In July 2006, they came to inspect. Mr. Cannabis, US ambassador to the Czech Republic at that time, deftly displayed the arrogance of The New Amerika. Yesterday the Czech government announced that it will give an official answer to the American request to station an anti-missile radar base on Czech territory by the end of March. Actually, they said “probably” by the end of March – the Czech government has a hard time committing.
I watched Dr. Strangelove again last night – what a great film.
The Russians have been making a lot of noise. Whilst The New Amerika claims that the missile defence system is to protect Europe and North America from Iran, North Korea and whatever other rogue states may develop missiles and choose to attack us, Russia is taking the missile defence system as a personal affront. They’re just pissed off because they had to abandon all of their bases here.
Public opinion in the Czech Republic is mixed, but to what extent depends on whom you ask.
I was discussing the question over dinner with two Czechs a couple of weeks ago. Honza lives in Plzeň, which is much closer than Prague to the proposed radar base site. Honza claimed that 75% of the people of Plzeň would welcome an American base. The reason he gave was that Plzeň still remembers that it was the Americans who came to liberate them in WWII. But I suspect Honza may have been talking out of his butt.
Martin was more fatalistic about the whole thing. The Czech Republic is very small, he said. Some greater foreign power is always going to want to be here, and if the Americans don’t come in, then the Russians are eventually going to come back. I’d rather have the Americans than the Russians.
The village of Němčovice (population 78), which is not far from where the radar base would be, has been surveying visitors to its website about the proposed base. I learned of the survey in the press and have been watching it since last week. I don’t know when the survey is going to end and it hasn’t changed much over the last couple of days, so I will share the results with you now.
Jaký máte názor na umístění amerického radaru u nás?
What is your opinion on having an American radar base in our country?
souhlasím, někdo nás musí chránit před vzdušným útokem
I agree with it, someone has to defend against aerial attack 16% (61)
souhlasím, když tu mohli být Rusové, proč by tu nemohli být Američané
I agree with it, if the Russians could be here, why not the Americans 1% (3)
souhlasím, region na tom ekonomicky vydělá
I agree with it, it will be good for the region economically 3% (10)
nevím, nemám dostatek informací
I don’t know, I don’t have enough information 1% (4)
je mi to jedno, stejně si to rozhodnou sami
I don’t care, they’re going to decide themselves anyway 1% (4)
o tom by v referendu měli rozhodnout všichni občané
There should be a referendum so all citizens can decide 2% (9)
nesouhlasím, nechci tu další cizí vojska
I don’t agree with it, I don’t want another foreign army here 45% (169)
nesouhlasím, budeme terčem prvního útoku
I don’t agree with it, we’ll be the target for the first attack 29% (109)
nesouhlasím, nemám rád Ameriku
I don’t agree with it, I don’t like America 1% (3)
mám jiný, zde neuvedený názor
I have a different opinion, not represented here 1% (2)