Sunday, January 21, 2007

‘Communists still a grave threat’?

That’s the headline of an article by Eric Margolis in the Canadian Sun.

“Once again, the dauntless Poles show us the way”, says the piece, which goes on to recount the recent and on-going ‘Red Priest’ scandal and the continued digging by the government into some Poles pre-1989 records, looking for evidence of communist collaboration.

Margolis writes:

A few years after Poland's liberation from communist rule, I met with its deputy minister of defence. He suggested a stroll in a park, "because here in my office, there are many listeners."

I asked if communists still posed a threat. He whispered: "They are gone, but they are still here."

That just about sums up the Polish government’s position today. Last week brought more collaboration stories – as every week seems to, these days - one involving a former aid to Lech Walesa, and another about a popular TV historian, who was spying for the Commies in London during the 1980s, allegedly.

The Canadian article mentions some famous collaborators, in France and even the Roosevelt’s Whitehouse. But there is little evidence to back up the article’s headline: ‘Communists still a threat’.

A threat? Where? To who?

The Law and Justice government would claim that since 1989 ex-communists, turned capitalists, allied to their economic liberal friends (isn’t Poland complicated?) have carved up much of the economy for their own benefit.

But does that constitute a ‘present danger’, as Margolis seems to claim? Does he mean a ‘danger’ like in the old days? To the West?

Or is he expecting Polish priests, political aides and historians to drive tanks into the middle of Prague, at any minute?

15 comments:

ELIE SMITH REPORT11 said...

Hello,
I have read with interest most of your articles and enjoy its objectivity. That which attracted me the most were those on Simon Mol. I have even included your link in an article on the same topic. As for the current post, I am surprised that, the so-called threats from Communists do rattle feathers even in far away Canada. All the best my friend.

jannovak57 said...

Beatroot said “ A threat? Where? To who?”

You just don't get it! This is a long overdue correction to the agreement made at the Roundtable negotiations during 1989. To have allowed no avenue for society to cleanse itself of 45 years of criminality was a mistake and it should have been attended to at that time. Lech Wałęsa’s legacy will forever be marred by this oversight.

The threat runs the entire spectrum of crimes from treason to corruption executed by means of blackmail. Whether a well placed public servant is approached by a foreign intelligence officer or a small town official is pressured to bend the regulations against the public interest, these situations multiplied by tens of thousands of people hiding there pasts has a serious effect on society. Exposure eliminates the potential for blackmail.

The Russian FSB has a more comprehensive duplicate of the files the IPN work with.

This process is not altogether different than de-nazification just look at the difference today between Germany and Austria, which did not go thru such a process. In Austria you still find wide scale refusal to come to terms with the past.

This is far more an exercise of exposure rather than sanctions; the Government should proceed immediately to:

-declare the SB, the Military Intelligence Service and Armed Forces General Staff of the PRL as criminal organizations

-exclude the above from public life either as elected official or civil servants without exception

-reduce the pensions of the above to the national average

-continue the lustration process thru all areas of society

-make the IPN’s records publicly available i.e. on the Internet

And when you hear people whine about it, remind them there’s no shortage of lampposts and hemp in Poland.

beatroot said...

Elie – thanks. Elie is a French broadcast journo and writies good blog about French affairs – he has also been covering the Mol story, nice and soberly…

Jan
All things you say are, of course, are the argument made by the government. AND i EXCEPT THAT ALL THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOT OVER WITH YEARS AGO.

But Jan: this is a Canadian journo writing to a mainly Canadian audience and headlining the piece: 'Communists still a grave threat'. That’s ridiculous.

If you read the entire article it gives of examples of spies being found in various countries etc.

So the point he is making is not just about Poland - in fact he says that Poland is the country 'leading the way' in the fight against this 'grave threat'. He is making an international and contemporary point.

But what 'grave threat'? His article looks at the activities, or otherwise, of Wielgus. Now, while many are convinced that he was doing harm to fellow Poles in those days I DON'T THINK YOU WILL FIND MANY THAT SEE HIM AS A ‘GRAVE THREAT’ TODAY'.

The only way that it could be argued that the international cabal of communists were a grave threat today would be to try and construct an argument that they are still intimately connected, all have a common purpose and are somehow a group of and by themselves….beavering away to do….well, what?

One spokespesman for the PiS government current approach said: “We have nothing against left wing journalists [today] but we don’t think [past] collaborators should be journalists.

Well, OK – if that’s the policy that is the policy. It means this is about what someone did sometime in the past, not today.

If so then how can ‘communists be a ‘grave threat’ today; now? Lustracja is a form of revenge for the past…

jannovak57 said...

