Tag Archives: Poland

On ‘Prisoners of Conscience’ Who Fell Through the Cracks of EU Values, by Stephen Karganovic

The EU is just as hypocritical as the U.S. and Great Britain when it comes to freedom of the press. From Stephen Karganovic at strategic-culture.org:

A Spanish journalist has been rotting in a Polish prison for the past year. And nobody knew or cared, Stephen Karganovic writes.

Those who watched Duran associate Alex Christoforou’s podcast the other day [at 18 to 19:45 minutes] must have been as taken aback as I was by Alex’s revelation of the unsavoury fate of Spanish journalist Pablo Gonzales in European “values” stronghold Poland.

Gonzales, a Spanish (another “EU values” country) citizen, it turns out has been rotting in a Polish prison for the past year. Not a week, not a month or even a couple of months, but for just over a year. And nobody knew or cared. He is not being detained on any specific charges to which he could mount a legal defence. He is listed simply as “under investigation” for the somewhat vague offence of being an agent of Russia. If that is what indeed he is, so far it seems no judicially cognisable evidence to support such an allegation has been produced by the Polish authorities. After just over a year that Gonzales has been kept in prison, the Polish “investigation” has failed to turn up any incriminating facts that might form the basis for even a flimsy indictment. As a result, no charges have been filed and no trial is in prospect for Gonzales. As trite as that may sound, it is also disturbingly accurate: in the Europe that, with its gallant overseas allies, fights for democracy in Ukraine, European journalist Pablo Gonzales is languishing in a Kafkaesque predicament.

In his expose, Alex Christoforou asks the natural question, “Where is the Spanish government in all this?” [at 19:20 minutes]. The answer is bound to disillusion everyone who imagined that in situations such as this morality had any influence over political decisions. It all comes down to the odious principle of raison d’état. Spain has issues with Catalan and Basque troublemakers and is loath to create a precedent that would provide foreigners a pretext to meddle in the way it treats its prisoners. For Spain the convenient solution therefore is to downplay the incarceration in Poland of one of its own citizens and hope that no one will notice.

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Predictions 1: War, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Will Poland be the next proxy in the U.S.’s proxy war with Russia? From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

I don’t really like to do predictions, not without tea leaves and crystal balls, but I do have one. My prediction is that NATO will -try to- expand/widen/deepen the Ukraine conflict in 2023, and not just a little. They have to, because Ukraine as a theater is failing, no matter how much additional weaponry they import into it. And because Ukraine is running out of -under 65- boots on the ground.

Next step will be to actively involve the NATO members who despise Russia most. Ergo: the Baltic States. Problem with that is there’s not a lot of people there. But it’s just a hop across the border from Lithuania to Poland. And Poland is a whole different story. And, like the Baltics, but unlike Ukraine, a NATO member.

Here’s NATO’s own numbers: Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2014-2022)

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The First US Onslaught to “Weaken” Post-Cold War Russia, by John V. Walsh

The U.S. was well on its way to turning Russia into a U.S. vassal after the fall of the U.S.S.R until Vladimir Putin came along. Which explains the continuing antipathy. From John V. Walsh at unz.com:

The first post-cold war assault on Russia by the West began in the early 1990s well before the expansion of NATO. It took the form of a U.S.-induced economic depression in Russia that was deeper and more disastrous than the Great Depression that devastated the U.S. in the 1930s. And it came at a time when Russians were naively talking of a “Common European Home” and a common European security structure that would include Russia.

The Disastrous Russian Depression Resulting from Western supervised “Shock Therapy.”

The magnitude of this economic catastrophe was spelled out tersely in a recent essay by Paul Krugman who wondered whether many Americans are aware of the enormous disaster it was for Russia. Krugman is quite accurate in describing it – but not in identifying its cause.

The graph below shows what happened to Russia beginning in the early 1990s as a result of the economic policies that were put in place under the guidance of U.S. advisors, the economist Jeffrey Sachs, perhaps the foremost among them. Sachs describes his contribution here. These policies drive an economy abruptly from a centrally planned economy with price controls to an economy where prices are determined by the market. This process is often described as “shock therapy.”

