Childish nations

September 1st, 2008

Recent events in Georgia have reminded me just how childish nations are.

Various news articles have tried to explain Russia’s actions by stating that Russian pride has taken several severe knocks since the collapse of the Soviet Union, with many of its former subject nations rejecting Russia and joining the EU, applying to join NATO or otherwise looking to the West. Thus Russia took this opportunity to restore its national pride by taking action in South Ossetia.

National pride.

That’s a phrase that should be saved for the Olympics, or cheese, or beer or even (choking back the nausea) the Eurovision song contest.

When national pride results in guns being fired, how is it different from the violence that erupts when one street gang offends another’s pride?

Let me answer that question for you, just in case it is in any way unclear in your mind: there is no difference.

Of course, all the hypocrisy has come out. Great Britain and the USA, among many others, have remonstrated with Russia for using military force. These are two other countries that have a tendency to use their military as an expression of national pride.

Let’s invade Panama because their President shafted the CIA in a drugs deal!

Let’s go to war with Argentina over some windswept islands in the South Atlantic (or let’s go to war with Britain over some windswept islands in the South Atlantic)!

Let’s bomb the crap out of Iraq because Sadaam Hussein has WMDs or is in league with Al Qaeda or because it’s Tuesday or because we are GREAT countries and that’s what GREAT countries do to prove their GREATNESS… they bomb the shit out of people!

What does it say about a country that continues to formally label itself “Great”?

What does it say about a country that constantly has to tell itself that it’s the “greatest country in the world” (which, if it’s true, doesn’t explain why I have never, ever seen a clean taxi there)?

National pride.

National pride is nothing more than the insecure trying to prove to themselves that they are worth something after all by dropping bombs on children.

Type “proud to be Irish” into Google and you’ll get around 218,000 hits*. That’s 218,000 pages of utter crap.

I’m Irish. I like being Irish. I am pleased to be Irish. I am not ashamed of being Irish (as many my age or older used to feel). But proud to be Irish? What? Was it something I somehow achieved through the sweat of my brow? I would happily wear a shirt that says “Irish” on it, just as long as it is not preceeded by the words “Proud to be”. No, I am not proud to be Irish and anyone who says they are is only one step away from the Georgians who dropped bombs on the South Ossetians just because they don’t want to be Georgian, or one step away from the Russians who dropped bombs on the Georgians because they haven’t been feeling too good about themselves over the past twenty years.

Awwww… How do you say “Diddums” in Russian?

The more I see world leaders on TV, the more I see them as damaged children desperately seeking approval. And they are willing to kill to get it.

No country is so great that they need to shout it from the mountain tops. No country is so great that they need to fire assault rifles to prove it. Leave that childish nonsense to gang-bangers

* Interestingly, the figure is only 137,00 for “proud to be American” and a paltry 97,500 for “proud to be British”.


We beat you, so-called GREAT Britain and so-called “greatest country in the world” USA!

Makes me proud to be Irish.

3 Responses to “Childish nations”

  1. Paraic Hegartyon 02 Sep 2008 at

    I recently heard a great phrase on ‘The Sunday Supplement’ on Today FM which summed up both the ‘Troubles’ in the North of Ireland and the Georgian/Ossetian/Abkhazian situations as ‘Why should we be a minority in your country when you could be a minority in ours?’.

  2. KEvinon 09 Sep 2008 at

    “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.”
    -George Bernhard Shaw

  3. Kevinon 09 Sep 2008 at

    Incidentally, shouldn’t that last bit read:
    “Makes me be Irish.”

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