Poland Gives History the Side-Eye (UPDATED)

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Poland Gives History the Side-Eye (UPDATED)

by baldilocks

Only soft-​handed Marx­ists nat­ter on about the “right” or “wrong side of his­tory.” Coun­tries like Poland, how­ever, have been bat­tered by real Marx­ism and pro­ceed accord­ingly.

NATO allies will hold emer­gency talks on the cri­sis in Ukraine on Tues­day, for the sec­ond time in three days, fol­low­ing a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

In call­ing the meet­ing, Poland, a neigh­bor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allow­ing any ally to con­sult with the oth­ers if it feels its secu­rity, ter­ri­to­r­ial integrity or inde­pen­dence are under threat, the so-​called Arti­cle 4.

The devel­op­ments in and around Ukraine are seen to con­sti­tute a threat to neigh­bor­ing Allied coun­tries and hav­ing direct and seri­ous impli­ca­tions for the secu­rity and sta­bil­ity of the Euro-​Atlantic area,” the alliance said in a statement.

Empha­sis mine; Poland knows Rus­sia well.

There’s the Molotov-​Ribbentrop Pact, under which Hitler’s Nazi Ger­many and Stalin’s USSR agreed to split up Poland.[i]

There’s the Katyn Mas­sacre. Orig­i­nally attrib­uted to the Nazis, it was actu­ally per­pe­trated by the NKVD (Soviet Secret Police); the USSR admit­ted to the mas­sacre in 1990.

And there’s the War­saw Pact. Allegedly it was formed counter as counter to NATO and as a “Treaty of Friend­ship, Coop­er­a­tion and Mutual Assis­tance” between the USSR and eight other east­ern Euro­pean coun­tries, includ­ing Poland. But, as is well-​known, it was de facto enslave­ment of those coun­tries by Soviet masters.

But Poland doesn’t even have to look to the pre­vi­ous cen­tury find rea­sons to be sus­pi­cious of Rus­sia and its goals.

Recall the scrapped agree­ment for the mis­sile shield tech­nol­ogy for Poland and the Czech Repub­lic. It had been promised by George W. Bush, opposed by Vladimir Putin, and, in the end, was reneged on by Barack H. Obama. And recall that the turn­about was announced on Sep­tem­ber 18, 2009 — the sev­en­ti­eth anniver­sary of the day on which Hitler and Stalin car­ried out their designs on Poland.

And let’s not for­get what hap­pened to the Pol­ish lead­er­ship in 2010.

Pol­ish Pres­i­dent Lech Kaczyn­ski and some of the country’s high­est mil­i­tary and civil­ian lead­ers died on Sat­ur­day when the pres­i­den­tial plane crashed as it came in for a land­ing in thick fog in west­ern Rus­sia, killing 96, offi­cials said.

(…)

Russ­ian and Pol­ish offi­cials said there were no sur­vivors on the 26-​year-​old Tupolev, which was tak­ing the pres­i­dent, his wife and staff to events mark­ing the 70th anniver­sary of the [Katyn] mas­sacre of thou­sands of Pol­ish offi­cers by Soviet secret police.

This grimly ironic acci­dent is still being ques­tioned.

Our lead­er­ship and many other observers may not be tak­ing into account — or even be famil­iar with — the his­tory of this abu­sive rela­tion­ship, but it would be safe to bet that the Poles had it in mind when they decided to make their appeal to NATO.

This is not to say that the United States should inter­vene on behalf of Ukraine. Even if our man­date to do so were morally and polit­i­cally clear-​cut, in the wake of the hol­low­ing out of this nation – mil­i­tar­ily, eco­nom­i­cally, socially, and, most impor­tantly, in the lead­er­ship sphere – we are sim­ply not able to help Ukraine or any other nation.

But while the Pres­i­dent of the United States con­tin­u­ally pro­vides neg­a­tive exam­ples of an obser­va­tion made by King Solomon in Proverbs, Poland looks at Ukraine, scru­ti­nizes its own his­tory and soberly pon­ders real­ity. Please, God, let there be a few more sober real­ists in the USA!

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Lithua­nia invokes Arti­cle 4 as well.


