26. 2. 2010
RSS backend
PDA verze
Čtěte Britské listy speciálně upravené pro vaše mobilní telefony a PDA
Celé vydání
Archiv vydání
Původní archiv


Vzkaz redakci


Britské listy

ISSN 1213-1792


Jan Čulík


Karel Dolejší


Michal Panoch, Jan Panoch

Grafický návrh:

Štěpán Kotrba

ISSN 1213-1792
deník o všem, o čem se v České republice příliš nemluví
13. 10. 2009

Ne Základnám and Moving the Goalposts

As a supporter of the Ne Základnám (No Bases) initiative during my brief stay in the Czech Republic this year, I have been reading with interest the ongoing debate that has featured in Britské listy concerning the effectiveness of the organisation in achieving its aims and broadening out of the ‘Czech Sphere’ into the international community.

A Czech version of this article is in CLICK HERE

The problem therein concerns the latter objective which any movement in Czech civil society needs to deal with, divorcing itself from organisational constraints of the past (the dissident movement within the regime), the border, and being able to branch out effectively. On this point, Čulík is right in his controversial articles of late – yes, the No Bases initiative has been featured in several international newspapers and outlets, but no, it has not had any lasting effect in penetrating the conscience of the international community at large.

We need to understand, and quickly, how essential it is to build a broad international movement when challenging the monolith that is American imperialism. It is all well and good having relative shows of strength when Obama is speaking in Prague, and when there are rallies in Wenceslas Square, but are these demonstrations really reaching further than a couple of condescending articles in the middle pages of DNES?

I think this is made clear on Ne Základnám’s website itself in a recent article by Jana Glivická, where she rightly observes that recent reshuffles in US foreign policy do not mean “the end of US anti-missile defence projects; discussion has already started about alternatives to the radar in the Czech Republic and to the missiles in Poland”.

Is it really good enough, however, to enforce international links by briefly mentioning the Polish campaign? Are we as a movement really being effective by stating Slovakia and Austria’s opposition to the radar and missile bases, yet resting on laurels without pursuing these avenues into the greater Europe? Where are the journal articles in Western newspapers capitalising on the news space created by international mass-interest in President Obama’s foreign policy?

These are just a few of the contradictions that have surfaced in the past months and in my view, stop Ne Základnám from becoming an effective force. With Russia seeking clarifications on the true purpose of the bases and missiles, to the point that it is one of the priorities it will be pursuing in talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, it is disappointing that Czech (and, in fairness, Polish) people’s concerns will hardly, if at all, be mentioned. I don’t see the point of waiting for a US “offer” to respond to the Czech Republic, as Štepán Steiger suggests: this is not the immediate priority of the administration, and nor will it be until a new and elected Czech Parlament is seated. Instead, we have to ask ourselves why we have not forced our way onto the agenda.

For me, this is all about the direction of the grassroots. Ne Základnám should be congratulated in many regards for mobilisations in difficult circumstances (I am of course talking about having a rally and march on the same day as Obama comes to Prague), the priority now is to think on an international level. This demo also happened to coincide with a mass movement of progressives from all over Europe in the anti-globalisation demonstrations in Strasbourg – we should have had someone there for the summit. Ne Základnám may or may not have links with organisations in Central Europe but what about exploring the possibilities of tapping into Western European broad-based initiatives? The organisation has a large amount of talented writers, and links which can be put to good use – let’s take advantage of the talks with Iran and how this weakens the rationale of radar basis with a widely-available, press release in languages such as English, German and French. In recent months has there event been any attempts to contact foreign news outlets for interviews? During this crucial time we need much more effective responses than a brief statement proclaiming a premature victory.

Furthermore, questions need to be asked concerning the “referendum” petitions seen on most Ne Základnám stalls and marches: do we regard these as a tool in building up pressure, or a conversation point aimed at bringing more people into the organisation? I myself have heard nothing about what happens to these signatures once they have been signed, and surely it is time to start compiling these into something which can be presented. Extra weight would be added if we branched out these petitions past the Czech national border, in the same way that other civil society groups have done effectively in the past concerning human rights issues.

