[The Telegraph, U.K.]

 

 

Rceczpospolita, Poland

Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear

 

"One could say: 'Today Georgia, tomorrow the Baltic States and Ukraine.' And the day after that? Only a tough stance on the part of E.U. members who understand the Russian danger are capable of setting a steadier course for the Union. What is needed now is determination."

 

By Bronisław Wildstein

 

Translated By Halszka Czarnocka

 

August 12, 2008

 

Poland - Rzeczpospolita - Original Article (Polish)

One could say: "Today Georgia, tomorrow the Baltic States and Ukraine." And the day after that? Will it be, perhaps, the "near abroad"? Such is the euphemism Russians use to describe countries that were once under their sway and which in their view should again find themselves in Moscow's sphere of influence. Poland is one of them.

 

Today, such a threat might seem delusional, but just a few years ago, wouldn't Russian aggression against a sovereign state have been deemed impossible? Putin has undertaken the reconstruction of the Russian Empire along with the entire complex of Russian nationalism, as demonstrated by the crowds of volunteers for the war with Georgia. Poland was part of that empire for 200 years, except for two intervals - including this one - of 20 years apiece.

 

 

For a few days, the Prime Minister and President held a commendable common attitude regarding Georgia [they are of differing parties]. Yesterday, however, Prime Minister Tusk indirectly criticized President Kaczyński by saying that we should try to avoid a deterioration of relations between the E.U. and Russia. [Kaczynski went to Tbilisi together with the leaders of the Baltic States and Ukraine to take part in a showing of solidarity with Georgia, photo below]. Tusk should have refrained from this, since it's hard to imagine mobilizing the European Union to defend Georgia without antagonizing relations with Russia.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

 

The "catchphrase" of not irritating the Russian bear is a manifestation of magical thinking. That bear has a well-established sense of its imperial interests. It is that - rather than emotion - that guide it. Only a tough stance on the part of E.U. members who understand the Russian danger are capable of setting a steadier course for the Union regarding the Kremlin. What is needed now is determination, which was fortunately shown today by the Polish president.

 

If the West hadn't accepted Russian troops on Georgian territory as "peacekeepers" in the first place, Moscow's aggression against that nation would have been more difficult. Up to now, the position of the E.U. toward Russia has been uncertain and conciliatory. The German chancellor's declaration appears to differ from that of the country's Foreign Ministry. Therefore the task of the new Union members - including Poland - is to build up an alliance within the European Union and put forward a unified position, which must also include economic sanctions. This is a test of whether our membership in the Union makes sense and is politically justified.

 

'No Big Russian Brother!'

[Le Temps, Switzerland]

 

And yet the opportunities of E.U. membership pale in comparison to what a closer alliance with the United States could offer us. From that perspective, the Tusk cabinet's position against Polish participation in the American anti-missile shield seems like a mistake . By participating in this venture, our country would become a strategic element in the U.S. strategic defense system, which would be a serious guarantee of American military engagement on our side. Former negotiator Witold Waszczykowski recently confirmed concerns that for Prime Minister Tusk, the most important part of the shield negotiations was scoring points in the domestic political game. This is deplorable proof of a lack of concern for Polish national interests.

 

[Editor's Note: Yesterday August 15, Poland did indeed tentatively agree to host missile interceptors for the U.S. anti-missile shield. ]

 

Despite appearances, in the case of Georgia, Poland can achieve a lot. This is definitely a Polish cause and party politics must be put on the back burner. This is equally true for the general strategy toward Russia, and Polish participation in the American anti-missile program is that strategy's most important element.

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR POLISH VERSION

 

FROM AROUND EUROPE ON THE GEORGIA CRISIS:

 

Rceczpospolita, Poland

Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear

http://worldmeets.us/rzeczpospolita000005.shtml

 

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland

'Enormous Error' of President Bush's 'Georgian Protege'

http://worldmeets.us/gazetawyborcza000018.shtml

 

Cotidianul, Romania

Georgia Can 'Kiss NATO Goodbye'

http://worldmeets.us/cotidianul000002.shtml

 

Financial Times Deutschland, Germany

Before Georgia - Its Europe that Needs Mediation

http://worldmeets.us/financialtimesdeutschland000064.shtml

 

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

Georgia: The Proxy War that Could Go Global

http://worldmeets.us/frankfurterrundschau000032.shtml

 

Rue 89, France

East Europe Best Not Depend on 'Obsolete' NATO

http://worldmeets.us/rue89000015.shtml

 

Liberation, France

The Russian President 'Dictates His Peace' to Hapless Europe

http://worldmeets.us/liberation000115.shtml

 

Le Figaro, France

In South Ossetia, 'Kosovo Backfires'

http://worldmeets.us/lefigaro0000231.shtml

 

Le Figaro, France

Between America and Russia, the E.U. is On the Front Line

http://worldmeets.us/lefigaro0000229.shtml

 

Le Figaro, France

War in the Caucasus: Georgia 'Doesnt Stand a Chance'

http://worldmeets.us/lefigaro0000228.shtml

 

Kommersant, Russia

The Kremlin Offers 'an Ultimatum' to America

http://worldmeets.us/kommersant000038.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US August 15, 4:20pm]