Munich 1938 - Smolensk 2010 by Maria Szonert Binienda
Munich represents a pact, which requires reflection…
SCND August 30, 2014
President Lech Aleksander Kaczynski
On the 70-thieth anniversary of the outbreak of WWII Polish President Lech Kaczynski stated:
“Munich represents a pact, which requires reflection… Between honor and dishonor politicians chose dishonor but even this choice did not prevent a war. Not always, as in the case of Munich, the results are so immediate and tragic. But with time, tragic results came always.”
Soon after this speech, in April 2010, President Kaczynski, the entire Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces, and representatives of the patriotic elide of the Polish society evaporated in the tragic catastrophe of the Polish Air Force One in Smolensk, Russia. The world community chose not to reflect upon this unprecedented event.
In the aftermath of the Smolensk tragedy, pro-Russian forces in Poland captured all key positions left vacant by the victims of the Smolensk crash, including the position of the President of Poland. Bronisław Komorowski replaced President Lech Kaczynski killed in Smolensk by winning 2010 special election in a campaign that put the blamed for the Smolensk crash on those who died in the crash, in particular on the late President Kaczynski, his top general Andrzej Blasik, and the pilots.
It shall be noted that Komorowski was the only member of the Polish Parliament who voted in 2006 against the dissolution of the Military Intelligence Service (WSI), a criminal organization controlled by the Russian agents. Upon assuming the office of President, Komorowski went as far in insulting supporters of late President Kaczynski as to reward with promotion General Janicki who served as Chief of the Government Security Forces in charge of the VIP flight to Smolensk on April 10, 2010. It was Komorowski who ultimately had the opportunity to appoint to the Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces the replacement for the top generals killed in Smolensk. As a result of the Smolensk related reshuffling, generals educated and trained in the West were replaced by generals educated and friendly to Moscow. Close ties of President Komorowski to the post-communist, pro-Russian Special Forces are attributed to his wife Anna Dembowska, a daughter of communist apparatchiks from the Stalinist Ministry of Security (Urząd Bezpieczeństwa) Jan Dziadzia and Jozefa Deptula.
1938 Munich Agreement Signatories
From left to right: Chamberlain, Daladier,Hitler, Mussolini, and Ciano
As a result of the Smolensk tragedy, pro-Russian forces in Poland took over control of the country and introduced authoritarian practices against the opposition party of late President Kaczynski. Prime Minister Tusk not only turned over the initial investigation of the Smolensk crash entirely to Russia but his administration has been brutally sabotaging the Polish investigation. The Tusk administration accepted the Russian position that Poland was responsible for the Smolensk crash, imposed complete control over the media and the justice system regarding this matter, and persecuted defiant families of the Smolensk victims and scientists who objected to the official version of the Smolensk crash. The government of Donald Tusk also terrorized the academic community to make sure that no one would dare to dig into the circumstances of the Smolensk crash.
The government of Poland led by Donald Tusk, once strengthened with post-Smolensk appointments of pro-Russian politicians and total elimination of any opposition, implemented the policy of building friendship with Russia at all cost. Soon after the crash, the Tusk government signed a long-term gas supply agreement with Russia locking in the highest gas prices in Europe. Furthermore, the key project of Lech Kaczynski, the missile defense system that was fully negotiated and agreed with the USA was put on indefinite hold by the Tusk government. Knowing that Russia uses energy supply as a political leverage, the pressure mounted in Poland to build a shipyard for alternative gas supply from the USA. Although the project has been launched, it experiences endless delays and will not to be operational before 2016.
In the summer of 2014, secret tapes released in Poland revealed the true face of top officials of the Tusk government. Among those secretly recorded was Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski. The tapes revealed that in private Minister Sikorski joked about America and considered the alliance with the United States as detrimental.
To the Polish opposition party the pro-Russian attitude of Sikorski was evident since 2010 Smolensk coup. However to the West, he always skillfully presented himself as a pro-Western leader thanks to his broad contacts with the Western media. His pro-Russian attitude finally was revealed as a result of his role in negotiating a deal between the pro-Russian Yanukovych Government and the Maidan opposition in February 2014. During these negotiations Sikorski forced the Maidan leaders to sign a deal, threatening them that otherwise “you will all die.” 1 Sikorski victory was short lived, though. Within hours of signing this ultimatum, the Maidan opposition prevailed and Yanukovych fled, looking for a shelter in Russia.
