Well, it's good to see a good speech from Bush again. Many things closed in Prague today. Many people were ambivalent to say the least about his visit. Yet the speech he put forward managed to be eloquent, informed, flattering to his hosts, and honestly his own, as well as consistent with past messages.
On the other hand, what Bush doesn't seem to realise is that in the Czech Republic, even the dissidents were in some sense elite- educated, descendents of the affluent upper-middle class dispossessed by the Communists. Havel was a great example of that, if he could even be termed middle. His Grandfather built the Lantern theatre which Bush alludes to in his speech- a grand affair far from the ideals of the ordinary people. Havel was criticised too for having his head in the clouds, when president. People prefer the more bruising Klaus who isn't frightened to take on and slag off such luminaries as Al Gore. With Klaus there is content and courage, a recognition that flattery is no good and hard-headed decisions must prevail. With Bush there is courage, now and then, and content if you believe.
But believing oughtn't to be the condition for content where battling Islamofascism is concerned, and it's a problematic legacy if that becomes accepted wisdom.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007