He was the rarest of the rare -a literati who actually stood up to the forces of evil, and never wavered in the face of danger. From playwright to leader of Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution (ascending to the new Czech nation's presidency) to his outspoken support for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, his indomitable spirit and absolute moral authority defied both tyrants and their liberal apologists alike. The supporters of freedom and democracy - fewer and fewer today in a world that chooses appeasement rather than confrontation - have lost a powerful voice today, as Vaclav Havel passes on to a just reward...
The world is losing great thinkers - be they Havel or even iconoclasts like Christopher Hitchens - and leaving their shoes to be filled by the likes of...Barack Obama.
Some thoughts from Vaclav Havel - chosen to reflect their relevance to us, here, today:
~Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
~Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.
~There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side.
~Lying can never save us from another lie...