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Wednesday, April 16, 2003

This blog is almost reaching the point where I need both hands to count my readers! Steve Hercher weighs in here on the over-drawn Iraq-is-like-Eastern-Europe analogy (see my earlier comments).

About the only similarity I can find is the pace with which the respective regimes fell when finally pushed - in the same way a big old tree, rotted out and empty from the inside, goes over surprisingly easy.... [But] Rumsfeld may been more right than he knows in suggesting that looting occurred here too.... This country has undergone a 13-year long cycle of systematic looting of former state owned enterprises, banks, shell-game construction projects, investment funds, pension funds, and the outright theft of foreign investors' assets, and it's still going on strong.
Funny thing is, I actually did a Google search for "Eastern Europe 1989 looting" and all that came up were references to corruption.

If you're too lazy to click on that "strong," it's an article by Hana Lesenarova, one of my oldest and closest friends in Prague and arguably one of the best journalists in the country. (Note I said one of the best. I'm the best.) As head of the business section at Mlada Fronta Dnes, Hana's focus is systematic looting of former state owned enterprises, banks, shell-game construction projects, investment funds, pension funds, and outright theft of foreign investors' assets.

Old local joke from the swinging '90s: Why are so many Czech bankers taking up squash? Because you can play it in a jail cell.

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