As many I was deeply shocked by the tragedy that occurred in Boston earlier this month. It was a stark reminder of the fact that any of us could be a victim of senseless violence anywhere at any moment.
As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities – the Czech Republic is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation.
As the President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman noted in his message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and reliable partner of the United States in the fight against terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies in this respect, there is no doubt about that.
- Petr Gandalovič, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, “Statement of the Ambassador of the Czech Republic on the Boston terrorist attack”
That an ambassador has to clarify where his nation is – and isn’t – in the face of incorrect American media and social media statements is….disturbing. Moreover, it raises serious doubts about scholarly arguments that the teaching of ‘facts’ is no longer necessary in an era of Google and the crowd.