Archive for October, 2009

Desantdocent Johan Bäckman

October 23, 2009

Johan Bäckman have been called a Russian propagandist and pops up like a jack in the box everywhere in Finland and Estonia (well, not anymore. There is currently a Estonia travel ban on him) if there is anything with connections to Russia.

Bäckman lived and worked in St. Petersburg from 1993 to 2004 and is fluent in Russian. In 2000 he opened a scientific research centre there called ”Johan Beckman Institute”, specialised in publishing books about Finnish-Russian war history in several languages. Bäckman have been a popular commentator in Russian national television, radio and press, often underlining Finnish and Estonian Russophobia and accused them of re-writing history and being anti-Russian. Bäckman is against the position of the Finnish president Tarja Halonen that Finland waged the Continuation War against the aggression of the USSR. Bäckman claims Finns participated in the Siege of Leningradactively and asked Hitler to destroy the city, planning to create ”Greater Finland” consisting of Finland, Karelia, Leningrad, Northern Sweden and Norway, and Estonia.  Bäckman have critisized Finnish “nationalists’ ” attempts to return the territories lost in the Paris Peace Treaty. In March 2002  during a military historical festival dedicated to the end of the Winter War, in Suojärvi, in the Russian Republic of Karelia, Bäckman made a sensational claim that the modern authorities of Finland propagated the idea that the Russian people is genetically inferior and expected Russia to collapse in about twenty years. Collapsing states seems to be Bäckmans speciality, in connection with the Bronze soldier issue Bäckman said that this was the end of Estonia as an independent nation and that Estonia would collapse within 15 years. As you see, Bäckman seems to be hallucinating but this is indifferent to him and the ones in Moscow that pays him for spreading the word.

Bäckman have gained wide publicity in Estonia for denying the Soviet occupation during 1940-1941 and 1944-1991: “In my opinion speaking or writing of Soviet “occupation” should be criminalised as a form of racist propaganda. I demand five years prison sentence to everyone who dears to say Estonia was “occupied” by Soviet Union.” You don’t wonder about the travel ban anymore…In the opinion of the Estonian counter-intellegence agency Kaitsepolitseiamet, Bäckman is a Russian propagandist spreading disinformation which is similar to the claims Moscow is making. In March 2009 Kaitsepolitseiamet said that Bäckman is a communist who maintains close friendship with well-known Finnish neo-nazi Risto Teinonen, both of whom know the former KGB agent residing in Estonia Vladimir Ilyashevich (Bäckmans publisher), all of them being linked with the young Muscovite historian Alexander Dyukov. In the assessment by Kaitsepolitseiamet, both Bäckman and Teinonen are likely to be part of a FSB operation directed from Moscow through Ilyashevich. Another intresting friend of Bäckman is the leader of the Finnish Islamic Party “Abdullah” Tammi, former KGB agent in Finland.

Bäckman have denied he is a communist but at the same time he has said he admires the Finnish pro-Soviet, Taistolaisuus movement of the 1970s.

The latest case Bäckman popped up in was in connection with Rimma Salonens court case. Rimma, a Balticrussian from Estonia, “kidnapped” her son Anton away from his Finnish father Pekka (who had the legal custody) and fled to Russia. Motherly love? Maybe, but the fact is that she left an older son of her behind in Finland. In Russia Rimma managed by false witness fake signature give her son a Russian citizenship so that he could not be extracted to Finland. Despite the work of Finnish lawyers and diplomats who together had all evidences and an undisputed legal right on their side, admitted by Russian legal institutions, the Russians stalled and did not act to send Anton back to Finland. This summer the Finnish diplomat did the only right thing and smuggled Anton and his father in the trunk of his car back into Finland. Bäckman seized the opportunity to cry out over the unfair Russophobic treatment of Rimma and touted that she was threatened with a six year sentence by the Tampere court!

Bäckman is a main contributor for the Finnish anti fascist organization http://antifasistit.blogspot.com/. A organization that only increases Russofobia with their deranged writings and Putinism.

History revisionist Henrik Arnstad-Embarrassingly late and wrong

October 23, 2009

Swedish “historian” Henrik Arnstad have published a book  “Skyldig till skuld”, with focus on European Axis powers and the way they have dealt with their alliance with Nazi Germany. During the release of his last book about the Swedish world war II foreign minister Christian Günther, Arnstad violently attacked Finland in an article (can you imagine, just in time for the release of his book in Finland) and placed the responsibility for the Continuation war on Finland. He used gross simplifications, cited Soviet propaganda, neglected historical facts and accused the average Finn for not having knowledge about this when infact, he was the one with severe gaps of Finnish history.

