By Abdul Turay 11 August 2009
Finally the Estonian immigration authorities have done something of which they can be proud . They are getting rid of a very nasty man. Anyone who follows current affairs in Estonia may vaguely have heard of Craig Cobb, a bearded, 57 year old, extreme right-wing American who for the past few years has made Estonia his home.
He hoped to make this country the centre for his one man campaign to promote so-called white nationalism.
Tallinn is host to Cobb's Podblanc site, where mostly Russian skinhead thugs post videos of themselves committing acts of brutal violence against men, women, and even small children from ethnic minorities in Russia.
Those of us who have been coming to Estonia for some years, either as visitors, investors, or as more permanent guests, have been sadden to see some of the more unsavoury characters from our part of the world show up here.
Cobb is of course the worse example of this phenomenon. It's like the situation Alex Garland described in “the beach.” whereby a pristine island paradise is turned into a hell when all the idiots show up.
Once it seemed Estonia was paradise for foreigners because of the warm welcome we received here. In the 90s and early 2000s everybody had a positive view about people from the West.
Once it seemed Estonians of all classes, fed on a diet of Hollywood movies and Australian soaps, saw Westerners as champions of democracy and freedom, We were beautiful, charming and rich. Or so I have heard. It probably was never that rosy but it seemed that way. Now Estonians must think we are the scum of the Earth.
It's hard to believe it now but a few years ago, typically Estonians believed that the average Englishman was a gentleman. I remember arguing with my partner when I first met her that British tourists were totally uncouth and far worse than Finnish tourists. She didn't buy it. This was before an army of young British men pissed and vomited all over Tallinn.
Thankfully the stags have stopped coming in such large numbers. They may have ruined my country's reputation but ultimately they were just a nuisance, they are harmless. This fellow Cobb, is not.
The most infamous video on the site was a beheading in the forest of two men from central Asia, posted by Russian neo-Nazis. It is without a doubt the single most disgusting and horrible thing I have ever seen.
In the video the two men are shown kneeling with their hands tied. Behind them are five masked men holding a swastika flag.
One of their captors takes an axe and slices the prisoner's head open like a melon. Blood pours everywhere. The captors then throw the corpse into a shallow grave.
The second prisoner looks on in horror and awaits his fate. He pleads with his captors. Another of the captors takes an axe and swings at the kneeling man but he is clumsy and he doesn't kill him. Blood pours out of him like water from a tap. The man repeatedly hacks at the man's head and body. Eventually the captor shoots the man in the head. Then this corpse is thrown into a shallow grave.
The video ends with a plea to support the cause and send donations to a postal address in Tallinn, Estonia.
Cobb didn't just confine himself to the web, he engaged in street propaganda. Last year Cobb videoed and harangue a crowd at a concert by the American rap-artist 50 Cent.“The last thing you want is niggers in Estonia, death to niggers,” he shouted.
As well as blacks and Jews, Cobb has campaigned against other groups of people. He has made bizarre claims that the Chinese were deliberately infecting Estonian women with STDs.“They're picking up used rubbers from the streets of China and then they toss them into a vat and recycle them somehow to make hair bands, these hair bands are literally capable of transmitting STDs ,” Cobb said.
Despite being almost 60, Cobb was prone to prowl the streets of Tallinn making unwanted approaches to young women whom he described as “exquisitely beautiful.”
Imagine if you are a 16 year old girl who loves all things American, and then the first American you ever meet is a dirty old man spouting hatred of Jews and Blacks.
A colleague of mine, a fellow journalist, was approached by him. Needless to say she didn't take him up on his offer.
This I think in the whole rub. Cobb is motivated by sexual frustration and envy more than by anything else.I could spout platitudes about how there are good and bad people everywhere but unfortunately it is not as simple as that.
There are people like Craig Cobb running around over Western Europe and North America. Some of them even hold elective office. The rise of the organised Far-right is a real problem in even supposedly liberal countries like Norway and Holland. There's a Far-right in Estonia of course but they just aren't that organised.
At least Cobb is on the way out. But unfortunately people like him have succeeded in one thing. They have ruined the reputation of Westerners in Estonia.