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Czech army physician returns NATO medals

Translation by L.M., original here; RT story

This is an example of gestures that are either weakly or strongly endorsed by roughly 50% of Czechs. I partly agree with the spirit of the letter – long-time TRF readers probably know where I would disagree, too.
Dr Marek Obrtel: open letter to the defense minister

Dear Mr Minister,

due to the reasons I elaborate upon on the attached 3-page letter which is an attachment to this document, I urge you deprive me of the badges of honor from the military operations of the Army of the Czech Republic performed under the NATO umbrella.

I thank you for your understanding and assertively request your endorsement of my application.

Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Marek Obrtel MD
with his own hand

In the open letter to the defense minister and the Czech government

I am returning the war decorations because I am deeply ashamed of having served a criminal organization which the NATO led by the U.S. is, and to its malformed interests across the world.

By this gesture, I also want to unambiguously express my complete disagreement with the U.S. policies towards Russia, the EU member states, and all free and sovereign countries in the present as well as the past and especially with the consequences of these policies.

I also want to demonstrate my disapproval of the attitude of the Czech government and other competent institutions when it comes to the misinformation campaigns and the intentional information embargo on key events that are relevant for the current geopolitical and military situation in the world. In this context, I also blame all the responsible organs for the total inactivity in their task to prevent a global conflict (especially) between the U.S. and Russia on the European territory.

Last but not least, my act is meant as a sign of my support for the Czech president Miloš Zeman and his effort to objectively analyze crucial internal and international political questions and his struggle "against everybody" to protect the sovereignty and identity of the Czech nation and its global security.

In the army, I was never an "outsider"

I received a degree from the Military Medical Academy and I became a professional army physician with a diploma from the Charles University in Prague, I am a reserve lieutenant colonel of the Czech army, and during my tenure, I have spent years in some of the highest chairs of the army's medical services, always in positions listed in tables with the track of becoming a colonel.

The most important occupations included my job as the commanding officer of the Czech Army Contingent in Afghanistan, the superintendent of the 11th field hospital of the Czech Army in Afghanistan, the vice-commander of the operational commandership of the armed forces' medical service, or important positions within the Section of army's healthcare of the Military headquarters of the Czech Army.

Marek Obrtel MD

During my career within the military operations, I would get familiar with the Bosnian and Herzegovinian matters as well as issues of other successor states of former Yugoslavia, with Afghanistan, very shortly with the questions surrounding the Iraq conflict, and especially with Kosovo.

I have always fulfilled my duties as well as I could and as my strengths allowed me, in agreement with my opinion that similar activities can't be done at a "50% capacity"...

But already at those places, and especially in Kosovo, I was growing suspicious that our path (actions in units of troops organized by NATO) isn't right...

First of all, I am a physician

Whenever I concluded with the feeling that "something isn't right", I was trying to comfort myself by the idea that I was working as a doctor and my mission was to help to the sick and injured ones and those members of the local populations that were affected by the activity of our troops. This comfort has prevented me from seeing the problem in its entirety for several years and to understand that what NATO, and especially the U.S., is doing in numerous countries of the whole world must be ranked as the highest degree of perversity and intoxication by power. But even more importantly, all these conflicts were intentionally fabricated while the excuses to launch such conflicts and the American imperialist policy in these conflicts doesn't seem to have any limits. Everyone who opposes the imperial ambitions of the U.S. in any way, even if he were defending the identity, economy, and sovereignty of his nation, must be "erased off the map of the world".

Frost is coming from the White House, and therefore also from NATO

I cannot identify myself with the international U.S. policies and once I began to be interested in the roots, essence, development, and consequences of the actions led by the organizations and structures of the U.S. after the war everywhere in the world, I turned into an unequivocal opponent of these policies. I must unambiguously classify it as ruthless, profit-seeking, and insatiable imperialism that won't be stopped by anyone or anything. The consequences primarily include the "burned down lands" and millions of casualties in the whole world. The causes are the power interests of the world's hegemony and – more recently – also the desperate attempt to prevent the ultimate collapse of the American empire (which is, however, inescapable assuming that only standard tools are used, and this is the main threat both for Europe and the mankind although this threat is rarely mentioned)!!!

During the missions, I have talked to the local people a lot

Wherever I served in the world, I have never avoided the contact with the local populaces – both contacts related to my healthcare services or simple conversations sparked by random encounters with the people or mutual visits. That's why I never depended exclusively on the NATO-related information sources but I could also analyze and evaluate the situation from all conceivable perspectives. On the former Yugoslav territory, I had the extra advantage of having quickly mastered the local language at a level that has allowed me basic communication. All these events (and others) have allowed me to understand (and convince myself about) the meaninglessness and the monstrosity of the NATO and especially the U.S. actions in the context of many artificially ignited conflicts whose goal was to destabilize all the countries that didn't want to be satisfied with the roles of obedient puppets and vassals of the U.S. Unfortunately, I was becoming a component in this machinery myself.

