Final Word from Monday, August 1, 2005

A reader told us the story of one of the Arab countries, where narcotics are of course illegal but where the thriving drug trade is controlled by the royal family. To show who's in charge - and to keep others out of the lucrative business - the government occasionally chops the head off a competing drug dealer. By cracking down on essentially harmless dancers at the CzechTek party over the weekend, Premier Jiří Paroubek seems to be using a similar strategy. He's showing who the boss is, but he's doing nothing to address the real issues in the CR of criminality, police corruption and political complicity. It's almost as though the techno dancers were being singled out because they failed to get political protection. But let's give Paroubek the benefit of the doubt this time. Perhaps next in line after the partiers are indeed the pickpockets, black-marketeers, corrupt immigration police, Visa taxi drivers, inside traders and other untouchables.[Czech Republic foreigners' insider trading]


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