** The Front Page reports from Lakewood, NJ, where people gathered to celebrate Midsummer (Jaanipäev) and Victory Day (Võidupüha). The air-conditioned comfort of the Estonian House welcomed guests. The program began with the parade of flags, followed by the Star Spangled Banner. The program also featured a benediction, solo performances, and music. The keynote speech was given by Erik-Niiles Kross, who was flown in from Tallinn. Mr. Kross’ speech was met with enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation. The program ended with the Estonian anthem. Following the program was the folk-festival, in which organizer and MC Priit Parming took listeners on a journey around Estonia. Performers, representing all corners of Estonia, came up front to give their presentations.
** Ilmar Mikiver writes about the future of Europe, and how it could be, in ways, be considered the new 100 years war. The Anglo-French war of the 15th century did not end with one crown ruling the other, but it did affect who had the power. In this way, the battle between Blair and Chirac is a modern day war. This one is also about the future of Europe, although it is a war of ideas. The ideas being argued come down to subsidies and fees, and are an argument about so-called European values.
** Vello Ederma analyzes Russia’s response to the border treaty. For anyone in Estonia to be surprised about Russia’s response is the surprising thing. He notes how Russia has been acting in a similar manner for a long time, and will likely do it again. Russia will pressure Estonia to reopen talks, and it may take another 10 years to agree on another treaty. Russia has the time, and will to continue to do what they must until they get what they want. If the Estonian government were to stick to their guns and maintain that the treaty is good as it is, there would be no problem and the onus would be on Russia. Sadly, Russia has enough friends in Estonia so that this will likely not be the case.
** Vello Helk takes on President Rüütel, whose explanation for his occupation-period activities was “what’s happened has happened.” Citing articles and interviews in which Mr. Rüütel expresses his opinion, Mr. Helk paints the picture of a man who was not so much for a pro-independent Estonia as the current President.
** The Art and Culture page reports on the dedication of a new statue honoring Estonian general Aleksander Tõnisson, who is credited with organizing the Estonian Defense Forces, as well as working as a diplomat to aid in Estonians presence on the world map.
** The Estonian-American Fund continues to aid Estonian organizations. The article appearing on page 5 describes the Tartu University Children’s Clinic, which received funds for a number of new diagnostic tools and equipment. The EAF was able to help with a sizable contribution, made by a number of Estonians listed at the end of the article.