Final Word from Thursday, September 29, 2016

The CR isn't in a state of war, although it is militarily active in four countries. Likewise, the U.S. is waging war against combatants in seven countries, although no declaration of war is in force. When a country is at war, the official propaganda machine is turned on, and everyone is expected to take part. What are the rules of engagement, though, when a country isn't at war but is nevertheless involved in foreign conflicts? Are Czech opinion leaders obligated to become part of the official propaganda machine, not only of their own government, but also of their allies? State Secretary Tomáš Prouza gave a partial answer to this when he said in Stockholm last week that the hostile disinformation operations of the Russians are having an impact on domestic issues and that the CR hosts Radio Free Europe because of its fact-based reporting. RFE is one of many fine sources, to be sure, but Prouza glosses over the fact that it is an official propaganda arm of the U.S. government. Are we entering a phase in which war propaganda must be beyond critical reproach as long as it is "friendly"? [Czech Republic US USA United States Radio Liberty RFE/RL]

Glossary of difficult words

combatant - a person or nation engaged in fighting during a war;

hostile - unfriendly; of or belonging to a military enemy;

to gloss over - to try to conceal or disguise (something unfavorable) by treating it briefly or representing it misleadingly;

reproach - the expression of disapproval or disappointment.

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