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Guest Voice

Czechs to U.S. Missile Defense: Keep Out

By Dana Kutchova

Secratary of State Condoleeza Rice is in Prague today to ink the U.S. Missile Shield Treaty, but the question remains, who invited her?

The U.S. National Missile Defense project is a complex, far-reaching system involving the production of new weapons and the installation of U.S. military bases around the world. In Europe, the first step is the installation of an advanced radar facility in the Czech Republic, as well as a base for interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland.

But Czechs want no part of it. Polls have consistently confirmed that 70 % of the Czech population are against building even “defensive” radar installations on their soil (the Polish numbers are not much different). And thus far all attempts to allow referenda have been blocked. This disregard for the will of the people could lead to a breakdown of the governement’s tenuous coalition.

Despite that, Czech and U.S. leaders are continuing their negotiations, which will reach their formal climax today when the Secratary of State signs the treaty. And while the American public may have accepted the idea of immediate threats and continuing danger, the situation in Eastern Europe is not so black and white. Korea and Iran, the supposed impetus for the Shield, are at best hypothetical threats to Europe. Clearly there must be other motives.

Deterring Russia is probably more what the Czech government has in mind – and that may grow more true in the future. Though ex-satellite states hardly have a warm spot in their hearts for Russia, few Czechs appreciate being used as launching ground for a Cold War revival. And with Russia's vast oil and gas supplies, it is not in the Czechs' interest, nor in the interest of any European nation for that matter, to become Moscow‘s enemy. Moreover, bi-lateral treaties between individual EU states and the U.S. divide Europe and stand in the way of a unified, all-European security policy.

Secretary Rice is probably aware that her administration is not carrying out a dialogue with the Czech people, but instead with a minority behind a razor’s-edge balance in the Parliament. With charges of corruption abounding, the democratic process has been undermined, erroding America’s already weak credibility as a champion of liberty. With such consequences, at a time when anti-American feelings are high, it begs the question: Whose interests does the National Missile Defense project really serve: Czech or American?

Given national opposition to foreign military bases, key voices of the Czech opposition party have already declared their intent to dismantle the treaty should they get the chance to form a new government. Remembering Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s remarks about the “fear-mongering of the Bush administration,” I wonder if the next administration may take a somewhat different approach. Rushing the signing prior to the U.S. elections in November cannot be considered a responsible move. Until then, Dr. Rice, don’t call us about radar – we’ll call you.

Dana Kuchtova is the 1st Vice-Chair of the Czech Green party and former Minister of Education. The Greens belong to the government coalition, but the party is split on the "radar" issue.

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Comments (94)

John:

It is true that the Czechs have a history of living with little or no freedom and they like to say they are sensitive to someone trying to put foreign troops on their soil. In many instances it was their own fault they lost the independence through out their past. As one of their own politicians once said. Quote: "The Czechs have an unrealistic view of their position in the world. Arrogance, feeling of superiority, on one hand, and subservient approach on the other." The result of this attitude is unbalanced governments that are easily swayed. It is difficult to trust the Czechs. Mrs. Kuchtova is the bright example. Giving the already bad aftertaste yet another shade of bitterness.
The basic lack of pride in their own country will lead to even bigger discord and missteps in the Czech politics. The result will be that the country will have more people of the Paroubek's or Kuchtova's type and it will stay vulnerable to the whims of Russians and the alike. Thanks to people like Mrs. Kuchtova. They do not know what to do with their new regained freedom. It is easy to loose it if the Russians will have the say. And at the end, they may. Czechs need to wake up and start being the responsible citizens.

Jana Trpišovská:

I strongly disagree with Mrs. Kuchtova! I am the part of the 30% (due to the numbers that Mrs. Kuchtova gave in this article, but I don´t know where she found it) minority of Czech inhabitants who are for the american radar on our soil. I think it is the best thing we could do for our protection and also for the protection of the other states (because it is going to serve not only to the USA, but also to the NATO). In my opinion, a lot of people disagree with the radar thanks to the fact, that they don´t really know what it is going to be... The part of the article about Russia, which is telling us that "it is not in the Czechs´ interest,...,to become Moscow´s enemy", remained me the era of communism when everything had to be by request of Moscow. I think this era passed, our country is free and independent and we can do our personal decissions. And last thing - I can´t understand why Mrs. Kuchtova is writing about the american radar. She is the former Minister of Education and the 1st Vice-Chair of the Czech Green party - she is not the member of the government, so I don´t know why she is writing about it. More reliable would be Mr. Schwarzenberg - Minister of Foreign Affaires.