The silliest of all claims was that Arnstad also meant that he, a previously unknown journalist, had the role of being an eye opener for official Finland and Finnish historians while turning a blind eye on the fact that all this had been discussed in Finland 25 -30 years earlier and that already in the 60’s questions like the one’s Arnstad asked had been asked. Arnstad also used Johan Bäckman‘s work as source on his website www.christiangunther.se. Bäckmans work was a straight repetition of the early 1970’s critisicm of Finlands role in the Continuation war by the Finnish pro Soviet movement.

One of Finlands most known historians Henrik Meinander wrote: “Arnstads bok inte kan betecknas som ett seriöst historieverk. Snarast handlar den om en hurtig blandning av odokumenterade fakta, uppgifter och lösa funderingar som gränsar till fiktion.”Or in english “Arnstads book cannot be regarded as a serious work. It is more a hasty mixture of undocumented facts and loose thoughts that borders to fiction”

Realizing he was making a fool out of himself, he quickly did some research and found the topic of Finnish internment camps in eastern Karelia which he then wrote an article about trying to shift attention. Of course, with the same simplifications and ignorance of historical facts. Arnstad claimed that the Finnish army deliberately starved Russian civilians to death. This starvation happened during the spring and summer of 1942 when Finlands own population was starving to death because of accute food shortage and in addition the Finnish Army had to feed an unexpectedly large number of surrendered Soviet soldiers. Arnstad ignored the fact that when food was imported from Germany, the infrastructure and supply channels was improved, the death toll virtually went close to zero.

Now Arnstad wants to promote sales for his new book by accusing C.G.E. Mannerheim of being a despot in the same class with Mussolini and Hitler (He does not refer to the biggest despot of them all, Stalin. A sign of political affinity?) saying Finland is unique in Europe where there is a statue of a “war criminal”. Sigh… Mannerheim, although controversial, was during WW II nothing less than a military commander who did what he could do to save his nation and people from total annihilation. Arnstad wishes to discuss in his book how countries that have sided with evil (Nazi Germany) is dealing with its history today. I agree that there are some myths nurtured in Finland today but the myths are quite harmless when considering the cold facts: Finland was not Nazi minded but faced with three options, join either the Sovietunion (not bloody likely after the Winter War) or Nazi Germany, ready to provide arms and more crucial food, or stay neutral and inevitably be invaded only to be used as a battle ground for the the world’s without doubt worst murderstates. 

A more intresting target for myth studies and a much more worrying subject would be how the Sovietunions de facto succesor state Russia is dealing with its dictatorial and criminal past.

But, how serious is Arnstad as a historian and of what magnitude is his work in the eyes of other historians? Here is a list of all leading Finnish and Swedish historians who has been critical about Arnstad and the low quality of his books and articles: 

History prof. Henrik Meinander, Docent in political history Erkki Tuomioja, Docent and head of research at the Finnish national archive Lars Westerlund, Docent Stefan Forss, Ph. Dr. at Turku university Markku Jokisipilä, Prof. in civilright Ove Bring, Prof. of modern history at Swedish school of defense Kent Zetterberg, Prof. in political security Bo Huldt, historian and chairman of the Swedish academy Peter Englund.

Damned! I’d be terribly ashamed if I had published a book that was so totally debunked by serious scholars. We’ll see what criticism he will get for his new book.

Arnstad is a funny character in other ways too. He have been active on the Wikipedia page about him (that’s really low!) where he edited or removed the often reported heavy criticism against his work.

Wikipedia discussion page in Swedish http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diskussion:Henrik_Arnstad where Arnstad weeps that Wikipedia infact is a plattform for evil rightwing extremist slandering… Hmm, “rightwing extremist”,  isn’t that a favourite stalinist accusation? Another intresting side of Arnstad is his unashamed use of Soviet communist propaganda material for marketing his vision. The picture that Arnstad uses in his blogg http://skyldig.wordpress.com/ is supposed to be a picture of Soviet children in a Finnish concentration camp. The picture is a well known propaganda picture staged by a Soviet photographer after the war. The arrangement is with randomly chosen children put to stand behind a barbed wire fence. The children are a well fed bunch and far from being starved… Arnstad knows this is a staged propaganda picture, still he happily uses this picture. 

Using communist propaganda material is equal to the use of Nazi propaganda, Henrik!!

