Wolfowitz slams Czechs, CE states for Libyan stance

US neo-con Paul Wolfowitz tells ongoing Warsaw Pact conference in Prague that Central Europe should do more to help Libyan rebels

Foreign Affairs
Chris Johnstone | 27.06.2011
Former US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz

Former top ranking US defense and foreign policy figure Paul Wolfowitz has hit out at his own country and former Soviet satellite states in Central Europe — including the Czech Republic — for not doing more to help Libyan rebels fighting the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Speaking at a two-day conference in Prague to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the end of the Soviet led military alliance, the Warsaw Pact, the former US Deputy Secretary of Defense and ex-President of the World Bank said it was to be regretted that key countries have not come forward to recognize the rebels as the rightful government there.

“About 20 countries have recognized [them]. Unfortunately, the US has not done that and neither have the countries of the former Warsaw Pact … This is a step that could hasten end of the Gaddafi regime,” said Wolfowitz, who was Undersecretary of State for Defense from 1989 to 1993 during George H.W Bush’s presidential term. Wolfowitz said he hoped the countries of Central Europe ‘that experienced freedom 20 years ago will do more to help these Arabs.’

Wolfowitz said he hoped the countries of Central Europe “that experienced freedom 20 years ago will do more to help these Arabs.” He said the US and NATO was in danger of making the same mistake over Libya as it had in the early days of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, by preferring stability and the existing well-armed regime in power to the opposition, breakaway groups.

The US has so far refused to give full recognition to the interim rebel government in Libya, describing it only as a “legitimate and credible interlocutor of the Libyan people.” The center-right Czech government has looked at practical ways of helping the rebels but has stopped short of offering them recognition.

Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain are among the European countries that have come out and said that the Libyan National Transitional Council is the legitimate government in that country, which has been gripped by a civil war since February following an uprising against the regime in power for almost 42 years.

As well as the embarrassing challenge to the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, jointly hosting the “Europe – Whole and Free” conference, there were other attacks on current foreign policy from its past practitioners.

Unfulfilled work

Former West German State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jürgen Sudhoff said it was lamentable that the better relations with Russia had not been forged at the end of the Cold War and the “Common European Home’ spoken about by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had not been created. “Filling in the vacuum after the end of the Cold War has not been completed,” Sudhoff said.

A great opportunity to build better relations with Russia existed by trying to integrate Russia in plans for a new anti-missile defense system  being worked out by NATO,  the top German official between 1985 and 1991 said.

The Warsaw Pact was signed out of existence in Prague on July 1, 1991, drawing a line under its 36-year history. The then Czechoslovak President who had led the overthrow of the communist regime in his country, Václav Havel, said at the ceremony that it was poignant that the country that had been one of the Warsaw Pact’s biggest victims should host its dissolution.

Czechoslovakia was invaded by Warsaw Pact forced in August 1968 as Moscow moved to put an end to reforming moves by the communist government which it feared had got out of hand.

Havel had been due to speak at the conference but had to call off the engagement due to health reasons. 

Show comments


Czech Position values democratic discussion. Please respect the Terms of Service, which are intended to encourage correct and meaningful communications.

By entering your comment, you agree to these rules. We reserve the right to remove improper comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Wolfowitz should mind his own business

Wolfowitz should mind his own business. I tottaly agree with previous  comment. He made enough mess while being head World Bank instead doing his job. Same thing here. Instead doing his job, helping his children raise his grandchilds or something, he goes around world preaching goodwill doctrine. He should stay home, his time is over, he make enough mess with his friend G.W. Bush. This people just can get enough...Ever...

Wolfowitz should be arrested

The Czech republic should issue a warrant for the arrest of Wolfowitz for war crimes, not listen to his stupid comments.

The Libyian government has been invaded by foreign fighters who are armed to the teeth with nato weapons. They are not peaceful demonstrators. Peaceful demonstrators don't have surface to air missles.

The purpose of the US back armed coop is to overthrow the government and steal their oil and gold. This old trick of freedom won't work anymore. And the fact that Wolfowitz happens to be Jewish should not preclude him from being arrested should he arrive in the Czech Republic. He should be tried for war crimes in Iraq.

Hide comments

Popular content