Thursday, January 30, 2003

The Letter

"We in Europe have a relationship with the United States which has stood the test of time." That's the word from the governments of Britain, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Italy and the Czech Republic. Today, the leaders of these eight European nations, in a letter in The Times, have declared their solidarity with the US. I expect the Netherlands, which is still in the process of putting its new government in place following recent elections is more or less in agreement as well. As one who has visited seven of the eight countries listed, what strikes me is precisely the broad cross-section of European cultures and histories represented: the British with their long democratic history, the Scandinavians with their own form of social democracy, the Latins of Iberia and Italy once all fascist countries that have made their way to democratic government, the Polish and Czech Slavs who've known their share of tyranny and betrayal through history, and the Magyars of Hungary who were among the first to challenge Soviet rule in their nation. Impressive.

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