Money is not everything
Slovakia must decide what sort of country it will be. It is an amazingly literate country populated by people of exceptional talents. It freed itself of communism, and then of Mečiar-style autocracy. It has a chance to stamp an independent and intelligent posture for itself in the world.
It would be a shame for its politicians to line up behind Bush's view for the world because they think there is some political value to be gained. Like the other largely destitute countries of the "coalition of the willing", it is clear that it is not a belief in Bush's policies, but a desire for American support that drives this cooperation.
To put the lives of young Slovak soldiers in harm's way for the lure of American dollars is to operate as cynically as the governments of Mečiar and those of the communists ever did.
If the Slovak people are wise, they will speak up loudly and without ceasing until their government obeys. And [PM Mikuláš] Dzurinda, [President Ivan] Gašparovič, and company should understand that they would be far wiser to adopt the stance of [French President Jacques] Chirac and [German Chancellor Gerhard] Schroeder than to follow an American leader who will likely be gone in November.
12. Jul 2004 at 0:00