissenting opinion and protest about NATO in the Romanian public square.

Background music for your reading: Marilyn Manson, Nobodies

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Why Romania is important

Why is Romania so important to the US and NATO?

I’m not talking about the Romanian hotties- though there is much to be said about that subject. Some local hot shots are even grumbling that all the working girls are booked solid for the Summit. Rumors have it that the Italian and French diplomats may have arrived a bit in advance of the Summit to log some quality fly time.

On the one hand, there is much that Romania and the US do not share in common. For example, freedom of speech is not a sacred principle in Romania. Nor is Romanian government and politics guided by the same fundamental insights about human dignity that the American founders were willing to die for. As an American, I, myself, get to write some wild things that few Romanians could get away with- without reprisals.

Romania, however, is a strategic Balkans state. As a fledgling member of the European Union and a strategic ally that provides America with excellent positioning for military and intelligence operations, American policy makers just hope that the American public doesn’t care what goes on in Romania. For the most part, the policy makers are safe- Americans care more about prices at the gas pump than the moral, political and social character of foreign allies.

Did you know that Romania is one of the few countries that sold to America the right to launch war from our military bases in its territory – and we can do so without having to notify their government of our actions? God bless, Romania. And, as I understand, Bush didn’t even pay that much for this privilege. It’s a major coup.

Aside: I’m no Bush fan, but President Bush knows the art of the deal. And no one gives him credit for his sharp business instincts- despite the fact of the Bush family having large shares in the oil business and the kind of money to put Kings and Queens to shame.

After all, when everyone thinks you’re an idiot; no one really looks into your closets- especially if you were wealthy enough to have a lot of closets- bedroom and otherwise. But my gossip about Bush detracts from the present subject…

If there is anywhere in the world where the price of compromise can be paid in full and not counted, it’s Disneyland… err, I mean, Bucharest. That’s why the NATO Summit is happening here. It’s also convenient that there is a mysterious lack of protest and dissenting public opinion.

More background music: Korn, Get This Party Started

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Getting the Party started

Romanians learned a few things from the Communist years. They learned how to put on a happy face when Nicolae Ceausescu’s car would pass by. They would line up the children along the streets and put them on the balconies, put flowers in their little hands, and the cheerful Pioneers would sing happy songs.

Romanian politicians have always been quick to compromise their personal integrity, dignity of the Romanian people, and the future of the Romanian nation… as long as they can see a very good reason to do so. Romania is a cash society and cash is king here. That’s why we, Americans, like them. It’s also why Romania is so likable- generally speaking.

And Romanian politicians are generally good at getting into an enthusiastic party mood. And they party hard.

That’s why the Television, Radio and Print have been telling Romanians for the last week that…

1. NATO is key to the security of Romania against terrorists and other undefined, but more terrible threats

2. Protesters must not be allowed to disrupt these important affairs of state

3. Protesters are actually terrorists intending to kill and injure civilians in their desperate plot to stop NATO and prevent the securitization of Romania

The Romanian people must be protected from paper cuts– the cuts administered with protest flyers. Death by a thousand paper cuts is not just a cliché ! It is a terroristic threat that must be prevented at all costs.

Oceania

The political manipulation of Media (a complicit Media, mind you that we might more accurately refer to as the Ministry of Truth) and consequent successful manipulation of popular perception is nothing less than a surreal realization of Oceania from George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

For those that have an internet connection, we are just a little amused by the reports of foreign protesters that have been denied entry into Romania. The moral outrage of European citizens whose entry was denied is wasted – if they hope to get any kind of sympathy from Romanians. We who are here in Bucharest, shrug our shoulders, drink our 100 proof, triple burned palinca, and wonder what were those unlucky fools smoking?!

Did they imagine Romania’s political leaders care about their so-called right to free speech- especially if those outsiders don’t carry large brief cases of easily exchangeable foreign currencies?!

It’s time to grow up, kidos. If you want things to happen in this world, you need money. And lots of it.

More background music: Tears for Fears, Shout

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Show us the money

Pay attention. Here’s good advice to you evil protesters:

First, get a lot of cash. I’m talking more than sixty four million Euros not including VAT and bank fees. Then, give it to us.

Then, go get even more cash. Again, give that cash to us.

Then, maybe, we can talk… dialog, mingle, help you stage a peaceful protest that no one will care about, or whatever you want…

Actually, we’re not promising anything specific at this time. But it’s the best deal that we can offer right now. We hope you’ll understand. Everything here has to be considered and finalized at the very moment it can or can’t happen.

And if you want the deal from someone else – say a minor politician that might be able to use this platform as a spring board into national attention for the upcoming national elections, we can arrange that too. But it will cost triple.

Option Two

If you could get the American and European press to widely denounce Romania’s authoritarian positioning on free speech, the right to assemble, the right to protest, and other such notions synonymous with freedom and democracy, you would see Romanian intelligence organizing the biggest, most peaceful protest that Europe has ever seen. But that will take a few weeks to pull together.

Option Three

Pray. Or pray harder.

Below, a song for my friend, Daniel Fanache, who is very disappointed in my lack of enthusiasm for spending quality time with totalitarian stormtroopers.

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Stan Faryna
April 1st, 2008
Bucharest, Romania

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About Stan Faryna

He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others.

His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnalul National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.

Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Copyright

Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.

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