Only the Russian lie is true

October 21, 2009

There was a documentary broadcasted on Finnish television a couple of weeks ago. The documentary examined how history is perceived in Russia, the Baltic countries and Ukraine. One Moscow politician, Sergei Markov put it very blunt basically saying: we want to spread the Russian version to Europe and primarily the Baltic states and Ukraine.
Infact, he said there will be war if Europeans do not accept the Russian version.

What is the Russian version then? Very much the Soviet version. Unfortunately. Every country with selfrespect have dealt with their past. For instance South Africa had a truth comission, Australia is increasingly admitting crimes comitted against its Aborigines, Germany have dealt with its nazi past. In Finland the Continuation war and the Civil war is always up for discussion.

But official Russia 2009 closes its eyes to the crimes comitted against humanity. There have even been a rally to defend genocide and even honour Stalin by saying it was necessary to build a strong Russia (20 million dead in WW2 and another 20 million by terror). In Russia they stage parades were warcriminals that raped, killed civilians and children march as “heroes”. In the program good old Soviet partisans accused people, Ukrainian partisans that only fought for the survival of families and independence, for being fascists.
The truth is that Russia have passed a law making it illegal to speak too truthfully about Soviet warcrimes.
There is even a comission working with printing the official Russian version in various languages to be spread in the Baltic states and Ukraine. This comission engages in history revision systematically and is backed by the government.
It is a good reason to be sceptical about Russia and admit that it is the single state that still poses a threat to a number of nations in Europe.

A country which have not dealt with it’s past does not have a future.

A country which still subscribes to lies and cultivates myths will invent new myths and lies.

A country which have not acknowledged it’s responsibilty in causing previous wars, occupation and exploitation of other countries will inevitably cause new wars, occupations and exploitations.

A country which still recruits it top political elite who are from the ranks of those or who are being indoctrined by those who served the previous corrupt and criminal state remains a corrupt and criminal state.

To freely cite Anna Politkovskaya; Russia acts like a mafia led police state. Russia have never dealt with the people responsible for comitting crimes against it’s own people too. Very few people have ever been made responsible for the communist terror which I think is a sign of having little intrest in becoming a normal state where transparency and responsibility is the core of all official work.
Instead – close your eyes people! And let the trans-Siberian train speed ahead to new troubles. The staff is the same.

Finlandssvenskheten som får mig att skämmas

October 20, 2009

 

Finska fyllerister i Stockholm eller dopade finska skidåkare… Nej, ingenting med Finland får mig att skämmas så mycket som en del Finlandssvenskar.

Svekomaner, östsvenskar, bygdesvenskar, Finlandssvensk samling och Sfp’s mörka historia. Inte behöver man vända många stenar eller gräva särskilt djupt för att blotta ett förakt för det finska som hämtar näring från rasbiologi och språkstrider samtidigt som det blottar ett sjukligt självförhärligande. Men, kan man kalla det rasism när vi talar om två genetiskt och kulturellt väldigt lika och i många fall identiska grupper, som förvisso talar olika språk? Jo, bland Svenskfinlands fanatiker är det fullt möjligt, om man aktivt glömmer bort att man som Finlandssvensk med största sannolikhet faktiskt har ett finskt ursprung… Den gemensamma nämnaren för alla fanatiker är förstås Det Finska Hotet. Med stort H. Väldigt stort H. Det har varit stort sedan, låt mig se, 1865.

Precis, Det Finska Hotet har hotat Finlands svenskatalande befolkning i nästan 150 år. Det har aldrig varit så stort som nu 2009. Eller förresten, det var som störst 1923. Nej, det var nog som störst 1875. Som ni ser. Det Finska Hotet har alltid varit stort. Vad har Finlands svenskar gjort för att minska faran för ett utplånande av det svenska i Finland? Man har emigrerat.

Precis. Man har lämnat Svenskfinland, gissa om det underlättat Finlandssvenskens överlevnad i Finland?

Vad har Finlandssvenskar gjort för att öka den finskatalande befolkningens förståelse för och minska eventuell illvilja mot Finlandssvenskheten? Aktivt underblåst i alla andra länder avlagda förklenande rasteorier om finnar och konsekvent upprätthålla myten om att Finlands svenska talande är den samhällsbärande befolkningen utan vilka det aldrig skulle funnits något Finland. Orsaken kan ligga i att delar av den finlandssvenska befolkningen är invaggade i en självbedrägelse som lyder: Vi är en germansk, och därmed mer civiliserad, folkspillra i ett hav av ociviliserade uralska främlingar. Självbedrägelsen är resultatet av ett mytbildande upplysningsarbete som pågått lika länge som Det Finska Hotet existerat. Gissa om det gör finnen i gemen glad i hatten över finlandssvenskheten? 

