Friday, April 29, 2005
(Editor's Note: As a student of Czech, former Cold Warrior, and a sometime student of Czech history, I admire this man greatly. There have been few figures of greater stature in the ongoing struggle for Dedmocracy and Freedom in the Modern Era. That he responds as he does here to the aspirations of Lebanon further underscores his stature within the assemblage of Democratic Nations.)
His first two paragraphs capture the import of the moment, and its significance to both the Czech and Lebanese People:
Let me convey my greetings, solidarity and support to all of you who are pursuing, by peaceful and democratic means, goals similar to the ones that we in Central Europe set ourselves more than fifteen years ago: the path of freedom and independence, complete withdrawal of the occupying troops and renewal of the democratic system. What we consider important is that all this was achieved by peaceful demonstrations; by open, quiet but firm civic resistance.
Today, the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, gradually establishing itself as an open, democratic and prosperous European country. As such, it simply cannot ignore the state of democracy anywhere in the world. We have followed with great sympathy how the Lebanese, scarred by fifteen years of bloody civil war and post-war troubles, have set out to peacefully work for their country’s freedom and independence. What makes this especially important is that an open democratic Lebanese society might become a major source of inspiration for the whole sorely tried region.
It has often been remarked that the peoples of Eastern Europe value freedom so dearly, perhaps because their loss of it has only recently been restored.
Vaclav Havel should be the next Secretary General of the U.N., once the current occupant can be shown the door. (Faster, please!)
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