Final Word from Thursday, April 10, 2003

As Baghdad fell yesterday, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared it to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain. If the Czech mass media pick up this comparison (it didn't make today's newspapers), it could bring the Iraq war closer for many Czechs. It could raise still-valid questions about how much the Velvet Revolution was induced from abroad, how much foreigners and returning emigrants should play a role in the new order, and whether democracy and free enterprise have brought the desired effects. Today, thirteen years after the "regime change" in the CR, almost all the old leaders are still walking the streets, and some Czechs still argue that the same people are controlling the ministries, courts, schools and media. Whether the CR should, or shouldn't, be used as a guide to democracy-building in post-war Iraq would make an interesting debate.


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FS Final Word