Final Word from Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Václav Klaus said recently that he uses his travel diaries partly as a way to evaluate and criticize Czechs, because they can be self-centered and feel that they're the navel of the world. If he had written an entry on Mon., when he was visiting Madrid and Hillary Clinton was in Prague, he might have noticed the degree to which local coverage of Clinton's visit was centered on Westinghouse and Temelín. Yet for the international press, the more important issue was Clinton's warning that the U.S. would take action against Syria if the Assad regime used chemical weapons against its own people. Because Prague currently represents the U.S.'s diplomatic interests in Damascus, Czechs could potentially be dragged into a face-off between Washington and Moscow over Syria. For a few minutes at least, Prague truly did become the navel of the world, but most Czechs were too focused on a local issue even to notice.[Czech Republic United States Secretary of State Russia Rosatom Bashar al-Assad]

Glossary of difficult words

navel of the world - center of the world or universe;

coverage - the treatment of an issue by the media;

face-off - a direct confrontation between two people or groups.

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