[i] In his actions con­cern­ing Geor­gia and Ukraine, Russ­ian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has bor­rowed a strat­egy from both Stalin and Hitler: both claimed that their attack on Poland was to pro­tect eth­nic Ukraini­ans, Belaru­sians and Ger­mans in the coun­try — a pre­text, to be sure.

Putin used a sim­i­lar jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, with respect to eth­nic Rus­sians liv­ing in the Repub­lic of Geor­gia, for the Russo-​Georgian War of 2008, which resulted in the “inde­pen­dence” of for­merly Geor­gian provinces Abk­hazia and South Osse­tia. Both provinces “had been func­tion­ing for 15 years out­side Geor­gian con­trol, their de facto inde­pen­dence guar­an­teed by Russ­ian peace­keep­ing troops.” Putin is using this same strat­egy at present as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for Russia’s incur­sion into Ukraine – an old form of eth­nic cleansing.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was pub­lished in 2009; the sec­ond edi­tion in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

by baldilocks

Only soft-handed Marxists natter on about the “right” or “wrong side of history.” Countries like Poland, however, have been battered by real Marxism and proceed accordingly.

NATO allies will hold emergency talks on the crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday, for the second time in three days, following a request from Poland, the alliance said on Monday.

In calling the meeting, Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine, invoked a NATO rule allowing any ally to consult with the others if it feels its security, territorial integrity or independence are under threat, the so-called Article 4.

“The developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area,” the alliance said in a statement.

Emphasis mine; Poland knows Russia well.

There’s the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, under which Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR agreed to split up Poland.[i]

There’s the Katyn Massacre. Originally attributed to the Nazis, it was actually perpetrated by the NKVD (Soviet Secret Police); the USSR admitted to the massacre in 1990.

And there’s the Warsaw Pact. Allegedly it was formed counter as counter to NATO and as a “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance” between the USSR and eight other eastern European countries, including Poland. But, as is well-known,  it was de facto enslavement of those countries by Soviet masters.

But Poland doesn’t even have to look to the previous century find reasons to be suspicious of Russia and its goals.

Recall the scrapped agreement for the missile shield technology  for Poland and the Czech Republic. It had been promised by George W. Bush, opposed by Vladimir Putin, and, in the end, was reneged on by Barack H. Obama.  And recall that the turnabout was announced on September 18, 2009—the seventieth anniversary of the day on which Hitler and Stalin carried out their designs on Poland.

And let’s not forget what happened to the Polish leadership in 2010.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski and some of the country’s highest military and civilian leaders died on Saturday when the presidential plane crashed as it came in for a landing in thick fog in western Russia, killing 96, officials said.

(…)

Russian and Polish officials said there were no survivors on the 26-year-old Tupolev, which was taking the president, his wife and staff to events marking the 70th anniversary of the [Katyn] massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police.

This grimly ironic accident is still being questioned.

Our leadership and many other observers may not be taking into account—or even be familiar with—the history of this abusive relationship, but it would be safe to bet that the Poles had it in mind when they decided to make their appeal to NATO.

This is not to say that the United States should intervene on behalf of Ukraine. Even if our mandate to do so were morally and politically clear-cut, in the wake of the hollowing out of this nation–militarily, economically, socially, and, most importantly, in the leadership sphere–we are simply not able to help Ukraine or any other nation.

But while the President of the United States continually provides negative examples of an observation made by King Solomon in Proverbs, Poland looks at Ukraine, scrutinizes its own history and soberly ponders reality. Please, God, let there be a few more sober realists in the USA!

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Lithuania invokes Article 4 as well.


[i] In his actions concerning Georgia and Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin has borrowed a strategy from both Stalin and Hitler: both claimed that their attack on Poland was to protect ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians and Germans in the country—a pretext, to be sure.

Putin used a similar justification, with respect to ethnic Russians living in the Republic of Georgia, for the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, which resulted in the “independence” of formerly Georgian provinces Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both provinces “had been functioning for 15 years outside Georgian control, their de facto independence guaranteed by Russian peacekeeping troops.” Putin is using this same strategy at present as justification for Russia’s incursion into Ukraine–an old form of ethnic cleansing.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!