User Profile: Mark Nuckols
This user has submitted 118 translations to Watching America.
It’s high time we face up to the notion that the main battle over Euro-American space is taking place inside individual countries. [Read more]
Every country determines its own principals for granting citizenship. But the subject of immigration is more consequential. [Read more]
The lesson is clear: It’s good to be ahead of public opinion, but you can’t push for change too forcefully. The reaction may be even worse than the original state of things. [Read more]
One practically wants to cry out: If not Mattis, who; if not now, when?
If Trump doesn’t give a damn about geopolitics and conducts transactions like a merchant, then we have to ask ourselves: What next? [Read more]
McCain’s conviction that, with concrete as well as general political issues, the other party is not a “tribal” enemy to be stomped into the ground, but someone with whom he could reach agreement for the sake of the common good ... will be symbolically lowered into the grave this weekend. [Read more]
As much as it may be a bold and praiseworthy idea on the surface ... the idea of a MESA military alliance against Iran, with the participation of the U.S., is as practical as teaching eggs to fly. The idea is also bold, potentially useful, but at the same time impractically idiotic. [Read more]
It’s a vision of a Europe that increasingly differs on matters of principle not only with America, but with the Anglo-Saxon world more generally. [Read more]
Democrats shouldn’t talk about impeachment ... At the moment, Trump’s inability to shut up totally suffices. [Read more]
[F]locks of emotionally repressed Trump-bashers are waiting for the opportunity to disparage and ridicule the president. [Read more]
Modern technologies have one huge advantage: most people find them abstruse and perplexing and readily believe any self-appointed expert that comes along. When electricity was discovered in the next-to-last century, it quickly became a freak show attraction, and people even attended electric chair executions. Just as [Read more]
The American side acceded to the Russian concept of “double truth,” avoided controversy, and thus did not negotiate anything substantive. [Read more]
NATO and U.S. troops in the Baltics today are an immense threat, and all who care about peace and positive hopes for the future would do well to realize that. [Read more]
You can shoot missiles at a sovereign foreign territory all you want but you still won’t prevent your own country from rotting from within. [Read more]
And what about your parents, children, what’s their situation? Do they speak with their neighbors, and do they yet feel at all at home, like they would in their own country? [Read more]
A quiet (thus far) civil war is underway in America. [Read more]
Are you familiar with the story of Wyatt Earp and the movie version? Probably so. It’s the most iconic shootout in the history of the American West. But in reality, that pistol fight at the O.K. Corral in October 1881 lasted 30 seconds and claimed only three lives. Many might say that such a shooting today wouldn’t [Read more]
As a candidate, Trump used Bannon as long as it worked. As president, when he no longer needed him ... he simply got rid of him. [Read more]
<i>The television debate referenced below took place during the November visit of Czech Premier Milos Zeman to Sochi, Moscow and Yekaterinburg. The current interviewee, Doubrava, is a senator for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia; his opponent in the debate was Frantisek Bublan of the Czech Party of Social [Read more]
There is no holier city for Jews, Christians and Muslims, i.e., for a dominant portion of the planet, than Jerusalem, whose praises have been sung of old. Jesus rose from the dead there, the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven for a time, and Jews can pray at the Wailing Wall – places where the Lord dwells.
Trump’s journey to Asia, his most important foreign policy act since taking office, has generally been rated a fiasco. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman expressed it most colorfully in an article headlined: "China Could Sell Trump the Brooklyn Bridge." Translated into the Czech context, where that assessment [Read more]
Isn’t there less butchery of the kind that took place in Las Vegas on our continent precisely because the sale of weapons is much more strictly regulated?
Kim Jong Un enjoys the luxury of presenting to the world, day after day, the existence of a land that, no matter how small, poor and ostracized, is still capable of standing up to the superpower. [Read more]
The coal industry decline on the one hand and the development of renewables on the other will ... march onward — to the beat of business. [Read more]
The American president is a politician who doesn’t try to persuade anyone. If there exists in his view of the world any personality whom it makes sense to persuade, that person is he himself. And as long as he persuades himself of anything, he regards it as an axiom, which it is not then necessary to prove, give [Read more]
Even eight purported transplants couldn’t guarantee Rockefeller had a heart. The death of the world’s oldest billionaire on March 20 has been widely commented on in social media, with undisguised sarcasm and delight – even with calculated reference to fabricated reporting on a record number of operations.
“The world as we know it has ended,” comments Michale Žantovský, head of the Václav Havel Library, on Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.