ME::

"Although around two-thirds of Czechs oppose the radar, the government seems confident of surmounting the final hurdle, a vote in parliament."
Economist.com, Sunday, July 13, 2008.
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11708464

MJ:

As a Czech citizen and someone who spent some time in the USA , I strongly disagree with Kuchtova. I am young so I did not experience 1938 (France and Britain betrayed us) and 1968 where Soviets tried to "help" us. In my opinion USA is the ONLY strong power which is not afraid of taking actions which are not popular. I believe if there is a country with which we should ally it is definitely USA.
Let help USA try to protect the peace!

Thrower:

I am Czech and I am for the radar. Mrs "Mother-paid-by-Austrians" Kuchtova does NOT represent Czech republic and czech citizens!!!

Technicka...:

Pan Hrdina neuvedl, ze je ze Smichova...Praha 5 zahrnuje dalsi oblasti, jako napriklad Motol a pod.

CHE:

We are fighting 2 years with Tvrdík, Tupolánek, Brusík, Indra and Mr.Blackhill;

Now, it is the most important phase of the fight !!!

Venceremos, no pasaran.

Che

Schmouddle:

Who is Mrs. Kuchtova?

1) Former head of SouthBohemian mothers, organisation largely paid by Austrian PR agency which also serves Austrian branch of Shell. Its main task was to loudly oppose to a fairly modern and very safe nuclear reactor in Temelin (producing 1/4 of all electicity in CZ).

2) 1st Vice-chair of Green Party,representing the left wing (sic!) of bunch of leftists and eco-fascists called the Green Party. (Watermelon, anyone?). Anyway the party will not make it into the Parliament after next elections, so far so good. :)

3) Former Minister of Education, that former is quite important because she was recalled by Prime minister because of her utter failure in getting team for EU subsidies togther and applying in time.

Who are Czech Greens?

Day before yesterday they joined anarchists and communists in bloody and vandalising fight in the streets against the World Monetary Fund meeting in Prague (Mrs. Jaques, now a vicechair of Green Party, also known for not respecting police officers and sueing them after..), yesterday they fought the Temelin Nuclear Powerplant together with Austrians (Mrs. Kuchtova), today they fight Radar with extreme muslims and leftist and what they will fight tommorrow?
I wish they fight rats in Prague sewers. :o)


So having this in mind, dear american friends of ours, be sure this lady is not speaking for majority of Czech citizens, she speaks for leftist, eco-fascist, extreme muslims and rest of the scum put togeteher momentarily in the "fight" against radar instalation at Brdy hills.

Jiri:

Well, I think the only mistake Czech goverment made was no discussion with the public. I am disappointed of their zero efforts to persuade the citizens...

Ms. Kuchtova is a typical representative of the Czech politician culture - no real opinions, only traffic with taken position. The another exapmle is Mr. Topolanek, the Czech prime minister, who threaten to the Parlament: "If you do not pass the American base, our party will refuse the Lisabon contract." - what is the connectedness of these two themes?

I hope one time we will be represented by respectable politicians.

Jiri:

Well, I think the only mistake Czech goverment made was no discussion with the public. I am disappointed of their zero efforts to persuade the citizens...

Ms. Kuchtova is a typical representative of the Czech politician culture - no real opinions, only traffic with taken position. The another exapmle is Mr. Topolanek, the Czech prime minister, who threaten to the Parlament: "If you do not pass the American base, our party will refuse the Lisabon contract." - what is the connectedness of these two themes?

I hope one time we will be represented by respectable politicians.

Jiri:

Well, I think the only mistake Czech goverment made was no discussion with the public. I am disappointed of their zero efforts to persuade the citizens...

Ms. Kuchtova is a typical representative of the Czech politician culture - no real opinions, only traffic with taken position. The another exapmle is Mr. Topolanek, the Czech prime minister, who threaten to the Parlament: "If you do not pass the American base, our party will refuse the Lisabon contract." - what is the connectedness of these two themes?

I hope one time we will be represented by respectable politicians.

BoH:

I am for radar!

člověk:

pikantní je, že dana kuchtová je podepsaná jako vice-předsedkyně strany, která radar ve vládě podporuje (kromě jednoho hlasu ze čtyř). svůj komplex by si měla lépe řešit za pár týdnů na stranickém sjezdu a přestat dělat zeleným i republice ostudu ve wp. popdle mě jde jen o hysterii bývalé ministryně, která se rozhodla sama odejít, ale teď to svádí na předsedu své strany. zhrzená panička.
naturally, i´m for american radar! and for peace too!