I despise a vast majority of the Czech politicians and don't hold respect for them

It has always been a problem for me to respect superiors who are incompetent, uneducated, inconsistent in their opinions, or incapable, if I had to use one word. On the contrary, I greatly respect the "bosses and commanders" who are the "right men on their places". For the latter men, I would be able to work for them until the amortization, as Czechs figuratively say...

During my professional career as a military and later civilian physician, I have also met a large number of incompetent politicians and superiors who have exchanged their personal profit and careerism, mixed with hypocrisy, ignorance, and populism, with honor, education, and desire to honestly work for the society.

This replacement has always had important, and sometimes fatal, consequences at every level. Our top-tier politics is no exception – politicians hired as puppets of the global exponents have created a big debt, sold and stolen our country by parts, internally undermined it, and buried all the moral values and they threw us to the tentacles of power structures such as the U.S.-led NATO. The politicians are leading, or at least tolerating, a massive misinformation campaign, hide many critical facts that sometimes affect the future of our lives as well, kowtow to the American "bosses", and silently tolerate their very strange bloody practices. In this way, they are bringing our country towards an abyss. They are also doing so by their inability to perceive the integrity of Europe including Russia as a counterbalance to the American efforts to enslave the world under its power influence in the times when the economic potential of the U.S. is eroding and it is a matter of when, not if, the whole American system collapses or the U.S. will provoke a fatal war conflict that will exploit Europe as the battleground (for the third time in the history).

How diametrically different is then the attitude and phrases of our president, Miloš Zeman, who – despite a massive wave of outrage in the U.S. and Brussels, and indignation by the pro-American sold "fifth column" – formulates the things as they are, uses the right names to call things, and localizes the genuine culprits and causal relationships and who isn't afraid that Europe also includes Russia but not the U.S... and other facts. I respect Zeman for those reasons and I encourage all those who care about the fate of our country and ourselves to loudly express their lasting support against "the American practices of CIA realized not only by the U.S. Ambassador Andrew Schapiro", against the red cards of the traitors from the Prague cafés, and against the policies of the "sycophants in Brussels". He is a directly elected president of ours, so we shouldn't let anyone take him away from us...

In the new "cold war" I stand on the side of Russia

I am not brave enough to go to fight to the East of Ukraine in the new conflict created as a product of the desperate American imperialism – against the self-declared Ukrainian government. Not only I lack the courage. Such a decision would be meaningless because this conflict is about something completely different than the search and application of the human rights and freedoms i.e. the values "for which" the U.S. has already devastated so many countries in the world.

But I am able to find enough courage to unambiguously say that in the new cold war and related matters, I am on the side of the current president Russia, a man whom I deeply respect for the detached view, restraint, and balance with which he is responding to the provocations by the West, and for his matter-of-fact, transparent reactions to all the accusations and lies surrounding all the recent events.

One doesn't have to be a great expert in political science, sociology, military matters, politics, or related issues to figure out who is the aggressor and why he is doing it and who is defending himself. Common sense, a modest amount of intelligence, and the ability to connect the dots is, along with hours of the research of available sources and materials from several sources, enough.

I have reached my own conclusion a long time ago and I insist it is the right conclusion.

And that's why I can't and I don't want to wear my medals from the NATO operations anymore because they have been given to me by a criminal organization led by the U.S. As long as the U.S. and similar countries will be leading NATO, there is no room for these medals on the left side of my uniform.

Dear Mr Defense Minister, I urge you to remove all the awarded NATO medals from me, and I thank you for this act in advance.

Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Marek Obrtel MD
with his own hand

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reader Uncle Al said...

It is a rare day when North Korea beams moral illumination of Planet Earth,


reader Vangel said...

Good for Lieutenant Colonel Marek Obrtel. It is good to see people stand on principle even when that may not be good for their personal standing and careers.

reader KomandirskieWatch said...

US is glad to use any opportunity to weaken Russia, but the final goal is probably not a full-scale world war. Russia cannot be defeated easily, it still has a lot of nuclear weapons. Destabilization of Russia will do too much damage to EU, Russia is a part of Europe already, correct. Ukrainian destabilization is used by US as a tool (one of many) to pressure European countries, in order to subordinate them, to get on their shoulders, fuguratively speaking. US already did too much going that way, EU is almost done. Only after that US will be able to try to solve the main problem, China. Not my idea, taken from http://sasha-portland.livejournal.com (blog in Russian).

reader de^mol said...