Others also speak of change. “These elections weren’t at all about opinions. The people have shown that what matters to them is change in Washington,” is [Read more]
Miloš Zeman’s 1998-2002 term as prime minister didn’t amount to much. To tell the truth, his administration was one of the Czech Republic’s worst, but then again it didn’t differ fundamentally from other administrations in the region. It was led by a man who threatened to “bind party pamphlets to the skin of [Read more]
Thanks to 9/11, we know more about the world, but mainly about ourselves. [Read more]
[The Czech Republic] is where it’s necessary to duly sow, even without the local compliance of the population, the American “cuckoo method” of democracy. [Read more]
A couple of weeks ago, I received a surprisingly long email from American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, one of whose statements on dissidents two years ago stirred up a fuss. He was reacting by email to my request for an interview on Václav Havel, and East European dissent in the late socialist period [Read more]
In recent days, news has surfaced that a request for permission by the U.S. Army to fly pilotless aircraft, which can be as large as cargo planes, has been awaiting our reply for two months already.
Czech officials apparently don’t consider it necessary to inform the public about such things. Now there’s been a [Read more]
<i>People in Washington reacted with concern to Brexit. Relations with Great Britain, as well as with the European Union, will be more complicated for the U.S. In domestic politics, the decision of the British could indeed benefit one person.</i>
Reactions in the U.S. can be summarized with one question: What does [Read more]
It’s very disturbing how, in the longest-standing continuous democracy in the world, they can’t overcome this gulf in opinion. [Read more]
<i>Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton finally confirmed in recent days that which Donald Trump has spoken of openly for months and what Americans have been thinking for years. The official allies of the U.S. – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar – support and finance various terrorist and extremist [Read more]
The more American tanks there are peacefully rolling by in the Czech Republic, the lower the likelihood that Russian tanks will rumble around shooting at us. [Read more]
Who would you entrust with the suitcase containing the codes to nuclear weapons? [Read more]
Scalia always judged that the Constitution had been laid down once and for all and could not be adapted to momentary demands. [Read more]
Where’s the hope and change that many in the U.S. call for every time some crazy gunman strikes? [Read more]
At Friday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest stood with a rather unusual guard behind him: two storm troopers, the iconic soldiers of the Galactic Empire. The gag for journalists reinforced the notion that the new “Star Wars” movie is a cultural phenomenon and most probably will be the [Read more]
Insiders realize that if Trump were indeed to win the nomination, it would be the end of the Republicans as a serious party. [Read more]
“What’s good for GM is good for America,” is the twisted phrase of Charles E. Wilson, whom Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated as defense secretary in 1953.*
Before that, as you might guess, he’d been general director of General Motors, the largest automobile maker, from its founding in 1908 until its bankruptcy [Read more]
It is inconceivable to accept a mere apology and a situation unchanged because the culprit is a state that poses as the defender of democracy and civilization.
Republicans, and along with them all of America, are struggling with an eccentric billionaire’s populism, whose magic seems invincible. [Read more]
What if Rachel is part of a much broader American mosaic? Of confusion not just in bloodlines, but even in personal identification? [Read more]
Those who think in terms of 'eavesdropping = Orwell = evil,' find the idea unacceptable. But they offer no effective alternative. [Read more]
Then-European Commission President Manuel Barroso bit off more than he could chew when he declared in January 2013 that he wanted to have the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and EU wrapped up within two years. That was unrealistic, and gave opponents the opportunity to argue that [Read more]
No breakthrough in negotiations can take place; in these Olympic games, diplomacy doesn’t even have a shot at the bronze. [Read more]
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? [Read more]
There are simply two sides to every luxury. Do we want an army of our own that enables us to demonstrate force — and do we have the money for it?
It's precisely an American base, of which Rep. Foldyna is afraid, that would be an insurance policy that tanks from the East never again reach Czech land. [Read more]
For black viewers, Cosby became an example of possible success in life and career; for whites he was proof that they no longer had to feel guilty about the scars of slavery and persistent racism. [Read more]
The nighttime State of the Union address was more a report on a self-confident president who has decided to predetermine the agenda of 2016’s White House contest. [Read more]
But as we know, strong leaders feel better in unfavorable circumstances, when they can fully demonstrate their abilities. [Read more]
It may be just an advertising trick, or it may be totally true that the McDonald’s logo, that big yellow M, is a better known symbol worldwide than the cross. It wouldn’t be surprising from a firm that has 35,000 outlets in nearly 120 countries. The McDonald’s brand has also become a symbol of globalization, and [Read more]
There is only one truth — ours. Western media, by comparison, continuously examine whether information is balanced, whether or not they’re not succumbing to the propaganda of politicians, whether they’re properly fulfilling their role as the watchdogs of democracy. [Read more]
Representatives of NATO, the largest military block—as they themselves refer to it; an aggressive pact, which normally gets hushed up, but is apparent from its activities—held a session late last week. Secretary General Rasmussen, who through his appearance and behavior makes known that he is no nice, fairy-tale [Read more]
The United States’ sudden introduction of national (and, because of the global character of American business, essentially global) sanctions against Iran — markedly more painful that the symbolic sanctions of the U.N. Security Council — elicits the sensation of being on the threshold of war.