The plot shown above is from the World Bank (The link is here.) in accord with the standards set by the World Bank under the policies of Creative Commons.
The plot shown above is from the World Bank (The link is here.) in accord with the standards set by the World Bank under the policies of Creative Commons.

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Ending NATO and Correcting Stalin’s Mistake, Batiushka

What emerges after NATO collapses? From Batiushka at thesaker.is

Introduction: The Atlantic and Europe

Judging by its name, NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was only ever about the USA and the UK, an agreement between Americans and the half-American Churchill. After all, what relevance does the ‘North Atlantic’ have to Baltic Germany or Mediterranean Italy, let alone to Aegean Greece and Black Sea Turkey? Even Spain and Portugal look towards the Caribbean and the South Atlantic, not to the North Atlantic. NATO is clearly an organisation that descended directly from the Atlantic Charter, made up by Roosevelt and Churchill in a bay off Newfoundland in 1941 (not even in the Atlantic), and then imposed on all the others.

The End of NATO

So, whatever was the North Atlantic doing in the foothills of the Himalayas, in Afghanistan? Apart from the fact that that was its greatest defeat (so far), just what was it doing there? And what is the North Atlantic, or at least parts of it, doing in the South China Sea? Surely there is a clue in the name – China? It belongs to China. Whatever are the US Navy and others doing there?

Surely, even the geographically-challenged Liz Truss, who wanted the whole world to be ruled by NATO, must have been thinking that it was time to rename NATO? Perhaps the Nazi American Tyranny Organisation? Like that you could keep the same initials. As the Saker has pointed out, the first NATO Secretary-General, the Indian-born colonial, General Hastings (1) Ismay, bluntly admitted that the purpose of NATO was ‘to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down’ (2).

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Zelensky, media lackeys caught in most dangerous lie yet, by Alexander Rubinstein

As lies go this one was world-class. It could have started World War III. From Alexander Rubinstein at thegrayzone.com:

With Kiev exposed for a lie that could have triggered a third world war, it is time to examine past deceptions that Western media promoted.

A missile that exploded on Polish soil on November 15 killed two civilians and destroyed farm equipment. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Western corporate media rushed to blame the explosion on Russia in apparent hopes of triggering NATO’s Article 5, which requires NATO states to defend one another militarily when attacked by a hostile force.

Polish and NATO members including US President Joseph Biden have since confirmed the missile that struck Poland was, in fact, a Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile. Yet Zelensky is sticking to his line, blaming Russia for the strike, while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg still insists that “Russia bears ultimate responsibility.” Meanwhile, the media outlets that reflexively pointed the finger at Russia have been forced to take a step back from their initial reporting.

“Russian missiles hit Poland, the territory of our friendly country. People died,” Zelensky insisted on November 15, the night of the attack. “The longer Russia feels impunity, the more threats there will be to anyone within reach of Russian missiles. To fire missiles at NATO territory! This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation. We must act.”

Zelensky held firm the following day, despite mounting evidence that his own country’s air defenses were responsible, declaring “I have no doubt that this is not our missile… I believe that this was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.” By this time, most analysts rejected the Ukrainian president’s assessment, including the founder of the US government-sponsored intelligence cutout Bellingcat, who wrote “At this point I think it’s fair anyone saying that a Russian missile hit Poland based on the current evidence is being irresponsible.”

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Russia Demands Lithuania Lift “Openly Hostile” Blockade; Panic Buying Ensues, by Tyler Durden

Could a sliver of land between Poland and Lithuania set off World War III. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update (1100ET): The Russian Foreign Ministry has responded to Lithuania’s partial blockade of Kaliningrad, writing in a statement that they consider the “provocative measures” to be “openly hostile” and warning that the Kremlin may take action to “protect its national interests.”

Kaliningrad is sandwiched between the EU and NATO members Poland and Lithuania. Supplies from Russia are delivered via rail and gas pipelines through Lithuania – which announced last week that it was banning the rail transit of goods subject to EU sanctions, which include coal, advanced technology, metals and construction materials.