Pretty cool this guy, Mr Obrtel, we should have more of these kind of people. The world would be a better place.

reader Smoking Frog said...

This letter is crap - it reads like North Korean propaganda.

reader Cogniscentum said...

I was trying to remember if it was US troops who rolled tanks into Czechoslovakia in 1968, and if it was US troops who destroyed civil government in Afghanistan in 1979. While I agree that the US has not always acted with purity of heart overseas, belief in the idea that the US is 100% at fault is the sign of a raving lunatic.

reader Cogniscentum said...

"Talking to locals" just means indirect consumption of whatever propaganda locals have been fed in the absence of a free, open, and available media.

reader cynholt said...

It is not a stretch to call what happened in Ukraine a coup, since a democratically elected leader was ousted when elections were months away. The new government has neo-Nazis in key posts, including a minister of defense who announced a program of what amounted to ethnic cleansing in the southeast, calling for the forced resettlement of ethnic Russians and saying that members of the army could confiscate property. This comes after the US repudiated its promise not to move NATO into former Warsaw Pact countries after the USSR dissolved. The US has been the aggressor here, not Putin. The “aggressive” actions that Putin appears to be punished for are supporting Iran and Syria and harboring Snowden.

If the Chinese destabilized Quebec and an anti-American government were installed and a key official announced that Americans would be forcibly resettled and have their property taken, pray tell how the US would react?

reader cynholt said...

Obama should retaliate by air dropping some Ferguson folks in North Korea. That's a movie I'd actually pay to watch.

reader Shannon said...

Obama is black, that he got right, but the "wicked monkeys" are the sionists behind.

reader Shannon said...

He's right. Everyone has to choose their side ultimately. Then you die for the reason why you choose one side over the other, which sometimes is the same as the other's side. Not in this case though. The US is openly in favour of war, and is shooting from the hip even when there is no threat.

reader Cogniscentum said...

At this point, Obama would probably welcome his new like-minded neighbor, as would the New York Times editorial page.

Stalin stirred up trouble for generations to come. It may be another century or more to resolve these issues, if they are ever resolved. They may never be finally resolved. I remember reading where German election results followed the limits of Roman conquest.

What we seem to have is a dispute between two fascist regimes, Russia, and the Ukraine. It is always a simple matter to stir up a pretext for an invasion, I don't know who is "right," but I do think it is better to leave nations to work these things out for themselves within their own borders, as is Russian policy in Syria, for example, which in retrospect appears to have been wise, if unpopular with those in the US who feel for the oppressed minorities there.

Nationalistic wars, however well meaning, for example, to protect the rights of "ethnic minorities" who happen to be of the same nationality as the country with the large army, are still wars which carry huge risks. One should be careful in baying to release the dogs of noble war. Where does it stop?

History is chaotic, driven by thousands of forces, some seen, and many unseen. Nobody should think they know how any war will turn out, however well intentioned. Wars should be fought as a last resort in self defense. Fewer would suffer.

Believe it or not, many US adventures abroad had to do with the desire to help oppressed ethnic groups in the invaded country. All were justified to the American people in this fashion. You should think whether you are being influenced into calling for war by the same techniques.

reader Shannon said...

"Wars should be fought as a last resort in self defense", this is a load of unitedstatians' bullshit that you seem to be brainwashed with. If this was the case Russia would have attacked and control Ukraine by now.

reader Cogniscentum said...

Whatever. I learned it by watching the United States go to war and make awful mistakes, by watching how that war was sold, and even accepting many of the arguments. You seem to have a pretty funny idea of what "self defense means, if you think it means attacking other countries because you don't like their politics.

reader Shannon said...

Russia is fine with an independent Ukraine but the presence of NATO is yet another provocation from the US. I am still amazed how Putin manages to keep his cool and avoid war. Because this deserves a good smack on the US, if you see what I mean.

reader Cogniscentum said...

Who crossed a border first and where did the "ethnic Russian" Ukrainians get the heavy weapons?

Once you cross a border, it is impossible to know what will happen next.

reader Shannon said...

And why don't the US mind their own ass. This is Europe and Russia here... It is NOT US territory. Who crosses the border here ?

reader cynholt said...

Recall that the Russian adventure in Afghanistan began AFTER President Carter and his Galician advise Ziggy Brzezinski funded the Muslim extremist jihadists to the tune of $500 million to destabilize the USSR-friendly socialist regime in Afghanistan. The Russians rolled in 6 months later to prop up the USSR-friendly socialist government. At least in those days of evil socialism, the Afghani women could wear decent clothes and get an education.

reader Cogniscentum said...

