Polish Minister Scolds Bush, Rumsfeld

AP Wire Service

WARSAW, Poland – Poland’s defense minister scolded President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday for publicly describing the actions of Polish commandos in Iraq, saying the U.S. leaders shouldn’t use the troops “for propaganda.”

Bush on Wednesday told U.S. troops at the Army’s Central Command in Florida that Polish troops had secured an Iraqi oil platform in the Persian Gulf, while Rumsfeld praised the Poles’ professionalism.

But Jerzy Szmajdzinski said the country’s troops in Iraq include members of the elite GROM commando special forces unit, and said Warsaw doesn’t want information about their activities discussed.

“It is not good when a politician — even if his name is George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld — talks about the actions of special forces,” Szmajdzinski told Polish state Radio 1. “We are happy with the high grades given to Polish troops but we are not happy with their use for propaganda.”

More than two-thirds of Poles are against the U.S.-led war in Iraq, although the government has supported the United States and has approved the use of up to 200 Polish troops, including 56 GROM members.