člověk:

pikantní je, že dana kuchtová je podepsaná jako vice-předsedkyně strany, která radar ve vládě podporuje (kromě jednoho hlasu ze čtyř). svůj komplex by si měla lépe řešit za pár týdnů na stranickém sjezdu a přestat dělat zeleným i republice ostudu ve wp. popdle mě jde jen o hysterii bývalé ministryně, která se rozhodla sama odejít, ale teď to svádí na předsedu své strany. zhrzená panička.
naturally, i´m for us radar! and for peace too!

Mozek Mladých konzervativců:

Jiři Hrdino, vy hlavo Mladých konzervativců
z Prahy 5 - Smíchova. Proč si děláte srandu
z občanů USA a z čtenářů The Washington Post?
Nebo tomu, že byl Jiří Paroubek dříve členem komunistické strany, skutečně 100 % veříte, poněvadž to do Mladé fronty Dnes napsal Karel Steigerwald... Ono mít hlavu je někdy málo, důležité je mít něco v ní!

Jan Krejčí:

I’m not a number. I don't agree with Mrs. Kuchtová! Was she naive? I think so! One-half million enemies in the full harness at 1968 is not the same as one friend's transmitter at 2008. 85 thousand alien's troops, one and half thousand alien's tanks, six hundred and fifty alien's cannons, ninety alien's rocket launcher, three hundred alien's airplanes and fifty alien's nuclear shoots for over twenty years (without cancellation right - forever) are not the same as two hundred and fifty friend's troops with one big transmitter with one year cancellation right.

I have many Russians friend's, but Russia isn't respectable to me, because they are not free. They live in the medieval in theirs mind. They know only threaten with weapons - nothing more. As they are big they are little (narrow-minded). I wish them more success and true freedom. But if I hear Russians now, if I see Russians now, I have to keep in my mind that: Si vis pacem, para bellum

If you want to see the psychology of the unsophisticated soviet troops see: http://cgv.org.ru/ (this is the web of our plebeian intruders)
If you want to see the psychology of the sophisticated „soviet“ troops see: http://www.mil.ru/

I'm embrace partnership with US army! I feel more free from now!

Regards

Jan Krejčí, Prague

Tramp:

If Madam Kuchtova is your South Bohemian Mamma, who to the hell is your Papa? Frank Zappa?

Lubos Zalom:

BTW, it is well known that Ms. Kuchtova, who is one of the loudest opposer of nuclear power in Czech Republic, is paid for these activities by austrian anti-nuclear eco-fashist activists. The fact that she gets money from foreign activists to undermine energy self-sufficiency of her own country shows clearly what a miserable and despicable kind of person she is!

Jiri Hrdina:

Mrs. Rice was invited to come by our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Scharzenberg. The negotiations concerning the radar were already started by our former socialist government. Their support of the radar changed only after they lost power in 2006 and since their leader Jiri Paroubek (a former member of the communist party) forms his policies solely according to the public opinion, their rhetoric followed. Although polls show 60-70% of the population is against the radar, the electorate of the Civic Democratic Party, formed mostly by the middle class with higher education and private entrepreneurs, is in its vast majority for the radar.

Opposition to the radar is also formed by an NGO, lead by Mr. Tamas, a known anti-war activist. This NGO is heavily supported by the Young Communist youth association, recently banned for having class violence and an armed revolution as part of their official program. Mr. Tamas compared the day when Mrs. Rice and Mr. Schwarzenbeng signed the agreement to the day when the Nazi occupation of the Czechlands started. Mr. Tamas and company also often compare the American presence of maximum 250 soldiers to the twenty years of Russian occupation and oppression, when a hundred thousand Russian soldier were based in Czechoslovakia. I also feel that it is necessary to mention that the NGO led by Mr. Tamas did have a noticeable billboard campaign, financed by unknown sponsors.

It is a fact that the majority of the British public also supported Chamberlains appeasement policy before the second world war, just like the majority of the populations in western Europe were against the Perching missile basis and generally the arms race with the Soviet Union, that in the end lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the freedom of millions of people in across half of Europe. It is now known that PR activities that formed the negative popular view on these policies were financed by the Soviet government at the time.

One saying says that a nation who does not remember and learn from its history is destined to experience it again, we will do all that we can that this will not be the case, as in the Czech Republic it would be a very said experience, and that the Radar will be installed.

Jiri Hrdina
Head of Young Conservatives - Prague 5

Radick:

I am against the radar....

Lubos Zalom:

Tramp: Czech Republic.

Tramp:

Where are you from mister Zalom?

Lubos Zalom:

What Ms. Kuchtova has written here is really disgraceful.

