THE ROW over a recent report in Jane's Intelligence Digest alleging dark deeds involving the SIS, the secret service officially and charmingly called the Slovak Information Service, reveals how Slovakia can be seen through the critical eyes of outsiders.
The Prague-based reporter for Jane's says his story of illegal arms deals and cohabiting with the Russian secret services is true, of course, and his editors in London stand by him. The Czech security services have also been accused by Jane's of over-friendliness to the Russians, a fact that could endanger NATO relations, the journal claims.
Sixty-four years ago Britain's prime minister remarked from London that then Czechoslovakia was "a faraway country", and the Sudeten problem "a quarrel... between people of whom we know nothing." Years on from Chamberlain's observation, and in somewhat different circumstances, it is tempting to think that the same may hold true today.
Distance and indifference notwithstanding, the truth should be paramount.
27. Jan 2003 at 0:00