Final Word from Friday, August 29, 2003





Did ODS make a tactical mistake by supporting the war in Iraq? Opposition parties in the U.S., U.K., Australia and the Netherlands are using the war to political advantage. In the CR, though, the Communists are the only party that can take advantage of the controversy, because only they opposed the U.S. invasion from the start. ODS, in fact, criticized the government for not being bolder in its support of the Americans. Much has been made of President Václav Klaus' alleged falling-out with U.S. Ambassador Craig Stapleton over the war, but Klaus could end up being one of only a few non-Communist Czech politicians who look good. His position on Iraq was unambiguous and consistent. The deeper George W. Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard get into trouble over Iraq, the more Klaus' behavior will seem justified. But ODS itself won't be able to profit from this.

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