The Daily Telegraph (2/22/03) discusses the Eastern Europeans’ reaction to Jacques Chirac’s admonishment:

By antagonising eastern Europe with his indelicately chosen threats, M Chirac has done more to create a “new” Europe than Donald Rumsfeld ever dared to hope…When Poles were asked in a recent Wprost opinion poll to name countries they considered “friends”, 50 per cent put America first, 34 per cent Germany and 25 per cent France. At the same time, 50 per cent considered Poland’s greatest enemy to be Russia, 40 per cent said it was Germany and seven per cent Iraq….”America speaks with passion for democracy which is something that you miss in Europe,” said Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania’s foreign minister, whose office decor includes a blue baseball cap with “Mr Nato” emblazoned above its peak…. East European admiration for America is firmly seated in gratitude for the covert and overt support of successive Washington administrations for political dissent during the years of Soviet domination.

“Even under Soviet occupation, we trusted America rather than Europe,” says Marius Laurinavicius, deputy editor of Lithuania’s largest daily newspaper. “Unlike Europe, Washington never recognised the Soviet occupation of Lithuania.”

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