- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2003

Budapest in '56
Hungary's former ambassador to the United States watched the statue of Saddam Hussein fall into rubble and recalled his own struggle against a dictatorial government.
Ambassador Geza Jeszenszky noted that just as the United Nations failed to endorse the overthrow of the Iraqi tyrant, it also stood by while Soviet tanks crushed the Hungarian democracy movement in 1956.
"Those who were on the streets of Budapest in 1956 and those who saw the statue of Stalin toppled and the bronze body of the hated dictator torn into pieces were not surprised by the joy and fury with which the people of Baghdad attacked Saddam's statue, images and palaces," he wrote on the Hungarian Embassy's Web site (www.hungaryemb.org).
Mr. Jeszenszky said his generation is no stranger "to terror and authority based on fear."
"We know from experience that a dictatorial regime that seems incapable of being toppled one moment will crumble in a matter of seconds if affected by an internal or external shock," he said, referring to the fate of communism in Eastern Europe.
Mr. Jeszenszky said he remembered "how the U.N. watched helplessly the bloody suppression of the Hungarian revolt in 1956, how it never raised its voice against the international crimes of the Soviet regime, how it was overtaken by the communist fellow-traveler Third World and how it utterly failed in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo."
Mr. Jeszenszky called on his European colleagues to work with the United States to develop a new policy toward the Arab world.
"The United States has committed many mistakes in her preparations for the present military operation [in Iraq] and in the tone of her arguments," he said, "but fundamentally she stood for a good cause."
Pressure on Lebanon
The United States is pressing Lebanon to deny political asylum to any members of Saddam Hussein's government seeking shelter there, Agence France-Press reported.
U.S. Ambassador Vincent Battle delivered the message last week to Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who has formed a government strongly allied with Syria, which the United States is also warning to turn over any fleeing Iraqi officials.
Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
A delegation of mayors from Colombian cities, including Maria Edis Dinas of Villarica, Arnulbo Mostacilla of Miranda, Jaime Mosquera Borja of Buenaventura and Antonio Sarria Misas of Condoto. They address the Inter-American Dialogue on the status of Colombians of African heritage.
Manuel Rodriguez Cuadros, vice minister and secretary-general of Peru's Foreign Ministry. He speaks at the Organization of American States to present a book about the OAS Democratic Charter.
Hadi Soesastro, a lecturer at the University of Indonesia and executive director of the Jakarta office of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He discusses diplomatic changes in Asia at a forum sponsored by the United States-Indonesia Society.
Badri Patarkatsishvili, chairman of the Georgia-Caucasus Council of the United States, who holds a 10 a.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Jean-Pierre Landau, executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He addresses the New America Foundation on France's proposal for development in Africa.
Princess Maria Luisa of Bulgaria, who attends a Heritage Foundation showing of a film about Bulgaria's efforts to save Jews from Hitler.
cYoram Peri of Tel Aviv University, who participates in a forum on the military's role in foreign policy at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Toshiyuki Yasui of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, who joins a Japan Information Access Project forum titled, "Occupying Iraq: Are There Lessons From the Japanese Experience?"
Eliza Moussaeva and Bela Tsugaeva, human-rights advocates from the Russian republic of Ingushetia. They testify about conditions in neighboring Chechnya at a 10:30 a.m. hearing of the United States Helsinki Commission in room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
Jorg Monar, co-director of England's Sussex European Institute, who discusses the enlargement of the European Union in a forum sponsored by Johns Hopkins' School for Advanced International Studies.

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