Final Word from Monday, November 3, 2014

A bust of Václav Havel will be unveiled in the U.S. Congress on Nov. 17, nearly 25 years after Havel gave a historical speech to the body on Feb. 21, 1990. (See here for a video and here for a transcript.) He received a standing ovation, but Václav Klaus told MFD on Sat. that he was in the audience and didn't clap. The speech was absurd, Klaus said. It used long sentences, was philosophizing, and anti-American. He can guarantee, he said, that none of the congressmen understood it. Klaus might have felt that way then, but an analysis of the speech now shows that Havel, in an uncanny way, predicted U.S. foreign policy for the next quarter century. He spoke of spreading freedom, of democratizing the Soviet Union and its satellites, of the peace dividend (without using the term) and of Europe finally standing guard over itself militarily. It's almost as if the speech had been written by the U.S. State Department. By criticizing Havel's words, Klaus is tacitly criticizing U.S. foreign policy, but without putting his invitations to speak in the U.S. at risk. [Czech Republic United States of America Velvet Revolution]

Glossary of difficult words

uncanny - strange or mysterious, esp. in an unsettling way;

peace dividend - a sum of public money that becomes available for other purposes when spending on defense is reduced;

tacitly - in a way that is understood or implied without being stated.

PDF Archive

«November 2014»

Choose the year


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word