I think it takes a certain amount of naiveté for some activists and commentators to suggest that “we are winning” and that the “citizen’s resistance” has the entire radar plan on the rocks. If anything, the biggest battles are ahead: this is not a US u-turn as much as it is a different implementation of foreign policy by a new Presidency in its infancy. There should be no doubt that these debates will be more frequent and more serious in the future, and these will go on far outside the borders of the Czech Republic and Poland. The point is, however, that we become a part of them; and this simply won’t happen if Ne Základnám degenerates further into the culture of backslapping and does not seriously examine its tactics. Sentimentality will not stop bases being built – but an effective mass movement that can carry the message will.

Obsah vydání       26. 2. 2010
26. 2. 2010 Martin Myant: The future of the Czech economy doesn't need to be bleak
24. 2. 2010 The Impenetrable Walls of a Shameful Silence - Our media ad usum delphini? Karel  Dolejší
24. 2. 2010 Why the Czech media does not have great journalistic personas? Ivo  Šebestík
24. 2. 2010 Problems of Czech citizens on the border with Germany or are we not part of Schengen? Daniel  Strož
24. 2. 2010 We will have ethnic conflicts in Czech Republic Štěpán  Steiger
24. 2. 2010 Czech Telegraph Fabiano  Golgo
24. 2. 2010 For This Time... Pavel  Kopecký
24. 2. 2010 Has the Czech Science Academy succumbed to the government's pressure? Štěpán  Kotrba
24. 2. 2010 Czechs Flooding Polish Pharmacies to Acquire Pseudoephedrine Drugs
5. 2. 2010 Michael Moore's films "will not be allowed to irritate US tourists in Prague"
2. 2. 2010 Czech electricity supplier blackmails consumers using a combat unit
2. 2. 2010 The global economic crisis and the future of "remainder democracy" Karel  Dolejší
27. 1. 2010 There is no difference between current Czech politicians and the politicians of the communist era, says an opinion poll
25. 1. 2010 Czech culture in the current issue of the Edinburgh Review
25. 1. 2010 What is the Czech Republic about? Jan  Čulík
20. 1. 2010 Prostitution and human trafficking in the Czech Republic? Karel  Dolejší
11. 1. 2010 Czech Wikipedia is not impartial Fabiano  Golgo
29. 12. 2009 How the Czech internet daily Britské listy has become a slave to T-mobile Czech Republic
23. 12. 2009 Christmas, manipulation and the society of the “unknown others” Bohumil  Kartous
19. 12. 2009 Planet Earth, PLC Karel  Dolejší
8. 12. 2009 Prague firm BNV Consulting talks of sacking employees in its Christmas party invitation
4. 12. 2009 Employees in the Hyundai plant in the Czech Republic strike against inhuman working conditions Aleš  Uhlíř
24. 11. 2009 Baroness Ashton "took Soviet money"
5. 11. 2009 "Small country" complex: stop telling Klaus not to bother the EU Fabiano  Golgo
29. 10. 2009 Czech Consul General in Los Angeles criticises "anti-Czechoslovak book"
23. 10. 2009 Jan Fischer, Head of Czech caretaker government, commits the Czech Republic to the US missile base system without having a political mandate Karel  Dolejší
12. 10. 2009 Moscow asks for clarification of the new anti-missile defence configuration Karel  Dolejší
13. 10. 2009 Ne Základnám and Moving the Goalposts Sam Graeme Beaton
12. 10. 2009 Where is the problem of the Charter of Fundamental Rights Jana  Bobošíková
9. 10. 2009 Prague firm humiliates Romanies
23. 9. 2009 How deposed president Zelaya got inside the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras Fabiano  Golgo
19. 9. 2009 Obama's new anti-missile project will destabilise the international security system Karel  Dolejší
17. 9. 2009 The United States "to scrap the East European anti-missile project" Jan  Čulík
15. 9. 2009 The Czech general election "won't take place until spring 2010"
14. 9. 2009 A night in the police cells in Prague Olivie  Brabcová
14. 9. 2009 Czech police has dropped the charges against the apprehended journalist
13. 9. 2009 Czech police arrests a journalist Štěpán  Kotrba
10. 9. 2009 Czech Constitution Court has cancelled the early election
7. 9. 2009 International corporations are being subsidised from public resources Jan  Matonoha
8. 9. 2009 Czech Republic has given a suspended sentence to an internet journalist for "denying the holocaust" Jan  Čulík
2. 9. 2009 The Czech general election "may not take place in October" Jan  Čulík
7. 9. 2009 Václav Havel's Disharmony and his Politics of a Cosmic Order Michael  Hauser
7. 9. 2009 Hauser doesn't know what he is talking about Karel  Dolejší
2. 9. 2009 The Czech Republic as a Paedophile Paradise Věra  Říhová
23. 7. 2009 Chief Executive of Czech Public Service Radio has been dismissed
17. 7. 2009 Havel, Schwarzenberg and other East European politicians: Why did they write to Obama? Karel  Dolejší
18. 7. 2009 Are Brzeziński and Carter "anti-American extremists"? Karel  Dolejší
8. 6. 2009 The process which turned Milan Kundera into an informer Jakub  Češka
6. 3. 2009 The Crisis of Czech Literature Štefan  Švec
13. 7. 2009 Von Trier's test Ema  Čulík
10. 7. 2009 Cold Souls is cold and soulless Ema  Čulík
9. 7. 2009 An Attack On the Heart Ema  Čulík
7. 7. 2009 Another half-baked delight from the Czech film bakeries Ema  Čulík
24. 3. 2009 An "old" and a "young" view of the contemporary Czech Republic David  McCallum
5. 7. 2009 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly... Ema  Čulík
1. 2. 2009 Resources in English on Czech film, literature and politics
15. 2. 2009 More Czech resources in English
11. 12. 2008 On Russia and Chechnia John  Dunn
23. 12. 2008 Miloš Pick: When Credit Crunch Becomes Capitalism Crisis Miloš  Pick
22. 12. 2008 Miloš Pick: Prague Spring versus the 1990s Miloš  Pick
14. 8. 2009 Chavez and his religious followers Fabiano  Golgo
23. 3. 2009 Miloš Pick: Can Obama lead the world out of the crisis? Miloš  Pick
27. 11. 2008 President Obama's Foreign Policy: The Change We Really Want? Joanne  Landy