1) there are NO real indications that most of the Czechs are against missile defence initiative, and the surveys do not prove anything real. one could try to prove almost anything by polls, if he put questions in a right way.

2) we can compare this to similar situation during the Cold War, when Reagan and Thatcher wanted to locate cruise missiles in West Europe. many public organisations were against that, and it was revealed that the protest had been mostly paid by the Soviets. it is not a accident that the "peace and anti-missiles intiatives" in Czech Republic are in a close contact with islamist organisations, and it can be revealed in the future that they are paid by them, or by Russians.

"Whose interests does the National Missile Defense project really serve: Czech or American?" asks Ms. Kuchtova. It is clear: both. It is impossible to talk about and live in peace and be unprepared for any possible threat, no matter how tiny and unimportant that threat can seem! As for future military bases in Czech Republic and Poland, I hope that they will be built and I really hope that they will be aimed on Iran (and even Russia, just to be sure)

Pepa:

64% of Czechs is for nuclear energy. And yet Mrs Kuchtova is against it.

So much to percents.

Eso:

To "American in Prague" - this article is mentioned and linked in today's Czech online newspapers. So that's why Czechs react here.

By the way, I'm for the radar too and I'm not a part of any political campaign.

Czech national:

Pact among Bush and Czech Prime Minister Tolpolánek is undersigned in Prague 8. July 2008. Czech Republic will enemy - occupied USA.

Pakt mezi Bushem a českým předsedou vlády Tolpolánkem byl podepsaný v Praze 8. července 2008. Česká republika bude okupována USA.

A.S.G.:

I am from the Czech Republic and I find Ms. Kuchtova's rantings pretty silly. Okay, a large portion of the general population is against the radar site. A large portion of the population is against paying taxes as well. So what?

Of course governments are not going to reveal all intelligence and strategic information to the public. No, decisions like this are not going to be made by the public -- that is why we elect governments in the first place. And rantings by a vice-chair of a barely significant party in a foreign news publication are of no consequence.

Incidentally - when was the Czech Republic relocated to Eastern Europe? Former Czechoslovakia (of which the Czech Republic was the western part) was always in Central Europe. Does that, perhaps, reflect Ms. Kuchtova's leanings and is that why she is ever so concerned about Russia's opinion of the radar site? The last time I checked, the Czech Republic was a sovereign country within the EU.

wbgarden:

I'm a Czech and I'm for the Radar and it is not political campain. As to majority or minority, please, read MIDOU3:
"you should now that those against the radar are more noisy thus more visible. I guess many people here in Czech republic support the US iniciative but are silent, as they are busy with their jobs....
Who pays the greens that they can spent days and weeks on protest against radar, global warming, Co2 etc...?"

jaroslav (czech):

dana kuchtova is a woman which know only how to speak and speak and speak and speak..........
And now she can send an article to "big american papers". So she cannot resist, it is very seduction for her. And it is the peak of her career too, because she only speak speak speak and speak.
Green Party obtains only 21 931 votes in last election. (We are 10 000 000 country). Last election was their first successful, but this party shows very bad skills, next election is the last one (probability ~98%, trust me :) for them (which kuchtova knows very well...).

American in Prague:

All the Czech-based responses make me suspicious...
They all read WashPost? Really? With feeble/minded responses, like "I'm a Czech and I'm for the Radar" it seems more like a political campaign...The numbers are real: 2/3rds of the population against and growing... and being railroaded into it... The "Iran threat" doesn't hold water here, Russia may be the target, NO benefit for Czechs but for neocon clique in Gov't, Kuchtova's right. Americans were always liked here, but it may change, continue territory staking and base building in Europe...

Pavel:

Ms. Kuchtová is in the leadership of the green. Green Party has minimal support among citizens. Only about 4.5%

Pavel:

I am Czech and I am for the radar

Cum'n'Cmoch fm Mageo.cz:

We support radar. And Rolling Stones!

Vladimir:

I am Czech and I am for the radar.

jm:

Please help us to safe us before our own neoconservative politics.. better said a few of them on the highest positions, prime-minister, ministers, president.... Czechs are AGAINST! More than 70%, all other numbers are manipulated by government PR companies....

JIM:

For God's sake this whole game of politics is so not about Czech security as the Czech Prime Minister Topolanek foolishly claims. It is not about the safety of Czech citizens!! Moreover, the whole debate in the Czech Republic is extremely superficial and nobody even mentions that there is a certain strategic environment that the Czech decision can disrupt.

Also, do we need green Mrs. Kuchtova to repeat all we know??

