While I was listening to the radio in my car this morning, I could not avoid catching the remake of "We Could Be Heroes" from that Godzilla movie. But the association it brought to me was not of any pre-historic dinosaur, but another historical anomaly in the Czech Republic - president and playwright Vaclav Havel - a dear dear darling of Western media and university professors.
Contrary to the opinion of left-leaning media and even more leftist university professors at American universities, Havel proved to be a huge disappointment while undoubtedly, he could be a hero.
Havel was "elected" to his presidential chair quite a few times - maybe not as often as Suharto was, but almost.
When he was elected for the first time, he was "elected" by proclamation by the very same communist government he was supposedly about to overthrow. Well, he did not! He actually guaranteed that none of the communist tyrants of Stalinist era in Czechoslovakia were ever punished. Over the years Havel grew more "experienced" (among other things he presided over the fall-out of the country into two separate states), and even after such a failure he ran for president again in the Czech republic - and won! All of the people can be fooled all of time - that's the Czech way. And during the last presidential "re-election" there was a great danger that he could lose by ONE VOTE! His cronies did not waste any time and had one parliamentarian (expected to vote against Havel) promptly arrested a few hours before election. What do you think happened? The media kept quiet and Havel won the re-election BY ONE VOTE! Isn't that amazing? Gee, what a democratic process! And when one of the colleagues of the arrested parliamentarian protested, Havel's wife - the First Lady loudly whistled on her fingers in the parliament. Well, Hillary is in a class of her own, but have you heard her whistling and disrupting Congress during some official proceedings?
Yes, Havel could be a hero - but he is not.
A few years after the Velvet revolution transcripts of tapes were published in Prague. Transcripts of talks Havel held with representatives of the communist government in November 1989, talks about transfer of power. Incredible scenes of primitivism and unheard of bluntness and horse haggling as to who will get what position in the next government in exchange for communists going unpunished. And Havel kept his word to the people responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, communist concentration camps, and hundreds of thousands lives destroyed. Not only did they all go unpunished, but also they were all involved in "privatization" of the state-owned properties and eventually they all became rich. They went from nomeklatura communists directly to hard-core capitalists in a few short steps. All in the name of Havel's Velvet Revolution. Unreal!
He could be a hero - but he is not.
Another of Havel's memorable things is his "use" of presidential clemency. Not only did he not hesitate to interfere with valid judgements and give clemency to true hardened criminals, he gave clemency to someone who beat his own father to death (the victim was Jozef Odlozil, silver medalist in the long distance running, from the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City) just because the mother of the criminal (former Odlozil's wife, also multiple gold Olympic winner from 1968 Mexico, Vera Caslavska) was one of the Havel's close friends, but he brings his misuse of clemency to new level these days, when he pardoned two gypsies (long criminal records for thefts and robberies) who physically attacked a parliamentarian during his pre-election speech. Havel pardoned them so fast that the local police did not have time to officially charge the two culprits with the attack! Can you believe that? And another interesting bit is that the parliamentary who was attacked is the same guy, who was locked up in prison, so he could not attend and vote in last Havel's re-election. Funny, isn't it? Life is not so complicated, afterall...
Well, yes, Havel could be a hero - if he were not just another neo-communist criminal.