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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Friday, March 07, 2003

 

We miss you already, Vaclav Havel
According to this article from Radio Free Europe, the new President of the Czech Republic is not the steadfast ally that his predecessor seemed to be. This may not have much real effect on how things go, as the Czech parliament controls foreign policy, and Klaus' party is not in the ruling coalition, but "the Czech president traditionally plays more than a symbolic role in foreign policy."
Czech political scientist Jiri Pehe, a former adviser to Havel, says that when it comes to classifying the new Czech president, Klaus falls into the category of what the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush calls "Old Europe" -- opposing U.S. intentions to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, if necessary by force.

"I think that Klaus definitely belongs to 'Old Europe' in the sense that he is a politician who doesn't see things on a global scale but rather a person who is wrapped up in the small provincial world of Czech society, of the Czech Republic. He doesn't believe in any further integration processes. But it is an 'Old Europe' of a somewhat different type than the one represented by [French President Jacques] Chirac and [German Chancellor Gerhard] Schroeder who, after all, perceive their goal as integrating Europe."

The mistake made here is thinking that, by integrating Europe, Chirac and Schroeder are not actually "wrapped up in the small provincial world" of French and German society. But, on the up side, Klaus tends to be critical of the EU.
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