February 13, 2003

Enjoy the 'New Europe' Whil...

Enjoy the 'New Europe' While it Lasts: From an article in my onetime nemesis, the Prague Post:

Government leaders are distancing themselves from a letter signed by former President Vaclav Havel that pledged full support for U.S. pressure on Iraq. [...]

Critics accuse Havel, the only president to sign the pledge, of not acting in the nation's interest.

Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla was asked to sign the letter but refused, saying Parliament had already spoken when it passed a Jan. 17 resolution to use troops if the UN backed war or if Iraq uses weapons of mass destruction. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said Havel's decision was personal and did not reflect the official foreign policy of the Czech Republic.

Speaking of Havel (which I'm wont to do, while finishing up an essay on the little fella), here's a fun little anecdote (with picture!) from my recently departed National Post editor, the great Paul Wilson, who is Havel's main translator into English, ruminating on the departed Czech president for Radio Prague:
He seemed to be very much more at home in a pub setting, arguing across a table, smoking and drinking, than he did in front of a crowd.
There's more there ...

Posted by at February 13, 2003 12:31 AM
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The situation on the ground seems to have changed a bit. Quoting today's Mlada Fronta Dnes front page story:

Argument in NATO: The Czechs Side with the US

The Czech Republic clearly stands behind Turkey in a NATO framework. (Turkey) feels threatened by a possible war with Iraq, and therefore has asked its allies to strengthen its defenses.

"Nato is an organization of solidarity. Turkey has always been a steadfast member. It has asked for help and will get it," Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said yesterday after parliament's session.
===========
The story goes on, but I think the message is clear. Maybe Havel got out in front of the Parliament by signing the letter without asking for permission, but his opinions are essentially the same as the Czech government's at this point. They're siding with the US.

- Yer man in Dejvice

Posted by: dougiegyro at February 13, 2003 02:52 AM

Thanks, Dougie! Gott na Hrad!

Posted by: Matt Welch at February 13, 2003 10:33 AM

My husband's in Moscow, where the official Putin stance is waiting and waiting. but he says the ordinary folks he meets (and he speaks great Russian, including the mat) are all for marching in to Iraq. They hate the Muslims.

Posted by: K. Prchal at February 14, 2003 10:21 AM
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rsonal and did not reflect the official foreign policy of the Czech Republic. Speaking of Havel (which I'm wont to do, while finishing up an essay on the little fella), here's a fun little anecdote (with picture!) from my recently departed National Post editor, the great Paul Wilson, who is Havel's main translator into English, ruminating on the departed Czech president for Radio Prague:
He seemed to be very much more at home in a pub setting, arguing across a table, smoking and drinking, than he did in front of a crowd.
There's more there ...

Posted by at February 13, 2003 12:31 AM
Comments

The situation on the ground seems to have changed a bit. Quoting today's Mlada Fronta Dnes front page story:

Argument in NATO: The Czechs Side with the US

The Czech Republic clearly stands behind Turkey in a NATO framework. (Turkey) feels threatened by a possible war with Iraq, and therefore has asked its allies to strengthen its defenses.

"Nato is an organization of solidarity. Turkey has always been a steadfast member. It has asked for help and will get it," Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla said yesterday after parliament's session.
===========
The story goes on, but I think the message is clear. Maybe Havel got out in front of the Parliament by signing the letter without asking for permission, but his opinions are essentially the same as the Czech government's at this point. They're siding with the US.

- Yer man in Dejvice

Posted by: dougiegyro at February 13, 2003 02:52 AM

Thanks, Dougie! Gott na Hrad!

Posted by: Matt Welch at February 13, 2003 10:33 AM

My husband's in Moscow, where the official Putin stance is waiting and waiting. but he says the ordinary folks he meets (and he speaks great Russian, including the mat) are all for marching in to Iraq. They hate the Muslims.

Posted by: K. Prchal at February 14, 2003 10:21 AM
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Remember personal info?






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