Friday, June 23, 2006

The New Europe

Prague is one of my favorite cities to visit. I have friends there, and it is home to some great jazz clubs like USP and Agharta, where musicians can now swing freely after their fall of Communist tyranny. They have been trying to get me to visit Hungary with them, and after seeing photos from Bush’s speech, in Budapest, I know I’ve got to try to get out there.

Hungary, like the Czech Republic actually values liberty, after having suffered under Communism. The New European states actually want close relations with America, and have been helpful in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Having suffered under Communist oppression, they now look to spread freedom in Iraq and in the island gulag of Cuba.

Bush gave a rousing speech outlining the Hungarian dedication to liberty that was buried by the knee-jerk leftist antique media. The NYTimes is too busy undermining national security and generally running the Sulzberger family firm into the ground to notice a historic moment when it happens. It’s available here. The President concluded by paying tribute to our allies, the Hungarian people:

“Earlier today Laura and I laid a bouquet of flowers at the 1956 Memorial Monument across the river. It was our privilege to do so. It was a moving moment for us. Hokok Square is named for the father of Hungarian democracy, and honors more than a century-and-a-half of Hungarian sacrifice in freedom's cause.

A bust of this great leader stands in the U.S. Capitol. It affirms that those who fight for liberty are heroes not only in their own land, but of all free nations. All who love liberty are linked together across the generations, and across the world.

Your great poet Peteofi said this:

"Here is the time, now or never! Shall we be slaves or free? This is the question, answer! By the God of the Hungarians we swear, We swear to be slaves no more!"

These words were addressed to the Hungarian people, yet they speak to all people, in all times. This is the spirit that we honor today. I appreciate the opportunity to come to this great country and to celebrate the Hungarian example -- the courage, the sacrifice, the perseverance that has led to this democracy.

On behalf of all Americans: Köszönöm. May God bless you all.”