“If in the near future cargo transit between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the territory of the Russian Federation through Lithuania is not restored in full, then Russia reserves the right to take actions to protect its national interests,” the statement reads.

They have demanded that Lithuania immediately lift the ban on a number of goods to the Kaliningrad region.

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Will Poland Have to Defend Europe from Islam Again? by Gunnar Heinsohn

Europeans should be happy that Poland takes’ its role as the gateway to Europe seriously. From Gunnar Heinsohn at americanthinker.com:

In 1621, the city of Chocim in today’s western Ukraine witnessed a mighty battle between the Polish-Lithuanian Empire and an invading Ottoman army.  Chocim is rightly remembered by Poland as a victory, although the conflict ended in a political draw.  But this stalemate was fought by only about 50,000 men against three times as many Turks and Mongols.  After the death of the Polish commander-in-chief, Jan Karol Chodkiewicz, it was Stanisław Lubomirski (1583–1649), not yet forty years old, who turned the tide in favor of Warsaw.

Chocim was not the first battle in this war against Muslim aggression.  Already in 1619, Poland’s King Sigismund III Wasa (1566/1587–1632) had saved the ruler Ferdinand II (1578/1619–1637) by defeating Hungarian vassals of the sultan, saving Vienna and Germany’s imperial crown.

Chocim prevented a further expansion of the caliphate, but much of Hungary remained Turkish, and the sultans were only waiting for a new opportunity to push westward.  In 1672, with 80,000 men, Muslim forces were able to reconquer Chocim and entire Polish provinces.  Against Hetman Jan Sobieski (1629/1674–1696), however, the Ottomans suffered a second defeat at Chocim in 1673.

The significance of these Polish accomplishments did not go unnoticed in the free Republic of the Netherlands.  Dutch artist Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708) — forefather of all bloggers with his engraved texts critical of the times — sensed the deeper meaning of Poland’s victories at Chocim.  For the first time, the Occident was now able to defend itself.  That is why de Hooghe immortalized Sobieski in 1674, showing him as a Hercules and savior of Europe.

The Dutch intellectual was not mistaken.  In 1683, Sobieski, king of Poland since 1674, risked everything in a do-or-die battle against the Turkish army besieging Vienna, whose emperor, Leopold I (1640/1658–1705), had already run away.  This valiant defense of western Europe was the result of Sobieski’s grasp of the continent’s strategic situation.  Despite the entreaties of his revered French wife, he had refused an alliance with Louis XIV (1638/1643-1715), who was an ally of the caliphate.  Violent encounters with the sultans and their mega-armies, which Poland had experienced in horrific ways, forbade any such favor for the “Sun King” of France.

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Poland’s Beef with the EU Shows the Dangers of Political Centralization, by Jose Niño

You can’t make once-size-fits-all laws and regulations for over twenty countries, even if they are all on the same continent. From Jose Niño at mises.org:

Across the pond, Poland and the European Union find themselves deadlocked over a question about judicial primacy. In early October, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal sparked controversy when it ruled that EU law does not supersede national legislation.

At stake in the EU-Poland legal dispute, was Poland’s decision in 2018 to rein in its judiciary and establish a disciplinary chamber to remove judges. Before these reforms were undertaken, the Polish judiciary was largely viewed as corrupt and inefficient, possessing vestigial features of the previous Communist order, when Poland was a member of the Warsaw Pact. What initially started out as a mundane domestic reform soon transformed into an international controversy.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) took exception to Poland’s reforms and ruled that EU law takes precedence over Polish law. The ECJ’s ruling did not deter Poland, though. Back in March, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki brought the case before the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, subsequently leading to the Polish tribunal’s controversial ruling in October. Following the October ruling, the EU commission had choice words for Poland’s superior court and reaffirmed its EU-law-über-alles stance.

Possessed by a universalist spirit, the EU ramped up the pressure on Poland by slapping it with a daily fine of €1 million euros (slightly over $1.1 million) until the Law and Justice (PiS, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) government modifies its judicial legislation to align with EU standards.

