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Vaclav Havel’s idea of telling the truth

Vaclav Havel’s idea of telling the truth
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First Published: Thu, Dec 22 2011. 10 58 PM IST

Jayachandran/Mint
Jayachandran/Mint
Updated: Thu, Dec 22 2011. 10 58 PM IST
As cosmic coincidences go, the deaths of Václav Havel and Kim Jong Il in the same week the US pulled the last of its troops out of Iraq are hard to ignore. Havel made the exposure of tyranny the great task of his life. Kim was tyranny personified. And the war in Iraq was the bruising leap over the wall of global indifference behind which all tyrannies subsist.
Jayachandran/Mint
The power of indifference is something I first understood from Havel himself after interviewing him, over a beer, in the gardens of Prague’s Czernin Palace. I asked him about his views on the war in Iraq. He had once supported it, but now he was more tentative. The rationale, he said, had not been “well-articulated.”
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Bret Stephens is a WSJ columnist
©2011/The WALL STREET JOURNAL
Edited excerpts. Comments are welcome at otherviews@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, Dec 22 2011. 10 58 PM IST
More Topics: Bret Stephens | Vclav Havel | Kim Jong Il | US | Iraq |