George W. Bush doesn’t have the luxury of forgetting Poland right now — Polish officials have made noise about pulling their troops out of Iraq by year’s end. So Dick Cheney is trying to seduce the Poles into staying longer, even though popular support for the Iraq mission in Poland has fallen dramatically. (He is also in Poland for the Auschwitz commemmoration). From the IHT:
“Vice President Dick Cheney tried to shore up Polish support for the war in Iraq in meetings Wednesday with President Aleksander Kwasniewski … While some European nations have refrained from committing troops, Poland has been a trustworthy partner in the war in Iraq. But the Polish defense minister, Jerzy Szmajdzinski, has said that he thinks Polish troops should stay in Iraq only until the end of this year.”
“‘Cheney will express support for everything Poland has done as one of the most stalwart partners in this coalition in Iraq,’ said Janusz Bugajski, an expert on East European affairs at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. Poland will ‘be looking for an explanation of how long the mission is likely to continue. Support for the mission has dropped precipitously in Poland.’”
“Cheney needs to nurture this American ally, says Radek Sikorski, a former deputy minister of defense in Poland and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.”
Dick Cheney? Nurture? Are we talking about the same Dick Cheney? We don’t think we have ever seen the words “Cheney” and “nurture” in a sentence before. Who knows, maybe the vice president will convince the Polish government to stick it out in Iraq, despite the costs and escalating danger. And then maybe Cheney can try his nurturing moves on allies the Bush administration has alienated these last four years. On to France and Germany!