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Belarus Crisis Grows Worse, by Ted Galen Carpenter

Why should the U.S. worry about an immigration dispute between Belarus on the one hand and Poland and Lithuania on the other? Particularly when U.S. involvement might bring Russia into the fray. From Ted Galen Carpenter at theamericanconservative.com:

It is a dangerous folly for the United States to extend security guarantees to small nations that quarrel with their neighbors.

The long-simmering feud between Belarus and several of its NATO neighbors (especially Poland and Lithuania) over the flow of refugees from the Middle East is escalating rapidly. On November 10, the European Union accused Belarus of mounting a “hybrid attack” by pushing migrants across the border into Poland. Poland and the Baltic republics have bolstered their security forces along their frontiers with Belarus to block the migrants trying to enter their countries. Thousands of hapless refugees are now stuck in makeshift camps in what amounts to a geographic no-man’s-land, and conditions there are becoming appalling.

It would be bad enough if the border crisis only involved humanitarian considerations, but the issue is taking on a military dimension. Britain has sent a small contingent of troops to Poland’s eastern frontier to show support for its NATO ally. On November 12, Russia and Belarus commenced joint snap paratrooper drills in Western Belarus, raising tensions another notch. More ominously, Moscow sent nuclear-capable bombers to patrol the skies over Belarus, emphasizing the Kremlin’s commitment to the security of that country and to Alexander Lukashenko’s government. Lukashenko has made his own contribution to the mounting tensions by threatening to cut off the transit of natural gas supplies from Russia to Poland and Germany—a step that would be quite worrisome on the eve of the winter season.

Both sides are engaging in dangerous and destructive posturing. There is little doubt that Belarus is exploiting the refugee flow to put pressure on its western neighbors. Minsk has provided financial incentives to encourage migrants to come to Belarus with promises that they will be able to gain asylum in the European Union’s eastern members and find new opportunities there. Reports also indicate that Belarusian authorities even supply the migrants with guides and maps to help them find the border, as well as wire cutters to deal with fences and other physical impediments there.

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Poland Claws Back Sovereignty from European Union, by Soeren Kern

It wouldn’t be a surprise if the EU didn’t exist a decade from now. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that Polish law takes precedence over European Union law. The landmark ruling, which seeks to reassert national sovereignty over certain judicial matters, has called into question the legitimacy of the EU’s supranational legal and political order. Pictured: Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal building, in Warsaw. (Image source: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons)

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that Polish law takes precedence over European Union law. The landmark ruling, which seeks to reassert national sovereignty over certain judicial matters, has called into question the legitimacy of the EU’s supranational legal and political order.

The power struggle has angered European federalists, who are seeking to turn the 27-member EU into a European superstate — a United States of Europe — and who do not take kindly to those who challenge their authority.

The EU, which Poland joined in 2004, has vowed to retaliate, including with potential financial penalties. Poland, which threw off the yoke of Soviet domination in 1989, replied that EU institutions are unlawfully overstepping their powers.

Poland is not the only country to challenge the supremacy of EU law. The United Kingdom, once the EU’s second-largest member state, officially left the bloc in 2020 to reclaim its sovereignty from the tentacles of the EU administrative state.

More recently, Germany’s Constitutional Court issued an unprecedented ruling that directly challenged the authority of the European Central Bank to purchase vast amounts of government bonds, a monetary policy known as quantitative easing. The German court ruled that the practice is illegal under German law as neither the German government nor the German parliament signed off on the purchases. The EU’s legal feud with its largest member has threatened to unravel not only Europe’s single currency, the euro, but the EU itself.

Poland says that it has no plans for a “Polexit.” Unlike Britain before its Brexit referendum in 2016, popular support for EU membership remains high. If, however, Poland were to leave the EU, it would cast doubt on the bloc’s future viability.

Poland’s dispute with the EU revolves around sweeping judicial reforms implemented by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) since 2015. The government has argued that its changes were necessary to tackle corruption in a justice system dominated by communist-era judges, but critics, including the European Commission, the EU’s administrative arm, say the reforms have eroded the independence of Poland’s judicial system.

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