Welcome Poland

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 30, 2004 | Go to article overview

Welcome Poland


Byline: John McCaslin, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Welcome Poland

U.S. travel visas, far more difficult to obtain since the September 11 terrorist attacks, were a hot topic of discussion when Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski met at the White House with President Bush earlier this year.

"To improve the ease and safety of such travel, the United States will establish in Warsaw a program to pre-screen visitors traveling from Poland to the United States," Mr. Bush assured the visiting head of state, who had made clear that "millions and millions" of law-abiding Poles and Polish Americans were counting on improvements in the visa process.

Surely Mr. Kwasniewski wouldn't be amused to read a State Department telegram, dated June 17, sent to all diplomatic and consular posts - "a [foul-up] that didn't get noticed until recently," says one State Department insider, who leaked the dispatch to Inside the Beltway.

Subject of the telegram: "Nato Expansion: Revision" - the NATO list of countries "has been modified to include Poland."

"Poland became eligible for NATO visas in 1999 but was inadvertently left off the following list. [The list] now reads ... 'The following countries are currently parties to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.' "

The telegram also makes clear that although Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia officially joined NATO this March 29, they are "ineligible" for NATO visas until such time they become parties to the Agreement on the Status of NATO.

'Phased destruction'

American author David Ben-Ariel tells this column that he will soon release "Beyond Babylon: Europe's Rise and Fall," describing the book as "staunchly pro-Israel/American."

As a result, he predicts, the book's subject matter "will become a national debate and an international controversy."

Not surprising. Mr. Ben-Ariel of late has referred to the "mindless mantra that mesmerizes fools for peace at any price and rings hollow because the Jews are going again, slowly but surely, through the lying peace process of phased destruction. …

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