From a Wall Street Journal op-ed authored by the Slovak, Czech, Polish and Hungarian ambassadors to the U.S.
The memories of tyranny are still alive in the minds of many Czechs, Hungarians, Poles and Slovaks. We also remember the challenges we faced early in our democratic transition. It is a testament to the resilience of our peoples that we are where we are now — members of NATO and the European Union, and strong allies of the U.S. We got here by believing in the transformational power of democracy and a market economy. But we needed others to believe in us, too. We could not have made it alone. We needed the perseverance and support of Western democracies for freedom finally to arrive.
The attainment of our immediate goals of stability and prosperity could have made us complacent. It has not. We feel that as free and democratic nations we have a duty to help others achieve the security and prosperity that we now enjoy. That is why we have been part of the coalition to help democracy emerge in Iraq.