Does anyone remember the Cold War?
The year is 1968–I was on my first tour of duty in Vietnam (9th Inf Div, Mekong Delta) and another event was taking place……the Prague Spring as the MSM had labelled it….
In 1968, with their political, economic and social problems reaching critical mass, the communist party of Czechoslovakia replaced Novotny as Party Leader with Alexander Dubcek. Dubcek pushed practical reforms across the board, not only for Czechoslovakia but for the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet answer to NATO) as well. Dubcek’s reforms would, as he put it, put “a human face” on socialism. He established “a humanistic socialist democracy which would guarantee, among other things, freedom of religion, press, assembly, speech, and travel” Dubcek also pushed to improve relations with every nation in the world, regardless of the social and political affiliations; as a result, Dubcek’s popularity with the people of Czechoslovakia grew immensely. His popularity, however, did not extend to the other nations of the Warsaw Pact.
On the night of August 20, 1968, troops from Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, East Germany, and Poland occupied Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovakian government immediately declared that the “invasion was a violation of socialist principals, international law, and the United Nations Charter.” (1) During the occupation, those who initiated and supported the liberal reforms were forcibly removed to the Soviet Union in secrete and “were compelled to sign a treaty that provided for the “temporary stationing” of an unspecified number of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia.”1 On April 17th 1969, Dubcek was replaced as First Secretary by Gustav Husak and later was, along with many of his followers, stripped of party affiliation in a purge that slashed party membership by over a third.
You see Ducek had wanted to install more democracy and some economic reforms to his country…..the USSR took exception to these changes and invaded and occupied and the reforms died an instant death.
I bring this history lesson light because the democracy pendulum is beginning to swing again this time to the LEFT.
Prague in the Czech Republic is experiencing the swing….the Communists are making head way in the politics…..
When the United States, Britain and France bombed Syria earlier this month, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis showed support for his Western partners one day before rowing back the next.
The military strike turned from “inevitable” to an act described as changing nothing after Babis was rebuked by the far-left Communist party, showing the fine line the billionaire businessman is walking as he tries to form a government.
Babis is aiming for a pro-Western administration but political fragmentation in October’s election means he needs the pro-Russian Communist party to either support it or abstain, ending the party’s pariah status since communism fell in 1989.
Interesting how the political pendulum is swinging to the Left…..fascinating…….