In like manner, in [Read more]
The Russian-American spy affair is a mix of genres bordering on reality show, Bond flick and soap opera. The tale of the beautiful Chapman, letters written in invisible ink, money buried in the ground, exposure and finally exchange — a happy ending…
The dizzying speed with which Moscow and Washington agreed on the [Read more]
In April, he visited us, the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Logar, Afghanistan. The man at whom the whole world is gazing now conducted himself naturally and amiably, as if he did not have four stars on his epaulettes. He radiated natural authority.
He was extraordinary in that he unhesitatingly worked 18 [Read more]
Once again, a great variety of theories on the end of the American empire are turning up. [Read more]
The Republican revolt is an altogether American tradition. [Read more]
<i>The world leader in search engines has started up its advertising campaign.</i>
It has still not managed to threaten the dominant position of Seznam in the Czech Republic.
Google has attacked the Czech Internet. The world leader in search engines operates in 181 lands; thus far it is not number one in only five [Read more]
Was it better under Saddam Hussein or now?
For sixty years, the cliché held true in America that whenever the U.S. got stuck in a war, it was under Democratic presidents, whereas Republicans brought the soldiers home. Truman dragged America into Korea; Eisenhower ended that war. Kennedy and Johnson dragged America [Read more]
The critics have thus far been unsuccessful at finding a fitting analogy, but the message of the threat is clear: Any mosque or Islamic center whatsoever is a symbol of America’s enemies. [Read more]
Is the Obama administration a presage of the U.S.’s new role in the world? And does the tea party movement wish to resurrect something irretrievably dead?
American politics is distinguished by many characteristic traits, thanks to which the average European perceives it as peculiar, idealist and even downright [Read more]
America has given up its role as economic anchor.
When future historians try to date the fall of American dominance, November 2010 will be a hot candidate. The symbol of dominance was the exceptionality of the dollar. It was not a national currency, but an axis of worldwide financial stability. The dollar was the new [Read more]
We have (almost) a little period of peace following our elections. America’s elections are waiting for it. This coming Tuesday the entire lower chamber of Congress (House of Representatives) and roughly one-third of the upper chamber (Senate) will change. And two of today’s contributions to the newsstands of the [Read more]
<b>Focused on Brussels</b>
Last year in July, leading figures of Central Europe, among them former Czech president Václav Havel, sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing fears of Russian influence and calling on the American president not to “throw overboard” his allies in Central and Eastern Europe. [Read more]
American representative offices in China sent 5,000 secret dispatches published by WikiLeaks. Another 950 came from Hong Kong.
Some convey an altogether new view of Beijing’s policy on the Korean peninsula; at the same time, they accuse the communist government of organized attacks on government computers belonging [Read more]
Yesterday the entire advanced world recalled the hundredth anniversary of the birth of that great son of the American people, leader of the world middle class, actor, statesman and astrologer Ronald Wilson Reagan. His unsurpassed accomplishments in promoting the free market, the American lifestyle and Good over Evil [Read more]
In his State of the Union address, Barack Obama pointed to the looming possibility of the U.S. falling behind. Whereas it was a leader in the last century, it is now losing its position.
Innovation, education, infrastructure, competitiveness, the elimination of superfluous government offices, fiscal responsibility, [Read more]
Politicians have latched onto the threat of domestic terror attacks and are exploiting smoldering Islamophobia.
The Norwegian tragedy is resonating in the U.S. in the guise of a strange question: Should America fear domestic right-wing extremism or growing radicalism among American Muslims?
When America looks at [Read more]
The wave of criticism is already starting to sound in the United States. In part due to the prestigious Wall Street Journal’s shift to general news.
