It’s snowing beautifully here in Unicorn City as I write this and I can see that all the news channels are busy pumping the one bit of good news that they have, that the Republic of Moldova has signed a free trade agreement with the European Union at the summit in Vilnius (overshadowed globally by the fact that Ukraine was scheduled to also sign it but has not).
Romanian president Traian Basescu then issued yet another empty promise of a future unification between Romania and Moldova. As all this comes just ahead of the big December 1 holiday, celebrating the proclamation of unity between Moldova, Wallachia and Transylvania in 1918, it has certainly put a lot of Romanians (and the mayor of Chisinau) in a good mood.
Of course we all know (I hope) that unification is never going to happen and I do mean never and all the flag waving and trade agreements and politicians’ rhetoric is not going to change that.
I’ve already written dozens of articles on Romanian history and it is abundantly clear that what happened a century ago was almost entirely a result of blind luck.
First, the Hungarian independence (from the Austrian empire) movement of 1848 foundered badly when the Szeklers of (what is today) central Romania refused to join in, ending in a bitter defeat for the Hungarians and Transylvania remaining a separate entity (from Hungary proper).
Secondly, Romania was incredibly blessed to have A.I. Cuza come to the throne of Moldova, a man who while recognized today is not given anywhere close to the respect that he deserves. Using his considerable drive and skill, Cuza managed to briefly get the stiffnecked nobles of Wallachia to consolidate his rule over their principality as well (before they sacked him and replaced him with the racist douchebag King Carol).
Then the mindboggling craziness of World War 1 happened after an Austrian duke was shot in Bosnia by an ethnic Serb and tens of millions of people died. The “winners” of the war then met in France and divvied up Europe and somehow (a mystery I would dearly love to resolve) Romania ended up hiring the best PR man in history to plead their case.
On December 1, 1918 a group of leading Romanian nationalists proclaimed the unification of Transylvania with the recently combined “Romania” of Wallachia + Moldova. But on December 2, 1918 not one thing had changed and all those pretty speeches and tricolor flags didn’t amount to a fart in a windstorm. It was only the combination of the superb PR work of Edward Bernays and the bad luck of Hungary and Turkey to have been on the wrong side that finally led in 1920 to the actual unification of Moldova with the rest of (modern day) Romania.
And yet all of that hardwon success was undone by the combined idiocy of the second King Carol and a rising tide of fascism. Romania made the biggest mistake in its entire history by signing up to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which seemed like a good idea at the time but led to the genocide of Jews in Moldova and Romanian troops burning down the city of Odessa (in what is now Ukraine).
Ultimately though it wasn’t the fascist Germans who won the war but Stalin and the Russian communists, who promptly “clawed back” eastern Moldova as well as other lands with Romanian speakers (now in Bulgaria and Ukraine) and then parked troops on (what is now) Romanian soil until 1954 and the borders have remained unchanged ever since.
Then a half literate son of a village shoemaker somehow climbed his way up the greasy pole of Romanian communist politics and then went on a trip to North Korea where he fell in love with their demigod and inventor of his own religion, Kim Il Sun. Ceausescu’s megalomania and belief in his own godlike powers made him an easy sucker for western bankers, who stoked his pampered ego in Washington and got him to bankrupt his entire country in exchange for worthless factories, eventually leading to mass starvation and orphanages crammed full of neglected babies.
Stalin and his successors meanwhile kept a firmer hold on (eastern) Moldova and made sure everyone learned to speak and think in Russian, which everyone in that country still does today. And even after the “collapse” of the Soviet Union when a few people had thoughts of a Romania-Moldova reunification, Russian troops were sent in to the area and remain there right to this day while Romania is now fawning with delight over the fact that the United States government and American troops wipe their ass with Romania as a matter of policy. In fact, it’s still legal to kill Romanians if you’re an American soldier on duty in this country.
Even so, I still see graffiti every once in a while that say “Bessarabia e Romania”, a pro-unification slogan, but it’s just more empty words. Moldova today is a broken shell of a country, with the vast majority of its able-bodied citizens in economic exile (mostly in Russia) because all that’s left behind is some half-hearted agricultural production, most of that being sold to Russia. You’d be hard-pressed indeed to find a single bottle of wine from the Republic of Moldova in a shop in Cluj-Napoca but you damn sure can find it in Moscow and Minsk.
In Hollywood movies (but never in my real-life experience), the priest always quotes Matthew 19:6 at the end of a wedding ceremony, solemnly intoning “Therefore what God has joined this day, let no man put asunder”. Or in the Romanian translation:
Deci, ce a împreunat Dumnezeu, omul să nu despartă
Unfortunately though for Romania and Moldova, this shit was put asunder a long, long time ago.
Still though, we have a bright future ahead of us because according to the mayor of London we’re going to invade and take over Britain in 2014! :)