Czech Republic Protests Against Bush Plan Grows

The plan of President Bush to establish supposed anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic have not only antagonized Russia, but drawn strong opposition from within the Czech community. There weeks after launching an internationally publicized hunger strike in protest against the bases, Jan Tomas and Jan Bednar are now organizing a national movement to urge the Czech parliament to vote down the government’s proposal to allow missile bases on their territory. In an indication there was division within the government about the bases, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg met with the dissidents.

President Vaclav Klaus supports the proposed bases but even he admits there is strong opposition to the idea within parliament. Opposition is very strong in areas where the base will be built since many fear angering their Russian neighbors for no apparent justifiable reason.

Hopefully, a new president in January would make among his initial actions the decision to suspend construction of bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. That would send a message of conciliation to President Medvedev of Russia and hopefully open the door to greater cooperation between the nations of Russia and the United States.