Elie B. Smith said “have read with interest most of your articles and enjoy its objectivity”

Only if you view leftist liberal bias as objective.

Elie B. Smith said (on his blog) about Poland “a country mostly known for her racists”

Have I badly misunderstood the several thousand burning cars and the rioting non-white minorities in Paris recently, perhaps the Paris tourist office was just organizing a light show for visitors. The state of race relations in France should make you pause to hang your head in shame and shut your F**king Mouth until you get your own house in order.

beatroot said...

Sorry Jan but we are on at the same time so I missed your second point.

I am not going to go into the racist thing for now – I would use slightly gentler language about Poles and their prejudices myself – and I don’t care if people think this blog is ‘objective’ or not.

It was the ‘left-liberal’ bit I didn’t like.

If you look down the last maybe five posts you will see much that a left-liberal would not like.

The mildish attack on PC speech codes, for instance; but most particularly the one on the ‘environment’. This is THE defining issue for the average caring sharing ‘left-liberal’ these days - and it is one in which they are profoundly wrong about.

The way we see ourselves as humans vis a vie nature is going to become the issue where politics is fought around now and in the future (in the west). It’s not going to be a classis ‘left/right thing because that type pf politics has collapsed.

So I am very defiantly NOT a ‘left-liberal’

geez said...

But BR, you are not a right-wing douche bag. Therefore, you are left-liberal. It's pretty much always either-or from such a perspective.

Jannovak57 said...

I will agree with you the Canadian article was a poorly researched and presented treatment of the issue. It nonetheless does not alter the current situation, those who raised their hand against Poland in the past can not be trusted in positions demanding public trust which includes all elected officials, the civil service and the media. A child molester can’t expect to run a day-care centre and a common thief can’t expect be a bank teller at least in most jurisdictions. It is a fundamental security procedure to exclude people subject to being blackmail from sensitive positions. Criminal wrong doing now and in the future is the threat and not necessarily Communism. Lustracja is a form of justice for the past, the present and the future. The society must not just be cleansed, but be seen to be cleansed by the people.

beatroot said...

Child molesters, thiefs…are these really adequate analogies? The child, (and the molester) could have grown up a little? Are they the same as the were 20 years ago?

Maybe the world has changed and its time to move with it…

Albert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Albert said...

jannovak57 you said: “The society must not just be cleansed, but be seen to be cleansed by the people.”

I’m really troubled by your insistence on “cleansing” the society. It sounds like something we have heard in the past… doesn’t it? I hope you do realize that by making statements like that you do perpetuate the image of Poland as the society of ignorant xenophobes. Allowing criticism is healthy and democratic. Considering any critical thoughts against the state unpatriotic and sacrilegious is pretty…oh.. well… Stalinist.

You also said: “.. those who raised their hand against Poland [wow.. dude… that sounds like a sermon – jannovak, are you a priest?? That woud explain a lot…] in the past can not be trusted in positions demanding public trust which includes all elected officials, the civil service and the media. A child molester can’t expect to run a day-care centre and a common thief can’t expect be a bank teller at least in most jurisdictions. It is a fundamental security procedure to exclude people subject to being blackmail from sensitive positions. Criminal wrong doing now and in the future is the threat and not necessarily Communism.”
Jan, I think you should run for office – having read a number of your entries you use a classic rhetorical trick straight from a propagandist’s handbook: you equate behavior generally accepted as morally reprehensible with the actions of the group you’re speaking against and then use that demagogical foothold to justify your contempt. You’ve done it again! Thievery and child molestation are not prerequisites for becoming a communist - they are for...hmmm... priests?

geez said...

Right: "All communists are murderers."

Left: "All priests are child molesters."

Jannovak57 said...

Beatroot said: “Maybe the world has changed and its time to move with it”

I completely agree, that’s the whole point so we can move on. Polish society is deeply traumatized by it’s past; these demons need to be publicly exercised. Is it a better path to ignore this and resign us to live in an atmosphere suspicion and accusation for the next twenty years?

ELIE SMITH REPORT11 said...

Hello Jannovak57,
I like the fact that, you read my post, but I have discovered that, you made a selective read. I won't insult you as you have done, for in the world in which we live in, there are lots of problems to start a new one.

However, I will invite you if you wish to read my post on Simon Mol once again before saying what you have written or uttered. Remain Blessed my friend.

geez said...

57 wrote: "these demons need to be publicly exercised."

>>> Does this mean they should be put on a treadmill? Treadmills go nowhere.

beatroot said...

Yeah, jan...please, it is nmot necessary to be sooo agressive to win a point...