Americká protiraketová základna v České republice RSS 2.0      Historie >
17. 12. 2009 Japonsko zastavuje investice do protiraketové obrany   
4. 12. 2009 Podpis nové rusko-americké smlouvy o strategických zbraních v prvním termínu je již prakticky vyloučen   
3. 12. 2009 Otevřený dopis hnutí Ne základnám premiéru Fischerovi   
4. 11. 2009 Čína radikálně mění postoj ke zbraním v kosmu Karel  Dolejší
30. 10. 2009 Odpovědi vcítěného totalitáře Pavel  Urban
29. 10. 2009 O vciťování totalitářů do velmoci Karel  Dolejší
26. 10. 2009 Jděte domů, pane Fischere Soňa  Hromátková
26. 10. 2009 O povinném obdivu k sovětské vši Karel  Dolejší
23. 10. 2009 BL lžou: Měl snad Fischer protiraketový projekt odmítnout?   
23. 10. 2009 Rusko přijalo zesílenou verzi Bushovy doktríny   
23. 10. 2009 ČR je "připravena podílet se na novém obranném štítu"   
23. 10. 2009 Jan Fischer ztratil morální právo vystupovat jako premiér této země Karel  Dolejší
23. 10. 2009 Ať se pan Fischer vyjádří   
23. 10. 2009 Jan Fischer, Head of Czech caretaker government, commits the Czech Republic to the US missile base system without having a political mandate Karel  Dolejší
22. 10. 2009 Ne základnám připravuje Joeovi Bidenovi demonstraci