Day By Day

Friday, February 25, 2005

Another Great Takedown

Secretary Rumsfeld may have backed away from his distinction between "Old" and "New" Europe, but the differences are great and were on display yesterday. In Old Europe President Bush may still be an object of derision, but in Slovakia he received a warm welcome. The distinction was starkly drawn in remarks by the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mikulas Dzurinda. Bill Sammons reports;

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- The prime minister of Slovakia yesterday blamed the media for unfairly turning the European public against President Bush by negatively slanting coverage on Iraq....

When, during a press conference, the PM was reminded that public opinion in Europe was overwhelmingly anti-Bush he responded:

by telling the journalists, including one from CNN, that he was "shocked" to see media outlets like CNN and the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) showing "only American soldiers killing people. But nobody was able to show Saddam Hussein, who killed many, many thousands of Iraqi people."

"It was impossible to see a real picture of this regime," he lamented. "And the result is the public is one day strongly against Bush. 'Bush loves war,' he's 'new terrorist,' and so on and so on."

The prime minister predicted that it is "only a question of time when people in Slovakia, in Germany, in European countries, will understand more that this activity were necessary. And the world, without Saddam Hussein, is much more democratic than before."


Mr. Dzurinda, who grew up under communist oppression in the Soviet bloc, said nations such as his were more supportive of Operation Iraqi Freedom because they remembered communism. Slovakia has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I spent many years under tyranny," he said. "So I completely understand what it means to fight for democracy -- don't take this for granted.

"Maybe this is why I understand better than Chirac or Schroeder," he added, referring to French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, both of whom opposed the Iraq war.

Mr. Dzurinda also faulted Mr. Chirac and Mr. Schroeder for not understanding Mr. Bush's decision to abandon diplomacy and invade Iraq.

"I understand, [with] the president of the United States, that this is impossible to wait forever," he said. "I hope that the German chancellor and French president understand more today than yesterday."

Hoo boy, it doesn't get any more blunt than that, and it is so delicious to see Chirac and Schroeder being talked down to by a man who has first hand experience of a people's desire for freedom.

No comments: