Vaclav Havel: We Have to Be Awake

By Levitin, Michael | Newsweek International, October 19, 2009 | Go to article overview

Vaclav Havel: We Have to Be Awake


Levitin, Michael, Newsweek International


Byline: Michael Levitin

Twenty years after he led the Velvet Revolution, paving the way for the rise of democracy in Eastern Europe, Vaclav Havel, a playwright and dissident who became free Czechoslovakia's first president, sat down in Berlin with NEWSWEEK's Michael Levitin to discuss fear of Russia, the importance of NATO, and why some of his countrymen still feel nostalgic for the communist era.

What do you make of Moscow's recent behavior toward Georgia and Ukraine? Should Eastern Europeans be alarmed by Russia's rise?

I think we have to be awake. Russia's current policy has greatly raised our attention, and I think there are some signs that Russia is trying to expand its influence in much more sophisticated ways than before.

Can you give some examples?

For instance, it's possible for them to shut down gas and oil pipelines, which has already happened. We also see ourselves being extorted by Russian companies that are buying into strategic Czech companies--Prague Ruzyne Airport is a good example, where Russian ownership of shares has grown to more than half. I don't want to be alarmist. I just say that we shouldn't be naive.

What do you expect from Washington? Would NATO expansion help?

The U.S. has long been enhancing Czech security, and it's NATO, much more than the EU, that is the real security anchor of the Czech Republic [and Eastern Europe]. The EU wouldn't have enlarged in 2004 if it hadn't been for the enlargement of NATO in 1999.

Do you think NATO should include Georgia and Ukraine?

NATO, like the EU, is based on certain values. But by the same token, both organizations need some geographical definition and they need to be aware of their geographical boundaries. In my opinion, this boundary goes along the western Russian border with Ukraine, Belarussia, etc.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Vaclav Havel: We Have to Be Awake
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.