Final Word from Tuesday, January 28, 2003

When Secreatary of State Colin Powell said last week that the U.S. had rallied a dozen allies to back an attack on Iraq, the remark got wide coverage in the Czech media. Less widely reported was the fact that the U.S. considers the CR to be one of these dozen. Powell declined to name the countries, but the U.S. embassy confirmed that Washington very much considers Prague to be on board. Its clear impression, it said, is that Czech officials agree. Other sources say the U.S. has been putting pressure on the Czechs. There are indications the U.S. could try to press the CR into action even without a U.N. mandate, although Parliament has conditioned Czech participation on a second U.N. resolution. The final decision on going into a war has been left to the cabinet, but more troops are already on the way to Kuwait. The CR might soon find itself too far down the road to war to turn back.


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