We’re Targets – Yes, Us Too!

The dark blight of terror has now spread its shadow a bit further ’round the world, I’m sorry to report. This from the Czech newspaper Lidové noviny (Terrorist Attack Allegedly Threatens Slovakia): The government spokesman for the Slovak Republic, Vladimir Simko, recently announced on Slovak TV that Slovakia is the possible target of a future terrorist attack. It seems that the Slovak secret intelligence service (SIS) has caught wind of something; as Simko’s announcement put it, “During radio broadcasts in lands in the Near and Middle East there has appeared speculation according to which Slovakia was designated as a possible target for a terrorist attack.” Naturally, though, there was nothing picked up about an actual imminent strike; I daresay the entire conduct of the Slovak government would have been rather different if there had been.

The article then tries to plumb why it would be Slovakia, of all places, that could be in the terrorists’ sights. Oh yes, that would be because the Slovaks, obedient recent-inductees into NATO, sent forty of their soldiers to Afghanistan and about a hundred to Iraq, where they’re down south, at Hilla.

Somehow . . . I don’t think so. Slovakia’s a rather new country, you see – dates only from 1 January, 1993. It got its seat at the UN early-on, and by now it even has its seats at the EU and NATO. But, after those achievements, the Slovaks might better be advised to slow down a bit: some attributes of being a true international “player” you really don’t want. Personally, Slovakia is on my list of places to get away from all the terror and security hokum, to Bratislava or even to the picturesque Tatra mountains that form the country’s spine both in its geography and in its identity.

(But maybe not in the winter. Also from LN: Czech Tourist Dies in the Tatras, caught in winter storms. He was the eleventh Czech to die in those mountains this year. And, sensibly, looking at some Slovak papers – Sme and Pravda – they’re much more interested in the missing tourist in the Tatras than any alleged terrorist threats.)

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