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“Dasa, she is worth 2 F-18s on her own” (Havel)

The tribute to President Havel at the Prague summit. From left to right: Jacques Chirac, Lord Robertson (SG of NATO), Vaclav Havel, Dagmar (Dasa) Havel (Credit: NATO, November 2002)

(BRUSSELS2) At the festival “The best of Visegrad films“, I was able to see the documentary film (*) on Vaclav Havel (who remains, in my opinion, one of the most captivating European leaders of the last twenty years).

This documentary allows us to better understand the position of the Czech president (and several of his Eastern European counterparts) in favor of integration into the Atlantic Alliance, which symbolizes both openness to the free world, rapprochement with the United States and security in the face of a possible Russian return.

There is a spicy and symbolic detail at the same time. It was on the plane that brought him back from the NATO summit in Washington (1999), which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the organization and saw the integration of the Czech Republic into the Alliance, that Vaclav Havel to this sentence. The Czech Republic was chosen to host the next Alliance summit (in 2002). And for " neutralize » President Chirac, who horrifies him with his “ anti-americanism », Vaclav Havel, never short of humor, has this phrase. “ The Alliance decided to use Dasa as a weapon against French anti-Americanism. It's worth 2 F-18s alone. They always put Dasa (aka Dagmar Veskrnova, Havel's wife) next to Chirac. And he flirts with her. He is French after all. And he forget to grumble at the Americans ". The good old method will be reused in Prague, at the Alliance summit in 2002. Dasa will be present next to Chirac, apparently delighted. Czech charm is “real” soft power!

Watch this excerpt from the film Ob?an Havel (Citizen Havel) by Pavel Koutecky? and Miroslav Janek:

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

One thought on ““Dasa, she is worth 2 F-18s on her own” (Havel)"

  • In this, at least, our presidents have always looked alike, from VGE to Mitterrand, from Chirac to Sarkozy...

    But who will blame them… “that's France”!

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