SOLIS:

The democratic deficit equals money: The total BMD budget for Fiscal Year 2008, was originally presented to Congress by the Bush administration at $8.9 billion stands now 8.6 percent below this. From this a defence contractor received a maximum $400 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to support the design, development, and activation of a European-based mid-course radar for ballistic missile defense. Work will be performed at the contractor’s facility and in Europe, and is expected to be complete by February 2013. This is a sole source award by the US Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, AL (HQ0147-08-D-0001).

Antonín Kaprál:

I am Czech and I am for the radar.

SOLIS:

This is not about military science; it is about the lack of democracy here.

It means in general terms nothing else that a group in a position of power is excluding others from taking part in a system of government, from decisions and from responsability.

We are getting real close to the definitions of dictatorship and or autocracy.

The future will show.

Karel:

By a funny coincidence Condoleeza Rice and Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg signed the treaty on the same table, on which prime ministers Kosygin and Štrougal forty years ago signed the agreement on deployment of the soviet occupation forces on the territory of Czechoslovakia...

midou3:

you should now that those against the radar are more noisy thus more visible. I guess many people here in Czech republic support the US iniciative but are silent, as they are busy with their jobs....
Who pays the greens that they can spent days and weeks on protest against radar, global warming, Co2 etc...?

wbgarden:

American army had to be situated in Czech republic, former Czechoslovakia, from 1945. No communism was there, no russian occupations....
Some videos from russian former nuclear base in Czech republic:
http://www.rezek.biz/skl.htm

Dan:

for Huhla :

http://www.ct24.cz:8001/radar-special/
Yes : 27,9%
No : 58,7%

M E:

A good background reading about the issue:
"The Prague-Washington swindle"
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=18860

Kang :

more then 70% of Czech citizens is against US military base. This is official study of public opinion.
For this reason our goverment don't agree with the plebiscite.

huhla:

http://www.reflex.cz/Clanek32931.html
58% voters said Yes, I support the US radar station.

http://www.tyden.cz/anketa/
Yes 47%, No 45%

Peter:

Hey, if you knew who Mrs. Kuchtova is, you would never say, she is right. She is typicall left liberal political hyppie... Against radar, egains nuclear power plants, against everything...

Luboš:

Dano, perfektní, děkuji.

#13:

I, as a Czech citizen, want the US radar here! I hate the Green Khmers and all of their red comrades!

Shame on you, appeasers.

Me:

The Czechs need the radar like a "Loch im Kopf." But it's good to know that they got some Bushmen of their own. During my last visit to Prague the Soviet flags were flying everywhere. The times they are a-changin'.

Zahradnik:

I am Czech and I do not want any radar here,pls say it to US politics,I am afraid that our politics never do it.

madqwert:

I am from Czech republic and I agree with the text written by Mrs. Kuchtova. 70% Czech citizien is against the American radar. Also the major part of Czech Parliament is against the radar. But the government, especially ODS, rules only with the help of corruption. They didnt get the majority in the election in 2006. There are 4 opposite parliamentarian, which were corrupted by ODS. So it is possible that the radar will be installed in the Czech republic in spite of the wish of 70% czech citizien.

JZ:

to fidelferme: Ireland isn´t member of NATO, Czech Republic and United States are.

Fiddelferme:

As an Irish citizen and EU citizen, I commend the Czech people for standing up against this ghastly alliance with the US military, a rogue country that wreaks havoc everywhere it goes. What is obvious here is that the elected officials are grossly out of touch with people in their countries, not only on this issue but also on the Lisbon Treaty.

We will get the government we deserve: so let us stand up together against the elite decision makers; a country belongs to the PEOPLE, not to elite decision makers going against the will of the majority. The Irish stand with you in protesting this installation in the Czech Republic. Once the pact is signed, it will be difficult to undo.

Kang:

Why to built military base in The Czech Republic?
70% Czech citizens is against this base. Czech people are not against USA but we are against foreign military bases soever.
Missile defense is very interesting for arms industry only. For common people (US and Czech) it will not bring any profit.

Me2d:

I'm sorry, but Mrs. Kuchtova is absolute NOBODY here in Czech Republic. Reading of this article is absolute time waste, because She lies, She lies along of her personal problems in her political party.

M. Spousta:

As a citizen of the Czech Republic I have to agree with Ondřej Čertík: I welcome aims to build a U.S. radar in the Czech Republic.

There is a very loud movement against the radar, but it is currently based on fear, uncertain and doubt principle. It should be noted that this movement is backed mainly by pacifist, Islamic, communist and anti-Jewish organizations.

