Byline: James Morrison, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
'Poland knows very well'
Poland has no regrets about joining the U.S.-led coalition that removed Saddam Hussein, and it plans to stay in Iraq as long as necessary, according to the Polish ambassador.
"Polish troops joined the coalition against Saddam Hussein because he was a brutal and ruthless dictator who defied international orders and threatened the security of the region," Ambassador Przemyslaw Grudzinski told a Heritage Foundation forum attended by our correspondent Stephanie Dornschneider.
"As a result of our history, Poland knows very well that dictators must be confronted and not appeased."
Poland, which lost two soldiers in combat last week, has 2,400 troops in Iraq who are likely to stay even if the command shifts from the United States to the United Nations. The ambassador said most Polish troops deployed abroad serve in U.N. peacekeeping operations.
Mr. Grudzinski said Polish-American relations are "deeply rooted" and "grounded firmly in the mutually shared values of freedom and democracy" and "have only become stronger."
However, the ambassador urged the Bush administration to include Poles in a program that exempts them from visas for short stays in the United States.
"It would be proper to include Poland into the visa-waiver program," he said.
Mr. Grudzinski also called for more U.S. investment in Poland. The United States, which has made $8.5 billion in private investment during the past 14 years, has slipped from being the biggest foreign investor in Poland to the third-largest.
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
* Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who meets Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Defense Secretary Donald H. …