Final Word from Thursday, March 13, 2003

Právo reported today that the cabinet secretly discussed Iraq yesterday. No information was officially released, but unofficial sources told us the cabinet confirmed that it is "with the Americans." Other sources say there are already apparently secret military agreements in place for determining how Czech forces will proceed. Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdík told Právo last week that he wouldn't support a unilateral U.S./U.K. attack, but he said Czech forces are prepared to help allied soldiers if weapons of mass destruction are used. The cabinet is otherwise being tight-lipped on Iraq. It seems that the CR has committed itself to backing the U.S. under most scenarios but would prefer that there be a clear U.N. mandate. The cabinet could then avoid angering its pacifist allies and voters unnecessarily. LN says today that the cabinet lacks the arguments, courage and talent to explain to Czechs why they must go to war.


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