Final Word from Monday, July 28, 2008

Some Czechs were disappointed that Barack Obama didn't float down to Prague last week when he graced the people of Berlin with his presence. A reader of LN said that by signing the radar treaty, the Czechs have done more for the U.S. recently than Germany or France. There would have been a precedent for an Obama visit. An earlier "private citizen" visited the country on a "fact-finding mission," and he too was destined to become U.S. president. It happened 70 years ago, when the young man's father was U.S. envoy to London. Josef Kennedy sent JFK to Prague in early Oct. 1938, just days after Munich, although no trains were running, no planes were flying and the Germans were storming over the border. JFK visited Prague at the start of one of the worst periods in recent Czech history. Perhaps it's a good thing Obama didn't try to emulate JFK by unnecessarily tempting fate this time.[Czech Republic Czechoslovakia Agreement John F. Fitzgerald Lidové noviny United Kingdom Nazis Accord]

Glossary of difficult words

Source - the source for information about JFK's visit to Prague is "Memoirs: 1925-1950," by George F. Kennan, Page 90-92;

(to follow) in someone's footsteps - to do as someone did before;

to float - an allusion to Obama's status as a Messiah figure;

to be destined - to be certain to meet a particular fate;

envoy - ambassador;

Munich - the Munich Agreement, signed on Sept. 30, 1938;

to emulate - to match or surpass a person or achievement, typically by imitation;

to tempt fate - to provoke or to risk provoking (the occurrence of something).


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