Final Word from Thursday, November 14, 2019

George H.W. Bush had a mutually beneficial relationship with Václav Havel and didn't hesitate to take advantage of Havel's "inexperience in the office." When Havel sought to "buy" two U.S. TV channels, Bush saw the chance to get frequencies. When Havel spoke on Sept. 30, 1990, in New York about the "radical change of a devastated socialist economy," Bush replied that, "Privatization and conclusion of a bilateral investment treaty - these are ways the U.S. can be most helpful." After Bush visited Prague on Nov. 17, 1990, as "the first stop [of his] eight-day, 16,000-mile swing through Europe and the Middle East to shore up support for his stand against Iraq in the Persian Gulf," he used Havel's allusion that day to the Munich Agreement to explain to reporters on Air Force One why Saddam Hussein had to be stopped. When they met for the last time as presidents on July 9, 1992, Bush boasted of his achievement: "The American people identify [with Havel] as a man of freedom." [ Czech Republic United States of America president White House War ]

Glossary of difficult words

swing - a brief trip;

to shore up - to provide or receive support for something.

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