The above examples of strongly pro-Russian policy of the Tusk government and President Komorowski in the aftermath of the Smolensk drama are merely a tip of the iceberg. Pro-Russian attitudes have been imposed top-down on the entire Polish society, in the Polish educational system, in the Catholic Church, and in the academic and cultural circles. And yet, this obedient and subservient attitude of Poland in the aftermath of the Smolensk upheaval has had no bearing whatsoever on the intensely anti-Polish attitude of the Kremlin. Regardless of what Poland does, the Russian hostility towards Poland grows steadily in parallel to the growth of the chauvinist spirit in Russia.
Above: Russian PM Putin with Polish PM Tusk at the crash scene on April 10, 2010
As the 74-th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII approaches, the Russian propaganda war against Poland reaches its pinnacle. In August 2014 Deputy Speaker of the Russian Parliament Duma Vladimir Zyrinovski proclaimed on television Rossija 24 that Russia would not hesitate to attack Poland and Baltic Republics. In fact Russia will wipe out Poland from the face of this earth. Representative Zyrinovski went as far as to state that “half an hour and Poland does not exist.” 2 At the same time, a map of Poland after a nuclear attack was circulated on the social media.
Statements of this caliber, when reported in Poland, forced the Tusk government to ask Russia for clarification. The response of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw was angry and aggressive, accusing Poland of “Russophobic and anti-Russian attitudes.” The Embassy spokesperson tersely pointed out that Zyrinovski represented the opposition party in Russia.
Although formally true, Żyrinovski works closely with President Putin. Often his provocative statements indeed reflect the position of the Russian government that cannot be formulated in such blatant fashion officially. In fact he is considered as a politician number four at the Kremlin. Zyrinovski’s Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia usually receives about 10 percent votes. His position is unquestionable on the Russian political scene.
In August 2014 Zyrinovski was one of the key speakers during a meeting of Vladimir Putin with Crimea deputies. In this speech he called for the resurrection of the Russian empire, recommended to name Putin “the highest leader” and recommended to test the latest weapons in Ukraine. In contrast with Zyrinovski aggressive appearance, Putin spoke friendly with a conciliatory message of unifying people around the effort to work hard for mother Russia. It was Putin conciliatory speech and not Zyrinovski inflammatory statements that were dutifully reported in the West to the relief of many.
Unfortunately, Zyrinovski has many supporters and the hatred against Poland has deep roots in Russia. Intense hatred against the Polish people has been the cause of systematic persecutions and mass murders of the Poles throughout the centuries. Such calamities of the XX century like 1937 Polish Operation, the 1940 Katyn War Crimes, and the 1944 Augustów Roundup Operation, all represent genocidal extermination actions according to the international law.
Since the invasion of Crimea, the Russian media spread rumors that Poland has been sending soldiers to support Ukraine and actively supports “fascist Bandera rebels in Kiev.” Such claims are absurd in every respect. Poland cannot support Bandera army that committed genocide on the Polish population in Wołyń in 1943. Furthermore, the pro-Russian attitude of the Tusk administration precluded such actions. Yet, from the Russian perspective Poland is viewed as a proxy of the West and as such is portrayed to the Russian public as the key enemy blamed for all sorts of fabricated violations and atrocities.
In the 2014 summer climate of intensifying war zeal incited by Russian media, a pro-Russian group Cyber-Berkut attacked websites of the Polish President and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The blind war spirit mixed with ethnic hatred was evident in a statement published on their website:
The Republic of Poland is one of sponsors of fascism in Ukraine. Polish officials sacrifice not only their citizens' interests but their lives by interfering in internal affairs of the other country. Our Western neighbor on orders from Washington renders political, diplomatic and military assistance to nationalists and oligarchs who destabilize and wreck Ukraine… Today our Cyber Army attacks main political and financial internet resources of Poland – the sites of the President of Poland and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. CyberBerkut demands on behalf of the Ukrainian people to withdraw Polish mercenaries from the Ukrainian territory and to cancel blind aid to the fascist power of Ukraine immediately.