I would like to say that Ms. Kuchtova is not speaking for the Czech Republic anymore, she was fired out of the government due to her inability to fulfill a Ministry of education duties. I am afraid that much more than 70% of Czech citizens appreciated this.

For the US readers:

Mrs Kuchtová served after the election briefly as the minister of education in the Czech government for the green party. When under her administration the utilization of EU so called structural funds coming from Brussels was threatened she had to be withdrawn by her own party for incompetence. This happened at the instigation of the conference of rectors of Czech universities.

Czech:

ODS is the worst a political party!
Corruption and steeling is growing rapidly, more then 70% Czech don´t want American radar and ODS is undemocratic and creasy! Please, help the Czech Republic!!!

Jan:

I'm Czech and I live in the C.R. I'm surprised that Ms. Kuchtova's article is paid such an attention. She is vice president of one small political party representing about 7% population and she personally isn't even member of parliament.

Those 70% who are supposed to be against the radar is just statistical game. There are also other researches saying that only 48% is against. One can choose to which one will trust... The green fanatics like Ms. Kuchtova choose 70%, government choose 48%.

DS:

She hardly speaks english, why didn't she mention the name of the translator?

DAvid :

Ms Kuchtová is a minority fanatic, against everything, including radar, army, afghanistan, nuclear energy. the green party is a group of irresponsible people with no responsibility, no arguments.

I am Czech and I welcome the US radar in the Czech Republic. Many Czechs do share my opinion, but do not have the mental illness and weakness to protest loudly and with no arguments.

Just for the US to understand, the Green party´s support (inc elections numbers) was slightly over five per cent, which is the minimum for entry into the parliament.

JZ:

But it´s not true that 70 % of Czechs are against. True is that more than 70 % of left electors in Czech are against. Ms. Kuchtova speaking for comunist and socialist electors, not for ruling parties in Czech (civil and cristian democrats). Ms. Kuchtova is member of Greens, who are now member of coalition, but Greens has only 6 MPs in 200 MPs Czech Parliament... and - what more - she is not MPs. 3 MPs of Greens are for, 3 MPs of Greens are against.

CZECH BOB:

Our country was under Russian pressure for last 40 years, till Velvet Revolution in 1989. As a Czech native I don´t like any kind of such political and economical pressure like now from US side.

Problem also is that most from Czech government people are truckling first to one regime from Russia, than second to US. Probably in future we will be servile to pressure from China???

Our czech country is so strong how strong is our government people...

David Vonka:

I'm Czech and I don't mind the radar, although Ms Kuchtova is right that 70 % of my compatriots are against it.

I'm not quite convicted about the need of the radar, but if our most important military ally wants to borrow a small piece of land to station a few soldiers and a rather harmless installation, I think our government should be accommodating (as it is).

Moreover, if the need of the radar was obvious and acute, it would be too late, wouldn't it ? In say 1932 people probably didn't expect that a major war would be starting in a few years ...

As for the referendum, there's this golden rule about no referenda about defense and taxes, right ... ?

Stephen Steiger:

It is encouraging to read a Czech politician' s comment in the WP. Encouraging, since what the American public is hardly informed about is the consistent and growing (!) resistance of the Czech population against the government imposing -- in a way very similar to the way of the Communist government -- what the public does not want. The Bush administration boasting of the democracy it pretends to expand the world over is not taking note of what a friendly *nation* actually wishes.

Rigged:

To claim that some "missile defense system" (that we may not even have, in a workable sense) will be essential against Iran and North Korea is laughable...typical Bush administration misinformation and, well, untruths. I've never seen/heard evidence to prove that such a system even works worth a damn.

Iran couldn't possibly launch a missile against the US for, what, a decade, if then...and why would they even want to? Iranian leaders may be "radical" and all that, but they're certainly not totally stupid. They know full well they wouldn't survive the day they launched a nuclear missile at the US. "Hare-brained" doesn't even begin to describe the so-called "missile defense system." Useful against North Korea...please. You have to be totally geographically challenged to swallow that one.

Waste of our taxpayer billions; another example of total deceit by Bush/Cheney; further undermining of our foreign relations; another expensive sop for the military-industrial complex...the current crowd in office will just continue on until we boot them out.

True American:

This is simply a money deal, and thats all it is, it protects and prevents nothing, it simply justifies money laundering. Bush wants to give more money than what has been alloted to Poland and the Czech Republic by the last war funds bill. The Czech Republic will now get land rent, equipment, military and otherwise, employment, prestige and justification for more aid out of the deal.