Wow, you mean after the Russians had inserted a communist party there? Or are you suggesting that communism was an organic expression of the political culture of the Afghan people? What was the treatment of women like before the Russians did that?

reader Cogniscentum said...

War War War! I get it, you want war. All I am saying is that when you get into the business of rolling tanks across borders, shit happens nobody can predict.

reader Uncle Al said...

"December 31, 2013, the United States held an estimated 1,574,700 persons in state and federal prisons."

You have the solution to everything, including a monstrously bloated military budget. All it would cost is a one-way ticket plus a parachute for prisoners plus 10-year Welfare recipients. Anybody who makes it back alive gets to be a citizen again.

reader Cogniscentum said...

Whatever would make anybody think that the Soviets would stoop to force of arms and political intrigue to further Communism? Only "Unitedstatians" would ever do anything like that!

reader Shannon said...

"shit happens" oh really ? Is that your idea of peace ?

reader Shannon said...

Ahem.... keep your own prisoners to yourself. The rest of the world doesn't have to put up with an invasion of a multiplication of you.

reader cynholt said...

Putin is undoubtedly smart enough to understand just how bat-shit crazy the neocons are and how myopic their view of global realities has become.

Russia may be the bear, but the neocons are the jackals.

reader cynholt said...

War has always been the answer. The problem is the true enemy has always hid behind a manufactured one, pulling the strings to profit off the conflict.
Once the world finally fights the true enemy and wipes them out, we will be on a path to true peace.

reader cynholt said...

The US economy is hopelessly addicted to war, making it a Permanent War Economy. Its Global Empire will never voluntarily give up its bases and strategy of pressuring Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and much of Africa.

Places like Ukraine and Afghanistan are pivotal cogs in this perverted, brutal strategy of world hegemony. Only a total replacement of the American Ruling Class and its deeply corrupt economic/political system will end this sociopathic strategy. And what are the odds of that happening?

reader Shannon said...

War is avoiding answers. If you want war prepare for peace. This is where the truth is. We are still alive today for that precise reason and thanks to the people who have found common grounds.

reader cynholt said...

Arming terrorists in Afghanistan in the 1980s was idiotic. The mess of Iraq is no improvement and is insolvable. See how Islamists are gaining ground in Egypt and Libya. The business of western governments is to protect the interests of their own people, not to get involved in hopeless conflicts in hopeless places. The only people that benefits from this are those culling profits from taxpayers for the supply of arms and military equipment.

reader Shannon said...

OT: for those who have nothing else to do on New Year's eve and are fascinated by the Ancient Egypt, you could watch this fascinating video "The Revelation of the Pyramids". They suggest, among other things, it could be a pre-Egyptian civilisation who built the Great pyramid, and so this was a re-use. Entertaining... (here version 1/2 you can find the 2/2 by searching on Vimeo)
Happy New year to everyone.


reader Cogniscentum said...

Rolling tanks into Afghanistan was also idiotic.

reader Bertlemann's Socks said...

Lubos, Off topic:

I was reading this paper by FMS http://arxiv.org/abs/1311.5253

On page 6, they assert that the central error by EPR was to assert that P = 1 indicates objective features of the world. Do agree with this? I thought p = 1 does indicate objectivity about the world.

reader Tony said...

Thanks, but I am refreshing my group representation knowledge, even if old Egyptians never cease to fascinate me.

A second glass of Pinot Noir certainly helps visualizing Lie algebra of SO(3).

Happy 2015 to you and all the fine folks here.

reader BMWA1 said...

Not quite, it had UA shooting at the hip for it (and missing badly).

reader cynholt said...

President Obama spoke up on behalf of this movie and Sony. I wonder if he would be so supportive of it if it was a comedy about assassinating a US president.

reader Karel Strašný said...

I would really not call NATO a criminal organisation, but that does not mean that e.g. the second invasion to Iraq by US should have never happened since they did not have a solid evidence of anything and the military action was not approved by the UN Security Council (probably due to a lack of any evidence).

What I am a bit concerned about is a lack of mainstream media coverage of this case since this man was obviously not viewed as a lunatic and he made some rather powerful statements about Czech republic and its foreign policy.
(When a film director returned his medal just because of something Zeman said, it was all over the news.)

But I really have my doubts about Russia being the right way to go... Their ability to respect other peoples opinion was demonstrated on multiple occasions (e.g. 56 in Hungaria, 68 in Czechoslovakia).

