Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sorrow or better fear of several "details"

By Václav Klaus, Czech ex-president

While it's true that we're confronted with "details" of this kind on an almost daily basis, sometimes an excessively high amount of them accumulates. From this perspective, the beginning of the last week of March 2014 was extraordinary.

In our country [Czechia], a terrifying report about the 529 death penalties in Egypt was almost ignored. In other, analogous situations, the politically correct media may bend over backwards to highlight one such verdict but these days, they see it as a minor event. Why? Is it a symptom of their bad conscience? A bad conscience of the people who were celebrating the Arab Spring and Mubarak's fall? People who have contributed to the violation of the complex – in many respects, not too nice, and having been shaped for long years or centuries – equilibrium of forces in the Arab world? People who are believing (incorrectly, for the 1,000th time) in the success of the export of democracy into an arbitrary political, cultural, or religious environment? People who are welcoming every violation of the status quo as a matter of principle, not ready to admit that it may make the already bad situation deteriorate further?

Unfortunate proclamations by politicians are being rarely forgiven. The Ukrainian ex-prime minister Tymoshenko (whom I have only met in person once, in the Krakow's cathedral during Kaczyński's funeral) has said that it's "necessary to beat those goddamn Russ-asses, including their leader, perhaps with arms in our hands", "to shoot them with atomic weapons", and planned to "use all of her contacts in the whole world to make sure that not even scorched earth would be left out of Russia". I have always known that I was doing the right thing when I was refusing to negotiate with her at any time during my political career. Didn't the other politicians know it as well? Can these proclamations be overlooked by the "democratic, humane, advanced, and civilized" West? Or is it ready to team up with anybody, due to its bad conscience that it has broken Ukraine to pieces? And may the West forgive anything – which is what it has done in Kosovo, after all? I personally have trouble to shake the Kosovo leaders' hands; the last time I faced this situation was on a 2014 conference in Vienna.

Our own minister of justice (her resort makes it particularly ironic) has articulated an incredible statement about the Protectorate [Nazi occupation of the Czech lands; see casualties in Czechoslovakia]. [She was asked what she thought about the post-war expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia. She answered that "she understood it was a reaction to the previous events but not too many wrong things have happened to the Czechs in the Protectorate, after all".] While several politicians have reacted (critically), nothing else happened to her. In another country, the author of similar statements would be finished as a politician. Is everything OK in our country? Although she is a minister representing ANO ["YES", an unreadable populist party owned by a billionaire, currently the most powerful party with 30% approval rate], is the social democratic prime minister eager to swallow such a thing? Is his party indifferent to the identity of their coalition partners? But this question is no longer a detail; I was puzzled by yet another "detail" in this context. It turned out that Ms Helena Válková lives in Passau, Bavaria, not in the Czech Republic, despite her being a minister in the latter. Isn't, by a chance, her incredible statement about the guilt (or, more precisely, innocence) of the Germans during the Protectorate era (and about the expulsion of the Sudetengermans from Czechoslovakia) correlated with the fact that she lives there and not here? We've had a similar experience with Mr Schwarzenberg, who was living in Vienna, and I must self-critically admit that also with Mr Gruša who would live in Bonn. His appointment as the minister of education was a great blunder of mine.

I would normally write about the big issues (similar to the decision of our government to adopt the EU fiscal pact) but even these "details" are painting a way too clear picture of the problems of our country and of our era.

Václav Klaus, March 25th, 2014
Published in Právo [a daily], March 26th
Fast translation by LM

Disclaimer: My translation doesn't automatically mean that I endorse every claim or question by the original author but in this case and many others, the endorsement actually does take place.

Incidentally, Ms Válková boss, the ANO leader, the finance minister, and billionaire Babiš, has defended her, and he has even publicly threatened some journalists who didn't like Válková's statement about the Nazi occupation with a tax audit. But I guess that some U.S. readers from the Tea Party won't find this extra "detail" too extraordinary.

Also, I was shocked that Russian-language TVs were banned in the whole Ukraine. I would understand if a Russian invasion of the whole Ukraine were justified by nothing else than this single event; not even Adolf Hitler has ever reduced the freedom of press in this way on his territories. Just to be sure, the Ukrainian general media are not enjoying too greater freedom. This is how pony-tailed and other lawmakers from the Svoboda (meaning Freedom!) fascist Maidan party made sure that the interim director of the state-run TV writes his resignation letter because he must be Moscow trash, he was told!

Now, the Maidan government has murdered a top Right Sector leader Muzychko in a pub. Too much hassle for them. Muzychko has correctly predicted his death a few weeks ago. Not too shocking given his behavior to his colleagues. Of course that I am not going to cry – the fat fascist pig got what he deserved. At any rate, the Maidan people no longer seem to be "too loving each other" anymore.

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