Its a win win for the Czech's and a lose lose for American taxpayers. The deal is ever worse for American taxpayers for the Polish plan, 10's of billions, possibly 100's of billions will be siphoned off for that deal.

confused:

I am reading many articles on this topic, all but this one say the treaty was signed. So what gives? Did the Czech's sign it or didn't they?

There is to much "news" that list "anonymous sources". I vow to never again read an article that lists even one "anonymous source" because if it does it is just rotten stinky smelly propaganda.

Jim:

This is for freedom and democracy of the entire world. Never mind that our friends in the defense industry will be putting billions of US taxpayer dollars in our pockets. That just doesn't have anything to do with it. And never mind that if interest rates go up we may not have enough to pay the national debt. That kind of talk only applies to poor people in the slums. Thats just the price of freedom don't you know?

Jenda:

Back in the 1980s, West Germans didn't want Pershings or Minutemen in Germany either, and yet somehow voted against politicians who opposed them year after year after year after year ...
Greeks wanted American bases out too, until we actually got ready to pull out.
There is polling data and then there is what people actually think, especially when foreign powers are involved in one's defense policy.

WeeFree:

"The missile shield for europe is to shield Europeans from Israel going for their delusional 'Samson' option and shooting off their 200 nukes all over Europe in a fit of historical victim pique."


If Israel ever does such a senseless thing, expect it to be with the tacit agreement of the U.S. So the missile defense system would be switched off until the smoke clears.

PREVENT DEFENSE:

Sometime Gov'ts do things against the people's wishes because they have more data (that cannot be disclosed) than can be revealed to the public.

While this is not always the case, most of the time the data is correct -- ( I can hear the Green's yelling the US was wrong about WMD's in Iraq, might I remind you 90% of the world thought WMD's were in Iraq, not just the US).

Folks, if Russia is so much against US-led missile installations in the EU, it is for one reason. The US is way ahead in this arena technologically. these systems can counter most of the Russian offensive missile systems. This is all you need to know. Why are the Russians working feverishly to counter missile defense and deploy their own defensive system? The Russians need the EU income from oil & gas desperately, so that is not an issue. At issue is the security of the EU, and this is a bold step in the right direction.

Watermelon Man:

The Green Party is a Giant Watermelon.

Green on the outside and red on the inside.

ZT:

I wish some people on here would try to understand the Czech people. For many years the country belong under Austrian empier, later was occuppied by Germans and finally by Russians. So some people are affraid that the country will be occupied once again by somebody. And I don't know if any news here in US gives you informations like that Czech Republic gets its oil and natural gas supplies from Russia and their were already told that if the US radar will be build in Czech that Russians may just turn off the supply and point their missiles on them. How would you feel about that if you had to live there?

Dressy Pinky:

This is a great article exposing the greed of the military industrial complex that is corrupting and defrauding the American people of their hard earned money. Europe is not enthusiastic about this frivolous sham call missile defense. The cooked up threat from Iran and Korea is nonexistence. Furhter antagonizing Russia with a missile in their backyard does not make any sense. We did not allow Russian missiles in cuba why should we expect missiles in Russian backyard to be received with open arms.

The Bush regime is back to its old tricks of using misinformation, lies and deceits to pursue their imperial policies. Cold war war fought and won by us, rekindling that when Russian power is on the rise and our economy is in shambles and reputation in the gutter is madness.

If the Europeans do not need it and Iran is not a mortal threat, so who is benefiting from these billions of dollar expenditures? Military Industrial complex of course, just like they justified Iraq war and made out with billions in profit.

I hope and pray that Obama will be smart enough to cancel all these demonic agreements that Bush is rushing down the throat of other nations. If this defense system will benefit the American people how come Bush and Cheney are negtiating it in secret? How come they do not want the people of these nations to hold a referrendum on something this major?

The Bush regime will go down in history of mankind as a failed presidency and the most corrupt regime in all of the western world. This cooked up missile defense will join other failed policies like Iraq, 2-state policy, Katrina, high oil price, Bush recession, domestic wiretapping, AbuGherib torture camps, Guantanamo torture chambers, US attorney firing, Iraq wmd, cia renditions, kidnappings, phospherous and poisonous weapons used in Iraq, relaxing polution regulations, destruction of education with all children left behind etc.

Maz:

The threat of mutual annihilation is not enough for the U.S. They want the upper hand. Russia will be forced to react or respond in some way. This is good for no one.

Ironically..... it is in their interest.:

The missile shield for europe is to shield Europeans from Israel going for their delusional 'Samson' option and shooting off their 200 nukes all over Europe in a fit of historical victim pique.

This will be done when they are finally on the receiving end of the painful comeuppance they so richly deserve from their long-suffering neighbours.

