Monday, July 03, 2006

Czechs in EU - was it a mistake?

I remember about thirty years ago I read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Vonnegut, with his well-known fondness for Germans, was explaining with the aid of his child-like drawings how it was with Germans and WWII. There was a doodle of the German flag with a swastika in the middle and a caption that dryly noted: "This was the German flag, when the Germans were sick." A few lines beneath that was a similar drawing, but without the swastika and a caption saying: "This was the German flag, after the Germans got well." A genius in simplicity.

I wish somebody would figure out a similarly simple explanation of what was the reasoning to accept the Czech Republic (or any other East European countries for that matter) into NATO and subsequently into the EU as well. At the time it sounded like a good idea to have them in NATO and the EU and have them act as a buffer between Western Europe and Russia, because for sure they did not qualify militarily, economically or as a sufficiently civilized society.

If it was a suspicion then, time proved the correctness of that suspicion now. The Germans went through "denazification" and to a large extent they cleansed their society of an element of evil - the Nazis. Look it up in any encyclopedia and you will find that communism has killed about ten times as many people as nazism did. All those Hitlers, Eichmanns and Heydrichs were just bumbling amateurs compared to their communist counterparts. In spite of all that, communism and communists were never punished for their crimes against humanity. Exactly the opposite - former communists are back in power in most countries of Eastern Europe and they are being freely elected to plush offices representing their countries at EU headquarters in Brussels. They say they are not communists anymore. Well, would you elect Heinrich Himmler to EU office just because he wore a different kind of uniform?

The same countries are also members of NATO - formerly a defense alliance against the Empire of Evil. When countries of the Empire of Evil joined NATO without bothering to change to true democracy the purpose of NATO became very unclear. New NATO members are represented in Brussels by their "experienced" and "senior" military officers: essentially the same people who swore allegiance to the Soviet Union as members of the Warsaw Pact a few years back. I doubt that NATO has or can have any military secrets that the Russians do not know within 15 minutes.

Countries of Eastern Europe did not fulfill the expectations we had of them 16 years ago. They choose not to pursue Dostoyevsky's advice on Crime and Punishment. They choose unwisely - they choose not to punish the worst ever crimes in human history. I believe that history will treat those responsible for non-punishment as equally guilty as those who committed the crimes. Vaclav Havel, Vaclav Klaus, Alexander Lukashenko and Slobodan Milosevic will get their places in the halls of infamy right next to Hitler and Goring. No lecturing or doctoral titles honoris causa there.

What I was trying to say is that if Vonnegut were to comment on the Czech Republic or other countries of Eastern Europe today, almost 17 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there would be no need for his doodles. It would suffice to say that their colors never changed.

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