Final Word from Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Miloš Zeman called yesterday for a global war on terrorism. Perhaps he failed to notice that George W. Bush declared just such a war in 2001 and that Bush and his successors have awarded 400 Global War on Terrorism Service Medals since 2003. Or is perhaps Zeman suggesting that Bush's war has been a failure? One interpretation of yesterday's speech is that it was indeed veiled criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Zeman's unofficial status as a "mouthpiece of the Kremlin" lends credence to this interpretation. When Zeman talks about deploying drones in the fight against terrorists, is he indirectly criticizing the results of the U.S.'s use of them in at least seven countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen)? Is he questioning whether the U.S. is serious about smoking out ISIS? Or does he mainly want to shift the decision-making power to the U.N. Security Council, so that Russia has a veto over U.S. military action? Zeman will get another chance to explain himself on March 1-3 at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington. [Czech Republic ISIL Islamic State United States of America United Nations]

Glossary of difficult words

veiled - partially concealed, disguised or obscured;

mouthpiece - (chiefly derogatory) a person or organization that speaks on behalf of another;

credence - plausibility; the likelihood of something being true;

to smoke out - (famously used by George W. Bush) to force someone out of a place by or as if by the use of smoke; to expose someone.

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