European culture is far too valuable to be put at risk of destruction from the Ashkenazim.

genius :

It seems a vast majority of commenters are miss informed about the goal of the missile defense system. Russia is not the target of the system since the system will not be able to defend against thousands of intercontinental missiles. The system is aimed at small mostly unstable nations who might attempt to launch a nuclear (in some form or fashion)/chemical weapon. Don't forget to read other sources of news. Any story can be twisted by only telling half of it or paraphrasing comments from officials.

A.:

Mark D wrote, "We need to get rid of the fools with empirical minds."

I do not think that word, empirical, means what you think it means. However, I agree with your comments on Blackwater. The blank check and "get out of jail free card" they've been given is unacceptable. Maybe Condi Rice should forget about bowling over the Czech's and focus on the military contractor issues.

Bruce:

Ms. Kuchtova implies her position as the will of the Czech people, but they are clearly the unbalanced view of a minority left. As a former US military officer, I had the good fortune to serve three years at NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium. On the basis of my close professional and personal interactions with colleagues from all NATO Nations, to include both Poland and Czech Republic, they remember very well who stood bye them through the Cold War (i.e. - the US). Their national positions were therefore largely inline and/or complementative to our own. I think the lessons learned from the Cold War by my former NATO colleagues are already lost by Ms. Kuchtova et al that share her position in the government split on this issue.

J. Paul:

I wish I knew all the inside information so I could make a resonable "for or against" determination, even though I don't have a vote in this, neither does the Czech people. If the Bush adminstration wasn't so secretive about this, then maybe we'd understand the importance of this project.

Gerald Kaiser:

The various proposed schemes for missile defense have been studied thoroughly by the American Physical Society, under DoD authorization, and found completely ineffective; see

http://www.aps.org/about/pressreleases/boosts2.cfm

In fact, the idea has already done considerable harm by seriously rupturing relations with Russia (abandonment of ABM treaty, proposed radar installations in Poland, etc.) at a time when they could have improved, and will simply encourage other countries to build more missiles. Basically, it's a jobs program for the defense industry!

In retrospect, the only benefit of Reagan's Star Wars was to bankrupt the Soviet Union. This time, we'll only bankrupt ourselves and our allies at a critical time when the entire planet is in peril.

jodavwel:

To the great Czech Republic: Just say "No".

Cam:

The Installations will go ahead no matter what, that's why there was no referendum. My question is what does the U.S. know about Russia that we don't? Such "defenses" seem unnecessary.

RaferJanders:

Anyone remember "Star Wars" not the movie, I would seem this some move to box in the Russians, The Russians are stupid they see that too, As for Condi, Steve Earl has a great song about this hot Nubian Princess, She is smoking, and her shoes mmm mmm mmm.

Delete France:

The author of this editorial is RUSSIAN? There is your answer right there. Is the Washington Post is posting enemy propaganda?

RaferJanders:

Anyone remember "Star Wars" not the movie, I would seem this some move to box in the Russians, The Russians are stupid they see that too, As for Condi, Steve Earl has a great song about this hot Nubian Princess, She is smoking, and her shoes mmm mmm mmm.

Just a Thought:

This defense plant is a giant waste of time and money based on an old concept which was a bluff a.k.a the star wars program.

Why would a terrorist launch a missle? Seems like a very advanced way to blow up a nuc...if I had to bet, someone would walk it in...

Delete France:

Gee, maybe it has something to do with the Russian link to Islamic terrorism? Their ties with Iran? The Soviet defectors that testified in front of congress claiming that Russian espionage increased after the 'fall' of the Soviet Union, so that they can destroy the USA.

Their goal is to get the USA involved in MUSLIM conflicts around the world so we are spread out and broken financially? AND don't tell me about Russia's Muslim problem, because that is deception too. The American liberal is the enemy within and this editorial is just more proof.

Ondřej Čertík:

> But Czechs want no part of it.

I am Czech and I want the radar. I am glad we are finally out of the Russian hegemony. Our president has summarized the issue really well here:

http://www.washtimes.com/news/2008/may/29/klaus-russian-opposition-boosts-missile-plan/

"That's our message now to Russia" on the missile defense debate, he said. "It's our business."

GT:

The Czech government is doing exactly what the US government does when the people disagree, they do it anyway or use fear to twist arms to get enough power to do it.

MarkD:

We have sold ourselves to the military industrial complex all in the name of security as a result we are going broke.

We need to get rid of the fools with empirical minds.

Someone in the press needs to ask Mr Obama if there will be room for Blackwater in an Obama administration.

rb :

if they do not want it
do not install it................

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.