Island für Fischer

17.12.2004 – Isländische Schachfreunde, darunter Helgi Olafsson, haben ein Komitee zur Unterstützung von Robert James Fischer gegründet und sich nun in einem offenen Brief an den US-Botschafter in Island gewandt. Darin weisen sie den Vertreter der US-Regierung auf die Verdienste Fischers inmitten des kalten Krieges hin und fragen nach dem Sinn der Verfolgung des amerikanischen Ex-Weltmeisters durch die US-Behörden. Open Letter to the American Ambassador...

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Open Letter to the American Ambassador to Iceland

RJF-Kommitee: M. Skúlason; G.Thorarinsson; H. Olafsson, Lilja Gretarsdottir, G. Sverrisson, S. Palsson, I. Asmundsson; H. Jökulsson; E.Einarsson

Garðar Sverrisson writes about Bobby Fischer’s affairs: “… I hope the American authorities will not need to remind us, any more than they have already, of their prisons at home and abroad.”

Dear Mr. Ambassador, James I. Gadsden,

There was a time when the authorities in your country were passionately interested in getting Robert J. Fischer to compete for the title of world champion in chess. It was so important that the Secretary of State himself, Henry Kissinger, made phone calls in all directions so that the world could see America’s national hero bring the Soviets to their knees in their own national sport. When it came to facing off against the Soviet system, it was difficult to conceive of a genius who was more independent in his words and actions, an individual who heeded nothing other than his own convictions, no matter whether he himself profited by it or paid for it dearly.

And now those same character traits in the personality of the selfsame individual have occasioned fiercer vengeance tactics against that individual than the Soviet Union itself could imagine employing against its most disobedient chess masters. Formally, Fischer’s crime is that he played chess in the Balkans twelve years ago, thereby violating the economic sanctions then in force.

Perhaps violating economic sanctions is behavior one shouldn’t emulate. This could be the case, for example, if one were to go so far as to sell weapons to the parties to whom the sanctions apply. On the other hand, it happens to be the case that there is a precedent for just this. The gravest example from contemporary history is, of course, the instance when the cabinet members and closest colleagues of the former president of the United States sold weapons to the theocratic Iranian government, in blatant violation of laws that the United States itself had passed precisely to ban such commerce. To perfect the act, the profits of the weapon sales were used to finance death squads in Central America, which was also, of course, blatantly illegal.

You are familiar with this story, of course. But to refresh our memories and those of our readers, let us recollect the happy ending that ensued during the Advent season twelve years ago. The ink on the warrant for Fischer’s arrest was hardly dry when then-current President George Bush granted the ringleaders in the Iran Contra case (and himself into the bargain) a full pardon in advance.

In a spirit of genuine amicability, I now ask you to give us Icelanders a sensible explanation of the gross inconsistency that appears to be afoot here. Without such an explanation, there is no way to close one’s eyes to the wealth of indications suggesting that Fischer’s case represents an instance of misapplying American administrative policy in order to punish an individual for opinions that are not considered politically correct.

Those of us who have had friendly feelings toward the United States, who have studied there and enjoyed American hospitality, must surely make the minimum demand that your office be willing to inform us how many American citizens have been sentenced to prison for their interactions with erstwhile Yugoslavia, and what




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