Låt mig vara brutalt rakt på sak; ingen grupp har gjort mer skada för vår gemensamma nationella självkänsla som Finlands helt egna svenskatalande befolkning.  

Om det bara inte vore så pinsamt för vår svenskatalande befolkning att moderna genanalyser kombinerat med den mera traditionella släktforskningen kullkastar myten om en germansk folkspillra.  Österbottens finlandssvenskar och finnar är i praktiken genetiskt oskiljaktiga och har en lång tradition av ingifte över språkgränserna.

Det är nu just detta som får mig att skämmas. Österbottens finlandssvenskar och finnar är i praktiken genetiskt oskiljaktiga och har en lång tradition av ingifte över språkgränserna. Finnarna är lika mycket germaner som svenskarna är finsk ugrier. Ändå är det vi och de. Här har vi, inom landets gränser, ett folk med två språk, x och y, varav den grupp som talar språk x anser sig ha rätt att förringa den grupp som talar språk y, enbart för att de talar språk y.

Jag säger inte att det inte finns skillnader mellan svensktalande Lars-Göran från Vasa och finsktalande Olli-Pekka från Vaasa. Självklart finns det flera saker som gör dessa två olika men, fanatiska finlandssvenskar förstärker dessa till praktiskt taget oöverkomliga kulturella hinder, två olika världar. Det fanns förr större regionala skillnader i Finland än idag, som tydligast tog sig uttryck i hur levebrödet skaffades i olika ekologiska zoner. Dessa regionala skillnader fanns inte bara i Finland utan t. ex. även i Sverige. En del var fiskare och kanske säljägare och andra var jordbrukare långt från havet eller boskapsskötare i fjällen, alla med egna traditioner och trosföreställningar.

Hur lika kunde en ålfiskande Skåning vara med en skogsarbetare från norra Jämtland? Var skillnaden större än mellan en jordbrukare från Kalajoki eller en fiskare från Karleby? Knappast. Men det är just det som “fanatikerna” hävdar.

Det finns än idag regionala skillnader, inte bara i Finland utan överraskande nog även i Sverige. De regionala skillnaderna är märkbart mindre i Sverige tack vare ett intensivt försvenskningsarbete av Skåne, Gotland, Jämtland och Norrbotten och målinriktat utstampande av olikheter i byggandet av den svenska nationalstaten. Men i Finland har man tvärtemot intensivt arbetat för att förstärka skillnaderna. Och vilka är det som arbetat mest för att öka skillnaderna, bevara motsatsförhållande? En vild gissning? Någon?

Edward Dutton author of the pseudoscientific book “The Finnuit”

October 20, 2009

Dr Edward Dutton is a British journalist and academic living in Oulu, Finland. He has currently come out with a book on Finnish culture called  The Finnuit, where he argues that Finnish culture can be better “understood” if regarded as an Arctic culture instead of what it is, a nordic culture.

Ok, granted. There are some people not only in Finland, but also in Norway and Sweden, that could be viewed from an Arctic, or more correctly, from a Siberian or even Circumpolar perspective, and it is the Saami people. But Finns that have traditionally been a pastoral and farming people for atleast 2000 years could possibly be viewed in a Baltic context if the Nordic is difficult for a foreigner to understand. 

Dutton have previously written rather odd articles about Finland like this one that is kind of an introduction to his new book, in which he makes a comparison between Finland and Greenland using bizarre, to me and virtually every other Finn, totally unknown “Finnish customs” and other weak parallels (that we may expect have re-emerged in his new book). Here are some comments about Duttons article:

“I think you should just be amused about this pseudoscientific writer.”

“The fact that Dutton calls himself an anthropologist is embarrasing.”

“Dr Dutton has inadvertently painted a fairly accurate portrait of the Englishman as a Self-righteous Underinformed Smartarse.”

“He uses old stereotypes and ridiculous arguments mainly backed up by a blokes comments here and a blokes comments there.”

“This man must be a satirist.”

“Edward Duttons comparison is bizarre and he needs a reality check.”

“I’m glad to see, that most people don’t take this guy’s writing seriously :)”

There is another even stranger article by Dutton on a Mongolian website full of difficult to grasp why insinuations and misinterpretation of scientifical sources. Let’s have a couple of readers opinions from here as well before we look at the funny stuff:

 “Let us leave the research on genetics for properly educated geneticists, instead of writing political rubbish about it.”

 

“The likes of Edward Dutton enjoy wallowing in pseudoscientific tripe, promoting once-blossoming attitudes of sleazy 19th century National Romantic hogwash.”

