That was the beginning below is the rest- I’m opting to paste my prior post in so it’s easier to read-
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’
The Polish President believed that ties between Russia and Poland could not be normalized without reconciliation without achieving reconciliation over these crimes. 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.
Good thing for Prime Minister Donald Tusk that he flew to Smolensk on another plane. Right?