Saturday, April 10, 2010

Deadheading the Polish government

Deadheading, is the act of removing the spent heads of your flowers and encouraging new growth.

The recent plane crash effectively dead headed the Polish government. So like a plant, there will be new growth, in the form of a new government.
What will the new government bring? Who will benefit from the new government?

Let's take a look at who was lost, their roles and their allegiances-
The who's who of the deceased.

Lech Kaczynski, 60. Poland's president, a nationalist conservative who had been in office since 2005. A founder of the Law and Justice party, now in opposition, and the twin brother of its leader, former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
_ Maria Kaczynska, 66, Poland's first lady; an economist and translator of English and French, had carried out charity work in her role as first lady. Her uncle was killed at Katyn.
_ Gen. Franciszek Gagor, 58. Army chief of staff since Feb. 2006. From 2004 to 2006, was Poland's representative at NATO in Brussels.
_ Gen. Andrzej Blasik, 47, head of the Air Force since 2007. Received professional military education in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2005.
_ Vice Admiral Andrzej Karweta, 51, Navy chief commander since November 2009. From 2002-2005 served at the Supreme Allied Command Atlantic, SACLANT in Norfolk, Virginia.
_ Gen. Tadeusz Buk, 49, land forces commander since Sept. 2009. Served in 2007 as commander of Polish troops in Iraq.
_ Slawomir Skrzypek, 46, president of the National Bank of Poland since 2007. A longtime colleague of Lech Kaczynski, served under him at Warsaw City Hall from 2002-5.
_ Aleksander Szczyglo, 46, head of the National Security Office, a former defense minister under Kaczynski's brother.
From this list, we can see the President is gone, the President of the National Bank is gone,
the head of the Army, Navy, Airforce, National Security etc., all gone.

Deadheaded. All the top people gone.
Is this a real political loss in terms of Western interests?
In terms of the interests of Russia?

The Polish President was a noted friend of a number of nations, as they proclaim it.
He was an admirer of India, noted critic of China. He also had a soft corner for the Dalai Lama. He is also recognized as a friend to Israel.

Though Poland joined the European Union in 2004, Mr. Kaczynski often preferred dealing with the United States. Often times annoying other European Union members, which I find odd. Why bother at all joining the EU, if one is not going to play ball with the EU and plot strategy with the US.

One must consider that Poland was part and parcel of a different political agenda.
A political agenda which may have it's roots in the west.
One has to consider that the so called labour revolution in Poland, led by that spunky electrician Lech Walesa, may not have really been initiated as a people movement.

The revolution may have grown through the labour movement, but, quite realistically could have been seeded and nurtured by interests outside of the labour movement and outside of Poland. Realistically this early revolution could not have come about without some serious backing from outside political interests. Realistically this revolution may have been the progenitor of the modern day colour revolutions that many have witnessed sweeping through the former Soviet States.

That said, back to Mr Kaczynski.
As soon as Mr. Kaczynski took office in the presidential headquarters in the center of Warsaw, he forged close relations with Ukraine and Georgia determined to bring them into the NATO fold
He lobbied hard for the United States to deploy part of its controversial shield against ballistic missiles in Poland, arguing that it would enhance Poland’s security against Russia.

All of his actions demonstrate him to be a pro-western leader.
All of his allegiances are the friends of his friends, as they say. India, Israel, Ukraine and Georgia.

While these alliances made him popular with the West, he was most definitely unpopular in Poland. He was up for election and was expected to lose.
So his political value to his western supporters was over.

"This is a political earthquake, a lot of leaders have perished, and first we have to let this moment of shock pass. But the reality is that the Kaczynski's [President Lech Kaczynski has an identical twin brother Jaroslaw] are not very popular in Poland," said Piotr Kaczynski, an analyst at the Center for European Policy Studies.

The unflinching support for American missiles in Poland, the missiles hated by the masses, no doubt played a role in his lack of popularity in Poland and his inevitable election loss.

So, did the West lose an important ally in the plane crash? Or was he an ally whose usefulness was coming to an end?

Especially considering news of a recent long term natural gas agreement signed between Russian and Poland

Poland and Russia had made long term natural gas agreements. With all relevant documents to be signed shortly.
Putin told journalists after the talks on Wednesday that the relevant documents would be signed shortly.
At the same time, he stressed that gas cooperation had not been discussed as a separate issue at the talks. “The Polish side has long been raising the issue of increasing Russian gas supplies, and business entities have generally come to agreement,” Putin said, adding that the documents formalising this agreement would be signed shortly.
He was referring to a long-term contract for gas supplies up to 2037 and a transit agreement up to 2045.
Is there someone in place to sign these documents?

