Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dear President Obama, Please Come to the Czech Republic

Dear President Obama,

One reason everyone is excited about your presidency is our sense that you respect dialogue. There is a large issue dividing America and the Czech Republic. It is the proposed anti-missile radar base. To date, no one from their government and no one from our government has given Czech citizens a sense that their views have been heard and considered. The situation is crying out for dialogue.

Opinion polls show that 70% (yes, that number is seven-zero!) of Czech people are against the radar base that America has proposed building on their land. On the 19th anniversary of their Velvet Revolution (November 17, 2008), thousands and thousands of Czechs did what people do in democracies when they want to make sure they've been heard - they demonstrated against this proposal. There were plenty of speeches and denunciations of American policy.

I don't know the answer to whether or not the radar base is needed. What I know is this: Czech people resent the way no one has satisfied them with answers. Czech politicians tell their citizens, "we must do our part to be part of a unified defense." People regard that answer as superficial and not enough.

If you decide to not build the base, come here and get the credit for that. If you decide the base is needed, please come here and explain to the Czech people why it's important for BOTH of our countries that it be built.

Czech democracy and self-defense are new. Given what they've been through in the last 100 years, it's not surprising that average people would want nothing to do with anything military-related. So come sell them!

When Secretary Rice was here, did she talk to anyone outside officialdom? I don't believe so. Your eloquence on this topic would be appreciated and listened to with respect. It's my belief the Czechs deserve no less.

7 comments:

Sher said...

Hi Karen,
That's so well written! Someone really needs to address this issue. How can it be that no one is listening to 70% of the Czech population?????!!!!! That's definitely not democracy in action! I sure hope that the Czech government will turn an ear to their own people...and that President Obama will try to help them out--one way or the other--but please listen to the Czech people!

Thanks for your suggestion today, too...War and Peace would be excellent therapy and a noble goal during quarantine!

Have a great day!
Sher :0)

Bitter Chocolate said...

Kudos to you Karen, you're a trully enlightened person!

Karen said...

Thanks Sher and Bitter Chocolate, I hope he comes here. BChoco, I was touched to be listed in your "Stuff that's Worthwhile" column! What an honor.

Mike said...

Hey Karen, I found your blog! Wow, you are much more regular than I am!

No time now, but I'll enjoy reading this soon.

Can you send me your email address?

Peace,
Mike Solberg

Karen said...

Hi Mike, Email me at empty_nest_expat@yahoo.com. Nice to hear from you!

Gerry said...

I hope you get to meet him!

Karen said...

In the American Midwest, we have to meet our Presidents face-to-face before we vote for them! I've been lucky enough to meet then Senator Obama one-on-one once and hear him speak another time.

 
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