Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Ridiculous Answer to a Silly Question

In a recent moment of jocularity, a Patterson School professor sent out a waggish list of sample comprehensive exam questions, among them: “Which countries constitute the “Axis of Obsolescence?

Obsolescence is defined as the state of being no longer useful, current or desired. I’ll kick off the Axis, and hopefully we’ll have enough additional contributions to form a new international organization I call the Quad U-N (Union of Unwanted, Unnecessary and Untimely Nations). First among the obsolete? Moldova.

What happened, Moldova? We used to be cool…

Things were really heating up between us after you declared your independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. You had a big fight with your ex over the Transdnestrian region on your border with Ukraine, and it got ugly, but you made it through. You had elections, you introduced a market economy and liberalized prices…. I mean sure, times were tough, but you powered through, and from 2001 to 2008 you were doing so well! I mean, stable annual growth between 5% and 10% annually? So hot!

But then all of a sudden, it was like you’re the old you again. You go and elect a majority of Communist Party members to parliament last April. You said it was a mistake, you dissolved parliament and said you’d never do it again, but three months later, you vote to send a plurality of Communists right back to parliament.

I mean, it’s obvious to everyone that Russia is just using you as a buffer against the West. It’s weird enough that their troops are still right next door in Transdniestria “keeping the peace.” I bet that’s exactly what they said about Georgia, too. This is going to make it really awkward if you still want to come to NATO with us, let alone get with the EU.

Whatever. We never really wanted you anyway. It’s obvious you were never over the Soviet Union, or whatever it’s calling itself now. We gave you support, we hooked you up with our friends in Europe who totally gave you a loan and some odd jobs to do. When we said those three special words, Most Favored Nation, I thought it was going to last forever. But you just don’t have the internal political unity to keep this relationship on track. You’re stuck in the past and you’re just not useful anymore.

Baby, you’re obsolete.

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