Final Word from Friday, January 17, 2003

Communist Party Chairman Miroslav Grebeníček told Parliament yesterday that if the CR agrees to go into a war against Iraq, its citizens will be put in danger. Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdík, a hawk, said his own family has already been targeted. Some MPs laughed when they heard this. Americans have had to get used to being potential targets for terrorists, but for Czechs this is new. Precautions have been taken at Radio Free Europe, but most Prague residents consider the traffic restrictions a mere nuisance. Polls show that Czechs are against going to war. Their politicians tend to favor it, as a way to prove that they're reliable allies. If Parliament rejects today the U.S. request to take part in an Iraq conflict, it won't be because voters are against it or because the CR could become a target for terrorists, but rather because Iraq for some ČSSD members is just one more way to weaken Premier Vladimír Špidla.


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