This one can’t be blamed on Rumsfeld.
No one this side of Tony Blair has been more steadfast in its support of America’s Iraqi policy than Poland and its President Aleksander Kwasniewski. Earlier this year President Bush even hailed Poland as the heart of the “new Europe.” Well, it may be a heart minus a few valves.
In Europe, Poland — which joins the European Union this month — is second only to the UK in visa applications to the U.S. However, it is not one of the many “old Europe” countries granted an exemption to the increasingly involved visa process. The fee (not refundable if application is turned down) is $100. Mind you, Poland is a country where the average monthly wage is about $400. The complaints are growing into a cacophonous chorus.
Then there are the Department of Homeland Security requirements for mandatory mug shots and finger printing. That was enough for the mayor of Warsaw to cancel his upcoming, cultural-exchange visit to the U.S.
DHS mandates certainly make sense for Muslim countries. But do we need to profile Poles? At the very least, when it comes to visas, couldn’t we treat Poland as good as our other European allies — such as Germany or France?