We are CyberBerkut! We will not forget! We will not forgive! 3
In the Polish eyes, the political situation in the region approaches a similar level of absurdity and tension as the one that preceded the outbreak of WWII. The 1939 German aggression on Poland was preceded by the so-called ‘war of nerves’ that consisted of aggressive and absurd propaganda war aimed at offending and intimidating the Polish people and preparing the international opinion for the German attack on Poland. For this purpose, Germans conducted brutal attacks on the German minority in Poland in order for the German press to report on a daily basis how the Poles murdered, castrated and persecuted the German minorities. The pinnacle of this diversionary action known as Himmler Operation was the Gleiwitz provocation that gave the German army pretext to cross the Polish border.
History proved that in 1939 Germany treated Poland as a stepping stone in its quest for world domination. Similarly today Russian claims are not just about Georgia, Ukraine, Baltic Republics or Poland. Russia pursues a quest for world domination at all cost. Statements by Duma Deputy Zyrinowski confirm this perspective. On August 11, 2014, Zyrinovski stated that in the event of conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine countries such as Poland and Baltic Republics will be wiped out. He added that President Putin most likely already made a decision to wage WWIII and it is in the discretion of the Russian President and no one else to wage a world war. NATO and President Obama are not capable of making such decisions.
It is worth noting that in this context the subservient attitude of the Tusk administration towards Russia makes no difference in protecting Poland from the Russian aggression. The Russian war propaganda places Poland as the key enemy not because of any actions or inactions of the Polish government but merely because of geopolitical reasons. In its strategic planning, Russia treats the entire region as a territory to be conquered and employs all possible means to achieve this goal. Thus, the effort to build friendship with the sick mind and soul of Russia at all cost, even on the graves of the Smolensk victims, has been destined to fail from the very beginning. Late President Kaczynski was right. Appeasement never works. He paid dearly for reminding us of this eternal truth, but today his powerful legacy gives the Polish people the strength to look into the future with dignity and confidence.
Above: From right - Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Armed Forces Gen. Franciszek Gągor, President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, Chief of the Bureau of National Security Aleksander Szczygło, Commander-in Chief of the Polish Air Force Gen. Andrzej Blasik. They all perished on April 10, 2010, in Smolensk, Russia on their way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn crime.
The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
2014 Smolensk Crash Investigation Update by Maria Szonert Binienda
Early morning on April 10, 2010, the Polish Governmental Airplane Tu-154M (“Polish Air Force One”) departed from Warsaw, Poland, to Smolensk, Russia, carrying on board the highest level delegation of the Republic of Poland for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. The official delegation consisted of the President of Poland, First Lady, all members of the Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces, parliamentary, government and Church officials, and representatives of the families of the Katyn victims. Upon entering the airspace of the Military Airdrome “Severny” in Smolensk, Russia, the Polish pilot made one reconnaissance approach to landing. At the decision altitude, he chose not to land and issued a command to “go around.” Seconds later, the Polish Air Force One crashed. The entire Polish delegation of the highest level perished less than a mile from the Severny Airdrome in Smolensk, Russia. All 96 people on board were killed; there were no survivors ("Smolensk Crash").
Viktor Suvorov's book presentation at the United States Naval Academy on October 7, 2009
A former Soviet army intelligence officer Victor Suvorov explains that Stalin's strategy leading up to World War II grew from Vladimir Lenin's belief that if World War I did not ignite the worldwide Communist revolution, then a second world war would be needed to achieve it. Stalin saw Nazi Germany as the power that would fight and weaken capitalist countries so that Soviet armies could then sweep across Europe. Suvorov reveals how Stalin conspired with German leaders to bypass the Versailles Treaty, which forbade German rearmament, and secretly trained German engineers and officers and provided bases and factories for war. He also calls attention to the 1939 nonaggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany that allowed Hitler to proceed with his plans to invade Poland, fomenting war in Europe.
"[...] The Nazi ideology, just like any other ideology can be either discarded or assimilated. This is only a question of one's political outlook. But, we all realize, that an ideology as such can not be destroyed by force, and that war is not an appropriate method of annihilating it. For this reason, a war having as its goal destruction of Nazism through power, not only doesn't make any sense, but it is also criminal." Excerpt from the Soviet Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov’s speech on October 31, 1939. More here
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