RIP, Democracy in Moldova

Well, today was a very sad and tragic day for the people of the Republic of Moldova, as now this country is officially a regime: A government, especially an authoritarian one. On paper, RM is a democracy, complete with elections, a parliament, and a head of state. But in reality, a single mob boss controls…

The Great Liberators

Every capital city has its secrets, but Bucharest has a couple of unusual ones. One of them is this monument, currently located in the downtown Cismigiu Park. To understand why it’s there, we have to go back to the dark days of World War 2. Operation Tidal Wave As I’ve written about before, one of…

Patriot Games

Watching Donald Trump’s speech last week in Poland where he effusively praised that country’s “strategic alliance” with America while never once bringing up the issue of the Visa Waiver Program, I wasn’t surprised in the least to see Poland commit to buying expensive but useless Patriot missile batteries. As I suspected, it was only a…

Davai Ceas, Davai Palton

In case you’re wondering how Klaus Iohannis spent July 4, 2017, it was on stage with the American ambassador and a squad of US Marines, saying things like this. My translation: In terms of the military nature relationship, which is excellent, as well as our relationship with NATO, the United States is the primary guarantor…

You (Don’t) Get What You’re Paying For

When it comes to being an American ally, you never get rewarded for doing the right thing. After compiling a lengthy list of what Romania has done to try and get on America’s Visa Waiver Program, I realized that I needed to produce something a bit more visual. Therefore, here’s a graphic that anyone can…

Hey, Hey, It’s the Genitive A!

If you’re learning Romanian, you’ll soon find out that there are a metric ton of strange and confusing grammar rules. The vocabulary and verb conjugations are relatively easy, but understanding noun cases is pretty tricky. And probably one of the most difficult things to learn is when and how to use the genitive “a”. If…

Nuland Endorses Moldova’s Most Hated Politician

Hmm…. this all sounds very familiar. First, the staid New York Times piece: These days, however, it is a different photograph that is rallying support for Moscow’s allies in Europe’s Poorest Country™. It shows a United States assistant secretary of state, Victoria J. Nuland, standing shoulder-to-shoulder in Washington with Vlad Plahotniuc, Moldova’s most-feared figure, a…