Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Three cheers for Albania... 

...a better ally than France and Germany.

Cheer I: Fatos "Terrific" Tarifa, Albania's ambassador to the US:
"The announcement several days ago Albania -- a small country with limited resources -- was sending an additional 50 well-trained troops to Iraq came as a surprise to some observers. But it really should not have surprised anyone...

"Albania is probably the most pro-American country on Earth. It showed its support of the United States early, when it initially sent 70 commandos to join the Coalition of the Willing's effort to bring peace, stability and free elections to Iraq. These new troops bring to a total of 120 Albanian soldiers serving in Iraq.

"From a country with only 3.5 million people, the troops -- the flower of Albania's youth -- represent the best Albania has to offer. Why does Albania do this when it could have avoided President Bush's call for support, or when it could have dropped out as others have done when the going got tough? The answer is not difficult to find. If you believe in freedom, you believe in fighting for it. If you believe in fighting for freedom, you believe in America.

"Unlike people in other countries in Europe and elsewhere, the Albanian people have not forgotten what it is like to live under tyranny and repression."
Unlike France and Germany.

Cheer II: Tirana's mayor Edi Rama:
"The mayor's reclamation of Rinia Park four years ago and his subsequent bulldozing of nearly 500 illegal structures on the city-owned banks of the Lana River didn't earn him many friends among the shadowy masters of Albania's enormous underground economy. He's received death threats and was once woken up by the sound of bullets ricocheting off the walls of his home.

"But for most locals, Mr. Rama is something of a superstar. He's not just the country's most popular politician; he's one of the most famous Albanians alive. Eight in 10 of Tirana's residents approve of his aggressive cleanup campaign, for which he earned a 2002 United Nations Poverty Eradication Award.

"Last year he was named World Mayor 2004 by the London-based City Mayors website, after garnering more votes than the mayors of Mexico City, London, and other major cities."
Which is pretty sweet, considering the Mayor of London in the arch-commie "Red" Ken Livingstone.

Cheer III: Albanian men and women - because at 2.37 children born per woman, Albania has the highest fertility rate on the otherwise dying continent of Europe (one of Mark Steyn's pet topics: "By 2050, Estonia's population will have fallen by 52 per cent, Bulgaria's by 36 per cent, Italy's by 22 per cent."). Albania is, by the way, some 70% Muslim, 20% Orthodox and 10% Catholic.

Why can't they make more countries like that?

(multiple hat tips: Dan Foty)


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?