Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vaclav Havel: The Foreign Policy Interview

MC is fond of Vaclavs: Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus. Click on the title of this post to read a most interesting interview with Vaclav Havel. Google his name to learn about him if you don't know about him or who he is. Such people actually walked amongst us. And don't forget to Google Vaclav Klaus: a global warming skeptic of long standing. Those Czechs. MC found the following excerpt insightful:

FP: After President Obama's decision to postpone his meeting with the Dalai Lama, you said something to the effect that these small gestures seem harmless, but over time can have a powerful, cumulative effect. For the hardhearted realists, can you explain that effect?

Havel: We know this from our modern history. When [French Prime Minister Edouard] Daladier returned from the [1938] Munich conference, the whole nation was applauding him for saving the peace. He made a miniscule compromise in the interest of peace. But it was the beginning of a chain of evil that subsequently brought about many millions of deaths. We can't just say, "This is just a small compromise that can be overlooked. First we will go to China and then perhaps talk with the Dalai Lama." It all looks practical, pragmatic, logical, but it is necessary to think about whether it is not the first small compromise that can be the beginning of that long chain that is no good. In this case perhaps it will not be, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.

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