Where does this leave Poland? What about this agreement?
Was the US/West unhappy with this?
How about another recent move on the part of Russia, a move to patch up, to reconcile old grievances ?

' Putin made an unprecedented gesture of good will on this issue, becoming the first Russian leader ever to commemorate Stalin's mass executions of Poles alongside a Polish leader. Prime Minister Tusk had flown in to Smolensk that day for the ceremony in the village of Katyn, where most of the 22,000 political murders were carried'

Poland is a pivotal nation in the struggle between the east and the west.
Right now it is pretty tough to tell which interests have lost an important ally.
I am sure the coming weeks and months will give us all an indication.
It will be interesting to watch how the new growth, in the form of a new government, flowers in the coming weeks.


  1. Hi Penny.
    My first question when I heard this on the radio whilst driving was, "Don't political figures avoid travelling together on planes?" I know it's standard procedure in the UK for both politicians and royals.
    It's all a little too convenient for my liking, all the top people perishing in one (accident/strike).
    The silence has been deafening in the Sunday papers this weekend....

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hey Edo:

    I understand exactly what you are saying.
    I have to admit, I find a certain oddity to the entire incident.

    It could certainly be considered a politically expedient coup. NO?
    Without actually having to bring in the military and fight?

    I have been reading and reading and can't find anything odd or out of place, yet.

  4. Maybe I'm way off base here, but the minute I heard about this I thought: "boy someone is really sending Russia a message". Combined with the recent 'terrorist' activities killing scores in Russia, is this really a message to her?

    "Get onside this war on Iran - or else?"

    I could be wrong, but somehow, someway this isn't adding up.

  5. Hey Maggie;

    this has gone on to a part two now, there is just so much stuff to cover!

    I note that Russia is being overly cooperative, so it is obvious alot is at stake here, alot!

  6. "Overly co-operative" - see: control of information

    In any military operation where you have to cover up certain pieces of evidence and put out red herrings and funnel them towards other explanations, it always helps when you control every bit of information that is realeased to the public. Hence, you make sure to "help" by putting the probable ringleader in charge of the investigation.

    Ooooh yes, ex-heads of the KGB love to help their cousins in Poland, they have so much respect for them (note: dripping sarcasm).

  7. It is humorous as there is always the attempt to blame every killing on the planet on Russia and Putin. Whether it be journalists or apartment bombings.

    It is a bit naive to think that Russia is blowing up it's own subway systems, ballet theatres and offices where the FSB is housed.

    Does anyone with credibility actually think Russia arranged for the entire Polish leadership to get on one plane so they could blow it up? Really!

    Russia was preparing for a long term gas contract with Poland, a country whose former leaders dissed the EU and mass vaccination of the populace with flu shots. Yes there is big money in the vaccine and nobody in Poland was doing a jig over it.

    When the new government embraces the EU, mandatory vaccines and possibly rearranges the gas contract you will pretty much know what happened.


    The decision seemed fraught with risk: a government refusing to import swine flu vaccines amid worldwide warnings of a spreading epidemic.

    But Poland did just that, becoming the only country worldwide known to reject the vaccines over safety fears and distrust in the drug companies producing them - concerns international health experts reject as unfounded.

    Now that the current outbreak appears to have peaked in much of Europe, many Poles feel their government has been vindicated: Countries with large stockpiles often saw low public interest in the vaccines and face financial loss from unused doses now set to expire. But Poland's government didn't spend a cent fighting the epidemic.

    All along, the decision by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Health Minister Ewa Kopacz met with broad support. Even with 145 swine flu deaths in Poland to date, many Poles view the rejection of the vaccines as a laudable gesture of defiance against pharmaceutical companies, sentiment shaped by a strengthening anti-vaccine movement and conspiracy theories about the vaccines circulating on the Internet.

    "I had the impression that the information about swine flu was manipulated in order to create a panic," said Barbara Lazniewska, a 38-year-old architect who was among the many Poles to applaud the government's stance.

    Poles take pride in having a strong independent streak and many respect the government for defying the EU, the World Health Organization and other international groups that urged countries to implement vaccination programs - advice that smacked to some of meddling in internal affairs.


    Burgenmeister back up.

  10. Hello Dublin Mick and thanks so much for all the information!!!!

    Much appreciated