Rupert Murdoch will appear before British legislators to explain that he personally didn’t know about the corrupt practices of journalists of his London paper News of [Read more]
Readers of the Friday edition of “Audit” may have the feeling that the author has gone crazy. The thing is that I mentioned that Thursday’s data on new job creation by the American private sector is altogether encouraging and if confirmed, may mean a turn in American economic development.
But even though the [Read more]
The space shuttle program has exhausted its possibilities after 30 years, and there are plenty of economic and scientific arguments for its termination. The end of shuttle flights is surely a metaphor for the present reality of an America looking inward toward the depths of its budget and into the abyss of its debts [Read more]
The question is to what extent Obama will manage to convince the public that he’s the one to raise America up, and to what extent Americans will believe him. [Read more]
It is perhaps very surprising, but the Americans have taken aim once again at al-Qaida’s leader. [Read more]
Speculation arose about a month ago on the possibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming the next permanent chairman of the European Union, the so-called president of the E.U. Now, a likely rival has been found in former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. What else has happened in the EU in the past week? There was [Read more]
The head of Czech diplomacy will meet with his American counterpart Hillary Clinton on his U.S. tour. He intends to advocate changes in the mutual agreement on investment protection, which is unfavorably structured for the Czech Republic.
One of the most important points of today’s talks between Czech foreign [Read more]
<b>After just one weekend, the Peter Nikolaev film has 50,000 viewers to its credit and is confidently dominating the box office charts. Distributors in the U.S., Asia and Israel have expressed interest in “Lidice” as well. </b>
Producer Adam Dvořák can finally take it easy after weeks of troublesome, [Read more]
Barack Obama has been to Prague twice, but he arrives in Warsaw today for the first time. No matter how important his visits on the Vltava, however, their theme was neither Prague, nor the Czech Republic, nor Central Europe, but rather Obama’s agenda of global nuclear disarmament.
Prague was an honorary stage, but [Read more]
In Europe we’re still haggling over the future of the Euro zone and the entire European Union. The American media are clear about that. The EU is “down and out,” exhausted from its current problems, and in its present form has no chance of survival. Many of these arguments sound like stereotypes. [Read more]
With the words “Yes, we can!” Barack Obama announced a new era. Now it is really here, but not the way he imagined it. Standard & Poor’s has taken its AAA rating away from the United States.
For the first time in history, America has ceased to be the world’s most reliable debtor, and the global economy has [Read more]
I don’t know how to put the diagnosis any more courteously, but the West has lost its mind since Sept. 11, 2001. It ceased behaving rationally and allowed a man directing a jihadist group from his caves to derail it from the real challenges of the future. The West is paying for it and will do so for a long time. [Read more]
The middle class, the societal bread-winner, is disappearing like snow in the sunshine, while the domain of the imagination has exceeded all healthy limits: Marketing is everything, reality nothing. [Read more]
It is time for the relatively wealthy countries of Europe, joined together in NATO, to fend for themselves. But the economic crisis will push European governments to further cuts. Thus it is possible that America’s supposition of Europe’s inherent security and self-sufficiency is still premature. [Read more]
Reporters covering this year’s election season in America have found a new form of entertainment: the regular exchange of opinions by President Obama’s chief advisor David Axelrod and Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s advisor Eric Fehrnstrom on Twitter.
One of these exchanges began when Axelrod reacted in his [Read more]
When it comes to real-life problems with the high price of a key commodity, suddenly it’s the federal government that's supposed to solve the issue. [Read more]
The very existence of the meeting of North Korea’s vice foreign minister, Kim Kye Gwan, and U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies, who held Pyongyang-Washington consultations in Beijing as the heads of their countries’ respective delegations, signals a definite shift on the path to a [Read more]
For audiences in Czechoslovakia and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain, the [Voice of America] radio station was a glimmer of hope and support in the dim grayness of the communist regime. It continues to promote freedom, democracy and good radio journalism [Read more]
The global crisis has revealed the flaws of contemporary capitalism, in many ways formed from the mold of neoliberalism’s ideological canons professed and propagated by America. [Read more]
The decision of an American court, which sentenced Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison, has been called “unfounded” and “biased” in Moscow. Smolenskaya Square officials have promised to secure the repatriation of the Russian, declaring that the matter will become a priority in talks with Washington. Experts have [Read more]
U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul is amazed by the heating up of anti-Americanism in Russia. “To be honest, I was shocked with anti-Americanism and attacks on me personally. … However, we’ve been told that this is just a part of the presidential campaign.” And, he explained further, the U.S. will not return to [Read more]
As soon as reports came out about Barack Obama’s victory in the presidential race, American stock indexes began to fall.
