Sunday, December 18, 2011

A great soul has crossed over to meet his Maker.

Vaclav Havel when he was a Czech dissident, persecuted by the communist regime.
Vaclav Havel is dead.
As the Washington Post reports:
Václav Havel, a Czech writer who was imprisoned by his country's former communist rulers, only to become a symbol of freedom and his nation's first president in the post-communist era, died Sunday morning at his weekened home in the Czech Republic, the Associated Press reports. He was 75. . .
Mr. Havel was a playwright by profession and a political activist by avocation. The two activities were complementary and each served to gain him a leading place among the dissidents of Eastern Europe who helped bring down the communist empire. His words and deeds resonated far beyond the borders of the former Czechoslovakia, and he was widely recognized for his struggles in behalf of democracy and human dignity.
After being unanimously elected president of Czechoslovakia by the newly free country's parliament in December 1989, Mr. Havel set the tone of the new era in a speech on Jan. 1, 1990, his first day in office. Communism, he said, was “a monstrous, ramshackle, stinking machine” whose worst legacy was not economic failure but a “spoiled moral environment.”
What Pravda-on-the-Potomac doesn't mention, at least in the part of the story that I can see, is that Havel was Europe's most prominent and insistent critic of Barack Obama's foreign policy, or lack thereof.
Vaclav Havel was, warts and and all, a great soul. Beaten and imprisoned, he never lost his humanity nor turned traitor to his principles. Nothing greater can be said of any man.


Dr.D said...

OT but I hope a treat for you


a Firefly fan film


Pericles said...

A great man with a moral compass that did not err.

SWIFT said...

Vaclav Havel had the most unenviable job in the world when he became the first president of the Czech Republic. After 45 years of communist tyranny, the people expected everything to be turned around overnight. I believe Mr.Havel, knowing the opportunity that faced the young Czech Republic's future, wanted to do things right. This of course required time, debate and thoughtful policy. So, he worked in an environment where even his supporters became critics. The exact same thing happened in Poland under Lech Walesa. The people wanted everything right now! I totally respect Mr. Havel for the courage it must have taken to give the new Republic a foundation for decent government. By the way, I foresee the exact same thing happening here after the coming civil war.

RegT said...

He was also one of the first political leaders to express skepticism of global warming, followed by Vaclav Klaus, the former Czech Prime Minister who wrote "Blue Planet in Green Shackles".