Hot off the presses:
WARSAW, Poland – The government asked the president Tuesday to prolong the mission of Poland’s 900 troops in Iraq for another year, until the end of 2007.
The current mission was originally due to last until Dec. 31, 2006. But the government of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on its Web site that it had sent a letter to President Lech Kaczynski, his twin brother, formally requesting the extension.
Murdoc’s mentioned many times that he’s a major fan of Poland, largely because of their willing and active involvement in the Long Global War on TerrorTM. They have stuck beside us from the beginning and seem as intent on making Iraq work as we are. Or even more, sometimes, as American wishy-washiness ebbs and flows.
Here are a couple recent pics of the Poles in Iraq:
12/07/06 – Polish army soldiers from the Civil Military Cooperation group, Multi-National Division – Central South, Camp Echo, Iraq, and Iraqi army soldiers from the 8th Iraqi Army Division arrive for a mission at a children’s and maternity hospital in Diwaniyah, Iraq, Dec. 7, 2006. The Polish and Iraqi army soldiers delivered 100 boxes of medical supplies to the hospital. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dawn M. Price)
12/12/06 – A Polish army doctor examine an Iraqi boy during a Polish army medical civic action project (MEDCAP) at Camp Echo, Iraq, Dec 12, 2006. Soldiers from the Polish army medical branch, Multi-National Division – Central South, offer medical services to Iraqi citizens through this biweekly program, improving quality of life and forging relationships between coalition forces and the citizens of Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dawn M. Price)
Murdoc would sure like to see Poland getting a bit more in the way of appreciation from the US government. They are not only one of our strongest allies in Iraq, but they are quickly turning into one of our strongest and most important allies on the European continent. For one thing, the visa requirements for Polish workers and travellers could be eased a bit. It’s outrageous that we make it so difficult for the citizens of a strong ally to enter our country legally while basically turning a blind eye to the illegal entry of millions of border crossers from Mexico.
Polish troops work mostly in the more-peaceful southern areas of Iraq and play a major part in the training of Iraqi security forces. As we seem to be finally moving to re-double our efforts in getting the Iraqi army and police online as an effective force to combat the terrorists, insurgents, and militias, Polish help would be as welcome as ever in the coming year.