That’s even how it was supposed to be; the re-elected president has long spoken of most stock speculators as “fat cats” and promised to moderate their appetites.
To the contrary, the [Read more]
The American president’s initiatives do not appear to be changes of principle in the U.S. position on the Afghanistan issue. They merely testify that the U.S. is approaching the concluding phase of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the preparation for which has been conducted by the current administration throughout [Read more]
Looking at American legislators we might occasionally get the same feeling as when we observe Czech lawmakers, namely that they are a strange bunch wrapped up in their own little world. But in one matter American congressmen are better: In the end, they didn’t include an initial proposal to increase their own [Read more]
“We’ll eat breakfast. Two minutes.”
My husband summons me in brilliant Czech to view the outcome of his weekend culinary endeavors. The language is very, very slowly but nevertheless seeping into the folds of his brain in spite of his obstinate effort not to learn the language of the land of milk, honey and [Read more]
If remaining regulations could be removed within the framework of an agreement on a free trade zone, economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic could increase by as much as two percent, according to some estimates. [Read more]
<b>Hillary Clinton pushes stalled cease-fire talks.</b>
The cease-fire agreement was supposed to go into force in Gaza in the early morning hours of Wednesday, as announced earlier by Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, whose representatives are playing a mediatory role in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, the [Read more]
When new leader Kim Jong Un came to power in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, hope began to bud that conditions on the Korean peninsula would improve. In spite of his young age, Kim Jong Un has managed to see the world and acquire a wide range of interests, so he should be able to set his country on the [Read more]
Ten years have passed since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Many in the U.S. today consider it a mistake that cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, of which billions were thrown straight out the window. Calculating the devastation the invasion caused Iraqis is impossible. As these lines are being written, the estimate of the [Read more]
<i>The latest survey of the Public Opinion Fund (FOM) shows that Russian citizens’ opinions of the U.S. have begun to worsen. It is also interesting that America evokes negative associations from 27 percent of respondents and positive associations from only 15 percent. Experts point out that the responses also give [Read more]
So, isn’t it about time to think of offering humanitarian aid to America, to those of its future citizens who face the prospect of a guilty conscience over the deeds of present-day leaders? [Read more]
Dear New Yorkers, wouldn't it be a shame for your wonderful city, where nearly 20 million people live and which has a GDP six times greater than the Czech Republic, to be led by a repeated liar, Carlos Danger? [Read more]
Espionage style is drifting from that of James Bond films to that of the famous French 'The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe' [Read more]
As the PRISM case in the U.S. shows, the main problem is monitoring the monitors. There are mistakes and excessive surveillance, but America is decidedly not Staasi-era East Germany or contemporary China. [Read more]
George Orwell, in his famous essay “Shooting an Elephant,” recalls his years spent in Burma, where, as an official of the colonial government, he shot to death a roaming male elephant, even though it posed no threat to its surroundings. So why did he shoot it? Because it was the thing to do. Local residents [Read more]
Apart from the most fantastic speculations and severe condemnations by self-appointed lay judges, concerning accusations that Woody Allen sexually abused his own stepdaughter, an array of sophisticated debates has arisen among intellectuals and connoisseurs of Allen’s work about whether they will be able — if the [Read more]
Actors who do not get big roles console themselves that there are no small ones. There are no small tasks, President Obama tried to convince listeners in this year’s State of the Union address last night. On the threshold of his sixth year in office, the president did not even pretend to expect any accommodation from [Read more]
Precisely because Kennedy’s presidency was so short and, regarding many of his plans, the story was never told to the end, everyone can read into him what they want to see. [Read more]
The managers of Fox News and CNN have evidently decided that world news is a money-loser, and therefore, dear viewers, we will no longer trouble you with that incomprehensible outside world. [Read more]
There is one basic difference compared to present-day Russia, and it’s sad when the “America’s no better than Putin” crowd doesn’t realize it. [Read more]
Is it really time to consign international law to the dustbin? Certainly not, unless you’re a war-gamer and survivalist, for whom peace seems boring. [Read more]
<i>The anti-missile umbrella, the missile defense system the U.S. had planned to install in the Czech Republic and Poland several years ago, was — according to claims at the time — to defend Europe and the U.S. from a possible intercontinental ballistic missile attack from hostile countries, as Iran is for [Read more]
The question is whether Europe is prepared to take on the responsibility — not just for itself, but above all, for the concerns in its neighborhood. The crisis in Ukraine may be, in this sense, a fundamental test. [Read more]