Final Word from Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Is the Havel legacy stuck in time, only to be evaluated as a piece of history, or is it a living organism to be invoked in resolving contemporary issues? Is it fair to ask, What would Václav Havel do? His emphasis on human rights became an issue when Miloš Zeman traveled to China, but what about the Havel Doctrine of humanitarian intervention, defined by Michael Žantovský as the "shared responsibility of people to stand up to evil wherever and whenever it is being committed"? This "responsibility to protect," which some still call "humanitarian bombing," could apply on a limited basis in Ukraine and could be invoked - and indirectly is by TOP 09 and Madeleine Albright - to argue in favor of arming Kiev. Before he traveled to the U.S. in Nov., Bohuslav Sobotka "found Havel," just as one finds God, and ANO has also started to preach the Havel gospel. Why, then, was there not a single speck of Havelism at yesterday's foreign-policy meeting at the Castle? The answer, of course, is that the Havel legacy is a living organism only when it suits someone's purpose. [Czech Republic Miloš Zeman Lubomír Zaorálek Milan Štěch Jan Hamáček]

Glossary of difficult words

Michael Žantovský - from his book "Havel," Pages 434 and 485 (English version);

speck - a small particle of a substance; a bit or trace.

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