 

Let’s have a look at Duttons capabilities of understanding  his own references. Dutton:“The more recent discovery of genetics has added further evidence to the ‘Mongol’ claim. Geneticist Richard Kittles found in 1998 that Finns have ‘Dual Origins’ between Germanic and Mongoloid as measured by their ‘Y Chromosome Haplotype Variation.”

Here is the study by Kittles: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1377088/pdf/9545401.pdf . Kittles does not argue with even one word or imply in any way for what Dutton claims. The word mongoloid is not mentioned once in the study.  What the report concluded was that Y-DNA haplotype N1c, as we know it today, arrived from Asia to Europe some 12 000 years ago. If men carrying the Y-DNA are halfway between mongoloid and Germanic, then some 30 million European men are too.

Dutton wrote: “And in 2003, Slovenian geneticist Andrej Marusic observed that the Finnish propensity to alcoholism could be explained by the ADH22 gene ‘which is common in Eastern peoples but almost unheard of Europe.’ There is, he argued, a ‘J Curve’ where this gene is found which parallels areas where Finnish (and related languages) are spoken. For Marusic, ‘this seems to substantiate the theory that the primary ancestors of Finno-Uralics are the Mongols. The Mongols have not traditionally consumed strong alcohol whereas Europeans have for thousands of years, developing a genetic resistance to it.’”

Marusic have researched about the high level of suicides in eastern Europe and he have tried to find a genetic reason for this http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/109863724/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 . Marusic never argumented for the Mongolians being the primary ancestors of Finns as Dutton claims, but he suspected that the ancient Magyars and Slavs that have settled modern day Slovenia and Hungary may have carried a gene that causes negative alcohol intake which may lead to suicide.

There have been several studies that have documented the high frequency of the ADH 2-2 gene in the Russian population which have been seen as a legacy of the medieval Mongol invasion of Muscovy and Kievan Rus. Research have shown that Finns do not carry this gene any more frequent than other Europeans, as Dutton thinks. The Batu Khan never reached Finland… Did Dutton know that?

And so on… The two articles are just loaded with stuff on such low brow level that it is really worrying if it actually is a scholar that  have been at work. If the book continues in the same fashion as the articles , there must be some reason why it is so. A man living in Finland cannot be that wrong or can he? And why? 

I have read the preface of the book http://www.akkrt.hu/download.php?obj_id=85132  and that’s when I find something that is quite disturbing. Duttons acknowledgements…

One person is prof. Juha Janhunen, ironically a Finn turned Swedishspeaking and the current chairman of Finlandssvensk samling, an organization known to take more radical methods in preserving Swedish language and Swedish culture in Finland.

To be blunt, some the organizations members are kind of anti-Finnish in a way that is not very far from the radical views expressed by Swedish nationalists in Finland in the early 20th century, a time when scientific racism was used as an argument in negating Finnish speaking Finns as political opponents.

The organizations previous vice chairman Ida Asplund, managed to cause a debate by claiming that Finlandswedishness should be reserved for those who can genetically prove to be of Swedish descent and have also advocated foreign immigration into Swedishspeaking parts of the country to boost its non-Finnishspeaking population. 

Edward Dutton also acknowledges a Finlandswede from Helsinki I happen to know through the Internet. He’s a  notorious fellow active on several forums with anthropological orientation (and on virtually every other forum or newspaper opinion pages where Finnishness and Finlandswedishness have been the topic).

This guy have during the last two years at least, systematically and vigorously written very derogatively and deliberately spread misconceptions about Finns, Finland and Finnish culture. His only mission, as it seems, have been to depict Finns as primitive and recent immigrants from north Asia uncapable of innovative thougths and high culture. He has proved this with reaffirming sentences as this one: “Suomen ruotsalaiset ovat germeeneja, teutooneja ja eri rotua kuin puoli-mongooli suomalaiset” In English: “Finlandswedes are Germanics, Teutonic and a different race than half-Mongol Finns.”  He has also told me that he and Dutton have had conversations where they together have laughed at Finns and agreed that Finns are the greatest threat to Finland. I asked Dutton directly about this but strangely enought he has not responded… Maybe I was just another insecure Eskimo on bootlegged vodka to him?

If Dutton have been fed brilliant ideas and received help in “understanding” Finns by this guy, Finlandssvensk samling and evidently a lot of strange hearsay, well then it’s really sad.

 

I do not know if mr. Dutton is capable of sieving out what is a real fact and what is a deliberate negative presentation, happily underblown by people with malicious intent.