Final Word from Monday, July 7, 2003

President Jan Kavan of the U.N. United Nations US UN General Assembly accused the U.S. of persecuting him and his family for his opposition to the war in Iraq. He claimed in the Financial Times on Sat. that the U.S. isn't making it easy for his son and his son's girlfriend to visit the U.S. It's true that American officials have been known to snub people who don't see things their way, but the diplomats we spoke with said it is very unlikely that the U.S. would abuse its visa policy to punish someone for holding differing views. Given Kavan's U.N. position, this would create a minor international scandal. (The U.S. embassy said yesterday that all visa applications are judged on individual merit.) Kavan has been under extreme pressure lately, and his comment might be an effort to make him look like a victim. Instead, it raises new questions about his suitability for public office.


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