published: 09.09.2013, 09:28 | updated: 09.09.2013 09:32:09
Prague - The Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) and the Party of Citizens´ Rights - the Zemanites (SPOZ) should defend the need of Czech active membership of the EU and NATO now that it has been sharply challenged by the Communists (KSCM) in connection with the Syrian events, Lukas Jelinek says in Pravo.
The KSCM toughened its position on Friday when it said that if an attack on Syria fails to be prevented, the KSCM will call on the Czech government to immediately take steps to terminate the Czech Republic´s membership of NATO, Jelinek recalls.
The KSCM needs to attract voters´ attention amid the strong competition on the left wing of the Czech scene. Most recently, it tried to do so by vowing to do its utmost to have the ongoing church restitution scrapped, Jelinek writes.
Now the KSCM has addressed its hard core of voters with a message concerning Prague´s Trans-Atlantic relations, he adds.
Foreign policy is usually on the margin of political parties´ interest. They focus on it only when a war breaks out and civilians start dying. This may happen in the Middle East soon, therefore it is necessary to watch what security recipes individual parties are proposing in this connection, Jelinek writes.
The easiest approach is to be sharply for or against, whatever the proposal in question may be, he says.
There are problems such as the Syrian crisis that have no simple solution. In such situations it is important to preserve the unity and action capability of the international community, Jelinek continues.
One of the frameworks is the consensus of the U.N. Security Council. For Czechs, the other important factor is the position of NATO and also the EU which is to become crucial for European defence in the future, Jelinek writes.
Withdrawing from somewhere or dissolving something amounts to fleeing away from troubles, which, however, is definitely no solution, he says.
The Czech government and President Milos Zeman know well that diplomacy is a sensitive area where the finest "watch-maker´s instruments" must be used. Zeman, who presents himself as a hawk and prefers resolute diplomatic steps, has taken a cautious stand on the Syrian case, as has the Czech caretaker cabinet, Jelinek writes.
Their caution probably stems from the fact that the Syrian rebels are Islamists whom the world may consider a bigger risk than the Bashar Assad regime, Jelinek writes.
After all, even Washington has indicated that though the USA prefers a military intervention, it is not happy about it for external, domestic as well as economic reasons. It is not by sheer coincidence that under Barack Obama, who is more prudent than George W. Bush, the USA prefers seeking consensus to rattling its sabre, Jelinek writes.
For a country of the Czech Republic´s size and geographic location, allied ties are crucially important, mainly in terms of security, he continues.
Now and then the Czechs can afford to make a moral appeal such as former president Vaclav Havel used to make, but the Alpha and Omega is their capability of communicating with partners. A large part of the Czech left-wing electorate realise this, however fed up with some aspects of European arrogance they may be, Jelinek writes.
The KSCM´s approach addresses voters with an isolationist thinking and also those who are eyeing cooperation with the former Big Brother (Russia). It will be the task for the CSSD and also the [smaller leftist] SPOZ - if they mean their participation in the political competition seriously - to defend and highlight the need of the Czech Republic´s active membership of the EU and NATO, Jelinek points out.
By the way, this is one of the reasons why a joint government of the CSSD and the KSCM is hard to imagine. The two parties undoubtedly share their view on welfare policy. However, the CSSD´s pledge to secure a well-functioning state should also apply to securing the Czech nation´s survival, Jelinek writes.
The voters, scared by the [right wing´s] assertion that the left, in case of its election victory, would lead the country from the West to the East, deserves the [left´s] message [in support of Czech EU, NATO membership], Jelinek concludes.
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