Monday, February 20, 2006

Won't Get Fooled Again? Oh, really?

I suspect that the opinion expressed in the Who song by the same name is mistaken. Americans have been lied to repeatedly - especially by people and nations pretending to be their newfound friends. Just open the newspaper and read...

The headline "Havel takes up studies in US" definitely got my attention. Seems that alleged humanist and former Czech president Vaclav Havel just arrived for a two month stay in the US capital - mainly to study and possibly to prepare to resume his literary career. According to aide Jakub Hladik, Havel plans to spend most of his time at the US Library of Congress in Washington. Havel postponed the trip twice last year due to poor health.

Well, well, well... Whoever issued the invitation to Havel (and approved the funds covering his expenses) probably did not know (or did not care) that Havel's command of the English language is very close to non-existent and therefore sending Havel to study English language documents is an akin to sending famously-fat opera singer Luciano Pavarotti to figure-skating classes.

And who is Vaclav Havel, after all? During the first months after the Czech Velvet Revolution he undoubtedly looked like a hero of his time, a humanist and a positive kind of guy.

Only with the hindsight of the last fifteen years we can tell that... well, we were fooled again. Nowadays we know that Havel and Havel alone can be credited with protecting communists and communist power in the former Czechoslovakia. Not one hair fell from a single communist head: communists transformed (under Havel's presidency) political power into economic power without actually giving up any of their political power - they just changed their party cards and melted into other political parties. No one was prosecuted. No one was punished.

Today's Czech Republic is a country still ruled by virtually the same people who ruled it during communist times - thanks to Vaclav Havel, the person receiving study grants from the U.S. Congress. According to Transparency International , corruption in the Czech Republic during Havel's extended presidency rose to a level surpassed only by Nigeria.

When it comes to Havel's alleged humanitarianism, well, he certainly talked about it (especially if he received an honorary degree and a free lunch in return) but back home, in the Czech Republic, he refused to intervene in multiple cases of human rights abuse. One example is the case of Vladimir Hucin, a man who was imprisoned for more than a year without being charged or tried of any crime, and after being released is still being dragged through the court system on obviously trumped up charges. What is Havel's link to all this? Then-president Havel gave lifetime tenure to all ex-communist judges and these very same judges now legally torture Vladimir Hucin just because he is a known anti-communist. Havel could have put a stop to it anytime he wanted - but he did not. Why? Because he did not want to. In unrelated news: Havel's successor, current Czech president Vaclav Klaus recently refused to name 36 or so new judges, because they were too young and lacked a certain something ... a communist past! So it goes in the Czech Republic.

The question is, now that it is clear that studying documents in a language that he understands only slightly better than Swahili, how will Vaclav Havel spend his U.S. taxpayer paid vacation in the United States? I am sure that he will meet with a lot of fellow humanitarians (who love public funding very much as well, thank you) like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Maybe he will write an article for the New York Times (not to worry, somebody will translate it for him), get a few free lunches, get a few more honorary degrees from some left-wing university. He'll probably even attempt to crash a party at the White House - just like the current Czech president Vaclav Klaus did a few weeks ago, when he showed up uninvited at Dubya's door. (Attention Secret Service! Have your Mace and expandable batons ready!) One thing is for certain: he will definitely enjoy himself in the company of our local leftist and radicals.

And that's simply wrong, I say. Not on my dime.

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