(On the eve of the military convoy's drive-through)
Friends of Washington have begun labeling everyone who disagrees with sanctions against Russia and with the one-sided view of events surrounding Ukraine a “useful servant” of the Kremlin. What will we call those who try to persuade us of the novel benefit of allowing a column of the American army to drive through our territory? The trip around Europe, nearly 2,000 kilometers from the maneuvers in the Baltic region, is supposedly a signal of NATO unity and support for anti-Russian forces.
Once again, we have the old and well-established American political practice abroad, which the Polish saying on the cleverness of “picking nettles with other people’s hands” fits precisely. Just as the U.S. won’t, as it were, get burned by the impact of sanctions against Russia, toward which it is constantly pushing the EU so that it can nimbly set up advantageous business deals for itself, so it is also to its advantage to provoke Russia by the actions of European countries. And so we willingly “go at those nettles.”
But it strikes me as quite alarming how, on the one hand, the ruling coalition plays at defending our national interests while on the other acting like a humble servant. What does it have in common with our national sovereignty when an American army document first announces that U.S. troops will drive through our republic fully armed, and only later does the Czech government discuss the matter? That someone cooked this up a long time ago and it comes out only after the information appears elsewhere? That is, to say the least, quirky behavior for a sovereign state.
And I haven’t spoken yet on how much this saber-rattling “graceful ride,”* ostentatiously named “Dragoon Ride,” is going to cost us. Furthermore, it will likely bring about an interesting traffic situation on our highways. Even more so since 18-ton armored transporters, normally hauled by rail, will be moving down the roads.
I rather doubt that such a “fearless signal” by our government will actually “intimidate” Moscow, but it will irk plenty of people here at home. …
*Translator’s note: Graceful ride refers to “spanilá jízda,” a conquering raid of 15th century Hussite armies outside their home territory of Bohemia.