Final Word from Thursday, July 29, 2021

"Out of the frying pan and into the fire" is an old English expression for going from a bad situation to a much worse one. Czechs prefer to talk about going "from the mud to the puddle." They just pulled out of their longest war since 1648 only to hear U.S. Pres. Joe Biden say on Tues. that, "if we end up in a war, a real shooting war with a major power, it's [more likely] going to be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence." A few minutes later he said that China and Russia are "our competitors - and possibly mortal competitors down the road." His words were muddled, as usual, but they clearly indicate that the U.S. is on a new course. It could fire first if a "cyber breach of great consequence" is conducted against it. Czechs haven't even had time to fully assess the war they just ended. Was Afghanistan a success? A failure? What should be done differently next time? And when the U.S. comes calling again to get it to join a new cause, should the answer be the same? [ Czech Republic United States of America defense Joseph ]

Glossary of difficult words

breach - a gap in a wall, barrier or defense, esp. one made by an attacking army;

mortal - (of an enemy or a state of hostility) admitting or allowing no reconciliation until death;

down the road - at some point in the future;

muddled - not clear or coherent; confused;

to assess - to evaluate or estimate the nature, ability or quality of.

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