And of course most recently in Crimea they demonstrated how much their promise means.

In 1994 a memorandum was signed in Budapest where USA, UK and Russian federation commited to "respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine" in Article 1.
There is no clause like "until there is a referendum in Crimea", or "until a legitimate government is overthrown".

In the same document all parties also agreed to "refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial
integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their
weapons will ever be used against Ukraine ..." (in Article 2). (If memory serves the guys on holiday were carrying weapons.)

Now of course some people might see an offer of membership in EU as a violation of Article 3, but this seems rather unimportant to me when compared to use of force...
(Why they want to apply is a mystery to me, free trade without the need to implement EU non-sense would seem like a better idea.)

And as for a "self-declared Ukraine government" there have been general elections recently so while the statement was true in the past I don't think it applies anymore.

reader Shannon said...

They don't need to do it. Hollywood would do it for them and in their names. This is the new type of war (see how US handled "The Interview" movie).
We all know where the finger is pointing at, maybe we should start looking who that finger belongs to ;-)

reader cynholt said...

In any conflict, most blame lies on the side that initiated it. In this case, it was US. State Department's own Victoria Nuland admitted that US spent $6 billion on supporting on "democracy" in Ukraine. These money were spent on buying government officials, mass media to cultivate pro-Western movement, as well as training pro Nazis youth how to stir troubles. Similar modus operandi by the US were used in Syria, Libya and other countries. Senator McCain was on the ground in all those countries with his entourage from CIA and private military contractors, providing training to ISIS in Syria, Nazi followers in Ukraine, etc. In this situation, Russia didn't have much choice, if they didn't take Crimea, there would be bloodshed worse than in Eastern Ukraine as there was a lot of disagreement in this region with regards to the Kiev government in the last 20 years. Everything that US touch turns to tears and turmoil. It is not Putin that moves Russian border to NATO bases, it is other way around. So if you want to talk about greed and desire for power, just look in the mirror.

reader cynholt said...

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." --Winston Churchill

It's become a favorite presidential information tool: Saddam, WMD; Qaddhafi, massacre; Assad, chemical weapons; Chavez, tyrant; Israeli pogrom, Hamas started it; Crimea, Putin invaded.

Worse yet, the overwhelming majority of the gullible American public has a pathetic need to believe whatever the Warmonger-in-Chief says about foreign affairs. But far fewer believe him on domestic policy. Go figure.

How pathetic is that?

reader Cogniscentum said...

"If you want war, prepare for peace."

I couldn't agree more.

reader Cogniscentum said...

War war war. The Russian neo con speaks!

reader Cogniscentum said...

You are the one baying for war. Start them and shit happens. All kinds of shit nobody expected.

reader Cogniscentum said...

You are nothing more than the East's version of a neocon.

reader Cogniscentum said...

War war war! Blood blood blood! That is all you have.

reader Docz said...

Americas men-women relations is messed up so bad that a compliments or a flirt is considered a crime! I recall while, in Europe an English engineer in a conference call said Hi Girls to couple of American females out of pure innocence! One of them involved HR in US to give us a bunch of bullshit "diversity" class! There is no doubt that women around the world are in the receiving end of sexual harassment, however some takes it to extreme!

reader Zuleikha said...

The real problem is not the removal of Professor Lewin's videos, but of the *problem sets and solutions* and all the structured material that had been lovingly and expensively reworked into the OpenCourseWare Scholar versions of the 8.01, 8.02, and 8.03 courses. As a high school teacher, I had been using these with an advanced student, and we were both devastated by their removal.

Nothing of comparable quality is to be found anywhere else on the web, and the lectures by themselves are only marginally useful. MIT itself acknowledged, by the creation of the handful of OCW Scholar Classes, that regular MIT lectures, problem sets and lecture notes do not an "MIT class" make. An essential (and expected) part of the MIT experience is collaboration with other MIT students on problem sets. For someone trying to master the material on their own, the OCW Scholar material provided the scaffolding TA's, fellow students, access to the professor during office hours, and class bibles filled with past exam questions and their solutions (don't worry- they are never repeated!) would normally provide.

reader Jacob said...


reader Mary said...

Do you mind to give the 8.03 lecture notes of walter lewin? You can send it via my email: mariagunawan37@gmail.com or upload it somewhere, thanks before

reader Hayder Hussein said...

See here for the course materials :

And here for the videos :

The same way you can find that for the other 2 courses (MIT 8.02 and 8.03)

However i have not found a replacement yet for the wonderful two MITx edx courses which contained brilliant discussions and in lecture quizzes and assignments.