Bush Rewards Partners in Iraq; Poland Slated for $100 Million

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Byline: James G. Lakely, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Bush wants to give $400 million to what he has called the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yesterday told Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski that a full quarter of that money would go to Poland.

The $400 million fund, which the White House calls the "solidarity initiative," would be part of the $80 billion Mr. Bush has asked Congress to allocate for ongoing military operations in the war on terror.

"I don't get to write the checks in the American system," Mr. Bush said during an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Kwasniewski. "I assured the president that when it's all said and done, that would be the request that we would put forward. I'm confident the Congress will respond.

"Poland has been a fantastic ally, because the president and the people of Poland love freedom," he said. "And I know the people of your country must have been thrilled when the millions of people [in Iraq] went to the polls and showed that people from all parts of the world want to live in a free society, just like your great nation has shown the world over the last decade."

The White House is expected to send the $80 billion request to Congress next week, which also must sign off on Mr. Bush's plan to earmark the $400 million to staunch allies.

The White House said the funding request reflects "the principle that an investment in a partner in freedom today will help ensure that America will stand united with stronger partners in the future. …